I carry canned foods when camping to minimise my load, especially if I will be moving around with my luggage.
I also ensure that I have carried as little weight as possible by leaving some items behind if there are alternatives — no matter how inconvenient they can be.
A good example is using a pocket knife as an alternative to a can opener.
Since a pocket knife can perform other functions and still help me open my food cans, there is no need to carry both as there are many more items to carry in my backpack.
But, how do you use a pocket knife to open a food can?
That’s what I will be covering in this article.
How to Use a Can Opener on a Pocket Knife
Though small, you can open a food can using a pocket knife if it is sharp enough. Below are the steps to follow.
- Step 1: Place the can upright on a flat surface. Ensure to hold the knife firmly so that it does not slip out
- Step 2: Grasp the pocket knife in a vertical position and ensure that the tip of its blade is touching the inner edge of the can’s lid. Ensure that your pocket knife knife’s tip and edge are sharp.
- Step 3: Use the palm of your free hand to pound the knife’s pommel. Alternatively, you can use a piece of wood to hammer the knife in. Avoid slamming too hard as you can slip your hand and get hurt.
- Step 4: Place the knife on another point and repeat step 3 above to make another puncture. Continue repeating this until you have punctures all around the lid.
- Step 5: Use the knife’s edge to carefully pry the lid off the can. For safety reasons, you should not use your fingers because the jagged edges are sharp.
- Step 1: Start with puncturing a hole in the can and puching the blade along the can.
- Step 2: Move the can in a counter clockwise motion cutting along the way.
- Step 3: Use the tip of your pocket knife to pry open the can
- Step 4: Leave one small piece of the lid still attached to serve as a hinge.
Why This Skill is Important
There are many reasons why you should learn the valuable skill of opening a food can using a pocket knife. Below are some of the reasons.
Most people believe that such skills are for people who go hiking and camping, but the reality is that they can also be useful at home.
You can experience a power blackout at home, meaning the only option is a manual procedure, like using a knife.
Learning the skill can help you in case of such a scenario.
Unlike crack-style manual can openers, pocket knives have fewer moving parts, making them less prone to breakages.
A pen knife is also more durable than an electric can opener.
Easy to Clean
I prefer carrying a pocket knife instead of a can opener when camping because it is easy to clean.
Since a knife is a simple flat piece of metal, you don’t have to worry about food getting inside hard-to-reach areas. I simply wipe my pen knife with a cloth after use.
You can Carry it Almost Anywhere
Another advantage of learning how to open food cans using a pocket knife is that you can carry it almost anywhere.
Most people may forget to carry a can opener when packing items for camping, but very few will forget their pocket knives.
Therefore, the knife will be an alternative any time you forget your can opener or in case it gets damaged.
How To Use The Can Opener On A Pocket Knife
There are numerous methods of opening a can without an opener, but a pocket knife is the quickest if you have the skills.
If you ever find yourself with unopened canned food but no opener, you can use the procedure above to open food cans with your pocket knife.
The process may not be as convenient as using an electric opener, but it will get the job done.
Remember to avoid the jagged edges when handling the can.
I am an independent safety and survival expert and consultant. I have over 15+ years of experience working with corporations and individuals to help identify, remediate and prepare for threats and and disasters. I help clients understand risks and blog about my thoughts and techniques at DisasterShelters.net