For weeks or even months, you’ve been looking forward to your big outdoor excursion. You’ve saved the date, counting down the days in anticipation, and now all that’s left to do is make your final gear check before you hit the open road.
You’ve gathered all the essentials: first aid kit, rain gear, and your trusty camping knife. But if you’re only bringing the one blade with you, you might be as prepared for a successful weekend as you think.
Camping knives come in all shapes and sizes and are used in almost any campground task. Bringing along a few different selections can help you make sure you’re ready for any situation that might arise.
Here, we’ll run down what to look for in a camping knife, which knives are best for which tasks, and what outdoor knives are the best of the best.
Choosing the Right Knife
Knives have been around since early humans first figured out how useful a piece of sharp stone can be, and they’ve come a long way in that time. With thousands of years of advancement, you might be tempted to think that knives now are all equally serviceable, but that’s couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When looking for the best camping knife, there are some key criteria that you want to examine.
First, you want to look at the design, whether it’s foldable or fixed-blade, the shape of the blade and the grind, and what type of steel it’s made from. You’ll also want to consider asp[ects like weight, length, and the thickness of the blade.
Different attributes can make a knife better suited to different tasks, so it can be hard to find a single knife that’s equally well-suited to everything.
Based on those criteria, here are our top picks.
1. The Best All-Around: The Morakniv Companion
The Morakniv Companion is a compact, fixed-blade knife that’s beauty lies in its simplicity.
Its ease of use makes it versatile enough for almost any task that you could have around the campsite. With a comfortable grip that fits any hand shape like a glove and a blade that’s sharp enough out-of-the-box to slice a tomato, once you pick up the companion you’ll never want to put it down.
2. The Best Heavy-Duty Blade: The KA-BAR Becker Companion
KA-BAR is one of the most venerable names in survival knives, providing their trademark Fighting Utility knife to the United States Marine Corps since 1942. And their Becker Companion is a worthy addition to that proud heritage.
Weighing in at a full pound with solid, full tang construction, it certainly packs a lot of knife. But for heavy-duty tasks like wood-cutting or even pounding tent stakes, it will serve you admirably.
3. The Best Value Knife: The Schrade SCHF 36 Frontier
For a good all-rounder on a more modest budget, the Schrade SCHF 36 Frontier is one of the best values you’ll find anywhere.
It boasts a beefy, full-tang construction and comes with a sharpening stone, a ferrocerium rod and striker, and a handy sheath that holds all of it. As a survival knife, it’s about as close to the full package as you can get.
Use the Right Camping Knives for the Right Jobs
Before you make for the great outdoors you want to make sure that you’re prepared for anything. And packing the right camping knives for any circumstances that might arise is a big part of that preparedness.
But they’re far from the only gear that you’ll need. To make sure that you have all of your essentials in order before you hit the road, be sure to keep up with all our latest camping and travel tips and guides.