Survival Machetes for My BOB

survival macheteGerber Bear Grylls Parang or Cold Steel Kukri survival machetes

When it comes to edged weapons and tools, a lightweight survival machete is my top pick for Bug Out Bags.  The question you should ask when choosing a blade is: “What blade will serve the widest variety of applications, considering weight, durability, and cost?”

For my personal Bug Out Bags, I use either the Cold Steel Kukri or the Bear Grylls Parang (or mini-Parang) survival machete. The Gerber Parang is effective and very affordable at about $40 retail.  The Cold Steel Kukri, I have used for nearly a decade, has served extremely well but is not stocked at as many retail stores and costs a bit more at about $45 retail.

Cutting Efficiency and Sheaths

Out of the box, the Cold Steel Kukri is superior to the Gerber Parang, and both are easily carried in most backpacks.  The sheath on both machetes is sufficient and accommodates easy removal and replacement before and after use.  Either survival machete makes quick work of chopping medium size branches and trees, but I have found that the Gerber takes a bit more effort than the Cold Steel (this may be a result of different blade curvatures and/or the out of box sharpness).

I currently carry the Cold Steel kukri in my BOB and keep one mini-Parang in each BOB per family member (the mini-Parang is more conveniently sized for smaller family members).  Either of these machetes are more than adequate for almost all of your basic cutting and chopping tasks.

As always, the level of care and maintenance you put into your gear, the better it will perform its required task.  Make sure to keep your survival machete blades lightly oiled (carbon steel is prone to rust) and sharp so they are ready to go when you need them.

About the Author


Greg B. is the president of Survival Tactics NOW! providing professional consultation in survival planning and emergency preparedness. He is an ardent outdoorsman and wilderness survival enthusiast.