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  • Writer's pictureEliza Brown

TOP TIPS - 6 KNIFE TECHNIQUES WE USE IN THE OUTDOORS.

Before we begin, we have an exciting announcement to make!

"RVIVAL and Brechfa Knives launch their very first range of handcrafted field knives! Each knife is lovingly hand crafted from scratch by Mic at his Brechfa Knives workshop in Wales."

Robustly tried and tested by seasoned experts in field sports and outdoor pursuits we are delighted to introduce you to the line up...


Type O (Ocean & Coast)

Type F (Field & Food)

Type C (Construct & Survive)


Developed by our founder, Eliza Brown and the owner of Brechfa Knives, Mic Taylor, these knives were designed to empower you to be self-sufficient in nature.


To celebrate the launch on the 26th May 2023 we are hosting a competition where you could be in for the chance to win your very own handcrafted RVIVAL x Brechfa knife worth £450! Keep an eye on our instagram pages for news!



TOP TIPS - 6 KNIFE TECHNIQUES WE USE IN THE OUTDOORS.


Getting by in the wild without a knife is next to impossible. It’s the backbone of any survival kit. From cutting wood for fires to building shelters, a good knife can make the time spent out in the wilds much more comfortable. But if your only experience with a knife is in the kitchen, then it's well worth following our RVIVAL top tips that will help you get the most out of your blade in the outdoors.




6 Ways to Use a Knife in the Wild


1. Batton a blade to split some wood.


A knife runs second to an axe as a chopping tool, but having an axe in the wild is a luxury. When pounded with a baton, a well made knife is capable of splitting small to medium sized logs or making dry splits from wood blocks. Start by rapping the knife with a baton to make a groove in the log. Once content that the blade of the knife is gripped with the groove in the wood, find your balance and ensure safe swinging room to then pound the blade downwards to split the log. The groove will turn to a crack which will split as you work down the wood. This technique is the safest way to split a dry log into a perfect sized wedge to use for fire.



2. Make a feather-stick for fire kindling.

If you can’t find dry kindling for building a fire, you can use your knife to make some in the form of a feather stick. Rest the end of a stick on the ground, then shave downward to lift curls of dry wood. At the end of each stroke, pry outward with the blade to spread the feathers. The end result will burn readily.




3. Spark a ferro rod to start a fire.


In my opinion, ferrocerium

rods, or ferro rods, are essential tools to bring into the woods. They are lightweight and can start countless fires no matter how wet they get or how cold it is outside. Small particles of a ferro rod ignite when they are scraped off quickly, and there is no better tool for the job than a good chunk of steel. You can make sparks on a ferro rod with a blade’s edge, but it will dull your knife. A better approach is to flip the knife over and use the spine.



4. Use the chest-lever cut for greater control.

When you’re down to your last M&M, counting calories takes on a whole different meaning. Wilderness survival is all about conserving energy. While it seems like you might have to muscle your way out of a disaster, the less you move your body, the better. The chest-lever cut makes the most out of what little calories you may have left by leveraging your back and shoulders to make short strong cuts. It’s also very safe.



5. Master the push cut and the stop cut.

If you want to make traps and toggles, you’re going to need good strong notches. Two techniques that are essential for notching wood with a knife are the stop cut and the push cut. First, make a stop cut by applying pressure to the heel of your knife at a 90-degree angle into a stick. You can lightly baton the spine of your knife or use your thumbs. Then make a push cut at a 45-degree angle about a half-inch away from your 90-degree cut and take small bites out of the stick towards it until you reach the desired depth. The push cut terminates at the stop cut, leaving a perfect notch




6. Preparing your wild ingredients

Building confidence with a knife is a chef's most valuable tool! However it is a slightly different ball game when it comes to knife handling for cooking purposes outdoors.

Lets be realistic here…most often we only have the one knife to hand, and so we have use it as a tool for multiple tasks, such as feathering sticks, cutting cord to setting up camp. It's therefore important to learn to adapt your knife handling skills so you can make the best out of one knife as a multifunctional tool.


When it comes preparing your wild ingredients in an outdoor environment we suggest using the tip of a blade to carry out delicate tasks such as skinning, paring and slicing. When slicing and using a knife that is without a curved belly, finding a rolling action can to chop can prove mighty challenging…and so we adapt our technique to a slicing action. Avoid lifting the blade to high between slices and ensure to ‘claw the fingers’ to keep them out the way. Antoher technique we use in food preparation is similar to splitting wood for fire, you can use a baton and blade to split the chest cavity of an animal. Keep to one side of the sternum for an easier cut.


Six Knife Safety Tips to Remember


It goes without saying, but as easily as a knife will carve up a piece of kindling, it will do the same to your skin. Cutting yourself in a survival situation will reduce your odds of coming out alive. No matter how proficient you are with a blade, it’s important to practice these basic knife safety tips when you’re far away from help.

  1. Think one step ahead of your cut to avoid cutting yourself. In other words, ask yourself: Where will the blade end up after I make the cut?

  2. Don’t run with your knife.

  3. Don’t grab a falling blade.

  4. Always cut away from your body.

  5. When not using your knife, keep it in a secure sheath.

  6. Your first aid kit and knife go together. Don’t go into the woods without carrying both, and stock your kit with enough bandages to patch up a nasty cut.



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