For the sake of easy browsing, I’ve split up this post into 3 sections: knife gear recommendations, everyday carry gear recommendations, and survival gear recommendations. Please note that this list factors in the price of the item, so for those of you who want to argue that such and such custom knife is so much better than any of the knives listed below: remember the price tag. Be sensitive to the fact that not everyone can justify spending $1000+ on a single knife, no matter how great it is (I know I can’t right now).
I’ve done my best to keep the list as short and sweet as possible, so even though there’s a hell of a lot more gear I’d add to this list if I could, I tried trimming down the sections to what I consider the bare minimum. Let me know in the comments if there’s something you think really deserves to be on here, and I’ll of course revise the list whenever I feel it can be aptly improved.
Without further ado.
1. Everyday carry folder recommendation: Spyderco Paramilitary 2
|Spyderco ParaMilitary2 Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
128 total customer reviews…
By far the post popular (by mainstream consensus) production knife I own, and in this case, popularity comes for good reason. Super slick EDC with an excellent, perfectly ground S30V blade. A fantastic “able to do anything” pocket knife. Reviewed here.
Gotta warn you, stock is almost permanently low or completely sold out on this one, so if they’re gone already, sorry; I know it’s rough. Keep checking back, though and the Paramilitary 2 should reappear on the market before too long. If there are still 2-3 in stock, obviously in a very limited quantity, you might want to snag one as fast as you can. These knives go faster than hotcakes (I’m not even exaggerating).
2. Fixed blade survival/bushcraft knife recommendation: Mora 2010 Bushcraft Forest
|Morakniv Bushcraft Forest Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.3-Inch
24 total customer reviews…
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. If a Mora’s good enough for Cody Lundin, it’s good enough for you! Great steel and cutting performance that far exceeds its diminutive price. I’ve chosen a synthetic-handled Mora rather than the Mora Classic that Cody carries just because synthetic handles greatly improve long term resistance to the elements. Reviewed here.
3. Heavy duty “folding fixed blade” recommendation: Benchmade Adamas
|Benchmade 275BKSN Plain Edge Black Coated Blade/ Sand Color G10 Handle/ Sand MOLLE® Pouch
52 total customer reviews…
I can’t think of a single knife that rivals the Benchmade Adamas purely it in terms of sheer brute strength in a relatively small package. Reviewed here.
4. Gentleman’s knife recommendation: Case Swayback Gent Pocket Worn Old Red Bone
|Case Cutlery 02746 Pocket Worn Sway Back Gent Pocket knife with Stainless Steel Blade Old Red Bone
4 total customer reviews…
I say gentleman’s knife but obviously this one can double as a lovely woman’s knife as well. It’s absurdly pretty, and at sub $70, it’s probably one of the best bang for buck you can get in this department. American made and hand finished gentleman’s Wharncliffe with killer styling: you can’t go wrong here.
I’ll have to admit I’m pretty biased with this one. It was my Case Cutlery grail for a few years before I finally got it, and once I did, Elise became so obsessed with it we ended up getting a second one for her. So with two in the household, it’s hard not to recommend it. Reviewed here.
5. Machete recommendation: Tramontina Machete
|Tramontina Machete Wood 26620/014
15 total customer reviews…
If I’m perfectly honest, if I happened to be in a situation where, gun to my head, I had to be stuck with only one edged tool for the rest of my life, it’d have to be a machete. Reason being, you can always do small tasks with a big knives, but the same cannot be said about doing big tasks with a small knife.
18 inch machetes are in the perfect sweet-spot for me, and the Tramontina Machete is so cheap that you can modify it to your liking with no real monetary risk (don’t like your mods? just buy a new one). Sand the scales to match your hands and put a nice convex on it: you’ll be ready for anything.
Everyday Carry Recommendations
1. Everyday carry keychain multi-tool: Gerber Shard
Lets be honest, it’s as ugly as sin (though Elise somehow thinks otherwise), but it works! The Gerber Shard, like the Paramilitary 2, is another one of those chart topping most popular items that deserves its high spot on the bestsellers list. It’s by far one of the most popular key tools on the market, and after owning one for quite a long time, I can certainly see why.
Its diminutive little self will be forgotten until that one obscure time when you reaaally need to pry something open, and the only other object you’re carrying is your super slicer with a thin tip. At that point it’ll occur to you that you threw this thing on like a month ago and you’ll be able to pull it out to get the job done. Reviewed here.
2. Everyday carry flashlight recommendation: Fenix PD35
|Fenix PD35 2014 Edition 960 Lumen CREE XM-L2 U2 LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries.
245 total customer reviews…
Now, I don’t own this one, but I’ve been carrying my Fenix LD20 for years with no complaints. The PD35, judging by the stats, looks like a direct upgrade of my own flashlight; can’t argue there. One of my favourite things about my Fenix is the high quality machining. Would never hesitate recommending their flashlights.
3. Everyday carry full sized multi-tool recommendation: Leatherman Wave
|Leatherman 830039 New Wave Multitool with Leather/Nylon Combination Sheath
730 total customer reviews…
This multitool is the perfect compromise between utility and size – you would be amazed at the sort of heavy duty work you can accomplish with one of those, I never knew how useful full sized multitools could be until I owned one. Not sure I could live without one now and even when I travel I have one with me.
4. Everyday carry bag/pack: Condor E&E
I love this bag. It’s not large enough to carry a full sized laptop, but it’s plenty big enough for notepads, knives, a tablet, and any other gear you’d want to lug around with you all day. The Condor E&E is definitely under-priced if you take into account its materials, fit and finish, and the utility it provides. It’s a comfortable carry that has a very masculine touch that I love.
If you need somewhere to store your EDCs, highly recommend this one. Reviewed here.
5. Everyday carry water bottle recommendation: Klean Kanteen
|Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle with Stainless Loop Cap (Brushed Stainless, 40-Ounce)
371 total customer reviews…
I know it’s probably a bit weird, but even though I know the value of being well hydrated, I probably still don’t drink enough throughout the day. Hell, even when I lived in South East Asia, I had to actively remind myself to drink enough to stay properly hydrated. Having this baby on me, however, changed things up quite a bit. I now make a habit of everyday carrying my water bottle, and somehow just the sight of it is enough to remind me to drink more.
Besides the minimalist styling, Kleen Kanteen makes a kickass product for a kickass price. I dig.
1. Firesteel recommendation: Light My Fire Firesteel Mini.
|Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Mini 1,500 Strike Ultralight Fire Starter
43 total customer reviews…
Never had to use it and in 99% of situations a lighter will be the superior option. But of course, you never know if/when you will need one, and for that reason alone, I like having one of these on me at all times. I keep it on my keychain, and since it’s the mini version, it’s really not an annoyance to carry it on me all the time. In the Great North, cold is a killer, and if for whatever reason I find myself stranded, at least I’ll have a backup method of lighting a fire.
2. Water filter recommendation: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Yes, the Sawyer water bottle filtration system is superior to the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter in the sense that it’s a filtration system whereby you can carry water with you, but I live in Canada, and there’s no short of bodies of water or precipitation here; ergo I need not carry water with me. Living where I do, I much prefer the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter over it’s bulkier alternative, as it’s made for easy carry. Having a tiny straw that weighs basically nothing dangling from my neck is the perfect survival tool in my opinion. Of course if you live in Arizona, get the Sawyer water bottle filtration system instead, but for my environment, size and portability is more valuable. Your mileage may very. Reviewed here.
3. Sleeping bag recommendation: Slumberjack Latitude
Canada gets cold. Hypothermia kills. I don’t want to die. Enough said.
4. Hiking boot recommendation: Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude IV
I can think of nothing scarier than twisting an ankle mid hike. If help can’t be reached, you’ll likely be left in a literal world of pain. Always plan ahead, and plan for the worst that can happen. High quality gear substantially reduces the likelihood that your ankles are going to give up on you when you happen to be on a particularly brutal trail. That’s worth more than your weight in gold if you happen to be stranded in the wilderness and have no idea if or when help may arrive.
Do yourself a favour and wear good boots whenever you’re in the outback. You never know if you’ll get stranded.
5. Coagulating agent recommendation: Quikclot
|Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge ,Stop Bleeding Fast, 50 Gram Package
339 total customer reviews…
This stuff is pure, unadulterated coagulating magic. Probably made from ground up fairy wings. It kicks ass and can literally save your life. Wondering if it’ll really do the trick? The U.S. military started off using this stuff, and now everyone’s jumped on the bandwagon. Trust me, this stuff really works.
Well, those are my recommendations! Like I said in the intro, if there are any products you think really deserve to be on this list, let me know and I’ll reconsider what’s up here. Also let me know if you’ve had any experience with the gear above. Would love your input!