"Sawtooth's Quartet": Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker, Randall's Adventure & Training ESEE-3, Cold Steel Trailhawk, Bahco Laplander.
All photos by Randall Haynes.
I have a confession…I love knives. I love them so much that I have too many. I have a whole drawer in my gun safe full of knives I don’t use. However, as much as I love knives, I love truly useful backcountry gear even more. With that thought in mind, I’ve really whittled down all my gear to those items that really are purpose-driven, and I’ve vowed to part with the rest. I know it sounds cliché, but less truly is more. You’ll see that it’s a recurring theme in my “Gear I Use” series.
This post is devoted to those edged tools I use in the backcountry. All of my tools serve a specific purpose, have been selected after a considerable amount of testing and thought over an extended period of time (in some cases, decades), and none of them will put a big dent in a wallet. All of them fit hand-in-glove with my version of lightweight backpacking, backcountry tenkara, both small and big game hunting, and light duty bushcraft. If I were a vegan, camped in a hermetically sealed tent at night, and only burned fossil fuel stoves, I wouldn't need these tools. However, I do kill and eat game animals and fish in the wilderness, build fires constantly, repair equipment and clothing in the field, chop ice, and fashion tools out of wood or even bone if I have to. I need capable tools.