There are many places where carrying a pocket knife can get you into some serious trouble. Confiscation, fines, and even jail time are all repercussions of breaking the law. Many of these laws are written in convoluted ways, keeping us confused and vulnerable. Not only do we have to worry about laws changing from state to state, but even the county that you choose to carry it may have completely different laws than the previous county that you were just in. But there are still many legit reasons to consider adding a pocket knife to your everyday carry (EDC).
Top 10 Reasons to Carry A Pocket Knife Everyday
If you were to ask many of those who carry a folder for EDC, their reason for carrying would be self-defense. Indeed, self-defense tops the list as the main reason for carrying a pocket knife. However, its important to practice using this regularly, since it's pointless to bring if you don't know how to utilize it.
Practice drawing and wielding your folder on a continual basis if you plan on using it for self-defense. A good folder can give you a great advantage against your assailant. But if you are not well-versed in it, your knife can also be used against you in a heartbeat!
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Building a fire has a plethora of purposes, both in recreational and emergency situations. I have plenty of fire-starting gear that I keep in my go bag. However, when it comes to preparing my tinder and even kindling… My folder certainly facilitates the task.
Whether I am shaving thin layers off a branch or scoring some thinner kindling for a teepee fire, my folder handles the job very well. Even when it comes to my Ferro rods, the spine of my folder does an excellent job in sending sparks to my tinder.
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We never really know when a loved one, a stranger, or even ourselves will be in need of first-aid. It can be as simple as removing a splinter or even trimming up some moleskin. Knowing that I have my folder in my pocket to assist in the job adds a bit of confidence to my preparedness. If the emergency is more severe and I need to make field-expedient cravats or splints, my folder will also help to simplify those tasks.
When it comes to car accidents, you may end up being the first one on the scene. Seat belts tend to become an issue in many car wrecks. They do their intended job well, but then continue to be restrictive, which can make a hazardous situation even worse. Having a folder that you can easily deploy to cut the seat belt can be the difference between life and death for the victim(s) of the crash.
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Also, while I am out in the field, the usual critters buzzing around can be a nuisance. Many of these insects bite, sting and can wreak havoc on your experience. Being able to utilize my folder, in order to remove the stinger, can go a long way in keeping me safe and hassle-free while in the field.
Eating & Food Preparation
This point may be a bit of a no-brainer for you, but I have forgotten to pack my eating utensils quite a few times over the years. Knowing that i have a knife, at the very least, can make a big difference in how I digest my meal. Even the way that my meal is prepared can vary greatly depending on whether or not I have access to my folder.
Whether I am cleaning a fish, or even slicing through a tasty fillet once it’s cooked, my folder can make the experience much more productive. Being able to dice, prune, chop and slice (utilizing just one tool) makes my folder a companion that I can't live without.
A well-built folder can serve as a lever quite well when the need for prying comes along. For example, I can pry open a window if I need to access a building in an emergency situation. When I am in the field, there is always a need for a tool to pry with. It may be as simple as removing a rock from underneath my tent in order to get better rest and relaxation. But it can also serve me well while levering through mud and dirt; looking for fishing bait.
But it should be noted that no knife (folding knives especially) are intended to be used as pry bars… I'd only recommend this be done as a last resort.
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I touched upon using my folder to cut up cravats for first-aid applications. But I can also use it to alter my clothing. I may want to convert a beat-up long-sleeved shirt into a short-sleeved shirt. I may want to turn a pair of pants, with holes in them, into shorts. In an emergency situation, there are so many factors that are nearly impossible to plan for. Having an option to make myself more comfortable or even more practical, can enhance my chances of survival.
Something as simple as being able to punch another hole in your leather belt or even to your shoes can affect your productivity. Luckily your folder can go a long way in helping you to be as sustainable as possible while operating in an emergency scenario.
I would much rather have my entrenching tool (shovel) when digging holes out in the field. Unfortunately, I may not always have access to an e-tool while on the trail. Since I carry my folder every chance that I get, the possibility of me having it in my pocket during an emergency is excellent. In a pinch, I can use my folder to dig a hole. It certainly will not be an easy task… But it is doable.
Whether building a small latrine or setting up a trap for hunting purposes, my folder will be able to handle the task of digging that hole.
Some of the gear contained in my go bags are still sealed in their original packaging. These items are perishable and their shelf life is greatly reduced the second that the packaging is opened. Therefore, I keep them sealed as long as I possibly can. When the need to open them does arise, I have my folder to assist me and it makes short work of the task.
Many of my dehydrated and freeze-dried meals are also contained in sealed bags. These bags are reusable and can serve dozens of other purposes once they empty. The cleaner I can make the cut while opening the package, the more options that I will have for the future of those containers. In an emergency situation, these bags can save my life.
Field Dressing A Fresh Kill
If you choose to hunt for your food, especially in a crisis, catching and killing your prey is only half the battle. You will also need to field dress your meal before you can eat it. Having a good folder will help you to do the job correctly. Time is definitely an issue, especially if you are hunting in areas that have larger prey than what you just bagged. As soon as they smell the blood, they are going to come investigate. A good folder will expedite the process and get you back to the safety of your base camp… Before the unwelcome guests show up.
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There are all sorts of bushcraft gear that you can make from whittling some wood. Forks, spoons and even cups can be whittled from a piece of wood. All that you need is a good, sharp knife. You are only limited by your imagination. Not only does this help you to make some much-needed utensils to make a difficult situation more bearable, but it also helps to pass the time while maintaining morale and purpose.
You can also use your whittling to fashion walking sticks to make your trekking a bit easier. Crafting defensive tools is also an amazingly useful way to utilize whittling with your pocket knife. A pocket knife is one tool that can create hundreds (or thousands) of others. Once again, it’s all up to you and your needs. But having access to your folder is a must for any of these ideas to actually manifest.
What knife is in your pack? Check out our recommendations below:
How you practice now in training is how you will react in a real emergency. Regardless of your preference in a knife, carry what works well for you. Your EDC needs to become an extension of your body. Whether it’s self-defense or just using it in the field to pry up a rock and find a little bait, the more experience that you have with your knife, the more applications that you will find for it during emergency situations.
What knife do you find best suited for these situations? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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