AROUND THE KAMPFIRE (TIPS ON LIVING OUTSIDE)

HOW MANY KNIVES ARE ENOUGH?

I’ll have to admit I’m not sure just how many knives are enough to own or possess at one time. I guess if I were to count I’d probably admit to having in my possession at least 25, probably more. Why have so many when one or two will do in most situations? I can’t answer in any way but, “I’m guilty of knife wanting!” I have sheath knives, folding knives, fillet knives, bread knives, hunting knives, butter knives, table knives, butcher knives, skinning knives, chef’s knives, cheese knives, and etc., and etc., and etc. and I keep them sharp because there is nothing so dangerous as a dull knife.

I even have a knife with a fork and spoon built in along with a can opener, a bottle opener, an awl, a Phillips screwdriver, a flat blade screwdriver, a leather punch, a magnifying glass, scissors, a cork screw, two or three knife blades, tweezers, and even a tooth pick all in the same instrument; talk about compactness. I even have homemade knives that my brother made for me. Oh, and he gave me a letter opener in the shape of a small sword that he made for me to open my mail neatly; he got tired of seeing me rip open envelopes with my thumb.

When I’m hunting I carry a sheath knife and a backup knife in my pack along with a sharpening steel and a sharpening stone. When I’m fishing I carry a fillet knife and a sharpening device especially made for that knife. When I’m butchering a deer I use a skinning knife and two large butcher knives one for cutting through joints and muscle and one for boning out the meat. When camping I have a chef’s knife for cutting up lettuce, vegetables, and etc. for salads and a knife with the multiple purpose blades for opening cans, bottles, and the like.

I have a knife to whittle with when setting around the campfire and a set of six throwing knives that I like to practice with from time to time when no one is around. So how many knives are too many? I challenge you to start making a list of the knives that you have and use for different tasks around the house, at work, while hunting, while fishing, and when camping. You’ll be amazed at how many you actually have and use.

Remember to always keep your knife sharp and a good test of a sharp knife is to slice through a tomato with it. It should do the job with little or no effort. If it won’t slice a tomato easily then it needs to be sharpened. I can’t tell you how to sharpen a knife like I do; I could only show you. My advice? Have a Boy Scout show you how to sharpen your knife and maybe he’ll even show you how to use it safely.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer