When you’re preparing to pack for your next camping trip, there are many must-have items that you shouldn’t leave home without. Tents, of course, as well as sleeping bags, bug spray, sunscreen, a flashlight, food, cooking utensils and comfortable and functional clothes are all must haves. But one item that we sometimes forget or don’t give much thought to is a knife. When it comes to camping or spending time in the great outdoors, having a knife is not only smart, it’s safe.
Knives can be used whether you’re preparing to build a campfire or preparing a fish you caught out on the lake. In some cases, you may want to pack a variety of knives depending on how you plan on spending your time outside. Avid fishers and hunters will likely want a knife that is better suited to gutting and skinning animals and preparing food. Those who like to go off trail and fully live off the grid for a few days will want a knife with a serrated edge that can cut wood and rope to help build shelter.
Depending on how long you plan on being away from home, a knife with a built-in sharpener is a great feature that will help ensure that your knife will stay sharp and useful long after the sun goes down. Many camping knives also come equipped with firestarters, which is a handy tool to have if you run out of matches or flashlight batteries.
The weight and size of a knife can also make a big difference when choosing which tools to take into the woods. A durable and heavy-duty knife may be necessary for hunting trips, while a lightweight and compact life is appropriate for recreational camping.
1. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife
With 70 years of experience making top rated knives, Gerber teamed up with survival expert Bear Grylls to create a knife that will keep you and any celebrity safe. The knife measures 13 x 5.5 x 2.2 inches and weighs 1.01 pounds. Designed for survival, pros of the knife include an ergonomic, non-slip handle, and 4.75 inch half serrated blade that makes cutting wood easy, a lanyard with an emergency whistle, a stainless steel pommel that can be used for hammering, and a military grade sheath that features a fire starter and diamond-blade knife sharpener, ideal for use during camping or hiking trips. The high quality of the carbon stainless steel drop point blade and the durable sheath means that the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife comes with a high price tag.
2. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
Made from Swedish steel, which is tougher and stays sharp longer than carbon steel, the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife is ideal for preparing food, cutting small pieces of wood for fire and for carving. With an overall length of 8.6 inches, the Morakniv has a 4.1 inch blade that is 0.1 mm thick, with the knife and sheath weighing 4.1 ounces, making it much lighter than the Gerber Bear Grylls option. Unlike the Gerber Bear Grylls and SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife with Firestarter, the Morakniv doesn’t have added camping features, instead focusing on being a quality knife that is ideal for use in food prep. The knife comes with a bright color matching plastic sheath that makes it easy to find.
3. SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife with Firestarter
Lightweight and versatile, the SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife with Firestarter has a full tang stainless steel blade that measures 4mm in thickness, much thicker than the Morakniv and better suited for rugged use, including cutting wood and rope. The knife is the lightest and most compact on the list, weighing just 2.9 ounces and measuring 7 x 0.2 x 0.5 inches. Like the Gerber Bear Grylls knife, the Outdoor Tanto Knife has added features that are ideal for camping, including an all-weather fire starter and grip windings to make it a spear.