Amazon Black Friday 2014 Survival Product Discounts

I’m pretty sure we’ve mentioned before how much of a valuable resource we think Amazon is for your survival and prepper gear needs. It’s easy to use, excellent for comparison shopping, and free shipping means you’ll be saving a bundle on gas (and saving time as well!).

Out of curiosity, and in the spirit of Black Friday, I took a look through Amazon to see if there were any really good deals on prepper gear, knives, and outdoor products this year. I sure didn’t come up dry! I’ve organized the products I found in the following list by how steeply discounted they are.

Take a look below and see if anything strikes your fancy. While I’m not sure all of these deals are Black Friday deals, especially considering some of them look suspiciously close to prices I’ve seen on Amazon before, they’re all really good buys, and I’m guessing at least some of the sales probably won’t be around for too long. If you’re eyeing a couple of items, I’d recommend snapping ‘em up this weekend – just to be sure you don’t miss out on the lowered prices.

Over 80-89% Off

 

70-79% Survival Product Discount

 

60-69% Survival Product Discount

 

50-59% Survival Product Discount

 

Spotted Any Great Deals Yourself?

Let us know in the comments section! It’s Black Friday weekend after all, and so there must be even more good deals on survival and preparedness products than usual. You don’t have to link to other Amazon deals/products, any good buys on or off the web are great!

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Little Big EDC Knife Review

Spyderco has long advertised its belief in “Constant Quality Improvement” (C.Q.I.), which emphasizes continuous upgrades and evolution, bit by bit. No knife strikes this message home more to me than this version of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2. From a design that arose in the mid 90’s, we now have a little big knife with bleeding edge material and second-to-none fit and finish.

little big spyderco dragonfly 2 review more than just survivingSpyderco Dragonfly 2 Small EDC Knife – Amazon

Aesthetically, the Dragonfly 2 is a Spyderco through and through. The leaf blade shape and over-sized choil echo the styling queues of the Sage series (1, 2, & 3) and the Lil’ Temperance, which I think most would agree is certainly not a bad thing. I personally lean towards these unique little slabs of steel as great examples of functional art. Yes, it does look quite odd for a knife, especially when you take into account that the overall length is only 14 cm (5.51 inches), but it’s good looking nonetheless.

little big knife spyderco dragonfly 2 review nishijin handles

small folding edc dragonfly 2 review spyderco

The ZDP-189 blade is 57 mm (2.25 inches) long, which provides an interesting amount of cutting power into what is actually a very small package. The Spyderco Dragonfly 2, Balance, and Urban, among many others, are designed as small knives that can perform cutting tasks larger than their size would usually suggest. This is why they are often labelled “little big knives.”

everyday carry small knife review spyderco dragonfly 2

The full flat ground ZDP-189 blade is a pleasure to use. I talked before about the advantages of super steels and whilst the VG-10 version of the Dragonfly 2 is definitely high performance enough for EDC uses, I do personally prefer the super steel version whenever possible, if only for the placebo of having “the best” regardless of real world/practical advantages.

little big knife spyderco dragonfly 2 survival blog review

The blade of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is roughly 3.18 mm (0.125 inches) thick, which is plenty enough for a knife this size. One might imagine that the grinds are super thin, but in reality, I found that the edge and tip were ground for utilitarian applications – definitely not super slicers. The tip is certainly sturdy enough to pry packages without undue fear of the tip snapping off.

I recently unboxed my first Kershaw Leek, and its anemic grinds and needle tip have actually skewed my understanding of what thin is to the extreme. I am sure to a lot of people the Dragonfly 2 is pretty damn thin, but after playing with the Kershaw Leek, it’s hard for me to think so!

spyderco-dragonfly-2-folding-edc-knife-review

Spyderco chose to use a mid lock for the Dragonfly 2. This one is particularly well implemented, with the deep Boye dent feature to stop the blade from accidentally disengaging should the knife be gripped too tight. All in all, I will always gravitate towards locks that support open construction, as I find the advantages in ease of cleaning and reduced weight outweigh any negatives, but I definitely don’t feel “under knifed” for rougher use with the Dragonfly 2. The lock is rock solid and features zero blade play in any direction.

At the end of the day, the lock is superbly implemented and biases aside, that’s all that matters. My two cents.

mtjsblog spyderco dragonfly 2 little big knife review

As I have often mentioned, I tend to prefer Spyderco’s wire clip whenever possible. In this particular instance, I think the utilitarian option would clash with its sleek styling, and thus I am glad that that Spyderco chose to use a small hourglass clip. The Dragonfly 2 doesn’t carry particularly deep, but it’s such a diminutive knife that I don’t think it garners that much attention – even when in hand.

Most definitely a sheeple friendly knife. If you live in an area were people might not take kindly to even us normal knife carrying folk – this one should still work out fine for you!

everyday carry tiny knife review spyderco dragonfly 2

That stainless steel construction throws the balance off somewhat. Obviously, I would prefer a more neutral in-hand feel, but taking into account that this is an extremely small EDC knife, I think its comfort in use is acceptable. I imagine the FRN version provides a more neutral balance point due to having a similar lightweight backspacer to the the FRN Delica 4 and Endura 4 knives.

survival blog review spyderco dragonfly 2 small folder

I talked about the grinds earlier. They’re very nice and even with functionally excellent jimping throughout the choil and thumb ramp. A decent utility cutter with a clean taper. A swedge on the spine emphasizes the piercing power and the illusion of super-thin blade stock.

everyday carry folding knife spyderco dragonfly 2 review

The Nishijin weave glass fiber scales are quite honestly gorgeous. Elise owns the Spyderco Lum Chinese in the same material, and it’s probably her favourite handle material. The weave is extremely uniform, and is quite mesmerizing at specific angles. It deservedly gets a lot of attention from non-knife people!

little big spyderco knife dragonfly 2 review

The fit and finish on the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is very close to flawless, and as can be expected, the centering is dead center. The photograph below may suggest different (the camera angle must have been off), but trust me (I have the knife on my desk as I type this) it’s basically perfect. Top notch construction and finish with only the blade having uniform grind marks.

more than just surviving review spyderco dragonfly 2 little big edc

The stainless steel liners are skeletonized; thankfully, as this knife ain’t no featherweight. The Dragonfly 2 weighs in at roughly 56 grams (2 ounces), so anything to lessen the weight is more than welcome. Interestingly, Spyderco cut a banana shape portion out of the scales instead of simply cutting holes right through.

Side note: Online data says the Dragonfly 2 weighs 34 grams in FRN, and 56 grams in G-10. Not exactly sure how much this particular version (with the Nishijin Glass Fiber scales) weighs. Though this Amazon product page says it weighs 142 grams, that seems to be off to me.

spyderco dragonfly 2 nishijin handles review

Check out those flush liners with that stainless steel backspacer! Beautiful work from Seki, Japan. If they all came like this, then the Taiwanese Spydercos would have some serious competition!

survival blog review nishijin glass fiber handles spyderco dragonfly 2

Deployment is smooth and effortless, I don’t anticipate anyone having issues based on the handle size. The Spyderco hole is plenty large enough, and the lack of a hard detent makes gaining momentum trivial for consistent deployment.

dragonfly 2 glass fiber handles everyday carry small knife spyderco

Much like the Spyderco Sage series, the Dragonfly II features an oversized choil. Your digits are 110% safe, even in the unlikely scenario of the lock failing.

everyday carry small knife spyderco dragonfly 2 review little big

For a knife of such small stature, I found a forward grip with my pointing finger on the choil to be ideal. The in-hand retention was on par with knives much larger than the Dragonfly 2. This is probably one of my favourite little big knives to date, even besting the Balance!

more than just surviving spyderco dragonfly 2 review edc

Choking back with the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is non-optimal. Your hands can only manage a 3-finger grip, which in my opinion is not secure enough for serious work. With that said, the Dragonfly 2 does have a lanyard hole, so if you wanted to you could (by lanyard extension) get a full purchase on this teensy folder.

survival blog review dragonfly 2 spyderco little big knife

Reverse grip is adequately comfortable. The butt of the knife tapers to a point, so bare that in mind. I wouldn’t consider the Dragonfly 2 to be a tactical knife based on design choices, however, so that shouldn’t be held against it.

little big spyderco knife dragonfly 2 nishijin glass fiber

And finally, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in pinch grip is above average. Unfortunately, the lack of open frame construction means clean up would be hellish should you chose to perform messy tasks like field dressing with this little tyke, but it’s possible to use as such if you really have nothing else around.

zdp-189 spyderco dragonfly 2 review more than just surviving

One of the best looking Spydercos to date. Beautifully finished hardware, and incredibly unique scales that grab your attention like nothing else on the market!

spyderco-dragonfly-2-more-than-just-surviving-edc-knife-review

Offerings like the ZDP-189/Nishijin Fiber scale edition of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 really make me question the value of custom knives. This is quite possibly the most premium feeling knife at an absurdly low price point for what your getting. This knife is a limited edition sprint run as far as I know, so for the collectors out there, it’s definitely rare enough. It has a premium blade steel, scale materials, and is one of the most well-finished knives I have handled in recent years. It’s a remarkable feat at only $140 with extremely limited availability. If you are on the fence about getting this I would snag it up- if you don’t like it you could always flip it down the line for a profit.

View Price of Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Nishijin Glass Fiber Handled Knife on Amazon

View Price of Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Small EDC Knife on Amazon

Knife Drop: Black and Steel

survival blog knife drop feature

collection of knives survival blog

survival blog knife collection feature

Just a few of Thomas’ black and steel knives, plus my CRKT Ripple at the very end. Love the look of the Cold Steel Recon 1, but can’t carry it easily – way too big for me.

Which do you guys like?

Knives Featured

1. Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto Point
2. CRKT Hissatsu Tactical FolderReview.
3. Ontario RAT 1 EDC Folding Knife
4. Enlan EL02 Folding Knife
5. Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K – Review.
6. CRKT RippleReview.

25 Most Popular Survival Books (My Favourite is #5)

Knowledge is the most powerful survival tool you could ever possibly possess. A knife and a fire steel will do wonders in the wilderness, and a hefty stockpile will be a huge asset in case of an emergency situation, but nothing will ever come close to helping you survive like the knowledge and skills you possess.

While we all already know this, we also simultaneously realize how difficult attaining knowledge can be. The learning curve can be steep, mastering skills often happens slowly, and the material we need to learn can feel broad and overwhelming. Sometimes, too, it can be hard to determine whether a source of information is even reliable enough to help us on our quest for valuable knowledge.

That’s where this list comes in handy. The survival books below are some of the most read, rated, and reviewed on the web. These books are written by some of the most well respected and knowledgeable industry leaders. It’s vitally important to get your information from trustworthy sources – after all, you never want your facts wrong when your life is on the line.

Scrolling through this list, you’re likely to find at least 2-3 books that really stand out to you among the rest. I’d suggest starting off reading those. There’s plenty to learn – might as well begin with the topics that interest you most!

best survival books list bestsellers preppers and survivalists

The Best Survival Books: Top 5

1. SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea by John Wiseman [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

2. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times by James Wesley Rawles [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

3. Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit by Creek Stewart [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

4. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

5. 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

best prepper books survival books bestsellers

The Best Survival Books: Top 6-10

6. The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

7. Mud, Sweat, and Tears: The Autobiography by Bear Grylls [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

8. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

9. The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

10. Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival by Max Velocity [Kindle Edition/eBook]

wilderness survival bushcraft prepping best survival books

The Best Survival Books: Top 11-25

11. OUTDOOR LIFE – The Ultimate Survival Manual – 333 SKILLS That Will Get YOU Out Alive by Simon & Schuster

 

12. Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger

Wildwood Wisdom Wildwood Wisdom
Average Rating:
151 total customer reviews…

 

13. Survival Wisdom & Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Subsist in the Wilderness by the editors of Stackpole Books

 

14. Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – Alive by Les Stroud

 

15. Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies For: Shelter and Water, Food and Fire, Tools and Medicine, Navigation and Signaling, and Survival Psychology by Mykel Hawke

 

16. Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski

 

17. US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 by the U.S. Department of Defense [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

18. Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart by Joe Nobody [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

19. Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late by Scott B. Williams [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

20. Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters by D. C. Beard [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

21. The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Manhood by Frank Miniter

 

22. Wilderness Survival: 2nd Edition by Gregory J. Davenport [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

23.How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere by Bradford Angier [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

24. The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook: Keep your Loved Ones Healthy in Every Disaster, from Wildfires to a Complete Societal Collapse by Joseph Alton [Kindle Edition/eBook]

 

25. Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness by John McPherson

best survival books list featured authors

Extra: *Bonus Survival Book

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker [Kindle Edition/eBook]

*Thomas’ personal favourite survival book

best prepping wilderness survival preppers survival book list

Have any survival book advice for us?

What would you say is the best survival book of all time? Have you read any of the survival books listed above? We’d love to know what you thought of them. If you have any other books you’d either recommend, or even some that you think absolutely no one should waste their money buying, share your opinion in the comments section below!

&&: If you found this article useful, you may also be interested in taking a look at our other survival gear and survival food item lists. Starting with our article The Ultimate Survival Gear List, we also have an article about The Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You, one on Winter Emergency Supplies, this article on the Most Popular Survival Books as well as more to come.

Camillus Les Stroud “Survivorman” SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife Review

The Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife (now that’s a mouthful!) is a direct competition to the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife. These two knives, in concept, are pretty much one in the same. They both have core fixed-blade survival knives that have built in features on both them and their sheaths.

The Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain boasts a ceramic knife sharpener, paracord, an LED flashlight, a whistle, fire starter, S.O.S. signal mirror, a survival guide, and a storage compartment, while the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife boasts a knife sharpener, a whistle, a hammer, a fire steel, and a survival guide. That being said, while it may seem on first glance that the Camillus Ultimate Survival Knife is a bigger steal, considering additional features at around half the price of the Gerber Ultimate Survival Knife, the way those features have been implemented makes the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Survival Knife the clear winner in the competition between the two.

more than just surviving review camillus sk mountain ultimate survival knifeCamillus Les Stroud SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife – Amazon

First things first, it’s impossible to talk about this knife without touching first on the name on the blade. Les Stroud is the name behind the Camillus Ultimate Survival Knife in pretty much the same way as Bear Grylls is the name behind Gerber’s Ultimate Survival Knife. In practice, I am unsure as to how much influence Les Stroud really had on this knife. Based on how different it appears, both in style and function, to his original collaboration with Helle (the Helle Temagami), it seems to me that while his name is on this blade, his design skills have nothing to do with it. I suspected the same thing of the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife; seems these celebrity branded items are just that – and are definitely not celebrity designed as well. Regardless of how much input Les Stroud had on this knife, one thing is for certain; it’s definitely meant as a direct comparison to the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife.

The SK Mountain is a sizable 25.4 cm (10 inches) long, 12 cm (4.75 inches) of which is blade. This makes the knife relatively well balanced as far as those multi-purpose survival knives tend to be. The knife is advertised as having a carbonitride titanium coated 440 stainless steel blade, which doesn’t mean much to me. In actual use, I would put it in the same category as all lower tier steels, like 8Cr13MoV for instance.

This is not a bad thing, as I find those steels tend to perform to an acceptable level whilst keeping the cost of manufacture low, and having above average ease of maintenance. The coating is of relatively high quality. I noticed some bubbling and micro pitting so I would assume it’s a baked on coating as is common in the knife industry. In any case, it definitely stands up to damage; much better than the Cold Steel black paint finish, mind you. It should also aid greatly in corrosion and general weather resistance.

ultimate survival knife camillus les stroud sk mountain

Chopping performance of the Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain was average. The lack of a swell at the butt of the knife means that a secure grip isn’t as ideal as it would be when choking back, but I was still able to do it for some extra leverage. I will say that the blade came extremely sharp, impressively so actually, which as quite surprising for a knife in this price point. Definitely not my first choice for a chopper, but in a pinch, it would function adequately. After some chopping on seasoned wood, I noticed zero edge damage.

survivorman knife sk mountain ultimate survival camillus

As is evident from the photographs, Camillus elected to offer the SK Mountain knife in a combo edge; unfortunately, that’s the only way it comes so unlike the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife, which comes with the option of a plain edge version, if you’re interested in this one, you’re stuck with the bottom serrations. Not at all a fan of serrated edges myself. They have their place, but for outdoor knives, they’re not at all practical, and so I think it’s a damn shame the knife isn’t offered in a plain edge version. In terms of cutting with the serrations, I expect they excel with all types of cordage, but as is common with serrations, they just don’t perform when making shavings or whittling, which is a pretty big negative for an outdoor knife.

fixed blade survival knife camillus sk mountain survivorman

To carve clean cuts, I was forced to use the edge further up on the blade, which creates balance issues and is definitely non-optimal. It’s very disappointing as the blade is nicely ground with a very uniform (and decently thin) hollow grind. If I could change just one thing about this knife, it would hands down be to remove the serrations.

testing camillus les stroud knife sk mountain ultimate survival

review camillus les stroud sk mountain ultimate survival knife survivorman

The primary features of this knife are pretty much all on the gargantuan sheath it comes with, which is different from the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife, which has at least a few main features (a whistle, the hammer) on the knife itself. The sheer size of the Camillus SK Mountain knife sheath cannot be over emphasized, and I was really apprehensive of it from the moment I first handled it. The first feature is the included fire steel that slots in on the side.

survivorman fixed blade camillus les stroud sk mountain knife

As you can see, the blade has a neat little notch designated as the surface for striking the fire steel. I will give points for innovation and doing things a little bit different, but in practice, there’s a reason why most outdoor knives have a straight 90 degree angle section of exposed steel rather than something like this. To put it bluntly, the 90 degree exposed steel just works much better for generating sparks, which is after all the objective of the fire steel.

Of course, the notch does manage to generate some sparks upon striking, it’s not like this method renders the fire steel completely unusable, but what’s generated is nowhere near the extent of sparks to which many other, more traditional bushcraft knives, can generate.

camillus knife review sk mountain survival knife les stroud survivorman

firesteel fire starter camillus sk mountain feature ultimate survival knife review

The other side of the sheath has a slot in “flashlight.” In practice, the flashlight is mediocre at best, and after a pitiful amount of light produced, it very quickly died on me (roughly 6 hrs of run time in my experience). I would estimate the total output to be a maximum of 10 lumens at its peak – definitely not impressive and the build quality/materials is sourced from the bottom of the barrel. Threading was rough, the emitter was weak and the batteries were almost dead out of the box, not to mention the generally cheap feelings of the plastic used. Not a fan.

ultimate survival knife review sk mountain fixed blade les stroud

Batteries for the flashlight are those tiny ones found in most inexpensive quartz watches. I wouldn’t bother wasting batteries on such a sub-par light, however. It’s not worth the additional feature.

fixed blade les stroud knife camillus sk mountain review

The flashlight of the Camillus SK Mountain has a molded whistle into its handle. It’s complete and utter garbage. I can produce higher decibel output using 2 fingers and my mouth. If your going to offer features, please test to make sure they perform well, Camillus. Might as well not have offered the flashlight, and worked to get a reasonable whistle instead of having forced this odd combo together.

more than just surviving review features sk mountain camillus les stroud knife

The sheath of the Camillus SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife also features a very strange compartment under the signaling mirror, which I presume is for things like tinder or a mini fishing kit. Not an efficient use of space, but it certainly works. Not water tight, though, so be mindful of that.

survivor blog review camillus sk mountain survivorman les stroud knife

Wrapped around that compartment is around 10-15 feet of cheap nylon cordage similar in thickness to paracord, except lacking the 7-strand construction consistent with high quality paracord. Not impressed, though I guess if you really like the design you can always replace the cord with real paracord yourself.

more than just surviving review camillus sk mountain fixed blade ultimate survival knife

At the bottom of the sheath we have a carbide sharpener. The carbide knife sharpener on the Camillus Les Stroud works, but obviously, the final edge is not optimal. Final edge was somewhat toothy – similar to a 200 grit finish.A definite downgrade  to the stock edge that was (as I mentioned before) screaming sharp, but definitely still usable. In a survival situation, I dare say this sharpener would be more than acceptable.

sharpener feature camillus les stroud sk mountain ultimate survival knife

les stroud camillus knife ultimate survival knife survivorman

more than just surviving review les stroud knife camillus survivorman sk mountain

As should be expected, drainage holes are molded into the plastic sheath of the Camillus SK Mountain. Not sure how needed it is taking into account that there happens to be a giant hole in a sheath courtesy of the sharpener design, but it’s there and will do it’s job.

sheath drainage hole camillus sk mountain ultimate survival knife gear review

Last of the features is the Survival Tips page from Les Stroud himself. Pretty basic advise, but information is always valuable. This page fits (badly) into a mesh sleeve at the back of the sheath. Definitely not as secure as the Bear Grylls guide in the Gerber Ultimate Survival, but it’ll do.

camillus sk mountain knife les stroud survivorman review

more than just surviving review camillus les stroud knife sk mountain ultimate survival

The grip on the Camillus Les Stroud Knife is very interesting: 1 choil with a rubber insert follows what is generally a pretty neutral design, with a clean taper towards the butt. If the knife had more bulbous handles, I would say that the ergonomics would be spot on. The other downside besides the general thinness is the annoying, and yet for some reason very popular design element for this type of knife, the thumb guard.

Why people insist on adding a thumb guard that is extremely uncomfortable to hold in a traditional saber grip is beyond me. Somehow I get the feeling that the people who design these knives don’t even use them… If they do, I have to wonder how they think a protrusion stabbing your thumb can be considered ergonomically acceptable!

Anyway, the guard above the choil is plenty aggressive enough to stop the knife from ever sliding down the palm of your hands. Shouldn’t be worried about losing digits here.

ultimate survival knife camillus sk mountain les stroud survivorman

Like the Gerber Ultimate Survival Knife, the Camillus SK Mountain has a neat hammer/striking surface built into the butt. In actual use, it performed pretty well. I was quite impressed. The one feature that’s on par, if not better than the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate.

survivorman les stroud knife camillus sk mountain ultimate survival fixed blade

Gripping the handle of the Camillus Les Stroud Ultimate Survival Knife firmly is pretty comfortable. I wish the scales were thicker but if you have smaller hands, this will fit you perfectly. When baton with this knife, the comfort was decent with very few vibrations. I will add that the coating held up extremely well, even at the tip with the baton striking it.

les stroud knife ultimate survival gear camillus survivorman

As mentioned before, choking up on the SK Mountain is not pleasant due to the stupid top guard jabbing into your thumb.

les stroud knife surivorman sk mountain ultimate survival

A decent angle of how thin the knife is; its like holding a thin chocolate bar – in Kit-Kat measurements, I would say its around 2 stacked Kit-Kats thick at its thickest point, which is pretty thin indeed.

more than just surviving camillus ultimate survival knife review

Interestingly, the ergonomics on the Camillus Les Stroud Knife is fantastic for reverse cuts and pull cutting. As good as a traditional grip in my opinion.

ultimate survival knife camillus les stroud review more than just surviving

The knife and sheath in all its morbid beauty. A perfect example of what happens when marketing types masquerade as knife designers.

more than just surviving camillus sk mountain ultimate survival knife review

Unfortunately for Camillus (and Les Stroud since he’s got his name attached to this), I found the SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife to be just another example of a product created solely to lure in gullible knife purveyors who will be easily misled into buying a tool based on how many features it has, not considering the functionality of said features. The sheath is gaudy and serves no purpose beyond inflating the feature count, and is not only over-sized for a knife this small, but only has a couple of features that work as intended. Even then, I would prefer just having a thinner sheath with a firesteel hoop, a sharpening stone stuck on the back, and a reflective strip on the front for a mirror. That would not only be cheaper, but would perform to a higher standard than the tools offered with this knife. Wouldn’t ever consider choosing this knife as my one tool if I knew I was going to be stuck in the wilderness, especially considering the better (though more expensive) alternative of the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro. The extra $30 is worth it for a package with features that all function well.

The Camillus Les Stroud Knife is unfortunately let down by poor design choices. Aesthetics should always be prioritized after function, and while it’s great that Camillus tried to integrate many features into the sheath, the way they did it – it would’ve been better if they’d only integrated one or two more reliable ones. Design choices like the serrations and the thumb guard adversely impact the performance of the knife as a cutting tool. The firesteel notch, while unique, is inferior to just a flat 90 degree uncoated portion of steel, and in a survival situation, which this knife is supposed to be for, I’d like something that works really well, not something that’s unique and nice looking.

In conclusion, even at 30 bucks, I would pass at this knife. A damn shame as the blade itself is nicely ground with a coating that is far nicer than its price point would suggest.

Checking out the rest of the Camillus/Les Stroud offerings, it seems that the Camillus Les Stroud SK Arctic fixes many of my biggest annoyances with the SK Mountain. Notably the same knife with a plain edge blade and a more compact and minimal sheath. If you’re still into this knife, I’d strongly suggest it’s alternative, the Arctic, over this one.

Thank you Camillus for giving me the opportunity to review this knife; sorry it couldn’t be positive.

View Price of Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain Ultimate Survival Knife on Amazon

Thanks to Camillus for providing us the Les Stroud SK Mountain to test ourselves!