If you’re into survival and if you’re old enough to remember when the “Rambo Knife craze” hit, you know that it changed the survival industry forever.
The popularity of the Rambo movies made the hollow handle survival knife the thing everybody thinks of when they think of survival tools.
There’s just one problem:
Rambo got a LOT wrong!
And because a lot of people get their “information” from movies and pop culture instead of reality, we need to talk about…
What Rambo GOT WRONG About Survival Knives (And 1 Thing He Got Right)
I know the Rambo movies are kind of all over the place by the time you get done watching them all, but let’s focus in on the original film.
By the time he was done with sequels, Rambo was forging his own knives, so we’ll go back to the “Rambo knife” that started the craze – the hollow handle type.
1. Hollow Handles Are WEAK (Sometimes)
The idea of a hollow-handle survival knife is that you can keep tools in there, like fishing line and matches.
(Rambo keeps matches in his hollow handle, definitely.)
The big problem with this is that there’s no room for a “blade tang.”
This means that most hollow-handle survival knives are very weak, with blades that break off at the guard quite easily.
If you’re going to carry this type of knife, you have to shop around and pay more money to get one that’s made extra sturdy and heavy to compensate for this.
2. No, You Can’t Hunt “Everything” With A Knife
At one point in the first film, the Sheriff asks Rambo what he “hunts” with a knife.
“Name it,” says Rambo.
While, I gotta admit, that’s a badass line, it isn’t reality.
No, you’re not going to be, say, hunting turkeys with a hollow-handle survival knife.
(They’re way faster than you.)
But you CAN use that knife to build the tools you need to catch various prey (like snares, spears, and even your own bow and arrows).
3. You Don’t Necessarily Need A Knife At All (But Only If You Have A Different Blade)
I’ve written before that my Guardian Machete, the one I designed myself, has pretty much replaced my survival knife.
So except for a small cutting tool, I don’t even carry a survival knife as such.
But the whole point of that is that I have the replacement blade in the form of my machete.
If you’re not carrying a machete, then YES, you need a survival knife.
So, honestly, I can’t say Rambo truly got this wrong – because if you DO have a well-made knife…
…AND you have the education to use it for survival…
…You can literally survive ANY crisis with only a knife as your survival tool!
So how do you get that education?
Well, you can spend years studying survival, interviewing experts, doing your own research, and seeking out training.
(And I suggest you do if you can.)
BUT… if you want to just HAVE the basics NOW, instead of waiting years to accomplish all that, I have a shortcut.
You’d be amazed how simple it is to survive with only this most basic tool, no matter what you face…
…as long as you know how.