A few weeks back over Memorial Day weekend, I was able to sneak away for a fun overnight at one of my favorite locations here in Indiana, the Hoosier National Forest. It's very easy to find your own nitch out in the woods when you have literally thousands of acres to choose from!
I brought along some new gear to play with and plan to post multiple reviews over the coming days, but today I wanted to focus on one item that I found both useful and easy to haul out. It's probably no secret that I've been a fan of Gerber Tools for a while now, so I wanted to bring out the Gerber Bear Grills Parang and put it through some heavy work and see how it would hold up.
When I pulled the Parang out of the high-strength bullet-proof plastic.. I found that the blade was nice and sharp right from the start. The first thing that stood out to me was the handle and the way you're able to get a good grip. The rubberized handle perfect for wet or cold hands that could use a little extra grip while working away at a chore. For added control, Gerber was kind enough to include a lanyard at the end of the handle that slips over your hand while using the Parang. Between The rubberized handle and the lanyard, it seems like dropping and loosing your grip on this chopper would be impossible. I used the Parang with both gloves and without with ease.
The blade itself is made out of a high carbon steel steel that is reported to resist rust and other types of corrosion. I'm never one to leave my gear out for any extended period of time, so testing this is out of the question :) I will say that the blade has the same coating that most Gerber blades comes with and from experience, it's solid, easy to clean and to sharpen when the time comes. The curved blade of the parang has been a popular tool for centuries around the world due to it's angle, weight and clearing ability. Gerber did a good job with this Parang, giving it a perfect combination of traditional functionality, along with modern features. Thanks to this Parang's full-tang blade length, it's boasts high durability which allows the users to clear away thick branches or vines with minimal effort.
The sheath that comes with the Gerber Parang is said to be of a military grade nylon. I will say that it does seem very sturdy compared to the sheath on my Cold Steel Kurki, but I think that a true military grade material would be a bit more sturdy. None the less, it's very well built and can take a serious beating in the bush. The few dirt stains I got on the sheath came of with just a few swipes of my hand. The built-in snaps and top Velcro strap holds the Parang in place nice and tight (something that is certainly lacking in other similar products) One thing I hate is your machete or some other chopper flopping around in it's sheath while your simply walking along.
Finally, along with Gerber's LIFETIME WARRANTY, You also get a small survival guide that would help out the average man or woman if they were stranded in a strange place. In all honesty, the survival guide didn't really bring out much excitement in me as I felt it was a rehashing of previously learned skills, but it's better than nothing! The guide folds up nice and small and fits into the plastic pocket, which features graphics showing hand signals that can be used in a survival situation.
In closing, I like what Gerber and Bear has done with this Parang. Adding modern features to a tried and true chopper whose style has been around for generations is a good thing! I would be happy bringing this Parang back with me into the woods anytime and using it to help clear camp, build a potential shelter and anything else that may come up.
Many thanks to Gerber for allowing me to work with this Parang and I plan to post a lot more about it as I get out more to put it through more work. Thanks for reading!