Home / Alternative Beliefs / Ever notice how natural areas transform with neglect and indifference?

Ever notice how natural areas transform with neglect and indifference?

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It’s midway through March and in rural Ohio, the weather is bipolar at best. And as the weather toys with my emotions, being 70-degrees one week then snow the next, the desire to roam and explore natural areas grows to an almost unmanageable level. I miss the feel of the warm morning sun on my face as I trek through forgotten forests and I yearn to feel the peace that time in Nature brings. Soon, very soon.

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Have you ever happened upon an area of woods where oil or gas extraction is occurring? Or someone had dumped piles of trash? If so, you probably have noticed the way the place feels different. The trees are sparser, and they grow different, and all sorts of hard, thorny vines and rosebushes grow in all gnarly-like. It’s as if our negativity, our neglectful actions, have transformed the area and made it as hard and ugly as our own indifference.

Recently, I’ve come in contact with an area like that, not far from my new home in the rural woods of eastern-central Ohio. Someone had dumped loads of roofing tiles and trash, large rusted trash cans, and it’s just disgusting. The whole area is overgrown with thorned bushes and vines, and when I came across it, a vile, unhappy sensation seemed to creep up my neck. It made me uneasy, and I was filled with a mixed sense of wanting to flee, and wanting to battle the negative presence away. This may sound like some hippie, new-ager nonsense, but to anyone who has spent real time in Nature, this feeling and sense is real. The positive and negative energies of a place are, at least for me, more about the noticeable details that my eye sees and the feeling I get when I am experiencing it, than it is about some mysterious aura. (But then again, perhaps that is all aura is.)

So, when I was hiking a week or two ago, on one of those 70-degree days, I came across a large patch of woods that had been mistreated and left covered in garbage. This time, I was ready, with a sense of purpose and a large survivalist knife at my hip, I was ready to battle the negativity. It took sometime, but I bagged up the garbage, and carried out what I could, but not before I had to cut through the ranging bramble of thorny bushes and vines. I am not one to needlessly harm the environment, but when you com across a patch of earth like this, it’s best to clear away the corruption. I used my CRKT chopper knife and cut through the bushes, clearing my path to the rubbish.

I will return to this spot again, and weed out the harsh vegetation once more, before planting trees. And within a year or so, that once saddened area of forest, will be like a whole new place. Sure, it will take decades to repair the damage wrought by others, but as long as there is positive progress, the battle of good versus evil will momentarily become balanced – at least in this small forest.



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You might be wondering what sort of blade one needs to do the whole jungle slashing motif, and while they range from massive bowie knives to choppers and beyond, I must ask that you pause and choose purposefully before doing something even remotely as damaging as I describe above. My action in the sequence of events above were dictated by a desire for greater good.

My knife of choice for clearing thick vegetation is the CRKT Karen Hood Chopper. This is a serious knife, for only the most dedicated and experienced survivalists and wilderness trekkers. No everyday Joe needs a knife of this caliber. But if you’re an avid camper, wanderer, or hunter, the Karen Hood Chopper may be perfect for you. I’ve only had mine for a short time, and must say that it is a pretty righteous blade…

The KHC design is pleasing to the eye and the ergonomics are perfect. My hand fits into the ridges of the wood handle perfectly, which provides me with a strong grip and utmost control. The blade is thick and made in the US with quality in mind. The overall appearance of the KHC blade is that it’s a serious, wicked blade with some serious intentions. I found the chopper to be the perfect sidekick for my wilderness treks, alongside a smaller fixed blade. The fine folks over at CRKT had to have been inspired when they created this blade. It’s similar to a traditional bowie knife, but the Karen Hood Chopper has its own look and attitude about it. 


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I’ve used this blade for a couple of weeks now and have found almost nothing to criticize about it… Except for its sheath. Every bit of the blade and handle are made in the States, but the sheath was made in China. Never am I the guy to thinks ‘only quality products are produced in America,’ and NEVER will I be that guy. In this case, all I am saying is that the difference is noticeable. The craftsmanship of the sheath is fine, but it is of a woven fabric material, like a backpack. The sheath is no doubt strong, as it must be for this particular blade, but for a knife as fine as the KHC, I would have liked to see a finer, perhaps all leather sheath made available for it. Other than that, it’s a bad ass blade that I will use throughout my travels. Who knows, it may save my life someday.

If you would like to find out more about Columbia River Knife & Tool, click here.

Article written & Photos by Brandon Scott / Eye & Pen


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