Today I took some time out from the hassles of life for an all to brief trip to my new local woods - the idea was to get a fix of green but also to test a couple of new items.
The new items where a Swedish army 25 litre rucksack and the much talked about (on you tube anyway) Old Hickory Butcher knife.
Had a great day exploring my new local woods - found a few interesting fungi including a secluded little spot full of chanterelle's
Brewed up with a trusty old mucket ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and then on to the gear reviews ............
The old hickory butchers knife is a very popular item at the moment on you tube in particular so as I said in a previous article I thought I'd get one and see what the fuss was about.
Now as reported before the knife needs sharpening and a sheath before use so compared to say a Mora of a similar price this isn't a good start but how did it fair in use??
Well surprise, surprise, the first thing I did was butcher - well carve the sunday roast and yep as we would hope it carved the meat beautifully. That done now for the field test - batoning was good plenty of blade for the baton and the below pictures shows a piece of pussy willow being split.
Said piece of willow carved into feather sticks with ease so generally a big thumbs up for the knife so far!
Then I thought i'd light the feather sticks with a fire steel and the old hickory butcher knife - the blade caste a good shower of sparks from the steel but as I used it I noticed the scales on the knife coming apart?? When I checked this out I the rivets used to mount the scales had come apart.
OK if your a knife nut its not the end of the world a bit of epoxy and the rivets could be stuck together again - and in a true emergency the full tang means the knife is still usable but that's not the point, after all I had only carved a beef, batoned one stick into quarters and carved 4 feather sticks and the knife literally fell apart .............in the social media folks, some quiet well respected too, seem the sing the praises of this knife and yet my experiences where totally different, I am sure in the kitchen as a butcher knife it's a excellent tool but personally it's not a bushcrafting tool !!
Now disappointed as I AM with the butcher knife surely my Swedish army daysack wouldn't let me down .............I'm a big fan of the Swedish military kit, most items are well thought out and practical. The LK70 and 35 are my favourite sacks and I had hoped this 25litre model would compliment them.
Well the jury is out on this one - the sack is a well made, tough cookie - the volume is supposed to be 25 litre's but like all Scandinavian sacks the size seems larger and I would guess this one is easily 30 litres and possibly even 35 - but the thing that lets it down are the shoulder straps.
As you can see these are just inch wide webbing straps and not ideal for comfortable carriage - that said in use I soon got used to them although at the end of a long day my shoulders knew I had carried the sack. All that said I can still see a place for the sack in my gear as a emergency daysack due to its light weight I would happily carry it rolled up in my main sack to be used for short hikes with light gear but certainly not for longer day hikes with more gear than a flask, pack of sarnies and a waterproof jacket!
Overall a good day out and lessons learnt about some new kit items ,.............