See the Blade Magazine blog post here.
A visitor to some of the world’s most dangerous places, Robert Young Pelton is more than simply a modern-day adventurer. He places himself in harm’s way to bring relevant perspective to the armed struggles that continue to grip various regions around the world.
Also known by his initials of RYP, Pelton has become a recognized figure, discussing his experiences on major television networks, producing documentary films, and writing several books (includingLicensed To Kill, among others) to commemorate his experiences, and providing practical survival techniques and training tips to a vast audience of readers. During his travels, he has lived among the Taliban and Somali pirates and ridden alongside CIA and private contractor personnel performing security and investigative functions in the war-torn regions of the Balkans, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
His latest venture is the founding of a knife company, DPx Gear, specializing in rugged, versatile knives specifically suited for combat, rescue and survival in hostile environments. At the most recent BLADE Show, the company won the Blade Magazine 2012 Most Innovative Imported Design® for the HEST T3. Through it all, Pelton has maintained a healthy respect for the function and necessity of the knife. His understanding of its uses as a tool and as a weapon has come from practical experience, literally in the line of fire and in dangerous situations on a regular basis.
“I don’t have a military background,” Pelton commented during a recent interview. “I actually began my career as a copywriter and then worked with Steve Jobs on the launch of the Mac computer and then with the Upper Deck baseball card company in marketing.”
When he subsequently decided to take a month off work, Pelton picked a random spot on the map and decided to strike out on his first adventure. From there, his series of expeditions grew rapidly into an industry, an industry fraught with high risk—but in his mind, high return as well. Practical experience led to the realization that a high-performance knife is an essential component of the adventurer’s package and to Pelton’s involvement with DPx. He designed the HEST (Hostile Environment Survival Tool) as a result of his experience, and the subsequent product line reflects his time in the field.
“As you start out, you have that moment when you’ve got to get your stuff together, right?” he winked. “Traveling in dangerous places and war zones means you aren’t able to carry a lot, and I was looking for something that would work not only as a survival knife that works when you’re lost and rubbing two sticks together, but also something that works for defense if somebody jumps you.”—BY MIKE HASKEW
To read the complete story on RYP and his world travels, check out the digital version of the December BLADE®. For info on how to get your digital copy, click on www.shopblade.com/blade-dec-2012-digital-issue?lid=SSfbbl101912
CAPTIONS FOR ABOVE PICTURES, FROM TOP:
1) Robert Young Pelton with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, 2001. (photo courtesy of RYP)
2) Pelton and his DPx Gear won the Blade Magazine 2012 Most Innovative Imported Design for the HEST T3 folding knife. (Point Seven photo)
3) RYP interviews Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. (photo courtesy of RYP)
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“Are you afraid of the drones?” I ask.
“I am not afraid because I am putting my life for my country,” he answers.
I’m not totally buying it. Although the fighters I’m with are young, they’re well-seasoned. They fought in the 2011 Revolution, but now they really don’t have a plan on how to deal with this new threat. All while being partly encircled by the forces of General Khalifa Haftar.
The folding knives I design for DPx Gear carry a similar look. Beefy, utilitarian and thick. A number of customers that are used to more traditional knives are surprised when at the heft and feel of their first DPx product. Imposingly well built and yet balanced when used. It is not by accident.
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