How to pick the best camping knife

By Ian Carroll
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Finding the best camping knife is about more than just convenience, it’s about wilderness safety. If you don’t have a good blade on your belt, you’re not prepared for long trips in the backcountry. Don’t get caught off guard in the woods this season. At your local outdoors store, you can find an affordable camping knife for under twenty dollars. Or if you’re looking for some quality steel, the best camping knife will last you years of heavy use. However, it can be hard to choose the best camping knife that would suit your needs out of the hundreds of options on the market. Most people don’t have time to do all the necessary research. There’s a lot to learn about knives before you buy.

That’s why we’re going to break it down for you today and make finding the best camping knife easy. Because there’s no one best camping knife for everyone. It depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. So we’ll go over all the features you should consider, all the things you might not know, and a number of the best companies on the market today. Keep reading if you’re looking to sharpen your knife knowledge to the cutting edge.

The best camping knife for you

 

Once you find a knife you love, you’ll never let it go.

 

There are a lot of designs out there. The knife is one of the oldest weapons and tools there is, and humankind has been honing the art of knifemaking since the blade was first invented thousands of years ago. So, needless to say, by now knives are pretty advanced. From rust-resistant steels designed to hold an edge to lightweight components that weigh practically nothing, the technology has come pretty far.

When it comes to choosing the best camping knife for you, the biggest decision you need to make is whether you want a fixed blade or a folding knife. Fixed blades are stronger and can handle more burly tasks like splitting wood. However, folding knives (also known as every day carry, or EDC knives) are lower profile, lighter-weight, and better for daily use in and outside of the backcountry.

Fixed blade knives

camping knife
A small, simple fixed blade, perfect for the hip.

The fixed blade knife is one of the most valuable tools you can carry in the backcountry, especially if you’re camping or backpacking. There are countless places to find a quality fixed blade. From the thrift store (if you’re lucky), to the latest technology at the outdoors store, fixed blades are timeless. Many of the best-fixed blades are older than you and still cut like the day they were forged. If you come across an old Buck or Ka-Bar knife, you’re probably holding a piece of history. Not to mention that it’s probably one of the best fixed-blade camping knives out there.

The big consideration when it comes to choosing a fixed-blade knife is size. Do you want a massive cleaver that can do the job of a machete? If you’re traveling in densely forested or tropical terrain, it might be useful to be able to do a little bushwhacking along the way. However, if you’re just looking for a good blade for camping, keep it small and simple. Great brands to check out when it comes to fixed blade knives are Buck, Ka-Bar, and Cold Steel. But don’t let yourself be limited. There are a lot of great blades on the market today.

EDC camping knives

 

camping knife
When you’re in the woods, usually the best camping knife is small and lightweight.

EDC (or every day carry) knives have become incredibly popular in the last couple of decades. Not just for camping, but for daily use. These are pocket knives which flip open and closed. They are usually extremely lightweight and low-profile so that they fit easily and comfortably in your pocket or on your belt. An EDC camping knife is a great option if you want your blade to be of use in your daily life, not just when you’re camping.

Although they are mostly smaller and less sturdy than a good fixed-blade knife, these blades can take care of all your basic knifework. The best EDC camping knife holds an edge well, sharpens easily, and is durable enough to last for decades. However, even entry-level EDC knives are of surprisingly high quality these days.

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