Thanks, Snaildarter. I always carry my K-Bar back in the mountains, but I rarely use it. I guess I carry it just b/c I've gotten used to it and I think it makes me look cool. I only ever use it cut a green branches to carry fish and I sometimes use the hilt to pound on tent stakes. I always have a Leatherman but I use that only slightly more often than the big knife. The knife I find myslf using all the time fishing is a small folding box cutter that fits comfortably in my front pocket. It takes replaceable and reversible razor blades and is great for cutting line, cleaning fish, or cutting rope. If I use one of the other two, it is usually a result of having done something stupid immediately prior.
As far as length of stay in the mountains: how much do you want to carry and how long are you willing to eat instant mashed potatoes? You'd be suprised at how many days of food you can carry if you don't change your clothes and just carry rice. If you want to put a little more time in on the front end, you can measure out how much instant potatoes and how much dehydrated milk you need for each meal and put that in its own zip lock. Every baggy is a meal and depending on how many you carry is how long you can stay. Every meal, bring a pot of stream water to a boil, dump in a baggy, and a spoonful of butter flavored Crisco and dinner is served. If you have fish, so much the better.
To cook the fish, clean them leaving the head and fins on. Melt some of the Crisco on your skillet over low coals and place the fish in an empty trash bag with a little bit of the flour. Shake. Place the fish on the skillet and wait till it curls or is brown and then flip it. It is done when the flesh flakes off the ribs in chunks. Eat the fins, eat the skin. When you're done only the back bone, ribs, and head remain. Fresh trout and mashed taters eaten out of a pot with a wooden spoon, all passed around the fire on a summer evening after a full day on the water: there's nothin' better. Only thing left is to look for your buddy's pack where you stashed the booze...
Life is hard. But it's a lot harder if you're stupid.