Self-grooming is never on the top priority list of a Prepper, it is often seldom considered or thought about. Due to the nature of survival situations, most of which they are never fully planned out, nor are they well supplied.
However, in these instances, having the knowledge needed to shave with a knife’s blade will become incredibly useful. As easy as it sounds on paper, it is actually dangerous to shave hair by using a sharp knife.
Getting a close shave will mean you will be passing over your skin with a knife that is sharp enough to cut skin like paper. Passing over your throat will be as hazardous as it sounds.
This article will help those interested in being able to make the most of a knife while avoiding the more dangerous accidental cut; to the jugular.
Dangers to Look Out for
While the shaving with a knife might be your only option, this is not to say it is not the most comfortable shave. So unless you have already become accustomed to shaving with a knife, expect irritation and a chance to get a couple of cuts. Also, article reader be warned, If your hand is not steady, it can be even more dangerous. As a simple twitch of your hand while shaving your neck might prove detrimental to your well-being.
What Kind of Knife to Shave
There is a multitude of knives you can buy, with endless customizations. It is best to use a knife that has a single side blade, is the best for its ability to both closely shave and use the dull side as a thumb grip, that can limit the chance of cutting your skin and increase stability.
A two sided knife would not be effective, as it has no way to grip the knife if you had to push on a particular patch of hair. Any type of blade, from stainless steel to carbonized steel, would work perfectly well as long as they are sharp.
How to Prep Your Knife
Disinfecting your knife is one of the most important parts of correctly shaving. While in a survival situation, cleaning alcohol would be effective but difficult to find.
Alternatively heating the steel until it is very hot, or closer to smoldering will also be very useful.
Sharpening your knife should be next on your to-do list, as a dull blade will not cut any hair off your face. This can be done with a whetstone or sharpener.
Should I Use Shaving Cream?
Obviously shaving cream will be incredibly useful to stop irritation, but since you will most likely not have that on hand, but regular soap and water will suffice. This will ensure your skin will not become incredibly sensitive and decrease the potential to develop a rash. You can technically not use a shaving cream nor alternative, but this will be very uncomfortable and it would be easier to shave down to a stubble.
The Correct Way to Shave With a Knife
While having a different way in shaving, does not change when using a knife. As your old man probably taught you, going against the grain means more pain, but following the grain means a cleaner shave. To begin, holding your knife firmly in your hand, keeping your thumb on the dull side of your knife, as to lessen the chance of slipping. Then you should begin by slowly and methodically using the middle of the knife’s blade, at an angle comfortable to you, and begin to shear downwards.
This action is done just above the skin, to ensure you get the closest shave to your skin while also avoiding breaking skin. After going a once over, you can move on to stroking upwards this might be irritating so only use with tough patches of hair.
After successfully shaving, apply lotion to the area. If this is not possible, cold water will suffice, as this will close your pores. Again any alcohol should be used to disinfect the location in which you shaved. Be sure to disinfect your knife as well as it can be used for other endeavors or once again for shaving.
Having the skills to make due with what you have is paramount in any situation. Whether it might be creating a fire, or knowing how to hunt. Being able to understand another bit of survival knowledge can help you in the long run. Besides another survival skill under your belt might prove more than a little useful, especially when your facial hair starts to reach Castaway levels.