For the month of August, I wanted to do a one-knife carry challenge. I wanted to carry and use just one knife throughout the entire month. Having some difficulty in choosing which knife, I posted a poll and let you all decide for me. The Pacific Salt SE won.
Now I had already done an exclusive carry challenge with the Pac Salt SE, last year. It was that experience that really woke me up to the usefulness and utility of a fully serrated blade. So I knew that this would not be a difficult challenge for me.
As anticipated, I had no issues to speak of with the knife. I kept it sharp, using the Sharpmaker, preferring not to microbevel. My daily use is not very rigorous so the H-1 was acceptable.
However, as the month wore on I discovered something I had not really anticipated, not about the knife but about my own understanding about the nature of the challenge.
Back before I got into Spyderco, I carried a single knife - a Kershaw Chill - for about 8 or 9 years. During most of that time, I worked in construction, and I used that knife extensively. I carried it every day. It has traveled in my pocket from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canadian lakes to the Caribbean. It was in my pocket on our wedding day. With so many memories attached to it, that knife had, unknown to me at the time, become more than just a tool. It was a faithful and familiar companion.
Once I fell down the Spyderco rabbit hole, that connection was broken. Very soon I had more knives than I could possibly carry. A new steel, a new design - meant a new knife purchase. I joined the forum here and with that, all hope of recovery went out the window. It was, and still is, a lot of fun.
With that fun of new discovery, however, came a price - the lost connection with my knife as a familiar companion. With so many knives to carry and use it has become impossible to use any one knife exclusively enough to bring back that experience. Which is why I feel the urge sometimes to do these exclusive carry challenges - it's an attempt to bring back that lost connection.
Now the interesting thing is, I found that as I settle into one of these challenges, as I become more familiar with that one particular knife, my interest in the wider knife community wanes. I spend less time on the forums, get less excited about new releases, and my interest in knives in general diminishes.
It's as if a prerequisite to having that one-knife connection is a general disinterest in knives in general. Which seemed counter-intuitive to me at first, but upon reflection makes a lot of sense.
It was an unexpected dichotomy: to have one means I must give up the other. It seems that I can't have that one-knife connection again as long as I remain a knife afi. But I still want both.
First world problems?
Apologies for the rambling post.