Sosakonline Archive

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Well, this year was the 7th annual Practice What You Preach event down on Chestnut Mountain in North Carolina. The event was started by Terrill Hoffman (Photographer; writer for Tactical Knives magazine; and moderator of Knife Forums Outdoor Survival Forum) back when a lot of forum talk about outdoor survival and skills lead to a “put up or shut up” test. Terrill graciously offered up his property and hosted an event for folks to come out and actually practice what they’d been preaching online and PWYP was born! The first year consisted of only a few people but the event has grown steadily since then and this year there were over 90 folks in attendance! The gathering is a sort of medley of a an adult Boy Scout Jamboree and a Mountain Man Rendezvous with the usual skills training and practice, camp fire cookery and camaraderie, and a brisk and healthy trade and barter business throughout the 4 day event.

While it certainly isn’t a SAK specific event, SAK’s and the outdoors just tend to go together and you end up finding a lot of them at PWYP every year. While most folks there are carrying at least (at least!) a couple of knives you’ll often see a mundane little SAK find its way to folks hands even amidst the plethora of other cutting tools available. Sometimes its simple habit and comfort, that folks reach for the blade they use most, other times they’re looking for a specific tool that they need and the SAK can offer. During one class on the construction of rabbit sticks (a very basic throwing stick used to harvest small game) I noticed a number of SAK’s jump into folk’s hands when they needed a handy saw to cut their sticks down to size. I’ve seen similar in previous years during trap making classes. There are always occasions when you need a screwdriver, and yes even the ever-present cap lifter, that you see the bushcraft blades remain sheathed and the SAK’s appear too.

Another place you tend to see a fair share of SAK’s is on the Trade Blanket. The Trade Blanket has become an annual highlight of PWYP where folks get to display the various pieces of cutlery, outdoors gear, guns and other doodads and widgets that they’re interested in selling or trading for other folk’s doodads and widgets. There tends to be a healthy SAK trade that goes on here with folks swapping out models, trying new ones and generally shuffling their collections around.

At PWYP the models with saws tend to be most popular. In 91mm the Hiker and Camper seem to be the standby SAKs. In Alox the Farmer rules the roost for outdoor oriented SAKs and is extremely popular with its users. The 108’s didn’t have as much of a showing this year but the GAK and Safari have always been popular in the past and they’re models you’ll find my carrying to PWYP and other events frequently. When you bump up to 111mm the Trekker, OHT and the OH GAK make a great showing. In fact the longer saw of the 111mm’s makes them especially cherished outdoors blades for the folks that don’t mind the larger size of those models. You’ll also see other models pop up as well and I know I had one of Swissbianco’s nifty little Alox Lumberjack’s tucked away in my PSK (Personal Survival Kit) just in case!

The SAK’s strong showing at PWYP is probably no surprise if you’re a SAK user. We all know that the SAK is a great tool unto itself and a great companion to a larger fixed blade. It’s always good to be able to attend an event like PWYP to reinforce that impression and to share the utility of the SAK and maybe even convert a couple new devotees in the process!