THE RIGHT KNIFE
There are an abundance of knives on the market today to choose from. Different knives have different uses. When looking for a good knife to by, select one to fit your field needs and avoid buying the expensive overkill items. Those big, fancy, Hollywood knives look great. They may make you feel like Rambo, but owning and carrying an expensive killing knife does not make you a better survival knife fighter. Don't waste your money on a single (or several) hi-speed knives to meet your routine needs. Buy a common sense knife like the Ka-Bar that is made of strong metal and comes with a pure leather (or Kydex) case and a sharpening stone.
Before you rush out and purchase any knife, ask yourself a few simple questions:
|How much can I afford to spend?|
|What daily uses will I need it for?|
|What special uses do I need it for?|
|Am I willing to sacrifice the money lost if I break it, lose it, or have it stolen?|
Once you have asked yourself these questions, you are ready to choose a knife from several categories. These are a few of the many categories to help you decide the right knife for you.
|Combat Survival Knife||
Designed for anything from hand-to-hand combat to living off the land. They come equipped with accessories such as a built-in compass, fishing kit, sewing kit, matches, whistle, and so on. This type of knife is usually very expensive.
|Special Purpose Knife||
Designed to be used for specific tasks such as killing, cutting wood or eating. Some types come with many special purposes, such as the Swiss Army Folding Knife set.
|General Purpose Knife||
Designed for ordinary use, such as cutting (provided you maintain it by keeping the blade sharp).
Packing your rucksack is like furnishing your home. You want to arrange it in a certain way to fit your needs. There are many ways that a ruck can be packed, but there is a right way and a wrong way. The difference is a choice between being comfortable and convenient versus being uncomfortable and dealing with a lot of unnecessary hassles.
If you separate your field equipment by DAILY USE and OCCASIONAL USE, it will be much easier to pack and locate without dumping everything. A simple way of dividing and packing should go something like this:
Tied outside, located on top or bottom of ruck in accordance with team SOP
Tied or packed with sleeping gear or if small enough, in outside pocket of ruck
|Stove||Packed/tied outside of ruck (use canteen case)|
|Shaving Kit||Packed in outside pocket of ruck|
|Foot Powder/Chapstick||Packed with shaving kit|
|Sweater/Jacket||Inside of ruck, packed toward the very top|
Pack no more than one or two meals in one of the outside pockets. If there are additional meals, pack them deep inside of ruck
|Rain Suit||Outer top ruck pocket or inside ruck toward the top|
|Socks/Underclothes||One set toward the top inside of the ruck|
|Overshoes||Tied outside of ruck, possibly strapped to sleeping gear|
Any additional clothing or equipment that must be taken can be packed toward the bottom of the ruck. An example of this is additional uniforms, blankets, boots, socks, etc. Keep the majority of the weight toward the top so it will be better balanced for walking and easier to carry.
Put as many items as possible inside plastic bags. Small trash bags or zip-lock sandwich bags are ideal. They keep items clean, fresh and dry in all types of weather conditions. And they can be used as mini-laundry bags to prevent other items from becoming dirty and smelly.