Get It in Gear: SOG Jungle Canopy

George Thwaites • May 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

With a 10-inch stainless steel blade and an overall length of 15 inches, the Jungle Canopy is larger than a Finnish leuku but more compact than most machetes. Its clean, flat spine, 19 tenths of an inch thick, extends for 9 inches of the blade’s full length before it finally starts narrowing toward the hollow ground point.The first 3 to 4 inches of blade from the choil upward is a sweet spot for finer cutting, such as peeling cedar for tinder nests or making those ubiquitous feather sticks. The choil itself is a handy focal point for fine work. The lower edge is the area most easily kept hair-popping sharp (especially if the knife is to be used for a lot of chopping).All sharp tools demand care but chopping wood with any knife requires particular diligence and forethought. Bleeding profusely is never a good survival strategy. The arc of every stroke — even when clearing light foliage — demands undivided attention. While heavy for a knife, the Jungle Canopy does not possess the inertia of an ax or hatchet and the extra exertion can gradually cost the user some control. This thing could slice a big hunk out of flesh.Fortunately the Canopy’s 9 inches of sturdy spine offers a generous area for safe and steady batoning. When splitting firewood lengthwise, the hollow grind can be more prone to binding in thicker chunks of wood. With a little field time, however, one soon figures out how to bite off just what the Jungle Canopy can chew. This is true of any field knife.The full-length tang is enclosed in kraton handle, which is identical on all the Jungle Series knives. It offers a comfortable, firm grip with “digi-grip” texturing to improve retention. A serrated steel pommel juts from the bottom of the soft grip. Most woodsmen would find it cumbersome to field-dress small game with a blade this big and broad, a task that usually benefits from more precise control. This is not really a strike against the Jungle Canopy, A well-prepared individual ought to always have a decent pocket folder or light, compact fixed blade in his or her possession as an EDC knife — which the massive Jungle Canopy ain't.The secure nylon sheath provided with the knife features a utility pouch that easily accommodates a Leatherman Blast multitool, a Swedish FireSteel and a DMT Mini-Sharp diamond stone. That’s only one combination out of many possible. The sheath offers several possibilities for creatively stashing quite a bit of 550 paracord.When approached as a primary personal survival knife, the SOG Jungle Canopy probably won't appeal to adventurers who've come to appreciate shorter, defter blades. But when viewed as a premium stainless steel short machete, the Jungle Canopy's virtues become quite evident. It's all about perspective.

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