Creek’s Survival Knife & Company Spotlight

It goes without saying that using a Survival Knife is a big part of my life.  I’ve used many survival knives over the years and have learned a lot about what I like and don’t like.  I get TONS of questions about Survival Knives – Which ones are the best? What features should it have?  Size? Shape?  In response to all of these inquiries, I recently wrote an article for titled How to Choose the Perfect Survival Knife: The Top 6 Most Important Features.  In this article I do a very thorough review of what I think are the most important features of a survival knife.  It’s a good read and you can check it out here:


Here is also a video discussion I filmed about my Survival Knife thoughts:

I am also asked ALL THE TIME which knife is my GO-TO Survival Knife.  Currently, the Survival Knife I have chosen to use (and also the one I featured in the article mentioned above) is the Blackbird SK-5 Survival Knife designed by Paul Scheiter – owner of  The knife is made in America by Ontario Knife Company – which has a rich history in making outstanding knives for military and civilian use.

I won’t go into all the details about Paul’s Blackbird SK-5 in this post.  He does a great job of detailing the knife’s features and benefits on his own web-site here:  I’m telling you this information not because I get some kind of kick-back if Paul sells knives or as some kind of blog advertising deal, but simply because I like to share with readers when I run across a company (especially in the survival industry) that I think is worth mentioning.  Actually, Paul doesn’t even know I’m writing this post.  So, below are my thoughts about Hedge Hog Leatherworks.

Hedge Hog Leatherworks Company Spot-Light

I first found out about Hedge Hog Leatherworks a few years ago on a survival forum.  At the time, Paul was making custom leather knife sheaths for a few popular survival knifes like the Tom Brown Tracker, the Becker BK2 and the Ka-Bar Army Fighting Knife.  My first experience with Hedge Hog was when I purchased a Tom Brown Tracker knife and custom leather Sheath.  Below, you can see my Tracker knife with it’s factory kydex sheath and Paul’s aftermarket leather sheath.  Which one do you like best… no brainer – right?

I was incredibly impressed when I received the sheath (4-6 weeks production time).  These custom made leather sheaths are the epitome of true American Craftsmanship and you just don’t see much of that these days.  They aren’t cheap but I learned a long time ago that in life, you pretty much get what you pay for.  I went through a ‘maturity’ process when it came to my camping and survival gear a while back.  I decided to save up for the best item I could afford rather than purchase a cheap one that I would eventually have to replace anyway.  For example, I’d rather have 1 really great $100 knife than 10 crappy $10 knives.

Needless to say, several years later when Paul announced the release of his own survival knife I was pretty excited to get my hands on the Blackbird SK-5 w/ leather sheath upgrade.

Paul has a fairly extensive history in the survival circuit and has some great videos on YouTube that you should check out some time.  I knew he would have put some time and thought in getting this project right.  He did not disappoint.  I have nothing but good things to say about the Blackbird.  It’s an awesome knife that will last me for years to come.  If you come to any of our clinics here, it will be the knife by my side.

Chapter 11 in my new book How to Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag (5/2012) is titled TOOLS.  In this chapter I talk a lot about the survival knife and I asked Paul to send me a few of his other sheaths so that we could photograph them.  Below are a few of the shots we took of his other sheaths for the Ka-Bar and Becker.

Becker BK2 Knife with Factory Sheath and Hedge Hog Leatherworks Sheath

Becker BK2 Knife with Factory Sheath and Hedge Hog Leatherworks Sheath

Becker BK2 - Horizontal Carry

Becker BK2 - Horizontal Carry

Ka-Bar Knife with Factory Sheath and Hedge Hog Leatherworks Sheath

Ka-Bar Knife with Factory Sheath and Hedge Hog Leatherworks Sheath


Ka-Bar, Tracker and Becker Knives in Hedge Hog Sheaths

Ka-Bar, Tracker and Becker Knives in Hedge Hog Sheaths


Bottom Line

I thought you would appreciate knowing about a small company that takes pride in what they do here in the good ol’ USA.  By the way, the Blackbird won BEST KNIFE OF 2011 by Field & Stream Magazine.  I thought the Blackbird was my best kept secret but now I guess the cat is out of the bag.

What is your survival knife of choice?  There are many great ones out there – which one have you chosen and why?

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,




  1. kershaw_carry says:

    Great post. I’m new to the site, but learning to love it fast. What are you thoughts on using a flat ground bayonet as a survival blade when also carrying a smaller blade for basic tasks and detailed cutting?

    • Thanks for visiting. I’ve seem some bayonets that would make excellent primary knives and some that I wouldn’t want. I guess it all depends on the particular knife. What kind is it? Thanks. Creek

      • kershaw_carry says:

        I think my previous response did not submit. It is an AK-47 bayonet with a flat ground edge. It’s more designed for puncturing than slicing and is not sharp at all. I’m considering putting it in a backup BOB. Thanks.

      • In that case, I do not think it would be a good survival knife. Self defense knife – YES. Survival knife – NO. It really has only a few functions – stabbing, digging, prying. You really need a main knife that has a sharp edge for carving and chopping – even if you are carrying a smaller back-up knife for more tedious tasks. That’s my 2 cents. Thanks for visiting! Creek

  2. Great knives. What is that buffalo check flannel you are wearing?

    • Thanks Josh. That flannel is my all-time favorite shirt and was given to me as a gift about a year and a half ago. I wish now that I would have bought another one. It is from J-Crew and is lined with sheep skin. I’ve seem similar ones at (Shirt Jacs). Hope this helps. Creek

  3. I found it interesting that you included the standard Ka-Bar as a survival knife. As a former Marine I carried a Ka-Bar for several reasons (probably the most important to me at the time was that I could point at it in later years and say “I carried taht knife through a war.”). I found it to be a good weapon and a versatile tool, however, I feel that the OKC USMC bayonet I was issued was a much better survival tool for many reasons. While it functioned as a bayonet, I found that secondary to its functionality as knife and as a tool. The blade is extremely thick (thicker than the Ka-Bar) and long. The length of the blade and the thickness do not make it a “heavy” knife per se. The grip is amazingly comfortable and is very slip resistant. Also, the end of the grip is sturdy enough that you can hammer on it or use it as a hammer in a downward striking manner and not destroy it. I used my Ka-bar in this fashion on several ocassions and then had to stop because of the denting and pitting that was occuring to the end cap of the handle. Also, the OKC knife held a better edge with less sharpening. Please understand, I am not knocking Ka-Bar’s. they are a good weapon and have a very well earned reputation as being reliable and of high quality. I simply feel that OKC is making a product of amazing quality that should be considered.

    • As a former Marine I carried a Ka-Bar for several reasons (probably the most important to me at the time was that I could point at it in later years and say “I carried taht knife through a war.”).

      Once a Marine, always a Marine. There is no former.

  4. I actually got the opportunity to compare the Becker and the OKC bayonet today side by side. I have to say that after seeing them next to eah other I will be purchasing the Becker simply because of the thickness of the blade. Thanks for turning me on to such a good knife.

  5. I have been looking for a good survival knife, I’m trying to figure whether the Blackbird or the Becker is better

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