By Nick Italiano
I had the opportunity to attend Blade Show 2022 in Atlanta with Knife Pivot Lube this year to help promote the new Knife Shield Product, and I am so glad I did! It was an intense two and a half days where I walked over 40 miles, talked to hundreds of people, met some folks I have known from the internet in person, and spoke with some of the makers I admire. What impressed me most was how well the outdoor community was represented at the show.
Being Balde show is one of the largest knife shows in the country, a number of titans in the outdoor knives industry were in attendance and showing off their amazing knives. I had the opportunity to meet LT Wright and pick up a very cool new knife from him. I also checked out some of the new offerings from The Woods Monkey, ESEE Knives, White River Knives, Freeman Outdoor Gear and TOPS Knives. There were a number of custom makers there as well including KPaw Custom Knives (see maker feature article here), 1558 Knife Co (see review here), and Corvus Survival just to name a few. I also got to see my friends over at Reiff Knives (F4 survival knife review here).
It was great to see so many outdoor knife makers there representing the outdoor industry and community, as I sometimes feel we are underrepresented in the greater knife community. Beyond just seeing the knife makers there, we also had a number of other outdoor gear makers in attendance including Wazoo Survival Gear, who hooked me up with their new Foraging Bandanet, PNW Bushcraft with their awesome waxed canvas gear and patches (review on their foraging pouch here), Georgia Bushcraft who is known for their wilderness skills courses, Vanquest and their backpacks and nylon gear, and JRE Industries who makes some amazing leather sheathes.
Something else that really stood out to me is the support these outdoor makers have for one another. Even those who could technically be considered competitors with one another embraced each other openly and helped to promote each other’s products and discuss ways they could collaborate instead of competing. I feel this is an overall theme among many of us in the outdoor community, sharing our knowledge, skills, and experiences for the betterment of those around us. By doing this we grow as individuals, we grow as a community, and we grow our hobby!
I hope this is a trend that keeps going, the outdoor community is a robust and diverse group of people with many different outdoor-related hobbies and skills. Whether it is hiking, camping, bushcraft, foraging, or backpacking our love of the great outdoors brings us together and the one tool that is fairly universal to all these activities is a knife. With that fact it seems like knife shows like Blade Show is a natural place for outdoors people of all kinds to congregate and meet one another.
For more on Blade Show 2022, be sure to check my upcoming article on the Knife Pivot Lube Blog!