These are the bladed implements carried by seven men on this year's Annual Winter BoB Exercise. I know it's difficult to see - if you click on the pic it will enlarge.
I will attempt some cogent observations later but right now I need to go work on a wheel chair ramp for some poor widows...
...as Arnold said, "I'll be back!"
A blog reader sent in this comment with regards to the picture: Is that a kukri? They would be on par with a machete for clearing brush, but I wouldn't imagine carrying one in a survival situation for their size and shape.
I started to post a reply in the comments section and just decided to bring it out here for all to see more easily.
It is not a kukri it is a parang - a bit lighter but still heavy. It's a jungle knife fashioned from a leaf spring. I am probably going to replace it with my Mora 2000. It’s heavier than a machete so it is not as good with light vegetation as a machete but it is much better at hacking through tougher stuff. And that’s the rub – it is heavy.
But the thing is, I have been on events where all of the wood was covered in a layer or ice, or soaked with rain, and I had to baton my way into them to reach dry wood. Now - I can baton with a Mora2k - sort of. And there are other lighter knives that can baton well - my wife carries a BK&T Camp Knife that is as big as my parang but much lighter.
Also, I have a background in Filipino Martial Arts and I can FIGHT with that parang. The balance, the edges, the handle geometry... Now, granted, I can fight with a Swiss Army knife as well and let's face it - I won't be fighting with my knife in a Bug Out situation - I guess I could but come on....
Another thing the parang does which a lighter knife will not do nearly as well is hack. And there again, truth be known - on the 20 or so events I have carried the parang along on - I really haven't hacked all that much.
There was some kind of touchy feely move amongst the “save the earth” hippy crowd back in the 70’s to get away from big aggressive (say it with a lisp) knives and simply carry a Swiss Army Knife or some such. And truth be known – you can do the vast majority of your knife chores with a very little knife. I gutted and went through the ribs of a young doe with an original Gerber LST (about a 1.5 inch blade). And while “a big knife will do anything a small knife can but not vice versa” is generally true – it’s hard to clean a rabbit with a foot long blade.
If I “could only have one thing” in a survival situation it would be a knife like that parang or a Cold Steel Trailmaster bowie. But I am not limited, am I? I have a whole BoB full of goodies. What it is coming down to with me, gang, is weight. I am getting older and am not the 30 year old mountain running stud I used to be. And really - we could all probably make better use of the weight allowance (no matter how fit one is – one can only carry what one can carry and so choices must be made).
So yeah, I’m probably going to bid adieu to the heavy knife. The good news is, I’ll have it out so I can actually play with it more.
See ya out there.
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's rasor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weight, and divide the hair. – Ezekiel 5:1
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe
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