BucketTalk Ep 47 | Kaila Cumings

Kaila Cumings



This week on Bucket Talk, Eric and Jeremy talk with custom knifemaker, hunter and survivalist Kaila Cummings. Hailing from New Hampshire, Cummings is a self-taught knife maker who you may have seen on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid and Naked and Afraid XL. Listen in as Kaila chats with our hosts about teaching herself how to forge, a lifetime of preparation for being naked in the woods and much more.

View the transcript


Born and raised near Keene, New Hampshire, Kaila got her start doing knife reviews on YouTube. After some time reviewing the work of others, she decided it was time for her to learn how to make knives herself, so she sold her gun and knife collections and taught herself how to forge. From there, she says, the rest is history. 

“I started off by doing knife reviews on YouTube. And then I kind of just fell in love with it. And I was like, you know, if I want to be reviewing other people's products, I really should know how to do this myself.”

While knives may have given Kaila her chance to make a name in the trades, it was just the beginning. Having grown up hunting and shooting, she was uniquely prepared for survival. Discovery Channel took notice and, in 2015, recruited her for its show Naked and Afraid. While growing up in the woods of New England certainly prepared her to be a survivalist, she went with a unique training regiment to survive naked in the wilderness for 40 days. 

“But honestly, the biggest thing I do to prep for these challenges is I just gain a lot of weight. Got it? Yeah, I just fatten up; so I eat a lot of McFlurries and cheeseburgers and pizza. That's my favorite part of the training.”

Since returning from her adventures with the Discovery Channel, Kaila has really dug into the knife-making business, forging knives not only under her own brand, but by collaborating with other brands on custom lines. She’s also interested in upcycling old metals to make new knives. She made knives for the players of the Boston Bruins using their old skate blades and a knife for a veteran who lost a leg in Iraq using the metal rod doctor’s used to keep him together. All of this keeps her busy, but that’s how she likes it. 

“I mean, honestly, every day is an adventure for me. So it's not good when I get bored. So if I spend too much time out in the shop, which I tend to do, I basically live out here.”

These days, she has carved out a space for herself in the industry that allows her to do a ton of custom work, forge knives for herself and spend some time getting out and about with her daughter, being outdoorsy and going on metal detection excursions. Oh yeah, she also loves breaking into abandoned asylums.

Visit Kaila's social links