I'm excited to announce that we have a new sponsor! Kestrel Knives has officially supplied each of us with a beautiful, hand-crafted, ultralight, titanium knife.

 

 

 

Though the most extreme ultralight backpacker will only pack a razor blade, I know that hiking for five months with such a dainty piece of metal would leave me disappointed. My upbringing taught me that good knife is one of the best tools you can take into the mountains. In an emergency situation, starting fires, building shelters, acquiring food, and modifying equipment (as well as fighting bears, of course) are simply much more difficult without a knife; in the most extreme circumstances, a blade can mean the difference between life and death.

Emergency preparedness aside, I also find pleasure and utility from having a true knife at my side. We'll going to need a way to cut salami and cheese, and you can't spend an evening whittling a stick with a razor blade. If I catch any fish along the way, you had better believe we are going to gut and eat them. Hence, I knew that having a strong, light, fixed blade was an essential item on my gear list.

I found Kestrel Knives through a combination of google and browsing ultralight backpacking sites. Kestrel has a very focused approach, producing tough, functional, backcountry tool in a minimalist package. After talking with Nate for a bit, I decided that the Ti Skeleton Caper was the best choice for me since it is a little stouter than the two Ultrathin models, but lighter than a stainless steel model. Altogether, the knife, kydex sheath, and paracord handle weigh about 1 oz. How's that for an ultralight fixed blade?

After I ordered my knife, Nate offered us a sponsorship that included

sending me two additional knives to give to Chris and Nick as a surprise! He even upped the cool factor and anodized them for us. Upon receiving the knives, I was stunned. They are intelligently designed, beautifully crafted, and clearly demonstrate Nate's workmanship. I think I'm just as excited to give them to Nick and Chris as they will be to receive them, which means I’m not going to publish this until I get to Idyllwild so I don't ruin the surprise. I will assuredly include their reactions.

I am definitely looking forward to carrying this knife with me for this and many future backcountry trips. I hope I have plenty of opportunities to use it along the PCT.

Thanks again Nate, for sponsoring our trip!

 

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Update: I gave the knives to Nick and Chris and they love them. We're really excited to kill bears, chop down trees, and protect ourselves from angry hippy hordes along the way!

 

If you love knives, you should get a Kestrel. They are fantastic! 

 

-Ben

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