The story of SOG Knives‘ inception began in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. This special unit was known as MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group) and its existence was once wholeheartedly denied by the US Government!
In my opinion, the SOG Aura Camp Knife is one of their most interesting designs and it features an overall length of 11” and a 6” drop point blade with a hollow sabre grind made from 5/32” 7Cr13MoV stainless steel hardened to a Rockwell Hardness of 54-56.
In addition, this knife features an extremely ergonomic, 5”, glass reinforced nylon handle that has been overmolded with a soft, Zytel rubber and which contains a small removable carbide sharpener. Last, the knife is supplied with a ballistic nylon sheath with a Velcro closure.
According to S.O.G., the blade of the Aura Camp knife is based upon the original knife designed by Rezin Bowie for his brother Jim who made the original design quite famous by using to win a fight that took place on a sandbar in the Mississippi River near Natchez, Tennessee.
Also, I noticed that the S.O.G. website lists the shape of the blade on this knife as a clip point which would be in keeping with what we commonly consider the bowie knife design to look like – not like a traditional pocket knife. When you examine the tip of the SOG Aura Camp Knife closely, you will clearly see that it is closer to a clip point than it is a drop point.
Regardless of the type of point the blade has, the entire knife is extremely well designed for use as a dedicated wilderness survival knife. For instance, the drop point creates a very strong tip and it places the tip of the knife closer to the center line of the blade for better control when using the tip for precision cutting tasks. Also, the hollow sabre grind creates a very sharp edge and the miniature ricasso allows the edge to be sharpened all of the way to the back for better leverage when sharpening stakes and cutting notches for traps and snares. In addition, the integral quillion prevents the user’s fingers from inadvertently sliding forward onto the edge of the blade.
Also, even when the shape and design of the handle require a partial tang rather than a full tang, the resulting ergonomics are well worth the sacrifice of some blade to tang strength. Consequently, the glass-reinforced nylon handle has been molded to be a very close fit with the human hand. The soft Zytel rubber coating gives the handle a very positive and very comfortable grip. Plus, the glass-reinforced nylon handle incorporates a small cavity where a small carbide sharpener for the blade is housed.
Last, although I have looked and looked online, I have been unable to find the composition of 7Cr13MoV stainless steel used on this knife, but according to the SOG. web site, it is the equivalent of 420 and 440A stainless steel and thus, it is a tough steel rather than a hard steel with moderately good edge retention and corrosion resistance. Consequently, it is perfect for the intended purpose of a camp knife/survival knife that will see hard use.
Therefore, in my opinion, the SOG Aura Camp Knife is a very well designed and well made knife that would serve the user well as a dedicated wilderness survival knife. Also, while the six inch blade may be a bit short for anything more than light chopping tasks, this blade design excels at smaller tasks such as carving and skinning. In addition, while you may need to use the integral carbide sharpener occasionally to retouch the edge, this steel is very unlikely to chip or break when put to hard use and thus, it is a good choice for its intended purpose.