I could feel the water trickling down the hammock and onto my back. I checked my watch. 12:04 a.m. Oof. I’d only been in the jungle for 12 hours, and I’d only drifted off to sleep 90 minutes ago. Yet the steady stream of water felt like the jungle’s way of laughing out loud at my efforts to tame it. The Amazon beat its mighty chest, drop by drop on my little shelter, then drip by drip down my back. I’d had enough. I unzipped the mosquito net, fumbled for my headlamp, then stumbled to the squishy ground. I quickly found the leaking hammock line and accepted my fate: I had rigged my tarps perfectly to have water drain precisely down my back. Niiiice. The cure— a complete rebuild in a downpour—would cause more soaking than the current stream . I went back to bed and accepted my fate. In the morning, I broke camp, relocated, and did it better. Full reset. 

My first night in the Amazon jungle of Brazil was a prelude to a week of voluntary adventure and minor suffering. I’d chosen this experience, even the dripping water down my back. You see, I own Knafs, a pocket knife company— my circus, my monkeys— and I’d just spent the last 18 months chained to a desk designing, iterating, and creating knives. At a desk. Computer. Keyboard. Video calls. Sure, a knife design must pass through those corporate halls. But that’s not where a pocket knife thrives. Or a pocket knife designer for that matter. I needed more hands-on data. More understanding. More grit under my fingernails and bug bites on my legs. So, when my friend Joe Flowers of Bushcraft Global invited me on a touristy expedition into the jungle of South America, I had to go. The experience was wild. And crazy cool. I walked away with fantastic life experiences, and a 28 minute vlog about the people and places: 

 I’m typing this on a plane headed to Blade Show Atlanta— the world’s largest knife show. No one attending that event will actually neeeed a new knife. It’s a hobby. And I love it. But I suppose my hope is the people buying my knives also plan an adventure around the tool. Or a whittling project. A memory. Go somewhere. Do something. And I can only hope this new memory includes a small waterfall rolling down your back at midnight. Because I’ve learned those are the best kinds of memories. 

If you’re interested, we also spent some time making additional videos. Give it a watch:



June 13, 2024 — Ben Petersen

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