Lightning In The Woods

Ok.  I know what you are going to say “It’s such a bad idea to use an OTF in the woods”.   I know by taking an OTF to the woods you are risking jamming up with spring and rails with dirt and grit.  From what I have heard so far, it would just be a bad idea.  So I decided to test it out.


I wanted to see just how risky it would be to take an OTF into the woods.  So this last weekend I packed up and headed out to the great outdoors.  I saw this as a perfect opportunity for me to see just how risky it is to take your OTF camping.  Up until this point, all I have heard is how it’s such a terrible idea.  You are risking the functionality of your knife by exposing it to grit and dirt.  Well, for the sake of all of us, I decided to test it out myself.  Risking my Lightning OTF for the sake knowledge.  I’m a martyr, I know.  You’re welcome.

On a serious note, it was really an educational experience for me.  And, while I didn’t think it was possible, I have come to love my OTF even more!

First off, I decided to take my lightning OTF with me.  It’s my personal favorite OTF.  It goes everywhere with me, clipped in my pocket.  Recently it has become my EDC.  So I figured, this would be a great knife to test.  If something were to happen, and I was to be stranded somewhere, chances are I would have my Lightning OTF.  So it was a perfect fit.


Now let’s get down to the reason you’re here.

The Good

  1.  The Lightning OTF, as always is a very reliable knife.  Just because it’s in the woods, that doesn’t change.
  2. The blade was always there when I needed it, especially while fishing.  The quick action blade was not bulky or difficult to manage.  So with hands full of hooks and line, it was easy to use.
  3. Using the Lightning OTF on the banks of the lake really put it in danger of getting grit and dirt in the knife itself.  But, to my surprise, this did not occur.  The knife is relatively protected inside the handle.  Not even once did I have to try and shake out any gravel bits.  I was pleasantly surprised.


The Bad

  1. The blade of the Lightning OTF is easily scratch, and camping can be hard on any knife.  Once we got home, it was plain to see that my blade had suffered a scratch or 2.  Nothing too damaging to my knife, but definitely noticeable.
  2. When I got home, I noticed that the very tip of my knife had in fact broken off.   I was a little bummed to see that my knife had been damaged.
  3. It can be difficult to clean any knife in the woods.  I noticed that I had gotten some tree sap on my OTF.  It was very difficult to clean it off.  And I was hesitant to use lake water, as I didn’t want my knife to rust.  I think this was the biggest risk to my knife jamming up.


The Verdict

So, after my educational weekend in the woods, I have come to the conclusion that what I had heard before was true.  It was probably not the best of ideas to take my OTF into the woods.  While it did work really well for fishing, the risk to the knife is just too great.  I was especially careful with my knife, and it still suffered some damage regardless.

In the future, I will probably be leaving my Lightning OTF at home safe and sound while I am out in the woods.  I probably should have listened to what people told me.  But it’s one thing to hear it, another to experience it first-hand.  So take it from someone who learned it from experiance, the OTF just isn’t meant for extended outdoor use.