Don Christensen was born in the Great Pacific Northwest, a region in western North America bound by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Rocky Mountains on the east. He grew up exposed to many aspects of outdoor life and was mentored by three outdoorsmen who instilled a natural woodsmen mentality in him.
His father was a commercial fisherman; sharing his knowledge of salt water fishing and the marine environment of the Puget Sound, while his step-dad grew up in the logging industry and later became a truck driver, educating Don on life in the forests of the Cascade Mountains and the Willapa Hills. As if having two fantastic dads to learn from wasn’t enough, his grandpa possessed all the woodsmen skills. Held in high regard to his grandson, he was a champion marksman in pistol, rifle and trap shooting. He crafted handmade knives as a hobby and Don owes his skills and artistic side to his grandpa.
Don shares his reminiscing - “When I wasn't on a fishing boat on the sound, I was on the beach collecting clams or mussels, anything edible. If not on the shores of the Sound I was on a boat in a lake trout fishing or on a river fishing for the elusive Steelhead. Or up in the woods camping and tying flies with grandpa. Often, we would Salmon fish off the coast in the Pacific. We even netted Smelt, so tasty! Come fall, hunting season! And all my dad’s loved to hunt. Our primary focus was on deer and elk with an occasional bear tagged and many pheasant and grouse to throw over the coals. It is easy to see how I gained a love and respect for knives”.
There was still one more person in Don's daily life and the biggest influence; his older brother Dale. The two were inseparable and grew up doing boy things like - building forts, souping up Hot Wheels, creating rockets or making hydroplanes and towing them behind their bicycles. Much of who Don is, was influenced by his brother's great talents, ideas, and kind nature. Don lost his brother in 2015 and would like to dedicate this page Dale.
RIP Brother, You Are Forever In My Heart - Dale, 5/10/61 - 12/5/2015
After graduating from trade school, Don packed a duffel
bag and journeyed to Hawaii for an extended work stay.
He lived in Kauai, aboard the Kan Tsui', a 90' ketch with a
20' bow sprit, weighing 110 tons. Below deck she was made
of 22 types of beautiful common/exotic wood. She was
home on anchor in Nawiliwili Hanalei Bay, or under way.
His new life in Hawaii was easy to acclimate to - Like his
birthplace, Kauai has mountains, rivers and a BIG ocean! He
left behind three dads but gained many "uncles" who all
made contributions to outdoor education in his new environment.
Wild pig and goat replaced deer and elk. Mahi Mahi, Ono, Yellow
Fin Tuna, Aku replaced Salmon and Steelhead, yet he still had a
taste of home because Bass and Trout, can be found in Hawaii
as well. New delights found along the shores include, Opihi,
Black Crab and Moonlight Pipipi. In the rivers and streams, he
can catch prawn, crayfish and freshwater muscles.
In 2005, after living more than half his life on Kauai, he moved to Oahu to join his lovely wife, where he still resides today.
For decades, Don was a serious competitive cyclist. In 2012,
he had his first back surgery, so to keep busy during recovery, he taught himself how to fabricate custom bicycle frames, which
helped him to stay connected the cycling world as he was no
longer able to train and compete.
After his second and most complicated back surgery in 2016, he
had an even longer recovery period and taught himself the stock removal method for hand-made knives.
In keeping grandpa’s memory alive, the Knife Bug Bit and
Christensen Knives was born!