MAKING A WOODS KITCHEN WITH THE GASPER 4 AND GRANITE GRILL
Rewild Gear is an outdoor gear company specializing in adventure. It offers gear that all works together and complements a camp, covering some pretty important must-have items. The gear consists of a fixed-blade knife and a titanium grill, which are the standout pieces.
Rewild also offers a stainless steel telescopic pocket bellows, ferrocerium rod with a bamboo handle, a folding titanium utensil (spoon, fork, bottle opener), pyro balls for wet weather fire igniting, and a handsome trucker’s cap to keep you shaded and cool.
The guys at Rewild Gear believe that humans are wired deep down to be in the wild, to have an adventure, to take risks. They are a company that stands out from the rest for one reason, especially.
Rewild Gear is comprised of four brothers from South Central Kentucky—Adam, Seth, David, and Josh Spears—who have taken their passion for the outdoors to the next level.
Keeping quality gear and conservation in mind, they built Rewild Gear into a company focusing on high-end, minimalistic outdoor equipment that gets us back into the wild. Rewild is a verb meaning “to reverse the process of domestication, to return to a more wild or natural state.”
The Gasper 4 knife has a 4-inch blade, symbolizing the four brothers who built the company. With an overall length of 8.84 inches, it tips the scales at just over 8 ounces with sheath.
Rewild Gear chose S35VN for the blade material based on a year of testing others and concluding that this steel best encompassed what they felt was needed for a hard-use outdoor knife. Every particle is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, yet it will hold an edge longer than most types of steel, so you get both, not one or the other.
The stonewashed drop-point blade features a flat grind for versatility, with an extended blade belly for skinning. The knife also includes spine jimping for choking up and detailed tasks.
The handle is a generous 4.78 inches long and equipped with Tero Tuf scales (orange and gray). Even when wet, this is a tacky material, yet less toxic and lighter than Micarta scales. The combined glass breaker and nutcracker pommel with a lanyard hole are there when you need them.
The ferro rod striker notch on the spine is there for easy fire starting ability. This feature is a signature of Jason Tietz, who designed the Gasper 4 with Rewild Gear. The notch can be seen on Jason’s previous design work for the White River Knife & Tool’s Firecraft series.
The Rewild Gasper 4 knife is outfitted with a Kydex sheath and belt loop attachments for vertical or horizontal (scout-style) carry. The knife was named after the Gasper River, which flows through South Central Kentucky where the four brothers spent many hours kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and swimming its streams. Choosing a name for their knife design, it was evident that the Gasper 4 was the best choice.
Gasper 4 Knife
Knife Weight: 4.5 ounces
Total Weight: 8 ounces
Blade Steel: CPM-S35VN
Overall Length: 8.85 inches
Overall Height: 1.29 inches
Handle Length: 4.78 inches
Blade Length: 4.07 inches
Thickness of Blade: 0.125 inch
Blade Angle: 20 degrees
Blade Style: Modified drop point
Blade Grind: Flat, bevel grind
Blade Hardness: 59 HRC
Blade Finish: Tumbled stonewash
Handle Material: TeroTuf
Sheath Material: Kydex
Sheath/Belt Attachment: Kydex
At 18 inches long, 7 inches wide, the titanium grill has a unique patent-pending flat design that includes two separate cooking sections. The center section has cross tubing ½-inch apart for smaller items such as vegetables and smaller cuts of meat, while the outer tubing sections have a larger spacing of 1 inch for larger items such as brats, chicken, or fish fillets.
This is a compact, ultralight, versatile campfire grill, weighing just under 12 ounces and measuring 0.2 inch thick.
“The Granite Grill offered flawless performances, and like the Gasper 4, it was left outdoors during the entire testing process.”
A canvas sheath is included with the Granite Grill that has some multi-function uses as a flame fanner in addition to protecting your gear from grill debris. The total weight with canvas sheath is 16.5 ounces.
Weight: 11.9 ounces (16.5 ounces total)
Length: 18 inches
Width: 7 inches
Bag Material: Canvas
For about four months, I used the Granite Grill and Gasper 4 knife on several day camps and overnight trips in the colder months. I always prefer late autumn and winter for being in the woods as the heat, people, and bug count are lower.
In my opinion, this is the best time for a meal cooked over a campfire. I used several different cooking configurations, but my favorite was to use the grill over a bed of hardwood coals suspended by two large stones. This setup supported skillets, kettles, and some type of meat.
“To say the notch on the spine was sharp would be the understatement of this article; it was on another level!”
Every hearty campfire meal starts with a good fire. I used oak and maple as my fuel, along with poplar and hemlock as my kindling. During the fire prep, the canvas sheath for the Granite Grill kept my kindling and small fuel off the damp ground.
The cookfire was made by placing two stones about 14 inches apart, allowing the grill to hover roughly 8 inches above the ground.
I processed the heavier hardwood (wrist-thick) pieces using a baseball bat-swing against some large boulders and wedging them in the crotch of a tree to snap them into pieces. With a bucksaw, I cut a few lengths of seasoned beech about 7 inches long and split them using the Gasper 4 and a heavy maul.
The spine is rounded from the tip to the notch, saving your maul from shredding up. It also provides a comfortable grip towards the tip for delicate skinning tasks. These split pieces would be put on the low flame and coals directly under the Granite Grill, which has a 7 inch width.
Processing tinder was done in three different ways over the months of testing. To say the notch on the spine was sharp would be the understatement of this article; it was on another level!
I used dry poplar and fatwood to get some very thin, super flammable shavings. I pounded the Gasper 4 securely into a piece of wood (spine up) and drew poplar and fatwood back against the spine to make shavings—and make shavings it did.
When using a ferro rod on the spine, lightly, it would make long, thin shavings that would ignite like firecrackers in July once a full stroke was made with the rod. I also used the knife in a conventional way and made feather sticks holding the knife in a fist grip. I used all parts of the blade to get different textures on the feathers.
After heavy rain and ice storms, I didn’t bother with softer wood making tinder or kindling. I went after a sizeable downed oak and the Gasper 4 in a drawknife position by stabbing the tip of the knife into a stout stick and using it as a handle in conjunction with my other hand on the knife. It produced beautiful curls and gave me a tremendous amount of control. I used the Rewild Gear Tinder Ridge Ferro Rod to ignite the tinder and start the camp cookout.
The initial high flame was used to boil creek water in a kettle on the Granite Grill as the coals were being established. This was the time to start some food preparation—slicing peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pork. The thin flat grind excelled in the food processing department. Needless to say, the Gasper 4 was definitely made for slicing.
Once the fire died down, the Granite Grill was used to rake coals evenly for cooking. The grilling area is generous, allowing for a relief area towards the sides. While grilling kabobs, bacon, or SPAM, there was always room for a small frying pan or kettle without overcrowding. Thanks to the tight squares on the grill, no food was sacrificed to the fire gods.
The titanium never warped despite the campfire’s high temperatures in use and while cleaning food debris over flames. It cooled down relatively fast, but leather gloves are best for safe handling.
The Granite Grill offered flawless performances, and like the Gasper 4, it was left outdoors during the entire testing process. Neither showed any rust or damage, even after being buried under snow and hung from trees in harsh weather.
The Gasper 4 knife and Granite Grill work in tandem to make many successful camp cooking adventures even better. The S35VN held an edge for a long time and came back to optimal sharpness with little effort.
The sheath was comfortable wearing it on a belt scout style and didn’t get in the way of cold weather clothing layers. The Granite Grill remained solid and provided ample space to cook and boil. For a reliable, lightweight, indestructible grill, the Granite Grill can’t be beaten.
Rewild Gear is a small family-owned business specializing in high-quality, lightweight, durable outdoor gear. The four brothers hope to instill that love for nature and the outdoors into the next generation, and they are off to an excellent start.
3-IN-1 TRAILSIDE UTENSIL
The Trailside Utensil includes a full-size fork on one end and a spoon on the other end, with a bottle opener for when you need it. The ultralight three-in-one utensil folds up into a compact 5.35 inches and weighs only 0.85 ounce.
Rewild chose titanium because it’s strong, lightweight, and the healthiest metal to use in a utensil. The unique locking mechanism also locks into place to add even more strength and durability.
Weight: 1.02 ounces
Length (extended/folded): 8.75/5.35 inches
Handle Width: 0.4 inch
Spoon Width/Length: 1.45/2.2 inches
Fork Width: 0.98 inch
Tine Length: 1.25 inches
Bag Material: Canvas
DESIGNER’S CORNER: JASON TIETZ
Jason Tietz is an industrial designer with 15 years of experience ranging from medical design to knifemaking and even graphic work. He looks at design with a simple, modern, and inventive twist while holding to the “less is more” perspective while creating timeless designs.
He graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA focusing on Industrial Design. Jason went on to Artisan Medical Displays to begin his career designing and developing surgical trainers, simulators, and anatomical display models collaborating with surgeons, doctors, and medical marketing teams.
While working at Artisan Medical, Jason created Tietz Custom Design LLC. Tietz Custom Design has contributed to design projects for companies such as White River Knife & Tool, Beretta, and Rewild. Tietz Custom Design has expanded and developed some of its own product lines, including the Moby bottle openers and the Firecraft line of outdoor gear.
When it comes to sharpening stainless steel, I used to be intimidated. I think a lot of people are … and for a good reason. Quality stainless steel knives remain sharp considerably longer than cheaper knives but are usually more challenging to sharpen.
Stainless steel such as the Sandvik 12C27 found on many Morakniv knives sharpens up quickly, almost like carbon steel. Victorinox also uses softer stainless steel, making for an easy sharpening process. S35VN is a different breed of stainless steel, however. The Gasper 4 has a blade hardness of 59 (HRC).
The trick I found with any steel is not letting it get dull before sharpening. It took a long time for the Gasper 4 to become noticeably less sharp. I used only a Wazoo Viking Whetstone Pendant made of Arkansas Novaculite (medium fineness 600-800 grit) to get the S35VN back to hair popping sharpness. The pendant has a small surface area, so I made small circles and applied relatively light pressure, which worked.
Wazoo Viking Whetstone Pendant
Material: Arkansas Novaculite (600-800 Grit)
Size: 1.9 x 1 x 0.25 inches
Leather Length: 1/8 inch thick, 41 inches untied
Grind Shapes: Four
Rounded Edge: For spoon/hook knives, gouges, seatbelt cutters, fingernail cutters, concave blades, large serrations
Beveled Edge: For saws, deburring, small serrations
Hook Groove: For hooks, needles, awls, spearpoints, gigs
Flat Lap: For general purpose, plain-edged blades
A version of this article first appeared in the June/July 2022 print issue of Knives Illustrated.