If you have spent any time in the prepper community or browsing prepper groups online it will not be long before people are asking for advice on knives. The same applies to flashlights. These two tools more than any other prepper items seem to be the focus of many discussion threads and in person chats.
The $200+ knife
If you look up recommendations you will quickly find that many (maybe even most) will fall north of $200+ and sometimes much much more. There will be endless back and forth on the benefits of this type vs. that type of steel and for having or not having a specific feature. For flashlights the discussion will hinge around batteries and the output in lumens.My knife is better than yours and other #prepper nonsense. Click To Tweet
So is a having a knife or flashlight this expensive really that important to survival? Of course not! Knives (and flashlights to a more limited degree) are status symbols. They are the item that every prepper will have and can be compared and contrasted add nauseum without any consensus. To my mind the primary purpose for having a knife or flashlight this expensive is to provoke envy in others.
Unfortunately there is an entire industry out there eager to join and capitalize on these discussions. It’s important to remember that preppers are big business and getting them to buy something really expensive can make a huge difference to their bottom line.
How to combat this
I won’t lie to you, I struggle with this sometimes and regularly have knife and flashlight envy, you can see below I lost once as well. But how do I combat this now? I keep in mind that these are simply tools and that they do very specific jobs. Knives cut and flashlights illuminate. That’s all!
One of my favorite mental games is to swap out the knife or flashlight with a screwdriver. That helps bring into focus just how ridiculous these discussions can be. Would you pay $200 for a screwdriver? I certainly hope not!Knives and flashlights are just tools. Smart #preppers don't buy the most expensive versions. Click To Tweet
Where is the danger
The problem is that for %99.99 of us resources are limited. This means if you are buying a $200+ knife you are not spending $200+ on other things that could save your life like food stores, water filters and training. Simply said you’re exchanging a luxury good for something that can keep you alive.
With flashlights it can be even more dangerous as many recommendations will require special batteries that will not be readily available should things start to go wrong.
I want to be clear. I don’t recommend you buy crap. What I am saying is that you need to do your research and when it comes to buying you might want to avoid your first choice because it’s pretty and go for something more affordable and practical.
Because it’s bound to come up here is what I own:
- EDC knife: Ontario RAT II
- EDC flashlight: Blocklite
- Fixed blade knife: Buck Knives Woodsman
- VEDC knife: Gerber Gator Machete
- Utility knife: Husky Compact Folding
- Utility Flashlight: Mini Cree Q5
- Impractical flashlight I couldn’t resist: Fenix PD35
I will put up a post in the not too distant future to explain why I’ve made some of the choices above.