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  • ban of fixed blade knives?

    hi all
    sorry if this is the wrong subforum to post this but i will go a head
    im a knife guy,
    always have and probably always will be
    my favorite type of knife to have is a fixed blade knife
    there is multiple advantages to this type of knife for camp and wilderness use
    1. no lock= very small chance of the tool failing
    2.strong: i can do more with a fixed blade in a lighter package
    3.cheaper; it is easier to get a better knife for a lower cost in a fixed blade Ex. esee knives,kabar becker knives, ect
    4. easier to sharpen.

    dispute all these advantages my troop has a ban on fixed blades
    i would like to change this
    it seems that all the scout leaders are very ignorant about the topic of knives in general and they give folding knives to inexperienced,younger scouts to use. that in my use: (cutting paper,light carving,making feather sticks,ect) the locks have failed and i have gotten some very bad cuts.
    and to add to that the boys life magazine marketed the very same knives.(Gerber mini paraframe) in one of there recent issues

    so how would you recommend me going about getting this ban revoked or amended.
    thanks
    Thomas


  • #2
    Troops are not banned per say from allowing their Scouts to use Sheath Knives, however in the guide to safe scouting, it is strongly discouraged. (Page 34).
    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416.pdf

    In my time as a Scout and Scouter, I've never needed anything more than a Swiss Army Knife for any of the Trips I've taken. I probably use the tweezer function to remove Ticks more than the actual blade itself.

    Doing some research on the topic I discovered a very nice blog post. http://scoutingaround.com/boy-scouts...uidelines.html

    In conclusion, there is no fixed blade length, and each Troop is free to decide their own acceptable knife policies. You will have to convince the Scouts and Adult volunteers as to why a policy allowing fixed blade knives is wiser than whatever your units current policy is.

    Last edited by Sentinel947; 02-19-2014, 04:52 PM. Reason: incorrect citation, corrected

    Comment


    • #3
      Start with the BSA rule:

      http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...y/gen_faq.aspx
      Sheath Knives

      Q. What is the official BSA regulation on carrying sheath knives?
      A.
      Sheath knives are not prohibited by the BSA, but they may be regulated by state or local ordinances and/or by camp “rules.” We recommend that the right tool for the job be used (cutting branches or ropes). We do not encourage wearing them at the waist as injury could occur during falls.

      and

      http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/201...-knife-policy/

      Knives

      A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives.
      This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.
      Remember—knives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.

      Comment


      • #4
        Now that I have posted BSA policy...

        The solution that many Troops and camps adopted probably were developed when young boys decided they wanted Rambo's knife (an issue from when I was a Scout), or Crocodile Dundee's (from later in my Scouting life).

        The flip side is the Bowie knife, which doubles as a hatchet and is well known as a perfectly usable tool in the backcountry. Even better, it comes from our nation's history.

        Some jurisdictions have issues with knives over a certain blade length - California, for example, seems to have an issue once a knife has a blade of 4 inches in certain situations.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks for all the links
          i already know that is not banned overall in scouting



          and i also see the point that you made on the younger scouts carrying larger knives(8in+) and those scouts should be dealt with like the scouts who bring switchblades: to take it away
          and here in south Carolina there is no laws limiting the amount of blade i can carry
          and also some of this is opinion
          EX.Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish.
          i see this as opinion. why should i trust this persons(or peoples) opinion or experience when i have had experienced the opposite?

          what im try to stress here is that im not trying to be rude or disrespectful to anyone way of camping and there experiences but why limit the way that i camp when im doing it safely

          im not trying to bring in larger fixed blades (6in and larger)
          this is what i usually camp with tool wise:
          a small fixed blade(sub 4in): smaller tasks-cleaning fish,carving,fire making
          an medium fixed blade(5-6in blade length) bigger tasks: spliting wood,carving,ect
          and a hand saw

          and this set up does not weigh more than 1-2lbs and does everything i would ever need it to do

          Comment


          • perdidochas
            perdidochas commented
            Editing a comment
            It says large sheath knives--IMHO, large sheath knives would be those that are above 6 inches in blade length.

            I would say to talk with the troop leadership and explain your thinking.

        • #6
          Thomas,

          There is obviously nothing that we can say that will deter you from wanting to bring your fixed blade knives. Whether you're a youth or an adult, you simply don't need more than a simple pocket knife in the Boy Scouts. Your troop doesn't want sheathe knifes. Let it go. There is much more to the Scout program than knives.
          But I'm sure that's not the answer you wanted to hear. So, find a Troop that accepts your knives, or quit Scouting.

          sst3rd

          Comment


          • resqman
            resqman commented
            Editing a comment
            I disagree. If a scout feels a rule needs to be changed, then find out what it takes to get a troop rule changed. It may be that some rules are not up for debate. Then the scout can decide to change troops or give up the battle.

            Many troop rules were made when a scout did something stupid. Usually an adult decides it was too much trouble to deal with the consequences and drives a new troop rule through the Troop Committee.

            Most often the 12 points of the Scout Law cover most problems. Most troop rules are kinda like Hate Crime Laws. It is illegal to kill a someone due to a specific demographic. Redundant law since it is illegal to kill anyone, regardless of other demographics.

            Ask the adult leadership to explain how the offending troop rule is needed beyond the 12 points. Maybe creating a seperate troop "certification" for fixed blades would be a solution. Scouts must earn Totn Chip. Then they must earn the troop Sheathed Knife award before carrying and using.

          • perdidochas
            perdidochas commented
            Editing a comment
            SSt3rd,

            If a Scout (or Scouter) sees what they think is a silly rule, they should be trying to change it. I agree with resqman.

        • #7
          If you want to change a rule, it usually helps to find out why the rule exists in the first place. In your first post you mention the Kabar knife.

          I carried one of those. In the Marine Corps. They are a tactical knife designed for fighting, with the addition of a place to cut barbed wire. Those are exactly the knives I am talking about triggering these rules - boys walking around with a kabar on their waist in a sheath.

          Your later post talked about a switchblade - those are illegal in most places, and have been for quite some time. You can add in gravity knives, double sided blades, and gravity knives as well as legally problematic knives in most jurisdictions.

          If you want to convince the Troop leadership, then work on educating them on the positive side of sheath knives - and propose an amendment to the rule. I personally agree with you on the benefit of a good sheath knife, and I have carried a Buck since I was a Tenderfoot, and bought one for my son when we joined Scouting. Then I ran into a the Troop's rule (and the rule of most of the local summer camps), tried to fight it, and lost.

          Talk safety.
          Talk utility
          Talk about the problems with many pocket knives (locking blades are safer, but little ones don't have the strength for the lock for example)
          Talk about carrying safely (I HAVE had the sheath dig into me on a fall, something that never happens with a folding knife).

          Education of whoever owns the rules, and then of the boys, is your path to acceptance.

          Comment


          • #8
            When camping in the back country, I carry the BSA camp knife, a sheath knife/belt axe combo. I can create, quicker, more firewood/kindling/tinder with the belt axe than with either the pocket knife or sheath knife. This is because the belt axe is honed to a knife-blade edge instead of the regular axe edge. The belt axe is far more effective for heavy cutting than chopping with a Bowie knife which is too lightweight. For food preparation, it's the sheath knife. Cleans up far better than crud stuck inside the workings of the pocket knife. I have carbon steel blade knives and require oils to prevent rust. Soap/water cleanup removes those oils and rust can begin in as little as 6-8 hours. Those oils don't mix well with food either. I use the camp knife for rope work, whittling for entertainment and other small jobs around the camp. I have both the BSA knife/axe combo which works the best, and a modern light-weight knife/axe combo for backpacking. For backpacking I switch to the BSA whittler for a pocket knife. Don't have use for the weight nor the can opener.

            Like any utensil, it can be used as a tool, weapon or toy. If people are worried about which is being applied, they had better ban walking sticks as well. I have seen boys abuse that distinction with walking sticks more than I have with sheath knives... which are allowed, and after proper training, encouraged in my troop.

            Stosh

            Comment


            • desertrat77
              desertrat77 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well said.

          • #9
            What triggered the rules was image of the knives. The BSA was trying to get away from a military image and the larger fixed blade knives of the pop culture movies didn't fit in that image. As a result, all fixed blade knives were caught in the wave of no tolerance. One of the benefits of scouting in the past was teaching scout how to safely use the right tool for the right job. No tolerance policies don't encourage growth or education, they instead continue emotional inaction from ignorance. Teach the scouts the advantages and disadvantages of the different woods tools and let the them make their choices. Barry

            Comment


            • #10
              I gotta say that through the years, I personally have injured myself more with folders than fixed.... but mostly when doing stupid stuff.
              but then I've carried and used folders a lot more.....
              When I was little, and I have seen this in my son and other cubs I work with, that they don't have the strength and dexterity to safely operate folders.... even some non-lockers
              When I helped lead our Whitlin' Chip class for the bears recently, I personally struggled with the idea of teaching the boys to open and close a pocket knife. I can remember being hurt by simply trying to close a non-locking folder when I was little. I think the lesson/rule of folding with open hands is .... well... kinda dumb. When I close a knife I grip or pinch the blade and hold it for control. Letting it snap closed is dangerous....

              I also understand the greater utility that can be had with some fixed blades..... chopping down a tree for example.
              BUT I would argue that's more of a survival thing. The correct tool for that job would be an axe.
              For whittling, a small fixed blade is the right tool for the job, but for casual whitling, nothing wrong with a good folder.

              and in the end, I agree that most boys don't need to be running around with a Ka-Bar or bowie.
              For lessons, sure. For true survival mode camping, you bet..... but just not justifiable IMHO for general camping.

              Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by Horizon View Post
              If you want to change a rule, it usually helps to find out why the rule exists in the first place. In your first post you mention the Kabar knife.

              I carried one of those. In the Marine Corps. They are a tactical knife designed for fighting, with the addition of a place to cut barbed wire. Those are exactly the knives I am talking about triggering these rules - boys walking around with a kabar on their waist in a sheath.

              Your later post talked about a switchblade - those are illegal in most places, and have been for quite some time. You can add in gravity knives, double sided blades, and gravity knives as well as legally problematic knives in most jurisdictions.

              If you want to convince the Troop leadership, then work on educating them on the positive side of sheath knives - and propose an amendment to the rule. I personally agree with you on the benefit of a good sheath knife, and I have carried a Buck since I was a Tenderfoot, and bought one for my son when we joined Scouting. Then I ran into a the Troop's rule (and the rule of most of the local summer camps), tried to fight it, and lost.

              Talk safety.
              Talk utility
              Talk about the problems with many pocket knives (locking blades are safer, but little ones don't have the strength for the lock for example)
              Talk about carrying safely (I HAVE had the sheath dig into me on a fall, something that never happens with a folding knife).

              Education of whoever owns the rules, and then of the boys, is your path to acceptance.
              well i meant the kabar becker knives not the kabar USMC the beckers are made by kabar but are a very different knife
              ex.
              http://bestbushcraftknife.com/media/...-4-640x427.jpg

              ok i think what i am going to try to push through is as follows
              to allow fixed blades with a blade length of up to 6in
              require that a scout must prove that he is responsible with a fixed blade and know how to properly use and carry it
              and a scout must bring in the knife to be approved for use in the troop- approval will be carried out by myself and a adult leader

              ex
              a knife that would not be allowed:
              http://i00.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/4...-No-font-b.jpg
              example of a knife that would be allowed






              Comment


              • #12
                While the BSA does not have a ban on sheath knives, I do know some councils do have bans on their premises, mine does, and some units will ban them, usually the result of a previous incident or accident and people overreacting.

                I also know that some cities and counties do have bans not only sheath knives, but also on knives over a certain size, even if they fold. Believe it or not, some of your BSA lockback knives like these:

                http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...-inerlock.html

                http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...nto-blade.html

                http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...rta-lkbck.html

                and definately this one

                http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...ack-knife.html

                are illegal to own in certain areas of NC because they are over 3 inches,

                On a funny side note, IMHO most accidents are preventable if people follow commons sense, and for Scouts, the Whittling or Totin Chip rules.

                My expereince with a "ban" on knives was actually with my JROTC unit in high school. We were doing a field exercise the same weekend drill team and color guard had to do a ceremony, so I showed up late to the FX. While preparing for the FX, we received a list of things we could bring if we had them, and that included a knife. So when I changed from my blues to utilities, I attached my bayonet to my pistol belt, along with other stuff I had.

                When I showed up to the FX, I got a lot of stares, and eventually someone told me the Senior Marine Instructor confiscated all the knives after the battallion CO cut himself on his knife when he was goofing off. So I had better but my knife out of site. While I saw the bandaged hand on the battalion CO, I also saw his knife still on him and thought my friend was joking. So I ignored him.

                Eventually my cadet captain comes up to me and says I need to put the knife away or the SMI will confiscate because the CO cut himself. When I asked why the CO still had his knife on him, my cadet captain shrugged and said, only cadet officers and SNCOs would be allowed to have knives, and since the CO was a cadet lt. colonel, he got to keep it, despite being the cause of the ban.

                My knife then moved from my pistol belt to my pants belt, and was discretely covered by my utility coat. I know one Marine Instructor knew i had it on me, and I think the SMI may have noticed the knife, but nothing it wasn;t confiscated.
                Last edited by Eagle92; 02-20-2014, 09:50 AM.

                Comment


                • #13
                  I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.
                  .... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

                  exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.
                  a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.
                  ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

                  I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

                  Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

                  Comment


                  • perdidochas
                    perdidochas commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We tell boys to carry a whistle for emergencies. I know in my time outdoors I've never used one. We tell them to carry compasses for emergencies. I've never used one excetp for training. There is no good argument against using reasonable sheath knives, that also doesn't preclude us from carrying emergency equipment.

                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I've used a compass outside of training scenarios while a Scout. I certainly think one can argue about the necessity of a sheath knife in a survival situation, especially while back packing. I carry a sheath knife only while backpacking, mainly for shelter construction where a folding knife is too small, but a hachet or ax is too heavy for backpacking.

                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My sheath knife has a compass in the hilt! (And, I recently discovered, it screws off to expose a chamber with matches.) It's part of one of my smaller tackle boxes. A younger relative gave it to me.

                • #14
                  Originally posted by blw2 View Post
                  I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.
                  .... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

                  exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.
                  a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.
                  ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

                  I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

                  Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.
                  it makes your kit alot lighter
                  this is really helpful hiking when every lb. matters

                  and thanks for that i will keep it in mind

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Quemadmodum gladius nemunem occidit: occidentis telum est. A sword never killed anybody: it is a tool in the killers hand.
                    Seneca the Younger

                    I echo what jblake said, I've been using a Western make Boyscout sheath knife, alongside a swiss army tinker for over 40 years now and I find it very useful for splitting out fire boards, flipping small pancakes, once had to cut a splint with it.
                    BUT there are some scouts who have ( how do I say this?) anger issues?, emo problems? fear of being disrespected? who I would not trust with a dull stick.
                    A SM's first worry is the safety of the boys in his charge, it is much simpler to place a blanket ban on things that can be used as weapons, than to decide, on a case by case basis, who is safe and who is not. How would you instantly evaluate the new crop of cubs that bridge every spring? Perhaps you might propose allowing the older scouts to carry fixed blades say 14 years old and up? Just patrol leaders? OA members? (with a beaded sheath) with SM approval of course. All it takes is one scout doing one stupid thing and the call goes up to do something, do anything to prevent it from happening again. One troop in my area refuses to allow scouts to chop wood anymore, because someone had an accident years ago. In fact I attended one IOLS where they would not teach the adults anything that had to do with axes, too dangerous they said. Sad but true.
                    Last edited by Oldscout448; 02-23-2014, 08:07 AM.

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