Survival Common Sense: Historic survival knife -Russell Green River

Three of us were on a backpacking trip to the Tetons when we came across a Mountain Man gathering south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A rendezvous in the tradition of the 1830s trading fairs was being held. There were a lot of authentic goods for sale, and I bought a replica Russell Green River knife.

A Green River doesn’t appear impressive. In fact, the knives look like they’d be more at home in the discount section of WalMart than in the Rockies. The high carbon steel blades have wooden handles and a remarkable ability to hold an edge. They remind me of the Old Hickory line of knives, another excellent, inexpensive cutlery line.

At the time, I was working on completing my mountain man getup. I already had a .50 Lyman Great Plains rifle, which is a look-alike to the famed Hawkin, and had made a powder horn and shot bag. My pants and shirt from my Civil War reenactment uniform crossed over nicely, as did my slouch hat. The Russell finished off the ensemble.

This outfit worked very well for hunting in Mississippi, and for several years the Great Plains was my number one deer rifle. The Russell was used several times for field dressing deer, and the subsequent meat cutting chores.

When I moved to Virginia, the Russell shifted scenes and became part of my eastern longhunter outfit. It complimented my .40 caliber flintlock rifle and mid-1700s clothing nicely and dressed out a lot of squirrels.

Leon Pantenburg is a good writer. This is better than his typical knife review as it isn’t as formulaic.

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Get a useful, historic survival knife | The mountain man’s Russell Green River