Craig Caudill knows a thing or two about knives and today he’d like to share some of his everyday knife safety tips with us:
It doesn’t matter if you camping, practicing bushcraft skills, or actually in a survival situation. Injuring yourself by accident can be both a devastating situation and a huge morale killer. In our classes at Nature Reliance School, we are constantly teaching the message that if you can avoid a situation where you need to use survival skills you are better off than you would have been if you had to put them into use. One of the many ways we can help ourselves in any situation is to utilize a knife safely.
Knife Safety Tips
Using a knife safely starts with how you retrieve it. In this article and video (which goes into visual detail) we want to focus our attention on fixed-blade knives and not pocket knives. Sheaths are made for a reason and that is to make your knife safe and accessible when needed. Retrieving and replacing it in the sheath are the typically the first situation where one can easily get cut without due diligence on the knife. The simple thing to keep in mind when utilizing a knife is that there are two parts of it that are dangerous: the long edge and the point. The goal is to never have either of those two things facing any portion of your body or others. There are a few basics rules you should adhere to make sure knife usage is safe for you and those around you.
1. Make sure that every knife you use is sharp.
A dull knife is dangerous and nearly forces the one holding it to improperly use it.
2. Never point a knife or its edge toward yourself or anyone you do not want to harm.
This cannot be said enough. There are several common tasks that you can use a knife for that we demonstrate how to safely do in the video.
3. Always keep the material you are working on directly in front of you.
Know who may walk from behind you and next to you. Utilizing a knife safely becomes unsafe when an unsuspecting person walks nearby.
4. Never move your knife in an erratic manner.
Always be mindful of the arc in which it would cut if your target is missed. This is never more true than when you are using a larger cutting tool such as a machete.
5. If you happen to drop a knife for whatever reason, NEVER try to catch it.
Simply let it fall. By trying to catch it you run the risk of catching the blade or accidently hitting it towards someone else.
6. You should never leave your knife laying around.
If it is not in use, sheath it. Those are some very basic rules to live by to use a knife safely.
Those are some very basic rules to live by to use a knife safely.
In the following video we go into great detail on how to use a knife in some common camping, bushcraft, and/or survival uses.