Fate often has a hand in many of the events which shape our lives whether we except it ot not.
On the recent WEISS course fate certainly played me an Ace. Many years ago, when I first started out on the bushcraft trail I was (and still am) a big fan of Mors Kochanski. Unable to afford a expensive Woodlore knife I instead opted for the simpler knife Mors seemed to like.
This was the Original KJ Eriksson Mora knife with its red painted birch handle - a legendary knife even then, after all a knife that has been accepted by outdoors folks for hundreds of years seldom can be bettered by a new design made by folks who only weekend in the woods or have profit at heart!!
May trusty old KJ Eriksson saw me through many a bushy adventure both here, Sweden and Norway always there and always reliable.
Eventually I cut off the wooden handle and fitted a new antler one and made it a nice leather sheath "revamping" the old knife which I used continiously up until I designed the BFK!!
Since then many moons and miles have pasted, adventure fresh and friends old have all come and gone and like a greenhorn I had found myself floundering in a world where knife choice was vaste and confusing ............. last year I remember remarking to a friend how I envied her ability to wear and use a simple knife without feeling the need to own a "better" (read custom more expensive there) knife!
Well, not so long ago Mora knives of Sweden was born out of the marriage of Frost's and KJ Ericsson's - this union of the two top cutting tool makers in sweden promised to bring new and exciting tools to the market and as mentioned on this blog before tools of excellent steel quality at a sensible price!!!
Sadly it would also see the end of the KJ Ericksson brand ........... alas the memories soon fade!!
Then on this years trip to Sweden in a hardware store I found 2 KJ Ericsson's being sold off cheap - brand new - how could I resist??
One I put into service immediately the other I am saving (a draw queen!)
To my pleasure and delight the knife served me well in every area I could think of - excellent for carving triggers and spoons it also excelled at carving my dinner, lifting a hot handled billy off the fire, fire lighting ................ everything.
Harking back to my comments to my friend (as above) I thought "well why not? Why do you have to have an expensive knife? Is your ego getting in the way of your good sense? Good enough for Mors, good enough for you!"
And so there you have it - my new knife is a old style Mora ........... I have several £200 plus knives at home and while one or two maybe be as good in use, none are as practicle or so well priced as that simple classic!!
I pondered changing the scales again - making a new sheath - tinkering ............. but then I thought "no, whats the point?? A serious outdoorsman should have a tool thats functional, that can be used and if needs be, be used hard. A serious outdoorsman should be judged on what he can make with his knife not on who made it!" So I decided to leave it be - even the slightest customising makes the knife less of a tool and more of a thing, a statement ...... lessening it making it stuff. More to the point by keeping it simple I can happily give the tool as a gift and replace it if needs be - I can carry 10 in my sack and still be quids in over the custom carrier .......... and if (no matter how rare it might be) I should lose it or have it stolen, it'll not be the bank or my heart thats broken!
The urge to tinker has passed, now I have a knife that has served generations of outdoors folk, and served them well. I have a knife that professional outdoorsmen and those who live in the wilds trust - I have a knife that will meet all my bushcraft needs and more without carving a hole in my wallet!!
So impressed was I with my rediscovery of the simplistic pleasures of the past and the undeniable utility of this excellent knife I have decided to stock the entiure range on the Bearclaw Website so before you spend a fortune on a expensive knife ask yourself this, "Can generations of woodsman, men who actually depended on a knife to survive have been wrong?"
If your answer is no, then maybe you to should trust their judgement and try a Mora Classic - if your answer is yes ................ well I also have a few tins of Survival Dehydrated water I can sell you when you buy your expensive new knife!!