Originally Posted on 9/23/17
We, as a people, travel and we do it a lot. We travel for work, we take road trips for vacations, and on the holidays we take to the highways to go visit family and friends. Just how much we do travel is evidenced by how many hotels and motels you will find in an urban center, in any given city, in any developed country around around the globe.
By their very nature, road trips dictate a certain amount of preparedness. In many case we are in new settings in unfamiliar territory. So the more we are prepared to rely on ourselves, and the less dependent we are on the world around us, the less time we waste chasing down the things we need and the less risks we take exploring an unfamiliar area at night. As photographer and a writer, being prepared means having several things at my disposal. From portable chargers and rechargeable batteries for my battery powered devices, spare USB cords of various sizes, and memory storage devices on which to transport backups of critical programs if my laptop crashes and I find myself working on one of the hotel computers until morning. It also means having a good knife to meet any cutting needs I may run across.
The first time you see how cold your food can be before room service brings you something to cut a steak with besides butter spreader you realize that when it comes to road trips you are largely on your own. As a general rule, in my personal experience, it takes just as long to get them to come back to your room as it took for them to bring you your food in the first place, and sometimes even longer. In my humble opinion, butter knives make very poor steak knives, so I prefer to have my own sharp knife handy for such times.
It's not something we like to think about, we tend to prefer not acknowledging any potential threats in our lives, but we are not always in a safe area when we travel. We obviously won't always be able to know this from appearances, because you can never judge a book by its cover, so it is something best taken into consideration before hand. In my personal experiences, in traveling for both work and play, “tourists” are often seen as easy targets. I have also found that firearms are not always easy to deploy in close quarters, and common sense says steel boxes in concrete shafts may not be the wisest place to start shooting anyway. In a defensive situation in an elevator a small knife may be much easier to wield, and a few quick penetrations of the lower abdomen has proven pretty effective at taking the fight out of would be attackers.
I may be stating the obvious here for some folks, but another case in point worth mentioning, is in eating leftovers brought back to the room from dinner the night before. The forks in the little packages of utensils given out with to-go boxes work well enough, but the little plastic butter knife isn't going to fare any better versus cold steak than the metal butter knife fared against the hot steak from the other occasion. It just takes one time of attempting using one for this purpose and you will always remember just how annoying it was.
In my life, I have found a good knife to be an indispensable tool in my every day life, so I can't imagine ever not having one on me at any time. Yet I would definitely never travel out of town without certain tools and equipment, and a good quality knife is high up on that list.
It seems the first fixed blade to be discovered and actually appreciated, presumably via an injury to the discoverer, was quite the revolutionary incident in human history. It's clearly evidenced by how much we have developed all sorts of cutting tools since then. Not only knives in many specialized applications over the last 50 thousand or so years, but cutting tools for all sorts of materials, and with far more of them being developed for utilitarian applications than combative ones. With a good quality multi-tool perhaps being the pinnacle of overall usefulness versus the various materials in an urbanized environment so far. Though obviously with the weaponization of anything it can profitably be applied to being pretty common, as some living in quarantine may currently be suspecting, blades made for war have certainly earned their way into our revolutionary history as well.
Knives & News
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