Sosakonline Archive

Please note that all content in this section has been imported from our old Sosakonline website and may contain broken links. We are revising it as we can, but these things take time, and it's a lot of content to get through!

    This month’s collectable is something of great interest to me, despite it really not being all that special overall.  It was the defining factor in all of what we have built here on SOSAKOnline, the SOSAK Forum at and other sites that have spun off from this one.  Since I wasn’t the originator of SOSAK I can say without a doubt that there would be a Secret Order of Swiss Army Knives, but I imagine it would have been very different from the one we have today if it weren’t for this knife.

Many thanks to PTHCRPG for the Canadian Ranger decal in the background!

    This month’s honoree is my trusty old Camper, which was my very first SAK, and for about 20 years was my every day carry knife, my knife and tool education, and my embodiment of the knife that almost all of us have had.  For each of us there was a “Camper” whether it was a Bantam, a Tinker, a Soldier or even another brand or type of knife/tool, but we all had one that ignited our interest.  

    My Camper came to me in a very roundabout way.  In the early 80's, back when my father was a warrant officer on a small base in rural (very rural- the base could be walked around in an hour or so, and all you could see beyond it’d borders was farmland, farmland and more farmland!) Manitoba he had sent one of his sergeants to observe with a UN contingent serving in the Golan Heights.  My father asked his sergeant to pick him up one of the knives that a Finnish unit had made for them, which were readily available to the troops in the overseas equivalent of a PX.  When the Sergeant returned he had not only brought back a Victorinox Champion model with “FINBATT UNDOF” on the scales, he also had brought two smaller knives for my brother and myself.  That Champion is also currently in my collection, and will likely be featured in future articles.  Of course my mother, as most mothers would be, was horrified, but we were as careful with the knives as kids could be, and we carried them.  

You can see how well the Camper's blade (top) has held up over almost 20 years of use

    It was years before I knew what the model’s name was, but it rarely left my side.  I often played in the local woods and brought the knife to cut branches for tree forts and the like, and I can’t imagine not having had this knife available to me throughout most of my childhood.  The few times I was without it I quickly learned the importance of a high quality tool, which is a lesson I have never forgotten to this day.

    This model is an early 80's vintage (My father says it was ‘83, but I am certain it was older than that) and has held up remarkably well through the years.  The blades are somewhat ground down and the scales have seen better days, but there is no reason this knife couldn’t be pressed back into service at any time.  In fact, I have only retired it because I can’t bear the thought of losing this piece of my history, and after about two decades of carry, the sheath isn’t as secure as it used to be.  This knife has served me well over the years, and will always be one of the most important pieces in my collection, despite having a monetary value of less than a cup of coffee.