Great Knife for an Emergency Kit

I have always been a little obsessed with emergency preparedness.  I think it goes back to growing up in Hollister, CA.  Hollister, if you don’t already know, is the “earthquake capital of the world”.  I realize that every small city in the US has its claim to fame.  But Hollister has 4 major faults that run through it.  In fact, in High School, our textbook actually had pictures of the street one over from my house to show the long term effects of multiple earthquakes.  The picture above is just one block over from the house I grew up in.  In fact, the street that this house is on is offset from the other side of the street by about 20 feet because of the continuous effects of earthquakes.
In light of my desire to be prepared for anything, I have been researching what knife I believe to be the very best for an emergency situation.  Add to this the recent issues around the world, such as Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami, and now Haiti, and it becomes even more important in my mind that everyone is prepared for an emergency situation. 
I guess, the best knife for each person will depend a little on the area you live in.  It will also depend on the things you may ask your knife to do for you.  If you are in a cold weather area, you may need a knife that can do a little wood chopping.  If you are in a warm area, you probably won’t need as much wood chopping as you will need a knife that can get other things done.
As I began my search for the perfect emergency knife, I quickly came to the realization that I probably need two or three.  First, I always carry a knife in my pocket.  For the past two months, I have been carrying the SOGTAC-13.  I like this knife.  It has an extremely thin profile so it doesn’t take up a bunch of room in my pocket.  And real estate in my pocket is scarce.  The drawback is that the blade isn’t really up to any major “emergency” type situations.  The blade is plenty strong and gets an amazing variety of jobs done for me throughout each day.  But I live in Utah.  If there was a major emergency here, it would most likely be an earthquake.  Which means we may have to “bug out” of the area for a while.  In an emergency, I want to be able to move me and mine out of any area where rioting or looting or such may occur like it did in New Orleans.  This means I am going to have to get out of dodge–and that means my little SOGTAC13 which is great for every day duties is not going to cut it.
So, in looking at some great emergency survival type knives, I came up with a list of some favorites.  In no special order, I like the following:

  1. SOGSeal Pup
  2. Gerber LMF II
  3. Spyderco Forager, Woodlander, or Dayhiker
  4. a KaBar
  5. Kershaw Outcast
  6. Smith & Wesson Search and Rescue Knife (I like the Spear Point Version)
  7. RAT Blades RC-5 (almost any of the variations)
  8. Ontario Rat-5
  9. Ontario Tak-1

Over the next few weeks, I am going to review each of these knives and give them some stress testing.  At the end of these tests, I will give you my opinion as to which of these knives may be my favorite.  And hopefully, give you some idea as to what knife might be best for in your emergency preparedness kit.

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