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What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over?

What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over?

What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over

Cooking with Wood – Things to Know

Cooking over an open fire is an experience that can be hard to convey over text. Perhaps it is something in our DNA from thousands of years huddling around fires to keep warm at night, or perhaps it is the fact that food cooked over a wood fire has a distinctive taste that you just can’t replicate on a gas stove.

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There are many ways to cook using wood, whether it be a garden fire pit, a wood stove, and even a campfire. But in many ways, as there are of cooking with wood, there are even more types of wood to cook with. Unfortunately, not every type of wood is suitable for cooking over. In this post, we’re going to go through some types of wood that you should not use in a fire you intend to cook with, including how you might identify the wood and why you shouldn’t use it.

Please note that this list is not definitive—just because a type of wood is not on this list does not mean it is automatically suitable for cooking with.

Green-Wood

Though sometimes actually green from moss, the name refers to the fact that the wood is still fresh rather than its color. When a tree is cut down, it is full of sap, which is very high in water content. As you might have guessed, being loaded with water isn’t exactly conducive to easy lighting. It also burns incredibly inefficiently and produces a lot of smoke.

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As a general rule, freshly cut timber needs to spend six to nine months drying out before it is suitable for use in a cooking fire.

What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over
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Soft Wood

Softwood includes wood from trees like firs and pines, and are so-called because they are… you guessed it… softer than other types of wood. Softwood is not suitable for cooking with because it burns a lot more quickly than other kinds of wood and doesn’t leave much in the way of coals behind when it is done. Given that, for the most part, it would be the coals that you cook over, this isn’t a favorable attribute. It is also a very sooty wood to burn, which isn’t necessarily a problem for something like camping firewood but isn’t great for contained fires like you would find in a wood stove.

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What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over

Endangered Trees and Plants

This one shouldn’t need much explaining. Some types of wood, regardless of how well they burn, should not be used for cooking simply because the plants from which they came are endangered. These include trees like Blue Ash and the Kentucky Coffee tree.

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If you buy firewood from a reputable supplier, you shouldn’t have to worry about inadvertently using endangered wood. But if you are heading out into the forest for a bit of wild camping and you intend to source your wood from nature, as it were, make sure you do your research, so you don’t accidentally break any laws. There are over twenty endangered species of trees in North America alone!

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What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over

Driftwood

A fire crackling away on the beach long into the evening is an image many people find appealing. Enjoying the company of friends as the waves lap against the shore in the distance, the cool sea breeze on your faces. It is the stuff dreams are made of. Unfortunately, driftwood is a very bad fuel for fires.

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Whenever you burn any wood, a carcinogenic chemical called Dioxin is released. This chemical accumulates in your tissues over time and can remain in your body for as much as eleven years. Now, while this is a strong reason not to burn any wood, and certainly not to do it regularly, driftwood, it turns out, is considerably worse than other types of wood when it comes to producing these toxic fumes.

Furthermore, the chemicals released by driftwood can corrode your venting or the stove itself, making it unsuitable for use even in a closed wood stove with a proper chimney.

Wood That is Too Large

Whether you have bought firewood or you are collecting it from the surrounding area, wood that is too large makes for a difficult time when cooking. For one thing, it may not fit in your fire or stove, forcing you to cut it down or split. But beyond that, larger pieces of wood are harder to get going.

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The one exception to this rule is if you are looking to get a campfire going that will burn for a long time, perhaps for the warmth or even just the ambiance, since a larger piece of camping firewood will burn for longer (once you get it going). But as this post is specifically about cooking, it’s going to be a no on the big lumps of timber.

What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over
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Painted Wood

Painted wood, especially very old wood that may have been painted with lead-based paint should be avoided when choosing the fuel for your cooking fire. This is especially true if you plan to cook over an open fire, like a campfire or fire pit. Whatever unpleasant and probably toxic chemicals get released from the burnt wood may seep into your food, which is not likely to improve the taste, and will almost certainly be bad for your health.

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Non-Local Wood

Advising against using non-local wood is not specific to cooking, but any wood burning, particularly if the wood will be spending time outdoors, such as would be the case with an outdoor wood store. The reason for this one is because it moving wood around in this manner can transport diseases and pests around with it, which can cause outbreaks in areas that would not otherwise have had them. You don’t want to be responsible for an incident of controlled deforestation, do you?

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Final Thoughts

If you are planning to go camping in the woods, you should be knowledgable about many things, for both your safety and the wellbeing of the plants and animals around, and that includes what types of wood are suitable for cooking with. However, for things like indoor wood stoves, you should be fine buying firewood from a typical shop, but keep your eyes peeled for kiln-dried oak, as that is generally the best choice.

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What Kind of Wood Should You Not Cook Over

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25 Must Have Camping Gadgets and Tools When Glamping

25 Must Have Camping Gadgets and Tools When Glamping

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Must-Have Glamping Gadgets

No law states that you must be uncomfortable when you’re exploring the great outdoors. There are so many items that can make your trip anything from more comfortable to ridiculously more fun.

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Here are 25 glamping gadgets that can add some pizzazz to any outing.

1 – The Adjustable Bag by Cool Material

Ever looked at a regular camping bag and thought, “Man, that thing needs a facelift.” Well, the aptly named Adjustable Bag is attractive enough to show its face downtown, as well as sturdy enough to follow you into the woods.

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For a minimalist, it’s one bag that does it all. For a camper, it’s a bag that shrinks as they use up their supplies. It grows and contracts to 3 sizes with 3 different configurations for each size (duffle, sling, backpack), not including its ability to fold into a small bun for easy storage.

The bag is very weather-resistant with PU treated nylon fabric and waterproof hardware.

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2 – Handpresso Manual Espresso Machine

It doesn’t matter that you should be distressing and reconnecting with nature. In fact, no one should be allowed to force you to even acknowledge your surroundings before your third morning coffee.

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And if your brew of choice is espresso, the only way to get it on the go is with one of the Handpresso espresso makers. Just a little bigger than the portafilter on a classic machine, yet they are still able to achieve 16 bars of pressure. And, you can either use ground coffee or make things easier for yourself by stocking up on a few ESE pods.

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3 – The LARQ Water Bottle

Yeah, the LifeStraw is good, but this is better. And easier on the eyes.

The LARQ water bottle is the first self-cleaning reusable bottle in the world. It uses UV light to kill up to 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses in one minute. But, it won’t do much for physical pollutants – you will need to use a regular filter for that.

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It’s also insulated and will keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours.

And it comes in five attractive colors so you can match it with the rest of your gear.

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4 – VSSL Flask

Now for a different kind of beverage. The VSSL flask houses two shot glasses and can hold up to 10 ounces of your poison of choice.

And if you need to give people a more legitimate reason to have it on you, how about a compass and a military-grade LED flashlight? It can also be set to the SOS pattern so people can find you when you can’t find yourself anymore.

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5 – Stanley Adventure Happy Hour Cocktail Shaker Set

But if hard liquor is not your thing, how about a martini on the rocks? The rocks will have to be those boulders by the river.

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The set includes a shaker, strainer, jigger, and citrus rimmer, with two 7-once glasses. All nested in a lovely stainless steel BPA-free bundle.

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6 – The Hot Seat by Pop Design Products

We’ve already established that roughing it is not the theme of the day. This camping chair can heat up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and offers three declining options. It hoops up to any battery pack that can safely sit in a zippered pouch.

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The chair folds and packs away into an 8″ by 37.5″ bag, and is fairly light at 11 pounds.

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7 – Fan-Cooled Camping Chair

Though western companies are doing a fairly good job with heating your camping chair, we have to go to Japan to pick up one with a cooling fan.

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At first glance, this chair doesn’t look a lot different than many similar chairs you can pick up in big box stores, but then you notice the fan. It hooks up to any regular battery and will provide 10 hours of cooling with a single charge.

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The seat is a bit on the wide side and it can handle up to 265 pounds of weight.

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8 – Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven

When you think camping, you think pizza straight away, right? Well, at least you can now with this top of the line gas-powered pizza oven from Ooni.

This guy heats up to the blazing 932 degrees Fahrenheit and can cook a 16-inch pizza in 60 seconds. It will need 20 minutes to preheat, though.

If you don’t like this model, it has a few siblings that are also campsite friendly.

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9 – BioLite CampStove 2

There are camp stoves, and then there are camp stoves that turn wood fire into energy that can charge your phone.

No lumberjacking skills necessary since this guy feeds on branches and small pieces of wood. And it will take under 5 minutes to boil a quart of water.

And if you want to maximize this guy’s potential, check out the KettlePot and the portable grill.

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10 – Camping Oven by Camp Chef

But what happens if you start craving muffins or roast dinner in the middle of nowhere? You preheat your oven, of course.

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The Camp Chef’s outdoor oven is everything you are used to with your home over, just in almost toy-like dimensions. But make no mistake, this is not a toy in any way, shape, or form. It’s fully functional, gas-powered, and also has two matchless igniter burners for your other culinary adventures.

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11 – Zero Breeze Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner

There is no need to suffer through the heat just because you couldn’t bring your trusted AC with you. The Zero Breeze can bring a breath of fresh air both inside and outside of your tent and can reduce the temperature in a closed space by 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 5 minutes.

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Just like everything else these days, it also doubles up as a charging station for your phone and other small devices.

12 – Ryobi Tools Air Conditioner and Drinks Cooler

But if you’re not too keen o unitaskers, there’s Ryobi. Not as heavy-duty as the Zero Breeze, but still cool in its own way.

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This one also has a portable air conditioning unit hidden in a lid of a 50-quart cooler. On a single charge, you can look forward to 4 hours of operational time, though you can upgrade the battery for better performance.

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It also features additional storage space for additional batteries or personal items.

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13 – Torch Coat Heater

Not all glamping gadgets have to be super flashy. The Torch Coat Heater is a simple heating device that attaches to the lining of your coat or jacket. It features 3 heating elements and has 3 temperature settings.

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It’s powered by a simple USB rechargeable battery and can give you up to 4 hours of heat with a single charge.

The device is washable, as long as you remember to remove the battery first.

14 – FlameStower

Now, I could show you a cute little solar panel setup that you can use to generate energy when exploring the great outdoors. Or I can show you a device that you can mount over your campfire that harnesses the power of the (dragon) flame.

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FlameStower is a portable thermoelectric generator than can charge small devices, and hopefully keep your phone alive long enough to get that perfect Gram shot.

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15 – WaterLily Turbine

If you’re glamping, you’re probably traveling with a whole host of devices that need recharging. Solar panels are good, WatreLily is better.

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WaterLily is a turbine that can harvest electricity from both water and wind. It will charge most portable devices and it can generate up to 360W of power every single day. And if you need your phone to go from 0 to 100% battery, that can happen in about 30 minutes.

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16 – The Hydro Hammock, Swinging Pool and Hydro Trampoline by Benjamin H Frederick — Kickstarter

I know there’s all this romance in finding a secluded body of water and taking a dip, and maybe meeting a wood nymph, or… But this is way more comfortable.

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This hammock is made our of special waterproof canvas that allows you to either collect rainwater or take a bath, as well as sleep in it. But if you want that water to be warm, you will have to get an optional water heater system.

And if you’re willing to share, the hammock fits two adults easily.

17 – Elite Screens Pop-up Cinema Portable Projector Screen

When you’re tired of sunset and stargazing, why not pop in your favorite movie or TV show? Or maybe hook a video game console and play some classic Camping Manager 2012?

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The screen comes in 84-inch and 92-inch sizes, in 16:9 format. Assembles in seconds and packs away into a 32-inch diameter carrying case. No projector included – you’ll have to figure that one on your own.

18 – DISH Tailgater

And if you need an idea of what to hook up to your portable cinema screen, there’s a 10-pound portable satellite system from DISH Network. It gives you access to the same HDTV programming you can enjoy at home.

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Though, you have to sign up for a monthly plan and will have to provide a power source.

Is S90v Steel Better than S30v Steel?

When it comes to edge retention, S90v steel is far better than S30v...

Knife Facts: Is s110v better than s30v?

What Is s110v Steel? The s110v is a high-grade alloy martensitic...

What is the Easiest Steel to Sharpen?

Whether for dicing vegetables in your kitchen or building a...

Knife Facts: Is 20CV Better Than S30V?

Choosing a good knife is about more than a cool looking handle and a...

Is 440 Steel Good for Knives?

Knives can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal, whether...

Can a Kitchen Knife Be Too Sharp?

When is Sharp Too Sharp If we are considering making the edge angle...

Is There a Correct Backpack Weight for My Body Size?

Finding the Right Fit for You If you are lucky enough to live near...

How Can I Stay Warm in a Roof Top Tent?

Camping and Staying Warm Camping is one of those pleasures that...

What is the Healthiest Fuel to use for Cooking When Camping?

Different camp fuels we will consider, Alcohol Fuel, Gas Canisters,...

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19 – Pod Tents

The coolest thing about modular products is that you can truly take them to special levels of ridiculousness. For example, why not get a tent to replace each room in your house, or maybe even go as far as to build a complicated maze tent city?

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Well, if you want to do so, check out the Pod Tents, a collection of tents, and connecting tunnels that will allow you to customize your accommodations as much as you want.

20 – Heimplanet Mavericks Tent

No, we are not on Mars, yet these space-age looking tents are designed to resist almost anything Mother Nature can throw at you. It’s completely waterproof, and the diamond shapes dome can resist winds up to 100 miles per hour.

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Both setting up and packing are easy because the tent inflates and deflates super easily. Plus, it’s just put together in a way that things just fall back into place and you don’t have to sit there and figure out what you’re supposed to do next. Perfect for those who want to experience camping, without actually experiencing camping.

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21 – Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak

If you’re claustrophobic or simply not used to cramped spaces, regular camping tents will not meet the cut. Cabela’s got your back with this 13′ by 27′ setup that can comfortably host 12 adults. Or one very active sleeper.

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Surprisingly, this tent packs rather light. The setup is composed out of ten sturdy poles and very durable and weather-proof rugged polyester cloth. And the floor is fully lined.

There’s also a chimney opening if you want to set up a stove inside for either cooking or warmth.

Is S90v Steel Better than S30v Steel?

When it comes to edge retention, S90v steel is far better than S30v...

Knife Facts: Is s110v better than s30v?

What Is s110v Steel? The s110v is a high-grade alloy martensitic...

What is the Easiest Steel to Sharpen?

Whether for dicing vegetables in your kitchen or building a...

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Is 440 Steel Good for Knives?

Knives can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal, whether...

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22 – Sealander

If you’ve avoided pod trailers because you can’t store a boat on their roof, allow me to introduce you to the Sealander, a boat that pretends to be a pod camper. It converts from a trailer into a boat in a jiffy, and inside, the sleeping area converts into a regular lounge with a table just as easily.

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And don’t worry, if you end up stranded at sea, the Sealander comes with a fully operational cooking area and a cooler, so you will have time to learn if you don’t know how to fish.

23 – Living Vehicle Travel Trailer

This trailer is the most luxurious you can get when going off-grid. It comes with a complete electrical system that can be powered by the Sun, as well as multiple little creature comforts.

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The interior is fully adaptable and you can design it to suit your taste, but the promo shots show a setup that is very comfortable and beautifully arranged. Puppy not included.

24 – sCarabane by Green Cat Technologies

It may look a bit like a first-year design school project, but this self-sufficient caravan will be the most advanced once it hits the market.

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Folded, it’s the sizes of a classic large camping trailer, but it triples its floorspace when unfolded. It comes with a kitchen, bathroom, sleep areas, and a patio, and it’s set on a circular pod that allows it to rotate full 360 degrees. You can use this feature to follow the wind or the Sun and collect more energy.

25 – Romotow Camper

No, this is not one of the props for a live-action Jetsons movie, but a camper that will soon be available for purchase.

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This is how it works – once you’ve chosen a spot where you want to “glamp”, you deploy a set of legs to secure the trailer. Once it’s secured, the inside part rotates and opens up the patio section, giving you 70% more glamping real estate.

But beyond the gimmick, there’s also a 290-square-foot interior with a bedroom, bathroom, and a kitchen with, what they promise will be, state of the art fixtures.

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camping-glamping-gadgets-gear

Is S90v Steel Better than S30v Steel?

When it comes to edge retention, S90v steel is far better than S30v...

Knife Facts: Is s110v better than s30v?

What Is s110v Steel? The s110v is a high-grade alloy martensitic...

What is the Easiest Steel to Sharpen?

Whether for dicing vegetables in your kitchen or building a...

Knife Facts: Is 20CV Better Than S30V?

Choosing a good knife is about more than a cool looking handle and a...

Is 440 Steel Good for Knives?

Knives can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal, whether...

Can a Kitchen Knife Be Too Sharp?

When is Sharp Too Sharp If we are considering making the edge angle...

Is There a Correct Backpack Weight for My Body Size?

Finding the Right Fit for You If you are lucky enough to live near...

How Can I Stay Warm in a Roof Top Tent?

Camping and Staying Warm Camping is one of those pleasures that...

What is the Healthiest Fuel to use for Cooking When Camping?

Different camp fuels we will consider, Alcohol Fuel, Gas Canisters,...

Top 15 Portable Camping BBQs

Portable BBQ's To Go ☞ Few things go together as well as camping and...
What is the Best Steel for a Tactical Survival Knife?

What is the Best Steel for a Tactical Survival Knife?

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Quality Steel – Quality Knife

When purchasing survival gear, it’s not worth being conservative over the price. The tools and equipment you take with you when you go hiking or camping may not mean the difference between life and death—though they certainly can in some circumstances—but having inferior equipment can make your experience much less enjoyable. In order to get quality equipment, you need both excellent build-quality and high-grade materials.

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In the case of a tactical survival knife, the most critical part is the blade. The handle is important, of course, but a knife with a poor handle may just be awkward to use, whereas a knife with a poor blade is mostly useless. When you buy a survival knife made with cheap metal, you risk it blunting much more quickly than a higher-quality knife, or even breaking in some cases.

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The best steel for knife blades, in our opinion, is 154CM, as it offers the best mix of durability, longevity, and the ability to hold a sharp edge for longer. Of course, every steel has different properties, and you may find there is steel that is less expensive than 154CM that will do the job you need from it. So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the steels used in making knife blades, and how to choose the best steel for a tactical survival knife.

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What is a Tactical Survival Knife?

You don’t have to be an expert in bushcraft to understand the value of a knife when you’re out in the wilderness, but not all knives are created equal. Knives that are designed for finely slicing ingredients may have an extremely sharp edge, but they are not designed to withstand the kind of abuse that a survival knife will typically be subjected to.

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While survival knives do get used for cutting up ingredients on occasion, they are also used for whittling wood, opening canned food, cutting vines and twine, and a whole host of other uses that you may find yourself needing as you get back in touch with nature.

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Survival knives may be multifunctional, for example, having a serrated edge on the back of the knife for cutting through wood more easily.

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Why Would You Need a Military Knife?

We’ve mentioned camping, but a pleasant little getaway is not the only reason you might need a tactical hunting knife. Here are some of the more common reasons you might need a tactical survival knife.

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Camping

Starting with the example we’ve already mentioned, camping is probably the most likely situation that regular people will find themselves in need of a survival knife, from opening the packaging on your food to fashioning stakes from wood collected from your surroundings, the uses for a survival knife when camping is plenty.

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Uses of a survival knife are not limited to cutting and shaving things, however. For one thing, you can use the butt of your knife handle to hammer your whittled stakes into the ground. And, by combining your knife with a piece of flint, you can use the blade to start a fire.

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Hunting

Many of the uses your survival knife has in camping also apply to hunting, with the added exception that a good survival knife will also be excellent for skinning animals, be they large and furry animals or small and fishy.

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Military

In addition to the uses mentioned above, there are plenty of unique uses for survival knives in the military, not least of which is as a weapon. You can use the knife to make traps, also.

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Different Types of Steel for Tactical Survival Knives

There are some base-level attributes you want from the metal used in your knife blades, such as rust-resistance, and the ability to stay sharp. Below are the four most common types of steel used in tactical survival knives.

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154CM

We’ve already named this one as our best steel for knife blades, but it can’t hurt to tell you a little about it. 154CM is possibly the most popular materials used to make survival knife blades. It is incredibly resistant to breakage and corrosion, and it does a great job at keeping its edge.

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1095-HC

Being a high carbon steel, 1095-HC is not resistant to rust like 154CM. It can also fall afoul of standing if it is not well looked after. That being said, it is a very common material that is both durable and able to hold its edge. And, as long as you look after it, you should not run into any problems with rust or staining.

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AUS-8

AUS-8 is particularly dense steel, which is both a positive and a minus. On the one hand, they are extremely durable. But, on the other hand, they are very difficult to sharpen because of that steel density. This steel is rust-resistant, however.

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D2

D2 is another high carbon offering, though not quite as high as 1095-HC. It is resistant to corrosion but slightly less durable than the 1095-HC.

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Buying a Survival Tactical Knife

Picking over the material that a part of an item you are buying consists of may seem like being overly keen to some, but the steel used in a survival blade is perhaps the most important aspect in a good survival knife. It can mean the difference between a knife that will be with you for years, and one that you have to replace after only a few trips out with it.

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Of course, regardless of which material you choose, you should always take care to maintain your survival knife in order to prevent it from developing problems. Keeping the blade clean and sharp should be considered a must while ensuring the handle is clean and firmly attached should avoid any unfortunate accidents during use.

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Our pick for the best steel for knife blades was 154CM because we feel it offers the best mix of being durable and resistant to damage, but that is not to say that one of the other options we mentioned wouldn’t work for you. It is all about finding what works for you and your situation.

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