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scouts vs fixed blade knives

Discussion in 'Knives' started by toddtheknifegeek, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. neutrontech
    • In Omnia Paratus

    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

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    Cell phones are one thing, gameboys and ipods are another. As long as the cell it is tucked away and notused as a substitute for those items.
     
  2. Jakala

    Jakala Loaded Pockets

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    I've been a troopleader for more then half my life:

    as our resident band-aid-sticker I advise fixed blades. Most kids hurt themeselves because:

    - no proper grip, index finger slips of the handle onto the blade
    - closing a heavy springed knife with the fingertip inbetween
    - inproper application of force to a non blocking knife (knife folds under the pressure)

    A good fixed blade with proper "plate" between blade and handle is a lot safer...
    (whats the plate called in english?)

    Best blade our national scouts-store offers:
    [​IMG]

    we do advise not to carry them on the belt in urban area's, but mainly because I live in a country that has a high number of whining lefty's
    (the US will have paid of its debt before carrying weapons without a permit or consealed carry will be possible here..)

    But like we explained it to most scared mom's:

    They will learn that a knife is sharp in the same way as they'll learn that a campfire is hot :D
    "We work hard on the phisical and mental resilience of your pack members!
    "Yeah its rough, but If this is not what you're looking for, jazzballet classes start at 8"

    And regarding the batteries: rule#9: "If it beeps, it's mine!!!"
     
  3. dewildeman

    dewildeman Loaded Pockets

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    The thought behind my "Scoutmaster Rules" was that eating food that you may not like and being away from home are not life threatening. The same Scout that misses Mom so much on Monday may be the same Scout who hates to leave camp on Saturday and can't wait to next year. Our local camp changed Family Night from Wednesday to Friday, one of the reasons being the number of Scouts leaving camp with the family because of home sickness.

    There are enough things to do outdoors and cell phones and gameboys are a distraction, it's easier for all just to leave them home.
    Goretex, foam sleeping pads, gps, bic lighters, etc are great and I use some of them. But I also know how to make a shelter, use natural material for padding and insulation, use a map and compass and start a fire by other means. "Be Prepared" doesn't just mean to have a gadget for everything but also knowing how to use what you have available to you.
     
  4. Mumbojumboo
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    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My boys won't be scouts but they sure will have a Busse.
     
  5. bowerc

    bowerc Loaded Pockets

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    :lolhammer: I love it!
     
  6. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I believe they call it a fingerguard. I agree with everything you said, fixed blades are safer, sturdier and as long as you keep to stick to a decent size, they are not heavy or difficult to carry. Personally, I don't like fingerguards that much, but they are a good feature, especially for kids.
     
  7. darth_guy101

    darth_guy101 Loaded Pockets

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    I've been in the BSA all my life (Eagle scout and summer camp staff) and have never found the explicit ban on fixed blade knives. I know that they are "not recommended" for boys, but I can't find where it says absolutely not allowed for adults. Although I find the rule pretty ridiculous, I have never come across a situation where I NEEDED a fixed blade knife, outside of food prep. A Leatherman and a hatchet has always served my needs.
     
  8. neutrontech
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    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

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    I think the blade on a leatherman is a bit under equipped for the woods. At the very least, a good strong back locking folder. When I head in the woods, I always put a fixed blade on my belt, and there are times I was very greatful that I did because I felt it was a much more efficient tool for the task. The right tool for the job, ya know.
     
  9. eps5

    eps5 Loaded Pockets

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    In Canada I didn't remember any restrictions when I was a kid. I had a large fixed blade survival knife and a SAK. I'm pretty sure in Cubs I had a SAK and then got the fixed blade in Scouts.
    I looked up the current rules:
    http://sunshine.scouts.ca/bpp/Section%2013000.pdf
    13021 – TOOLS/KNIVES:
    Knives (safety folding blade type), including multi-purpose tools, may be used during age- appropriate program activities by all members, excluding Beavers, providing it is a bona-fide requirement for the particular activity. Sheath knives may be worn when it is a bona-fide requirement of the particular Scouting activity and only by Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Scouters and must not at any time be concealed.
     
  10. darth_guy101

    darth_guy101 Loaded Pockets

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    I totally understand what you mean. I always make sure that I pack my BK-2 into my day pack simply for reassurance. I have never been a scoutmaster or a cubmaster so I never was able to allow the boys to carry a fixed blade. The boys almost always use some form of pocket knife, a kitchen knife or a hatchet/axe. I find that these tools accomplish their tasks quite well and work in accordance with BSA policies. My only rule is that you know how to use the tools that you bring along.
     
  11. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    I fear we are going to have to respectly disagree.

    It is a sad commentary on society when cell phones and gameboys are lumped together as electronic distractions. A cell phone is first and foremost a communications device. In the wilderness, an it is emergency communications device.

    If you can't spend days in the woods with access to a cellphone without feeling to need to chew the fat with someone at home or access some form of social media, that's not a technological failure but one of impulse control.

    FWIW: I have spent 5 years commuting by train with people (of all ages) that can't make the one hour commute without broadcasting their lives to everyone around by immediately intiating a cellphone call and talking at elevated volumes to be heard over the train. In a more civilized world, this would be a flogging offense.

    The only way that this analogy could run to logical conclusion (replication of the basic functions of a cell phone) is if one were adept at building a communications device/Personal Locator Beacon out of available materials. While it's possible to attract the attention of emergency/rescue personnel using non-electronic/gadget based methods, it depends on them looking in the right place at the right time and a lot of other variables. Some things that could easily chew up time that's not available.

    As alluded to in my last post, if the distraction factor is really hard to manage, it can easily be removed by giving a scout a simple bar phone without apps or a service plan. The only call those can make are to emergency services. Any scout that would consider doing that out of sheer boredom has other issues that need to be addressed.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  12. scout121

    scout121 Empty Pockets

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    Darn it you beat me to quoting the guide to safe scouting! I am currently a Star Scout in California and have recently won my troop over to allowing fixed blades to be worn and used inside our troop when on campouts that are not on council property (when at campouts that are on bsa land we are required to not use or where them because our local council has banned their use on council property).
     
  13. tower
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    tower Loaded Pockets

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    Why wouldn't scouts be allowed to carry weather radios or H-Ts? I remember when I was a kid at horse camp, EVERYONE had a sheath knife (even the girls!). But that was a much different time. I'm old.
     
  14. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    A leatherman may not be suitable for batoning or similar tasks, but it covers a whole range of smaller tasks that are commonly done. As you said, choose the right tool for the job - in my case when I need to cut something I reach for an axe or saw.
    When camping I have found that I am more than happy with an 84mm SAK and axe or saw to get through everything I normally do.

    It does also depend on what gear you want to carry and are comfortable with - Darth_guy is presumably happier with a small blade and an axe than using a fixed blade for both small fiddly tasks, and the bigger ones (as am I). Others may prefer to only carry one tool, or to carry a whole selection of specialised ones...
     
  15. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    As for the 'electronic distractions' - Yes, most of us adults possess the self control to turn the phone off, stick it in our pack and enjoy the outdoors.

    As for the kids though, we aim to give them the camping experience we want to provide - in many ways a more primitive and isolated experience based on simple skills and not the modern hustle and bustle of city life. For many scouts though this is something of an alien experience, so they can initially miss the point we are trying to make and try to stick to a more regular routine with cellphones and so on. Banning them outright removes this temptation and forces them to accept a different experience, hopefully one they will enjoy and appreciate in the future (after they stop grumbling about not being able to speak to their girlfriend for three whole days).

    On the safety side, the leaders all have phones as do the oldest scouts, but just as regularly they are irrelevant - to go hiking in the highlands here phone signal is very patchy at best in the wilderness, and cannot be relied upon in an emergency, so other forms of safety and communication must be used instead - instead of being a safety net, a phone can become a danger when it is relied upon in a situation where it won't work...
     
  16. greymethod

    greymethod Loaded Pockets

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    I got a SA knife for my 8th birthday/when I got my "Whidling Chip Card." most kids has either a Vic classic or one slightly larger... Nothing else. Living in the city, I see why. But in any other place (the outdoors) there is no reason that kids shouldn't have a proper blade as long as they are trained.
     
  17. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Empty Pockets

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    An old thread, but I have a "ticket" item to look for on-line threads on Boy Scout knife policy and reply to them.

    First, basic to Scouting is the notion that we are to help rear youth to make good decisions. "The basis of all our moral training is trust." That being so, "zero tolerance" rules in Scouting are highly suspect and need to be justified as they violate basic Scouting principles. The rationalization for prohibiting fixed-blade knives is that, thirty-five years ago, Scouts started "carrying" "Rambo" knives. If that were true, and I do not recall seeing it, the Scouting response would be a meeting of the senior boy leaders to craft a rule about what knife is reasonable within the context of the Scouting program.

    Next, as noted above, BSA's written policy discourages "large" sheath knives as "heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish." Note that safety is not mentioned.

    Also note that BSA recognizes an obligation to teach the safe use of all legally-owned knives. Fixed-blade knives, if not carried concealed, are for the most part legal to not just own but also carry in most areas. We cannot meet our obligation to teach the safe use of a tool if the tool is banned by a wrong-headed zero tolerance rule. As almost every home has fixed-blade knives, we need to get busy teaching, not issuing zero tolerance decrees.

    Finally, in 2008, the Boy scouts ofAmericapublished the following commentary:

    "The best type of knife for camping trips — and most any other outdoor activity, for that matter — is a short, fixed-blade knife with a beefy handle.

    Folding pocketknives can fold up on your hand while cutting. Not fixed blades. And remember: When it comes to blades, bigger isn’t always better. Avoid blades longer than four inches. A small, sharp blade can cut just as well as a long one, but it’s safer to handle and easier to maneuver in tight spots. With a good fixed blade you’ll be set for most anything the outdoors can throw at you — whittling, cutting, notching, butchering, filleting, even spreading peanut butter."

    Boy's Life, June, 2008.


    In conclusion, while B.S.A. allows units and Councils (but not districts, which are not entities but merely administrative subdivisions of councils with no authority to promulgate any rules) to create rules on fixed-blade knives, a rule absolutely prohibiting them is clearly contrary to the B.S.A. statements quoted above. It would be more appropriate if the zero tolerance crowd got with the program.
     
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  18. Mumbojumboo
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    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Wow..a lengthy first post. Good info.

    I'm not a scout.

    [​IMG]mumbo scrap by mumbojumboo, on Flickr



    But 6 to 8inches does me just fine.
     
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  19. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    I have basically zero respect for the BSA higher ups (though a good bit for individual scouts) because of completely unrelated things.

    Also, I disagree about shorter knives being better all the time. I do prefer my 7" chefs knife to my 9" chefs knife, but I wouldn't use a 4" knife for what it does. Also, there are a lot of blocks of firewood that would be annoying to baton with a 4" blade.
     
  20. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Empty Pockets

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    BSA never barred sheath knives.

    BSA recognizes a duty in BSA adults to teach the safe use of all legally owned knives.

    BSA sells sheath knives - three Helle models.

    Local option allows zero tolerance rules with all the irrationality that implies.