At the comfort of your kitchen, you can keep as many knives as you want and choose what is best suited for the task at hand. When camping, the need to carry as fewer things as possible (for you to enjoy the experience) requires that you bring only the best camping knives.
It seems pretty intuitive—bring the smallest and lightest knife you can pack into your other things and get on with it. You’ll soon realize, however, the need to select the best camping knives just as when all is set in the camping area, and you’re about to use your knife—that is when it is already too late to select one.
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Camping is an excellent activity—it exposes you to the harsh environment humans are initially exposed to before civilization, and it tests your ability to survive. Not that you need to hunt or exert so much effort to feed.
However, the environment that you’ll be exposed to during camping most likely requires some form of survival. Either you get your food from hunting or fishing, or you prepare some from what you brought with you.
Either way, you need a tool to cut and prepare food for eating. For that, you need to select a knife that is easy and comfortable to use, doesn’t require so much space and has nifty features that you can use during camping.
Often, when you are camping, you don’t have much of choice but to bring the least number of things. Even with knives, the most practical way is to bring only one. What knife, then, will you bring? Here are some important factors that you must consider:
Given a limited amount of packing space, you need to consider whether to bring a folding or a fixed knife. Fixed blades are easy and comfortable to use and can be utilized for hard-use tasks.
Fixed knives, however, consume a lot of space and can’t require particular attention when packing because of the risk they pose to safety.
Folding knives can easily be stored. You can even carry them in your pockets or your waist pouch. Although, you have to contend with it having small blades. Also, you can’t use them for hard-use tasks.
Some folding knives are larger and can be utilized for tasks that conventional folding knives can’t do. Finding a folding knife that provides nearly the same benefits of the fixed knife must be your top priority in selecting your one.
You need to decide between the two existing types of blades for camping knives based on what type of tasks you think you’ll have during camping. The most popular blade types are a serrated and Scandi grind.
Serrated knives can come in a combination form where the first half is a standard blade, and the remaining half is serrated. This type of knife is perfect for cutting vines or ropes or peeling fruits. The limited length of a particular blade limits the kind of tasks you can do with this.
A Scandi (short Scandinavian) grind is a variation of a flat knife but is a lot durable and stable and is capable of hard cutting.
There are other types of grind or blade, but we’ll only focus on these two because they are the best for camping. What we suggest is that you bring these two types of knives—one serrated and one Scandi. If it’s impossible to bring all two, then opt for Scandi.
In selecting the best knife, you have to consider the kind of steel. An ideal steel is one that is tough and resists corrosion. Metals react with acids, and you’ll probably deal with weak acids such as vinegar and lemon juice.
You need to select a knife that can withstand corrosion from acidic substances. You’ll also want a knife that doesn’t bend or break easily; one that you can use on both light and heavy-use tasks.
With so many knives on the market, it’s difficult to classify the shape of the knifes. Each differs from another in many ways.
In selecting the best knife for camping, consider the length. Choose one that is not too long and too short—one that can cut food, cut ropes or peel off the wood. Also, select one with just the right width.
Of all the knives featured in this article, the Morakaniv (or Mora), has a perfect size (4.1 inches)—not too small as to limit the task you can perform with it but not too big to be an issue with storage.
The Mora is made of high-carbon steel thus it sports extreme durability and edge retention. Combined with Scandi grind, the Mora can be used to carve and even cut wood.
This knife’s handle boasts of a high-friction grip thus allowing you to use this knife with ease even when wet. The patented grip design is also easy to handle and comfortable to hold.
To make up for being not a folding knife, it comes with a sheath that matches the handle in color. Of all the knives mentioned in this article, this knife is the cheapest. It also comes with limited lifetime warranty. Thus, we’d say that this knife is the best value for its price.
Aside from being small (blade is 3.4 in), which makes it easy to carry in pockets, this knife has two types of blades—one for each side. It has a serrated on one side and a normal blade on the other. Thus, you can use with for some tasks and a variety of materials.
You can use it to cut ropes, vines or twigs and peel woods. You can also use it to cut or peel food (e.g. vegetables, fruits) and prepare a fish.
It opens up easily and has a lock when folded up for security. It is an anodized aluminum and has a DLC coating enabling it to withstand corrosion. The handle is rough-reminiscent of sandpaper. Perhaps the purpose of the manufacturer is to improve grip.
Makers of Buck 110 prides themselves with the durability of their lives. As a testament to their dedication to quality, this knife has been around for more than 40 years now.
Similar to Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife, Buck 110 is also a folding knife. Unlike the other knife, however, it only has a single edge and sports a flat blade that gives an impression of a Scandi blade.
The handle of this knife is remarkable because it has wood inlays. Using it provides the same feel of using a regular kitchen knife. The Buck 110 is heavy for its size.
One of the best qualities of this knife is that it can hold its edge. Buck 110 undergoes a unique manufacturing process and metal treatment that allows it to be durable and to retain its edge even after being used for long.
Compared to the first folding knives, the Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife has the shortest blade. Remarkably, this knife is durable and has an excellent edge retention. With its size, you can easily sharpen this knife.
There are a lot of applications for this knife during camping. One would be to cut ropes and prepare food. This knife, however, can’t be used to carve or cut sticks or small wood due to the size of its blade.
This knife is an improved version of Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife when it comes to durability, aesthetics and corrosion resistance. Compared to its predecessor, the Spyderco Tenacious Folding Knife has DLC coating that enhances its corrosion resistance. Also, it’s made of the highest materials, so you’re assured of the durability of the blade.
The grip of the G-10 handle is improved, as well. Thus, you can use this knife even when wet.
The sharpness of the spidey-hole has somewhat decreased. Perhaps, Spyderco based their improvements on the feedbacks. Still, this knife is small to be appropriate for all camping tasks. It might be great as an additional tool that you can bring during camping—but alone, it can’t serve all purposes.
In choosing the best knife for camping, one important factor that we considered, in addition to factors such as aesthetics, durability and corrosion resistance, is versatility and usability.
Aside from being the cheapest among the choices we listed here, the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife with Carbon Steel Blade has the perfect size, shape, and durability that can allow it to be a versatile and useful knife for camping.
It can be used to prepare sticks and woods for erecting tents, scaling and cutting fish, peeling and cutting fruits and vegetables and virtually any other task. With this, you won’t need any other knife.
With Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife with Carbon Steel Blade, you get the best value for your money. The only drawback with Mora is that it’s not foldable. But since it’s a camping knife and because it comes with a great sheath, that drawback is well addressed.
Do you agree with our verdict? Do you prefer another knife? Have you had any experience with another knife for camping? Please let us know your comments and suggestions through the comment section below.