The first thing is that you may have to re-shape your knife edge then sharpen it. Some steels just wont sharpen, or if they do, they will not hold an edge. SURGICAL STAINLESS STEEL, blades for the most part are 420 stainless, and they do not have the carbon content to hold an edge. They are tough and make good pliers, but they are gooey and gummy and will not hold an edge.
If your blade has been used until you have a thick round edge surface, then re-shaping the edge is in order before you even begin to try to get it sharp, I agree with the Lansky. If you work an edge then hold the knife edge up to a light and you can see a shine down the edge, then you have not gotten the edge reshaped yet. If you can file the edge, then likely the steel is too soft to hold an edge.
I polish my edges in with a belt grinder. But, for field use, I carry a Lansky kit. Begin with a coarse stone with plenty of oil and work your way down until the knife will slice paper without snagging.
Whittington Center Life
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