Camping trips bring back some of our fondest memories from our earliest years. These trips were the most fun we had, both as kids and now, as adults.
Running around and exploring woods, setting up a camp spot, making food, gathering around the fire at nighttime, and generally spending some quality time in nature with your family and friends will always be a beautiful way to spend some free time.
When we plan such trips, there are many things you have to pack in your bag and your car. Whether you’re going for a few days, or just a couple of hours, there is one thing that must be with you at all time, and that would be a camping knife.
Choosing a camping knife is a hard task, with different types of knives and oversaturated market, it is very challenging to pick the one that’s best suited for your needs.
To make it a bit easier, we compiled a list of the best camping knives money can buy. See our full reviews and choose the best one for yourself.
If you’re going camping by car, you might consider getting a rooftop cargo carrier to carry all your luggage.
Best Camping Knife
|Model (link jumps to our review)||Image||Dimensions (inches)||Blade material||Rating||Price||Order Online|
|1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife||1.38 x 1.77 x 9.25||Stainless steel|
(3,163 Reviews reviews)
|$13.97||Buy on Amazon|
|2. BenchmadeBushcrafter 162 Knife||11 x 3 x 2||Stainless steel|
(198 Reviews reviews)
|$195.50||Buy on Amazon|
|3. Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife||6 x 1 x 1||Stainless steel|
(2,127 Reviews reviews)
|from $46.95||Buy on Amazon|
|4. Gerber 22-01400 LMF II Survival Knife||10 x 6 x 1||Stainless steel|
(1,229 Reviews reviews)
|from $66.82||Buy on Amazon|
|5. Ontario 8630 RAT-3 Knife||9.1 x 2.8 x 1.9||High carbon steel|
(156 Reviews reviews)
|$40.00||Buy on Amazon|
Prices are last updated on %last_update%
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What is a Camping Knife?
There are various types of knives that are marketed as camping knives, but in reality, they are something completely different. You can read a little bit more about different types of outdoor knives in the text below, but here we’ll keep the focus on camping knives.
A camping knife is a medium-sized knife with a blade that ranges from 3 to 5 inches long. Anything bigger than that is not really needed around campsite unless you plan on hunting. With a camping knife, you will be able to handle all the jobs around a campsite. Even if you forget your hatchet, you’ll be able to split wood with a camping knife by placing your knife on top of it and then hammering it down with the other piece of wood. This is also known as battoning.
Here are the most important benefits of having a camping knife:
Fishing – Often our camping trips involve some fishing, and having a knife to cut lines and remove hooks is essential.
Preparing food –Whether you plan on camping for a few days or just a day, you cannot go on your trip without some food. Depending on what you like to eat on these trips, you can use your knife peel and slice up fruit, sharpen a stick for marshmallows, spread condiments, cut meat, or clean the fish you just caught.
Making fire – Camping is not really camping without a fire. Whether you plan on making some food or just gathering with friends and looking at dancing flames while cooking marshmallows, you are going to have to gather some wood and make kindling. For cutting up bigger pieces of wood, you’re probably going to use a hatchet. But if you somehow forget to bring your hatchet with you, you can split wrist-thick wood pieces with your camping knife, as instructed above. Also, making kindling is not that hard, just slide your camping knife on the side of a wood piece in order to make little wood curls, but don’t shave them off completely. If you want to truly experience wilderness, you can start a fire without a lighter by bringing a flint and making some sparks with your knife.
Types of Outdoor Knives
In order to make the best choice and not get fooled while in the process of picking a camping knife, you have to know what other types of outdoor knives are on the market.
This is a folding knife that uses the built-in mechanism in the form of a spring to finish opening of the blade, once the user has partly opened it. Assisted-opening knife is often confused with switchblade knife which can be opened with just a press of a button.
Bowie knife was created in the early 19th century for Jim Bowie. This is a large sheath knife, with recognizable features like a cross guard, sheath carry, and a clip point that’s placed at the top of the blade for better control during attacks.
This knife is not really useful in the outdoors, as it is primarily designed as a stabbing weapon. A dagger features double sharp edges with and extremely sharp point, and a central spine. Daggers have a long history which makes it iconic and symbolic knife. Some cultures have used daggers in ceremonial rituals, and others considered it as a symbol of manhood.
This long knife is often used instead of a hatchet, but in combat, it can be considered as a short sword. Machete, also known as cutlass, has a wide use in agriculture throughout the Caribbean. Also, it is the one item you will often see in use on the reality show Survivor.
This is a compact folding knife, which features a clip attached to the handle. Clip folder is a convenient little knife that can be easily secured to your belt or a pocket, for quick and easy access.
A pocket knife is another foldable knife, but this one sometimes features more than one blade that fits in the handle. As the name suggests, this knife can easily fit in your pocket due to its small size. Pocket knives are very versatile tools that can be used for almost anything.
Multi-tools are convenient and versatile tools. They are foldable and can be as small as a credit card, but they are usually meant to be carried in pockets, or hung on belts. A single unit can hold various types of tools and blades, depending on their main purpose which can vary from fishing to bicycle multi-tools.
Swiss-Army knife is a combination of pocket knife and a multi-tool. It is a foldable knife that features various types of tools like a bottle opener, a can opener, a screwdriver, scissors, and other handy tools.
These knives are made with the intention for survival in the wilderness, but there are some models intended for military and combat use. Survival knives are used by hunters, campers, hikers, and generally outdoor lovers. These knives can be used in many differentsituations for different purposes, like cutting and carving wood, skinning, almost anything.
Here's Our List of 5 Best Camping Knife:
We’ve compiled a hand-picked list of top 5 camping knife. The list is based on our author’s objective review and combination of various opinions from users all over the world. Continue reading to see all of our camping knife reviews:
1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
If you’re looking for something that’s on the cheaper side, you won’t go wrong with Morakniv Companion.
This Swedish company has been producing high quality knives since 1891, and Morakniv Companion is a great testimony to that.
The blade on this knife is made of high-quality Swedish Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel with a high hardness rating.The blade is razor sharp, and it can handle various tasks. Because it is a stainless steel blade, it will retain sharpness much longer than a high carbon blade, and when the day for re-sharpening comes, it will be done with just a few swipes on the sharpening stone. You don’t have to worry about corrosion, as it is exceptionally corrosion-resistant, but just in case, you should keep it clean and oil the blade from time to time.
Ergonomic high-friction handle feels comfortable in hand, and no matter the task at hand, you’ll always have great control over it, while staying safe.
The hard plastic sheath keeps the blade safely tucked in when you don’t have a need for your knife. Also, a belt clip is included with the sheath, so you won’t have to worry about losing it.
This knife has a simple design, with a black handle and colored trim on the scales. Morakniv Companion comesin seven different colors. The color of the sheath that comes with the knife matches the color on the scales, and you are free to choose whatever you like the best. My advice to you would be to get a bright color, we all know how easy it is to lose something in the woods, and bright color is easily spotted.
With over 2,000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.5 stars, Morakniv Companion proves to be a great camping knife. The only complaint some customers had was that the blade wasn’t sharp when they bought it. This wasn’t the case with each unit, but rather a bad batch.
2. BenchmadeBushcrafter 162 Knife
If you’re a real outdoor enthusiast, and if the price is not a question, then the BenchmadeBushcrafter should be your first and only choice for a camping knife.
Benchmade has stepped up their game with Bushcrafter 162, by using premium and high-quality materials they’ve made a perfect camping knife.
BenchmadeBushcrafter is a fixed blade, full tang knife. This provides great strength and durability. You can easily split wood with Bushcrafter 162 without the fear of damaging it. Also, because it is a fixed blade, you don’t have to worry about it folding down and hurting yourself. However, handle it with great care.
The blade is made of CPM-S30V stainless steel that offers remarkable corrosion resistance. The blade is well-balanced, and the blade edge features a wide bevel and gentle taper. Drop-point blade with polished finish makes it very versatile, and perfect for outdoor use, whether you’re splitting wood, skinning game, or carving, Bushcrafter 162 will be able to do it impeccably.
The G-10 handle is something we rarely see today, as it is one of the finest handles on today’s market. This handle is made with vulcanized spacer and titanium tubing, which means that it is highly durable. It is resistant to water and abrasion, and it also stays stable under extreme temperatures. There is a finger relief that prevents slipping and potentially cutting yourself, so you can feel safe while handling this knife. The design is simple, yet beautiful, and especially so in sand color.
Along with the knife, you’ll also get a full grain brushed leather sheath. This black leather sheath looks amazing, but most importantly, it is very durable, and it features a D-ring for easy access.
The Bushcrafter 162 is an absolute favorite without a doubt. This knife is gorgeous, and it can be used for various tasks without the fear of damaging it, as it is built to last for a long time. It is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. And when your Bushcrafter 162 is in need of re-sharpening, there is a LifeSharp Service that offers laser re-sharpening once a year for free, and forever.
The only downside to this knife is its size, or better said the size of the handle. The length of a blade is 4.4 inches, but the overall length of the knife is 9.2 inches, which is a bit more than we would like.
Premium materials, amazing construction, and great design come at high cost. Unfortunately, Bushcrafter 162 is not a knife anyone can buy, because it comes with a really high price tag, but it is worth every dime, and it is our top choice for a reason.
3. Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more compact and easier to carry, the Folding Hunter 110 is the knife for you.
Buck Knives is a family owned company with over 110 years of experience. Their years of experience and craftsmanship combined with high-quality materials and newest technology always bring us high-quality knife that exceeds our expectations. The folding hunter was created by Al Buck in 1964, and he revolutionized folding lock blade knife forever. In 1966, the Folding Hunter 110 was the bestselling sports knife in the world.
The blade is made of stainless steel that’s durable and tough enough to split wood if you need it to. The edge retention is great, and corrosion shouldn’t be a problem, as Buck 110 has an amazing corrosion resistance. For better looking and performing, keep the knife clean and oil it regularly. The clip point will be great for delicate detail work, and work in tight places generally. Unfortunately, the clip point is not as strong as a drop point, but that doesn’t mean that Buck 110 is not a reliable knife.
Buck 110 features lockback locking mechanism. This means that the blade locks automatically when it is fully opened. To unlock it and close, you just have to press the rocker on the bottom of the handle.
The handle is made of Macassar Ebony Diamonwood with polished brass bolsters, which gives it a unique and beautiful look. The handle fits nicely in hand, and it can stand some abuse. However, avoid handling the knife with wet hands because it can slip away from you.
The Buck 110 can fit in your pocket, but it was not made with that idea in mind. This knife comes with its own leather sheath. This high-quality genuine leather sheath features snap fastener and integrated belt loop, which allow you easy access at all times, and safe carrying.
Buck Knives believe in the integrity of their knives, and because of that, they offer you a lifetime warranty on each of their high-quality knives. This means that if there is some defect in the knife, they are going to replace it or repair it for free. And if it happens that you damage your knife, they will offer you a 50% discount off MRSP.
The Buck 110 is an amazing outdoor knife that can handle various tasks, wherever you may find yourself. With almost 2,000 customer’s reviews and a rating of 4.8 stars on Amazon.com, this knife has been a favorite even after 50 years of its existence.
Some users have reported that the tip of the blade breaks easily. So to prevent that from happening, do not perform heavy-duty tasks with the tip of the blade.
4. Gerber 22-01400 LMF II Survival Knife
If you’re looking for a premium quality camping knife, but you don’t want to pay the premium price, Gerber LMF II will be a great choice.
Gerber Legendary Blades was founded in 1939, and half a century later, they still bring us high-quality knives for a reasonable price.
Gerber LMF II was designed by military man Jeff Freeman, and made with basic survival in mind. LMF II has been tested in the field and proven that it can handle any situation with ease, even in the worst conditions. No matter the scenario, whether military, survival, industrial, hunting, or generally outdoors, Gerber LMF II will without a doubt deliver great performance.
The blade is made of very durable and long-lasting stainless steel. This blade is half serrated for sawing through hard wood and for cutting rope. The drop point blade is strong enough to handle any task with ease. You don’t have to worry about rust, as it is corrosion resistant, however, keep it clean and oil it regularly to further the rust resistance. Straight out of the box, Gerber LKMF II is extremely sharp, and it will retain that sharpness for a long time.
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The butt cap of this knife is also made of the same stainless steel, and it features a unique pointed design that can easily pierce through the glass. Gerber made a smart decision and separated butt cap from the tang, and in doing so, the shock absorption is much better when the knife is being used as a hammer.
The handle is overmolded and made of glass-filled nylon. This very well balanced knife feels amazing in hand and exceptionally secure. The overmolded design is great at preventing blisters, so you don’t have to worry about that either. The handle is made with two lashing holes that can be used to convert the blade into a spear for fishing.
In addition to the knife, the package also contains a sheath that’s made of ballistic nylon with fire retardant coating. The greatest thing about this sheath is that it comes with integrated carbide sharpener. This means that no matter where you end up, you’ll never have a dull blade. This sheath is also MOLLE compatible, and it can easily attach to your belt.
If you’re in need of an excellent knife that can be used for various tasks, and that’s built to last a long time, you won’t be disappointed if you choose Gerber LMF II.
As for the downsides, the black coating on the blade comes off easily, and it is not as beautiful as it was before that. Also, it is a bit heavier than we would like it to be.
5. Ontario 8630 RAT-3 Knife
If you’re on a search for a great little knife at a good value, the Ontario 8630 RAT 3 is a knife for you.
Ontario RAT-3 is a smaller, but a very practical fixed knife that can easily handle any job around the campsite, whether that’d be carving, cleaning game, preparing food, or fire making.
The blade has a drop point design, meaning that it has a very strong tip. As we mentioned, this is a full tang knife that can be used for heavy-duty tasks. It is pretty strong, so that you can use it for buttoning without fear. However, because of its small size, the buttoning cannot be done on bigger pieces of wood.
The blade is made of high carbon steel, meaning that it can be used with fire rod to make a spark. This very sharp blade has great edge retention, and it can be easily sharpened in the wilderness. However, because it is made of carbon steel, it can rust much quicker than a stainless steel blade would. So to prevent corrosion, keep this knife nice and dry, and from time to time apply a coat of some food grade oil. The blade also has a black coating on it, which looks beautiful, but it wears off quickly. Also, there are partial serrations on the blade, which can come in handy when you need to saw through some wood or rope.
The handle is Canvas Texture Micarta. This handle is small, and it can potentially be uncomfortable for people with really large hands. The texture is great, and it allows you to better grip the knife, and it retains the grip even in wet conditions. The knife overall feels good in the hand, and it is very well balanced.
There is also a Kydex sheath included with the knife. The Kydex sheath is durable and reliable. The retention is perfect, you won’t have to worry about your knife slipping out of the sheath. To pull it out of the sheath, you’ll have to push against the sheath or tug at it a little. The Kydex sheath comes with a belt clip and a Tek-Lok, which provide you easy access at all times.
The Ontario RAT-3 is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, which means that if there’s some kind of defect, your knife is going to be replaced or repaired for free.
This small camping knife is a great solution for those who spend their time out in the wild. Ontario RAT-3 will be able to perform various tasks with ease, and it won’t leave any blisters on your hands.
As for the downsides, there is only one in my opinion. The handle is smaller, so not everyone will feel comfortable while handling this knife.
How to Choose the Best Camping Knife - Buyer's Guide
In order to make the best decision when you’re buying a camping knife, you have to know what to look for.
Here are some important factors to consider when searching for a perfect camping knife:
Camping knives can be divided into two main categories – Foldable knives, and knives with a fixed blade. Both categories come with their benefits and flaws. If you need something that’s compact and can fit in your pocket, you should opt for a foldable knife. A foldable knife will be great for any kind of light-duty like cutting trims or slicing up fruit and spreading condiments. However, foldable knives are not completely safe to use because they can close up on your finger, and cut you badly, so always be careful with them. If you’re looking for something that’s durable and meant for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting and splitting wood, preparing food, you should choose a knife with a fixed blade. A knife with a fixed blade will be able to handle the hardest of tasks, and there is no fear of it closing up and cutting you.
The tang of the knife is a prong that connects blade with the handle of the knife. There are three main types of tang – full tang, half tang, and rat-tail tang. If you’re looking for a durable and safe knife, you should get the full tang knife. The full tang knife is much stronger than half tang or rat-tail tang knife.The full tang knife is constructed from a single piece of metal, with handle pieces pinned onto the blade itself, making it extremely strong and durable. Half tang and rat-tail tang knives will loosen a bit overtime, which can lead to potential danger.
As we mentioned, a good camping knife should be durable and able to handle some serious tasks, and blade material plays the biggest role here. There is a choice between two main steel choices – stainless steels and high carbon steels. Some benefits of stainless steel knives are that they don’t rust very easily, and they can hold their edge, and retain their sharpness for a long time. The downside to the stainless steel blade, it is a little bit harder to sharpen. You need to know that stainless steel knives come in different qualities of grade, and if you want to go with this type of blade, you should look for those knives that have at least 440 SAE grade. The high carbon steel knife will rust a bit easier, if you don’t take a good care of it by keeping it dry, but the benefit of these blades is that they are easy to sharpen in the field. Also, high carbon steel blades can be used as strikers on a fire rod.
Another important factor when you’re deciding on a camping knife, is the thickness of the blade. Your camping knife should be strong enough to handle hard tasks, and the thickness of a blade can determine that. The blade thickness should be around 3 millimeters, less than that would be a little weak, and thicker than that would make detail wood carving a real pain. Also, a blade that’s 3mm thick can allow you to easily split wood by hammering on the back of the knife.
The design of a blade is very important, as it can completely influence the knife’s overall performance. For a great performing camping knife, you should look for a drop point blade design with a full bevel.
If a blade of a knife is top notch, but the handle is uncomfortable to hold, and you always end up with blisters, that is not a good knife. The handle is very important, and you should look for a handle that’s made of plastic or hardwood, and the one that fits nicely in your hand. As for the design of the handle, and sheath too, avoid getting those that have camouflage, you’ll never be able to find them. Look for something that will stand out in nature.
You should opt for a medium sized knife that’s lightweight. Going on camping trips or backpacking means that you’ll have to carry quite the weight, and you should always minimize the additional weight. A good lightweight camping knife will be able to handle any task, and there is no need for large knifes that will only slow you down.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to get a good camping knife. A price is usually determined by materials that have been used to make the knife, and by the brand name. You can get a great camping knife for an affordable price, but if want premium materials, be prepared to pay the price.
When you’re choosing a camping knife, you should listen to yourself. Ask yourself some questions.
What kind of knife would you like? What is the size of the knife I need? Will I carry it on my belt or in my pocket? What will I use it for? And how much money am I willing to pay?
With answers to these questions, you will have an outline of a perfect knife that meant for you, and the search will go much easier.
I hope our article helped you in this search. Happy shopping, and be careful out there!
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