Brittany and her husband, Alan Keller, do a lot of camping. They also love to cook. So when planning a trip, at the top of their packing list are their very nice and sharp knives, including a versatile Japanese Santoku.
For years they made do with wrapping their knives in a kitchen towel. “Our knives have come to cook with us all over California, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and New Mexico … but when we booked a month-long wilderness and van camping trip in Argentina and Chile’s Patagonia region, we had to seriously step up our knife-packing game” said Brittany. “We were going to be traversing rugged terrain on horseback for a week, staying in a remote cabin fly fishing for four days, and then exploring the Carretera Austral in southern Chile in a two-person camper van for two weeks.”
“. . . being a believer that most problems can be solved through better design, I got to work in my studio to build the best traveling knife case possible.”
“A kitchen towel can keep your knife safer than nothing, but being a believer that most problems can be solved through better design, I got to work in my studio to build the best traveling knife case possible. It would have to be simple and relatively lightweight, exceptionally durable, and easy to pack, use and clean” she continued.
After multiple prototypes she arrived at an ideal two-knife leather case for convenient and safe knife transport. The interior sheath is made of thick, stiff leather to protect the blades from bending. The outer case cover is durable yet pliant to allow for movement in soft luggage. The closure is a simple wrap-around strap – the easiest and quickest closure that avoids fiddling with a buckle or possible damage to the knives from a snap.
After a month of heavy use cutting up whole lamb and goat asados with gauchos, filleting trout, and slicing up Chilean fruits and veggies, Brittany gives the case an enthusiastic two thumbs up. “It fit nicely in a saddlebag, resists water, is easily cleaned of grit, grease and food bits, and kept our knives in perfect condition.”
Necessity is indeed the Mother of Invention.
Brittany will be selling the travel knife cases, along with handcrafted leather bags and accessories, at the Bay Area Made Holiday Market at The Barlow in Sebastopol on December 9. More details here.