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.
We are almost two-thirds of the way through autumn now here in the northern hemisphere, so it's that time of year once again. It's time to put a some thought into dealing with frigid temperatures at inopportune moments, and being able to avoid cold weather injuries in the process if something goes wrong.
When the temperature outside our front door has dropped to the point the most common liquid on this planet has become a solid, if you haven't already done so, it's time to take a few minutes to winterize your daily set up. There is a very simple reason for this. Exposure to such low temperatures for extended periods of time – such as any unexpected long delays during an evening commute without a way to warm up – can easily turn another of the more common liquids on this planet to a solid, the very blood that flows through our veins. Having experienced severe frostbite personally, and having seen and felt some of my own flesh frozen solid, I can assure you it is a very unpleasant experience.
Knives & News
Sign up with your favorite email.