My Ka-Bar® Becker Champion BK-2 Knife Survival System is generating some interest on my social media accounts. It seems that every time I post a picture of the kit, people send me questions about it. As with most things related to wilderness survival, there is a lot of interest concerning survival gear. Backpackers, hunters, preppers, survivalists, and those who love the outdoors are getting into survival gear. So, let us find out what is in my knife survival kit.
The Knife: Ka-Bar® Becker Champion BK-2
The Ka-Bar® Becker Champion BK-2 is the standard fixed-blade knife that I carry on the trail when I go backpacking. Most of the time, I wear it on my belt. However, some backpacks are not belt-knife friendly, so the knife goes into one of the outside pockets of that particular pack. For example, when I am using my Kelty® Redwing 50, the knife kit will be stored in one of the large side pockets on the outside of the pack.
The BK-2 is the first fixed-blade knife that I purchased after doing some research back in 2015. Most of the survival knife reviews that I read, at that time, had the BK-2 ranked somewhere on their top ten list. Furthermore, the knife is a quality product that also fit into my budget. Thus, it was sensible for me to purchase this knife from a familiar and reputable company. Ka-Bar has an extensive history supplying fighting knives to the U.S. military.
- Weight: 1 lb.
- Overall length: 10.5 inches
- Blade Type: Fixed Blade
- Blade Length: 5.25 inches
- Blade Thickness: .25 inches
- Blade Width: 1.625 inches
- Blade Shape: Drop Point
- Blade Material: 1095 Cro-Van
- Blade Grind: A high Scandi Grind with a beveled edge. Ka-Bar calls it a Flat Grind, but it is not a textbook flat grind.
- Rockwell Hardness: 56-58
- Handle Material: Ultramid-B®.
Ultramid-B® is a hardened, unreinforced plastic manufactured by BASF® (Ultramid, BASF.com, 2019, https://products.basf.com/en/Ultramid.html).
The knife is heavy enough to do some light chopping. It is also proficient at batoning and feather sticking wood. Its thick blade allows it to do the basic bushcraft skills such as carving, chopping, processing, skinning and scraping (with blade edge). This knife is one of the best on the market for outdoorsman and backpackers.
Some of the criticisms of this knife by others are that the blade comes coated and the standard handle scales are too smooth. These criticisms from bushcrafters are valid if one wants a knife for processing game. The Becker Champion is designed to be an all-around task knife. One con with this knife is that the blade spine is not ground to a sharp 90° angle for use with ferro rods or flint rock. It also limits the knife on scraping bark or hides.
There are two improvements that Ka-Bar could make to this knife to improve it, overall. The first improvement is to replace the powder coating on the blade with a more game processing-friendly coating or a patina. Another option for Ka-Bar would be to offer the knife with no blade coating. The second improvement to the knife is to grind the spine to a sharp 90° angle for more efficient scrapping tasks and use with fire making implements.
The Sheath: Spec-OPS Brand® Combat Master (Short)
The sheath that works well with the Becker BK2 knife is the Spec-Ops Brand® Combat Master (Short) sheath. The Combat Master sheath is the 21st-century version of the leather sheath from the Air Force Survival knife (OKC 499). The sheath is made of 1000 denier Cordura® fabric. It is compatible with MOLLE gear such as MOLLE rucksacks, body armor, and load bearing vests. This sheath works well with the current MOLLE Rifleman’s Kit. The sheath is also compatible with waist belts, such as tactical rigger’s belts or a leather Kore Essentials belt.
- Length: 13 in.
- Width: 2.875 in.
- Fits blades up to 6 inches long and 1.25 inches wide.
- Fully adjustable outside pouch.
- Diamond Braid cordage laced around the edge of the sheath.
- KYDEX® liner can be removable for cleaning.
- Two Belt Loops with snaps and Velcro
- Web loop at the bottom for tie-down to packs, leg-loop, etc.
- Double-layered 1000D Cordura® fabric for sheath body
- Mil-spec. Grommet tie-downs along sides of the sheath body.
- Snapping Handle Securing Strap
The Sharpening Stone: Gator Finishing Products® Pocket Sharpening Stone
The sharpening stone that works well with this kit is the pocket sharpening stone by Gator Finishing Products®. However, any pocket whetstone or sharpening stone that is 4 in. x 1 in. x .25 in. or smaller will work. This one just happened to be the one that I found first while shopping at a Tru-Value® hardware store in Virginia. The manufacturer recommends using honing oil on the more coarse side of this stone. However, a possible field expedient honing oil could be the CLP oil in your weapon cleaning kit. Nevertheless, I am sure that the knife gurus have better recommendations for pocket sharpening stones.
- Length: 3.937 in.
- Width: 1 in.
- Thickness: .437 in.
- Grit: One side is 60 grit. The opposite side is 80 grit.
The Ferro Rod: Böker® Plus Fire Starter
The current ferro rod that I use with this system is the Böker® Plus Fire Starter. It has some features that make it a great addition to this system. The Böker® Plus Fire Starter is a longer version of the Aurora Fire Starter. The item has a threaded, aircraft aluminum body with non-slip checkering. It has a small button compass embedded in the handle. The striker is 3 inches long with some interesting features. It has a bottle opener and a hex opening for use with small hex bits. There is a 1/10,000 map measuring tool on one side marked to 5 kilometers. On the opposite side of the scraper is a metric ruler up to 5 centimeters. There is a sharpened single bevel edge that is .5 inches long on the bottle opener side of the tool. The sharp edge gives the ability to cut cordage.
- Length: 4.5625 in.
- Width: .625 in.
- Ferro Rod Length: 2.25 in.
- Some optional ferro rod choices for this system would be the Aurora Fire Striker, the Bear Grylls Compact Firestriker, or the Exotac Nanostriker.
My Becker BK-2 Survival Knife System is an attempt to find a one system solution for general outdoor and backpacking activities. There are many other more robust options on the market, such as the TOPS Knives Bushcrafter Kukri 7.0. However, for a budget-friendly option, this system meets my needs in the field. As you consider your field gear options, it is helpful to remember three primary considerations: your gear knowledge, your gear experience, and your gear budget.
Product Purchase Links
- Ka-Bar Champion BK-2
- Spec-OPS Brand Combat Master (Short)
- Gator Finishing Products® Pocket Sharpening Stone
- Böker® Plus Fire Starter