Camping is a great way to get out and experience nature. You can rough it in the outdoors with friends, family, or alone and enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods. However, camping is not necessarily easy. A lot of your experience will vary depending on the gear you bring, and unless you’re a survivalist, you’re probably going to want to pack up! One of the most important things to have with you in any outdoor living is a camping knife. They have a variety of uses, including self-defense, cutting wood for fire, or even meal prep.
Are you planning a camping trip but don’t know what knife to choose? Do you need one with survival tools, or just a straight blade for cutting? How big does it need to be, and what should it cost? These are all questions that new campers may not know. Fortunately, we can help!
In the following piece we’ll go over what to look for when buying a camping knife, as well as some of our picks. Happy browsing!
Depending on what you need it for, you have some choices for a camping knife.
Price – Your first consideration will likely be your price range, as knives can vary greatly in their costs. Generally, a higher-quality knife will last longer than a cheaper option, but unless you plan to use it regularly, you may be able to get away with a cheaper knife. For most good-quality camping knives, you can expect to pay between $35 and $250, depending on your requirements. This is the range our recommendations will fall into as well so you can be confident in our picks.
Folded or Straight – Next, you can decide if you would prefer a fixed blade or a foldable blade. Fixed blades are generally stronger when full-tang (metal entirely through the handle), but need to be kept in a sheath for protection. A foldable knife opens itself up to damage because the knife needs to fold to work. If it rusts or it doesn’t open, you may have trouble using it. However, they are safer and more convenient to carry.
Size – Now that you’ve narrowed your choices down, you can consider the size of your knife, including the blade and handle. For most camping knives, 8-12” in total with a 3-5” blade is the recommended size to be able to perform most actions comfortably. Larger and heavier knifes are better for chopping, while smaller and lighter knives are easier to maneuver so be sure to consider what you need it for.
Materials – Your blade can be stainless or carbon steel, both with their own benefits. Carbon steel can become sharper more easily and is more durable than stainless steel, but rusts more easily. Your environment and intended use will determine which is best for you.
Your handle should be made of a sturdy yet comfortable material so that it doesn’t hurt your hands from use. Rubber is often used to cushion the handle, as well as bone for sturdiness. You want something that is comfortable, provides great grip, and looks good (primarily the first 2).
Now that you know what you’re looking for, we can review some potential choices to consider. We’ll give you the good, the bad, and what you need to know about each.
There is a lot to take into account when trying to decide which is the best knife for camping. The first thing you will need to consider is your price range, as that will affect the quality of the blade you can look for. It also does not hurt to look at the warranty for the knife to know that your investment is protected. Once you have a range, you can choose a knife that will fit your hand comfortably, and that comes with the necessary gear for you.
Also, no matter which camping knife you decide on, you are going to need to take care of it properly. You need to know about knife sharpening and details on how not to damage the blade during the sharpening process.
If you are a beginner, the Bear Grylls Survival Knife will be great because it is cheap and includes extra survival and camping tools. If you have a little bit more to spend, the Benchmark Bushcrafter is one of the higher quality knives available. However, what works best for you will vary from others, so be sure to try a few out until you find one you trust your life with!