Years ago when you needed a knife to go camping the decision was pretty simple. "Fixed or Folding?" and "How big?" There is now such a variety in design and construction of knives that purchasing a "general purpose knife" can be problematic. Each knife is designed with specific uses in mind, even "general purpose" ones. The personal advice we share below offer criteria to consider when staring at a wall of shiny sharp objects . Knife and indeed camping tool technology has changed greatly due to better materials, better production, design, even marketing and availibility.We will also mention what we consider to be some of the top knives in the world today.
"What kind of knife are you looking for?" SIZE MATTERS- Why are you buying a knife? What will you use it for? The answer to those questions will determine what size blade you need. Would you want to chop kindling with a pen knife, trim fishing line with a machete? You get the point. BEST BLADE- The fixed blade is considered the strongest design of a knife, and the "full tang" fixed blade is the most robust. It's a solid piece of sharpened steel with a grip. Your blade should be at least 1/8" thick for strength .BOLDER FOLDERS- Check out the new larger folders with wide blades and hefty locking mechanisms. These designs can handle just about any camp chore that the biggest fixed blades can. The blade of any folder should be solid in the frame with no wiggle. CAMP / CAR- Try a small or medium- size drop- point folder. You can always bring anything else you want to for any use you might encounter. After all, your four-wheel-drive backpack has 20 cubic feet of storage space and is parked nearby. CAMP /WILDERNESS- You have to be self-sufficient and you have to carry it all. Consider a thick and sturdy fixed blade, as you'll be doing heavy work with it. Pay attention to weight. KNIFE PURCHASE- Consider textured handles of hard rubber, micarta, kraton, or other waterproof composites rather than wood. The handle should be shaped to give good purchase when used aggressively. It should feel naturally secure and under control in all conditions. EXTRA EXTRAS- Do you need a serrated clade for cutting rope at camp? Or a saw tooth edge on the spine? How about a toothpick, can opener, carabiner, compass, LED light, wood saw, or ballpoint pen? You are buying a knife, not a four-pound tool box. Stick to the basics with your main knife.We love Tim Leatherman's Wave but use it as a back up, we lover Gerber tools with lights, we love Swedish steel Rappala fishing knives but try to stay with a general purpose item.TOOL BOX- Have a multi-tool; I wouldn't be without one. You should get one, too. However, it is not a knife. Get a good knife first. SHARP TIPS- Your new knife comes sharp. Keep it that way. Get a small stone or diamond sharpener. Take the sharpener with you to camp and learn how to maintain that razor edge. Want a good tip? Keep your blade sharp.Finally its all about THE STEEL -show me the steel... does it stay sharp, can be sharpened easily, whats the RC hardness rating, does it resist rusting with multiple outdoor use in all environments, is it quality steel ( there is a reason those made in Sweden Volvo cars keep running for so long and not rusting ) is it friction forged under tons of pressure at thousands of centigrade ?
Okay so here are our TOP TEN knives we really admire... Rapala Swedish Steel Fillet Fishing Knife,Russell Canadian Belt Knife, Gerber Drop Points Legendary Knives from Oregon USA,Victorinox Swiss Champ the natural evolution of the Swiss Army tool,Leatherman Wave ( thanks Tim ),Ka-Bar Marine Corps Fighting Knife,Native American Ulu,Surefire Edged Weapon Delta Folding,Diamondblade Hunter.We would be proud to carry any of these and own several of them ! Enjoy your country,the country,your outdoors!