Can you survive with nothing but a knife?
Yes, you can, but it’s far easier and more comfortable to bring some other stuff along.
Underwear is great for example and, of course, tools to make and maintain your knife what it is: The ultimate survival tool.
#1 Knife Sharpener
A dull knife is about as useful as firetruck without water.
The best survival knife blades are made from high carbon steel that goes dull relatively quick.
Add heavy outdoor use and you’ll have to sharpen your knife every couple of days to keep it in excellent condition.
And while knife sharpening is a survival skill all on it’s own you’re off to a good start if you buy and carry around a good knife sharpening stone.
Your knife’s sheath protects your knife from the elements, makes it easy to use, access and, most importantly, prevents injuries.
Buckle your leather sheath on your belt and you’ll notice the sheath broke when you feel a jolt of pain and see your knife sticking out from your thigh or your feet.
The best sheaths are custom made from Kydex (which is a “thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride” – whatever, right?).
Avoid leather or nylon sheaths when possible.
Don’t want to spend much on your sheath? At least make sure the blade is tightly secured and check if the blade can in any way pierce the sheath.
If not, you’re good. For now.
#3 Belt Clip
Your survival knife will be much more useful if you don’t have to get it out of your backpack every time you want to use it.
Invest in a sturdy belt clip to fasten your knife sheath to your belt, trouser waistband or pocket.
#4 Lanyard Cord / Paracord
A knife with a lanyard hole is a blessing:
It’s much easier to work with in tight or moving spaces and it’ll greatly reduce the chance that you’ll lose your precious knife.
If you want to use your lanyard hole you need a lanyard cord.
In a pinch any piece of cord works but since your lanyard is the one thing you never, ever want to fail or break you’ll better invest in some proper, sturdy lanyards.
The smart survivor uses military grade nylon paracord as a lanyard because it’s strong and you can use it for many fun and useful survival tricks.
Make sure you grab one in a bright color like yellow or red. That will make it easier to find your knife if you drop it on the forest floor in between dirt and dark leaves.
#5 Blade Oil And A Cleaning Cloth
To make your knife last for many years, or even decades, wipe it after every use with a wet cloth, then with a dry cloth to remove the moisture and apply some blade oil.
This creates a thin film on the surface of your blade to protect it from corrosion, discoloration and rust.
Japanese Tsubaki Oil is cheap, works well for kitchen knives too and a single bottle lasts for multiple years.