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How many knives should you have in a bug out bag? You should have anywhere from 2 to 4 knives in your bug-out bag that all serve individual purposes so that you are covering all of your bases. The first knife you should have is a smaller, well-balanced fixed blade knife for self-defense, a larger fixed blade knife that can be used for cutting materials for a fire or hunting.
The third knife/tool you should carry is a multitool such as a leatherman that will provide you with numerous functions from opening a can to tightening screws on other tools. The fourth tool can be a folding saw or a machete for those tough jobs like cutting wood.
Why Is a Knife so Important in Survival?
One of the most important pieces of gear that you can have in your bug-out bag or survival kit is a good solid knife. How many times have you had a job to do but didn’t have the proper tool to get the job done?
The right knife or knives can help you build a shelter, prepare the wood to make a fire, fish, hunt, and even serve as the perfect defense weapon.
However, not having the right knife or having a poor quality one that could break can cause you to go without one of these things or cause you to work extra hard to achieve a smaller task.
For example, what if you had to cut wood for a fire with a folding pocket knife. Sure, it could work but is it the best tool for the job?
You want to have the tools you need in each situation so that you and your family will be able to set up camp easier and ultimately survive longer.
Is a Fixed Blade Better than A Folding Knife?
Both a fixed blade knife and a folding knife are good in certain situations so it would depend on the individual situation. The folding knife is easy to carry even in places where a fixed blade knife would be frowned upon like while at work or going into certain places. This makes the folding knife a better choice for urban areas or just as an everyday carry.
The fixed blade knife is better in bug out situations where you will have to traverse through wooded areas or where you will need to hunt for your own food.
It really comes down to what your bug out plan looks like and the terrain you will have to go through to get to your bug out location. Are you going to have to go off road, hike through a mountainous terrain, or can you easily get to your bug out location.
You should weigh the possible situations and make a decision that fits your needs.
Do I Need a Fixed Blade Knife?
A good quality fixed blade knife is going to be stronger, tougher, and better suited for hunting, fishing, camping, or other outdoor tasks. It is not that you cannot use a folding knife but you will most likely struggle with certain tasks making it harder and less efficient.
In addition to a fixed blade knife being better suited for these activities, the maintenance and upkeep is easier on these knives because there is no moving parts like in a folding knife.
On the other hand, a folding knife or a traditional pocket knife is made to be carried around and because it folds, it is safer and easier to carry.
How Many Knives Should You Have in A Bug out Bag?
You should have anywhere from 2 to 4 knives in your bug-out bag that all serve individual purposes so that you are covering all of your bases. The first knife that you should have is a smaller, well-balanced fixed blade knife that is meant for self-defense, a larger fixed blade knife that would be used for cutting materials for a fire or hunting. The third knife/tool you should carry is a multitool such as a leatherman that will provide you with numerous functions from opening a can to tightening screws on other tools.
You should carry 2-4 knives depending on the terrain that you plan on facing when bugging out, the number of other tools you plan on carrying, and the amount of space you have in your bag.
The idea of carrying multiple knives is to make sure that you have everything you will need to face any situation you might encounter on your way to your bug-out location or on your way home.
Here are the types of knives that I recommend carrying in your bug out bag:
A small fixed blade knife that is well balanced can be used in self-defense or fighting situations whether you hold it or use it as a throwing knife. This knife can also be used for any smaller, more lightweight tasks so that you do not wear the edge down.
We use the Fallkniven F1 as our small fixed blade knife that has a drop point blade and a full tang. It is lightweight, durable, and gets the job done. It can be hard to find the perfect knife to complement your style and your go bag but this fits our needs well.
The second knife should be a larger fixed blade knife that you can use to cut materials for building a shelter, building a fire, skinning animals that you have killed while hunting, and other general tasks.
You want this knife to hold a good edge and to be durable so that it can withstand the variety of different tasks you may use it for. We personally use the JEO-TEC Nº55 Bushcraft Knife and the Fallkniven A1 because they are both durable and can handle pretty much anything you can throw at them.
Of course anytime that you are putting together a bag that will include a knife of any kind, you need to make sure that you pack a sharpening stone so that you can keep your knives in tip top shape and plenty sharp to take care of business.
Other cutting tools to carry:
The third tool that you must have in your bug-out bag is a leatherman or what is commonly known as a multitool. I personally use this multitool by Victorinox in both my get-home bag and my bug-out bag. It is strong, durable, and has pretty much everything you need.
It is a good quality leatherman that you can use to open cans of food, use as a tool to fix other things in your pack or that you find, and even do some basic cutting.
I have been in some tough situations before where all I had was my leatherman and was able to pull through because of it.
These types of jobs can dull an edge on a multipurpose knife which will make even the easiest jobs harder on you.
A machete can be effective as a weapon, a tool to clear underbrush if you are in an area that is wooded or plan to go through an area like that when bugging out.
What Is the Best Knife for A Bug out Bag?
The best knife you can include in your bug out bag is going to be a knife that is durable, well made, holds a good edge, and can be used for multiple purposes. There are a lot of knives available that claim they are for bug out bags and survival but only a few will pass the actual tests.
I recommend the Fallkniven F1 if you are wanting a smaller multipurpose knife that will fit in just about any go bag or the Fallkniven A1 if you are wanting a more robust larger knife for your bug out bag.
These knives are some of the best-made knives that you can buy out there today that will actually hold up to survival situations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most asked questions:
How Many Knives Do You Need for Survival?
There is no concrete answer to this as it will vary from person to person but you should consider the types of situations that you could face based on where you live and other factors.
In most situations, you should have between 2-4 knives, a multitool, and other cutting tools in order to get through most SHTF or environmental events.
I recommend a good folding pocket knife for everyday carry, a good quality fixed blade knife that is small and well balanced, a larger fixed blade knife for outdoor tasks for your bug out bag or get home bag, and then your multipurpose cutting tools such as a folding saw and machete.
How Many Knives Should I Carry?
When it comes to knives, more is always better. In a survival situation, you never know when you might need to cut through tough material, skin an animal, or defend yourself from an attacker.
That’s why it’s important to carry multiple knives with you at all times. A small folding knife is ideal for everyday tasks, while a larger fixed-blade knife can be used for more demanding jobs. And don’t forget a sharpening stone to keep your blades in top condition.
With the right tools, you can be prepared for anything. So make sure you always have at least three knives on hand. After all, it could mean the difference between life and death.
So, what are you waiting for? Start packing your bug out bag with the 2-4 knives and multipurpose cutting tools that will have you covered in any situation.
Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry – especially when disaster is looming. And who knows? Maybe after reading this post, you’ll start thinking about adding a few other essential items to your bag as well.
Be sure to check back often for more helpful tips on how to gear up for whatever might come your way.