William Newsom / San Francisco, California
When I was about 10, the family went on a road trip. While camping in Montana, we saw some bears during the day within a mile of our campsite. That night, we were awoken in our tents by a loud rustling in the campsite. My dad woke up around 3 am, convinced there was a bear, and we were in danger. He woke my mom, sister, and I up, and instructed us to run to the van when he opened the tent flap. Trusty Gerber in hand, he jumped out of the tent screaming and flailing his arms while we all rushed to the van... No bear to be seen, but three mule deer glanced at him brandishing the knife, then casually returned to licking the barbecue. Dad's gone now, but I will always remember his bravery, and keep the knife with me always (except on the plane).
10 finalists. $5000 of gear up for grabs...
Who gets it is up to you.
Knife Junkie Leaderboard
Out of over 800 contest entrants, these 10 knife junkies emerged from the pack. Your votes decide who takes home the $5000 gear stockpile. The finalist with the most votes on The Day of the Knife, August 8, wins. Fans can vote once daily.
Voting has closed. We have announced a winner. Congratulations to William Newsom! Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for all of the results on our daily giveaways as well.
William Newsom / San Francisco, California
Lorin King / Scottsbluff, Nebraska
My USM8A1 has been with me for twenty years. I am a geologist/vertebrate paleontologist, so I use it in the field regularly. It has helped me in tight spots--excavating fossils, cutting burlap to make field jackets, cutting the plaster jacket to cut down weight. It has helped me in getting firewood, climbing cliff faces and facing down two different black bears who were curious about me. It's a trusted tool and has saved me a few times.
John M Hazlett / Corpus Chrisit, Texas
I wasn’t sure what it was--three inches of metal jutting from the rocks, twenty feet under water off the coast of South Padre Island. I reached for it. It didn’t budge. I returned to the surface, lungs burning. On my fifth attempt, the water was getting rough. Using what strength I had left to return to the buried object, I yanked on it. Again nothing. My lungs exploding, I persisted. It finally moved. My lungs were screaming, and things went dark. The next thing I remember, I coughed and looked around. It was in my right hand! A combat knife, about eight inches long, a little beat up and corroded, but it was mine now. It still serves as a reminder of my own limitations and that something, somewhere, watches over me.
Ryan Ledden / Canton, Georgia
As part of the final exam for a Wilderness Survival Skills Course, I was required to spend three days in the Catskills backcountry (NY) with nothing more than a small day-pack, some dried fruit/oats, parachute cord, a tarp, and my Gerber fixed-blade knife. My knife was my most valuable tool; it made it possible to make shelter, start fires, and slice the rations of meat earned by demonstrating various survival skills. Years after earning an A in the course, I have become an avid backpacker, and the same Gerber is still my most valuable backcountry tool.
Robert Schell / Jackson City, California
As a boy in Idaho I found a heavy, rusty, broken bowie knife near a long abandoned cabin with my metal detector. My dad took me into his shop, and together, we made a stainless steel handle for it with a brass hilt. I later carried that bowie with me in the 82nd Airborne Division, where its indestructible blade chopped wood, cut brush in Jungle School and Recondo School, pried open countless objects and did everything I ever asked of it. Now as an attorney, I used it as a trial prop while defending an innocent man. Thanks, Dad.
Mike Dorio / Stewartsville, New Jersey
My wife and I were hiking the Boulder Loop trail in the White Mountains of NH, when my wife's knee gave out on the way down, making it very difficult for her to walk. I took out my Gerber LMF II knife, and hacking at 45 degree angles made quick work of a 6-foot, 2-inch thick tree. I shaved off the small limbs, gave my wife my two hiking poles so she could easily get down the mountain, and I took my new hiking "pole" down the rest of the way. As you can see, I was very proud and happy with what that knife could do!
Mick Flanigan / Beaverton, Oregon
While diving near Rangiroa Atoll, French Polynesia, my fin strap broke in very fast current. I had to grab my knife, cut off the strap while 80 feet down against a reef wall (with tiger sharks in the area!) and cut a piece of nylon cord off my tank. I managed to make a new fin strap out of it and safely made it back. Swimming with one fin in that current would have been impossible, and since it was a shore dive, no boat was coming to get me! I always carry a couple knives when diving, an absolute must!
Frank Altamura / Great Meadows, New Jersey
This was my Dad's knife that he gave me back in the late '60s when I earned my Totin' Chip in the Boy Scouts. It shows its age, but still holds an edge like it’s new. I once used it to get my wife and I out of a jam when we were boat camping at Round Valley reservoir in NJ - we had launched the boat with a small outboard motor, but when I pulled the starter, the rubber handle tore off. I used the knife to remove the cover, retrieve the starter rope, and then tied it around the knife (in the sheath) to use as a pull handle... I plan to pass it on to my son--when I'm done with it!
Jenny Dengler / Costa Rica
Pura Vida with a Machete is a philosophy we have just introduced to our boys. Living on an organic farm in the Costa Rican jungle, we have enjoyed many adventures as a family. The jungle life has introduced us to the true magic of the machete--an amazing knife that is used for pruning the trees, cutting down bananas, opening coconuts, slicing pineapple, and survival. Nearly every local man is wearing a machete on their belt, not a cell phone! Knives will always be a part of our outdoor kit, as they are much needed for survival. It’s nice to see a knife put to use daily that is needed for everything from food production to self-protection.
Tom Hinderman / North Branch, Minnesota
My story doesn't involve far-away places, or exotic locales. There is no danger, no life & death struggle. My story is about the reason why most of us carry a blade of one type or another. It’s about peace of mind. The feeling that whatever should arise, you'll have a fighting chance of making it through. Whether it’s something as mundane as a loose thread, or genuine emergency where the only thing standing between you and oblivion is the edge of your knife. Possibilities. That is why we carry a blade. Forethought. The knowledge that, though the possibility of danger is slim, it is still there. We want to be prepared. That is why we carry a blade.
As the "live" version of our wildly popular "10 Knife Types" article, this video features Ron Green, owner of a knife-sharpening business, and his apprentice John Zacherl. The pair demonstrate and dissect 10 common blade types.
Get to know your knife types with this quick guide
All the terms you need to know!
Play it safe with these tips
Our experts break out price range in outdoor knives
Expert advice on the art of sharpening a knife
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