A veteran adventurer like Bear Grylls might be able to clear trail with a full-size machete as easily as most people trim their fingernails. For the rest of us, a weekend spent swinging a big blade like that is a quick way to make enemies with whole set of shoulder muscles you never knew you had. Which is why Gerber paired down the Bear Grylls Compact Parang to more packable, convenient size.
Modeled after the tool Indonesian tribesman have carried into the jungles for generations, the Compact Parang is Gerber’s shoulder-friendly answer to the standard, full-size machete. By combining Gerber’s decades of experience crafting tools and Bear Grylls’ adventure knowledge, this stout, sturdy blade acts as a lumberjack on the trail and a surgeon around camp. It can whack through thick grass and woody brush all day, then chop vegetables and whittle fire starter by night.
The Blade: Small and Sturdy
The size and shape of its 1-pound blade focuses weight toward the tip for more power behind every swing. And with a high carbon steel, full tang construction, it’s not going to bend, bow or wobble when it strikes hardwood. Its compact 9.3-inch blade makes it easier to handle in dense underbrush.
The grippy, rubberized handle fills your hand, and the oversized bolster and butt on either end of the handle keeps the tool snug in your palm, swing after sweaty swing. Finally, just to be on the safe side, a lanyard cord slips around your wrist for that last measure of no-slip insurance.
When you’re not using the Parang to break trail or open a coconut, slide it into its military-grade, mildew-resistant sheath and strap it to your belt or the outside of your pack.
On the back of the sheath you’ll find land-to-air rescue signals. It also comes with a copy of Bear’s “Priorities of Survival” Pocket Guide to help you focus your attention on the details that matter most when you are in a jam.
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