Monday, May 3, 2021

Buck Knives releases S35VN version of the Classic 119 Special

Photo credit: Buck Knives ©2021

Buck Knives has just released a super groovy version of their classic 119 Special in S35VN Supersteel. Called the 119 Special Pro, the knife includes an eye-pleasing green canvas micarta handle, black leather sheath, and a polished nickel silver guard and pommel. 

Photo credits: Buck Knives ©2021

For more information visit:

Cold Steel Discontinues the Outdoorsman Lite Knife


Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

Right as Cold Steel perfects the Outdoorsman Lite, they discontinue it....

Sad news for fans of Cold Steel's Outdoorsman Lite. Cold Steel has discontinued the knife and removed it from their website. I was able to confirm this directly from Cold Steel's customer service department recently.

This is a shame, because in its most recent iteration (the 2021 model), Cold Steel finally perfected the Outdoorsman Lite, turning it into one of the best wilderness survival blades on the market for the money.

Photo credits: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

With an average street price of just $28.00, the Outdoorsman Lite is packed with cool features that make it wilderness-friendly. 

It sports a 6" long, 4mm thick blade, full tang construction, an exposed tang at the butt end of the grip, a robust tip capable of handling bushcraft and wilderness survival tasks, a 90 degree spine capable of striking a firesteel, a comfortable and secure rubberized grip, and a sub-zero cryo quenched German 4116 Stainless blade (a fine-grained stainless that is similar to Mora's 12c27 Stainless in performance). All in a package that weighs just 8.3 ounces total with the sheath. 

(Photo courtesy of Cold Steel)

Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

The evolution of the Outdoorsman Lite -- 2011 to 2015

When Cold Steel first released the Outdoorsman Lite back in 2011, it came with a thinner 3mm thick blade and weighed only 5.2 ounces without the sheath. The original sheath consisted of cordura nylon. Although it was capable of being used for survival purposes, this lack of blade thickness made some Cold Steel fans shy away from buying it for serious wilderness use.

Vintage photo courtesy of eBay

2016 - New Polymer Sheath

Starting in 2016, Cold Steel replaced the original cordura nylon sheath with a Mora-esque polymer sheath:

Photo credits: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

Unfortunately, this sheath, which has been used on the Outdoorsman Lite until this year, was too secure and lacked a thumb ramp, making the knife difficult to draw from the sheath. Thankfully, this issue was fixed in the 2021 model (see below).

2019 -- Blade Thickness Increased from 3mm to 4mm

In 2019, Cold Steel increased the thickness of the Outdoorsman Lite's blade from a thinner 3mm wide to a very respectable 4mm, roughly the same thickness as a Marine Kabar Knife. The tip was also widened during this change. 

Photo credits: Juraj Čikkel from the Cold Steel Nation Facebook Forum. All Rights Reserved. © Juraj Čikkel 2021

This is also resulted in a tip that is more robust than Cold Steel's SRK model (SRK on the right, Outdoors Lite on left):

Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

This change also increased the weight of the blade itself from 5.2 ounces to 6.5 ounces.

Here is a comparison of the 2021 4116 Stainless Outdoorsman Lite and 2020 4034SS Stainless Outdoorsman Lite next to a Kabar Marine Fighting Knife and a vintage Cold Steel SRK in AUS8:

From Left to Right: Marine Kabar, 2021 Outdoorsman Lite in 4116, Cold Steel SRK, 2020 Outdoorsman Lite in 4034SS. 

Note that the tip is thicker on the 2020 model 4034SS Outdoorsman Lite than on the 2021 4116 Stainless version. 

 2020 -- Blade Steel changed from German 4116 Stainless to Japanese 4034SS Stainless

Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

In 2020, Cold Steel changed the steel from German 4116 to 4034SS Stainless, a steel that Cold Steel describes as "A Japanese made medium grade stainless steel that admirably resists corrosion due to its higher Chromium content. It is also relatively easy to sharpen and features a moderate degree of wear resistance. Often it is used for kitchen cutlery or for smaller knives that are of a generally good quality but are economically price."

One of the curious differences between the 2020 4034SS Outdoorsman Lite and the 2021 4116 version is the level on polish between the two. The 4116 Outdoorsman Lite is (bottom) clearly more polished and with darker lettering than the 4034SS Outdoorsman Lite (top):

Photo credits: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

The 4034SS version has more of a polished matte finish whereas the 4116 has a bright, mirror polish that is even more noticeable in person. 

Because Cold Steel only changed to 4034SS for one year and then went back to 4116, most online knife stores have had difficulty in correctly labeling their listings for this knife. From my recent experience, anything that is labeled as either steel will actually be the 2021 4116 German Stainless version, not the 4034SS. 

The only place to my knowledge that is still selling the 4034SS version is Midway USA, which is selling the factory second version of it. These were probably sold in low numbers, so if you can still find one, they may become collectible at some point. 

Changes to the 2021 Outdoorsman Lite - Perfection at last

For 2021, Cold Steel corrected the sheath problem by making it easier to draw. I would compare the draw of the 2021 sheath to be similar to my Mora knife sheaths. In other words -- very good overall. 

The other major change for 2021 was switching back to German 4116 Stainless and giving the blade a mirror polish. 

Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2021 All Rights Reserved

The edge geometry is also excellent on the 2021 Outdoorsman Lite. I did a direct comparison of its wood carving capabilities next to a 2021 Cold Steel SRK in SK-5 Steel recently. I found the Outdoorsman Lite to be notably superior to the SRK. Whereas the SRK was only adequate for wood carving, the Outdoorsman Lite excelled. So good that I would compare it as being close in performance to some of the Swedish Mora knives in my collection.

Final Thoughts

I don't think the cat is out of the bag yet that the Outdoorsman Lite has been discontinued. If I were you, I would grab up one of these cool and unique knives while you can. With its features and light weight, and a tip that's thicker than Cold Steel's SRK, this knife would make an excellent mountain survival, bushcrafting and hunting knife. 

4.5 out of 5 Stars -- Highly recommended

So what do you think? Was it the right time for Cold Steel to discontinue the Outdoorsman Lite? Will other classic Cold Steel knives end up on the chopping block soon? Leave a comment below!

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the Founder and Senior Editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is an Army veteran, former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and the author of Edible & Medicinal Survival Plants of the Rocky Mountains Pocket Guides. Jason has also written articles on bushcraft and survival for The New Pioneer and Backpacker Magazine Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ (without spaces)

Monday, April 12, 2021

Photos missing from certain posts

Hey friends, Jason here. Just an FYI that during my absence, Google blogger removed or disabled some of my photos from certain reviews. These are photos that are copyrighted to me, so it does not appear that they were removed because of a perceived copyright violation, but because Blogger is an older program that has some bugs in it. As such, I am going to have to spend time re-uploading many of these photos to fix the issue. 

Thanks for your patience!


Sunday, April 11, 2021

So where has Jason been?.......

Friends, it's great to see you again and thank you for continuing to support RMB with your comments during my long absence. Unfortunately, I got a bit sidelined after some of my military injuries caught up with me. So I had to spend some time at the VA getting evaluated/service-connected as well as doing some physical therapy/exercises before I could come back to Rocky Mountain Bushcraft.
I am more limited now in what I can do because of my service injuries, but the good news is, as long as I stay within those limitations, I can return to sharing my adventures with you about wilderness survival skills, bushcrafting, tips & tricks and knife reviews. In fact, I am looking forward to figuring out how to do more with less gear, doing it on a budget, and sharing all of those juicy details with you.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Reader Email: Pistol Scope on a Chiappa Double Badger 410/.22LR Survival Rifle, Great Versatility

(This email was recently sent to us from Gene in Wisconsin. Gene wanted to share his experience with his Chiappa Double Badger 410/.22LR folding survival gun and how he mounted a scope on it):

Dear Rocky Mountain Bushcraft,

This is my set up. 22LR/410.

I bought one of the first ones and found Savage mounts at Walmart that were a perfect fit. I have a Simmons pistol scope mounted on see-through mounts and this setup is awesome.

I own a hundred guns, and if I could only own one, it would be this one. Here in Wisconsin, this is the gun I use for everything except deer hunting. If it was legal to use the .410, I would use it for that as well. In a survival situation, I definitely would.

I can get 1 inch groups at 50 yards with the pistol scope if I do my part. I have found that using .22 Shorts are very accurate and for small game hunting, they are great because they are so quiet.

With this setup, it is still under 6 lbs. Out of all the combo guns I’ve had, this is the lightest. My Savage Model 24 .17 HMR over 20 gauge was over 9 lbs, and I had a Baikal .22 Mag over 410 and that was 7.5 lbs. For me, the double triggers makes this the best set up over all the other combo guns. No switches to fumble with, with just pull and shoot.

FYI - 1/2 of the Ruger 10/22 scope mounts are a perfect fit, so I went to Walmart with that half and matched them up with a pair of Savage mounts that worked perfectly.

I also took the rear peep off and replaced it with a notched Williams Fire Sight. I’m just not a fan of peeps.

Very versatile gun with .22 Shorts, Longs, Long Rifle, and CB’s. In the .410, Birdshot, Buckshot, Slugs. Pretty much a gun that will take any game in the USA.

Love reading your web page.


EDITOR'S NOTE- Great information- thanks Gene!

If you would like to check out RMB's original review of the Chiappa Double Badger 410/.22LR Survival Rifle, click HERE

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Italian Army Wool Officer's Blanket vs Regular Italian Army Wool Blanket

Left: Italian Army Officer's Wool Blanket. Right: Standard Italian Army Wool Blanket (the dark black markings on both blankets are faded maker's marks) Photo: ©2018 Rocky Mountain Bushcraft

Bushcrafters LOVE wool blankets for their versatility in the field. One of the blankets they particularly like for this role are the surplus Italian Army Wool Blankets.

The Italian Army Blankets were available for many years from surplus stores for dirt cheap prices ($10 a piece in some cases). Weighing in at roughly 5 to 5 1/2 lbs, constructed of 100% wool, tightly woven, and built like a tank, they work great as a general purpose field blanket.

The Italian Army Standard Wool Blankets in use circa 1985:

Unfortunately, the supply of these blankets, like most quality military wool blankets, has dried up over the years and have become more difficult to find. The Italian Army blankets in particular have become highly sought after, fetching upwards of $100 to $200 per blanket on eBay and online forums.

As rare as the Italian Army Wool Blankets are, the Officer's version of Italian Army Wool Blanket is even more more difficult to find.

The Officer's Blanket has a distinctive star on it (see main photo above), is generally lighter in color, is longer than the standard army blanket by 10" to 15", and noticeably heavier. Dimensionally, my one Officer's blanket is 96" X 67", and the other is 98" X 66". How much heavier are these  blankets? One weighs 7lbs 12oz, and the other is 7lbs 14oz. That's nearly 8lbs of pure wool! 

By way of comparison, a large 4 point Hudson Bay Wool Blanket generally weighs 6 to 6 1/2 lbs:

Photo credit: Jason Schwartz/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2018

So the Italian Officer's Wool Blanket, at 1 1/2 to almost 2lbs heavier, is one serious field blanket!

Despite its weight, the Officer's blanket actually packs down much smaller than a Hudson Bay because of its dense, tightly woven construction. To give you an idea of just how small it will pack down, here is one of my Officer's Blankets next to a smallish 100% Wool USGI Army Blanket:

 Left: Italian Army Officer's Wool Blanket. Right: USGI 100% Wool Blanket
Photo credit: Jason Schwartz/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2018

That's a seriously small package for nearly 8lbs of wool! My rolled up Hudson Bay blanket is twice this size. 

As cool as these Officer's blankets are, they are extremely rare unfortunately. In fact, they are so rare that I could hardly find any information about them, even on bushcrafting forums. 

Photo credit: Jason Schwartz/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2018

To add to the confusion, it seems that a lot of people think that the regular Italian Army Wool Blanket is actually the Officer's model. As you can see from the main photo and from the differences in their size and weight, they are actually quite different. 

Hopefully, this post will help clarify these differences in case someone should run into one of them at a yard sale, estate sale, online, etc.

If you happen to own one and can add to this information, please leave a comment below. 



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Review coming soon...... Barco-Kelly "Perfect" Felling Axe

Rocky Mountain Bushcraft now has 4.7 Million Pageviews- pretty cool!

Cool photos from RMB reader in British Columbia, Canada

Hey friends, hope you are well.

Check out these cool photos from RMB reader Joe SB Smith from British Columbia, Canada!

Joe was one of the winners of the Rocky Mountain Bushcraft Liberty Bottle Giveaway recently. He took these cool photos and wanted to share them.

Thanks Joe!

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you'd like to grab one of these cool bottles, I've listed them for sale at the Rocky Mountain Bushcraft eBay store.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

GIVEAWAY!-- Rocky Mountain Bushcraft-themed Liberty Bottleworks 32oz Water Bottles- Made in the USA!

Hey friends!

Jason here.

I wanted to let you know that I am GIVING AWAY two brand NEW Made in the USA Liberty Bottleworks ROCKY MOUNTAIN BUSHCRAFT THEMED 32oz ALUMINUM WATER BOTTLES, retail value $24.95, to two lucky RMB followers.

Liberty Bottles are 100% Made in the USA from Deep-Drawn recycled Aluminum. They feature an easy to use 1/4 turn on/off BPA-Free cap, an easy to drink from wide opening, and an FDA-approved flexible food grade coating inside the bottle.

I have been using these bottles for years, and I love them. The opening is the perfect size to drink from- not too small, not too large.

For more information about Liberty Bottles, check out my June, 2012 review- Gear Review: Liberty Bottleworks 32 ounce Aluminum Water Bottles


Each bottle features one of three popular survival/bushcraft tips from RMB:

(click to enlarge)






NOTE!: You must have a regular Disqus comment profile so I can contact you after the winners are selected. 

The two selected winners will each receive (1) RMB themed Liberty bottle of their choice (White, Aluminum, Tan, or Army Green). 

The giveaway will run for approximately 2 weeks, and end on Wednesday October 25th, 2017 at 6pm MST. Winners will be announced 24 hours after the end of the drawing. 


1) To enter the giveaway, you must do the following-- a) Leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite RMB post/article is, and which Rocky Mountain Bushcraft Liberty Bottle color you like best. You must post it using a regular Disqus commenter profile so that you can be contacted after the drawing ends. Sorry, anonymous profiles will not be counted.

3) Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

4) Two winners will be selected from the comments section using a Random Number Generator, and will be announced here on Thursday October 26th, 2017.

5) RMB reserves the right to announce the winning screen names in the prize winner announcement post.

6) Winners will be contacted through their Disqus registered email address. You will have 5 days to respond to the winner notification. You must provide a valid mailing address so that we can mail you your prize. If a response is not received within 5 days, Rocky Mountain Bushcraft reserves the right to rescind the offer and offer the prize to another giveaway participant, which will be determined by running a second Random Number Generator sequence.

Me with the crew from Liberty Bottleworks at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Show:

Good luck!