Camping Knives

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Camping Knives 

Camping knives and knives in general are a fascination for many. There is something almost primal about a knife as in its history its been used for hunting, starting fires and even survival. This core piece of camping equipment captivates all and for camping purposes, there are essentially three types of camping knives:


(1) Fixed blade (Think Rambo’s Survival Knife)

(2) Lock blade (1 main blade and possible a smaller blade)

(3) Multi-purpose knife (Think Swiss Army Knife)


Camping knives have an expensive price range ranging from $10 up to $500. Fixed blade knives tend to be the most expensive with the cheapest knives being multi-purpose knives. The weight of the camping knives also tends to work in this order with the heaviest being fixed blades and the lightest being pocket knives.


Personal preference will dictate what type of knife you like. I personally prefer the lock blade because I use my knife mainly for making shavings, cutting rope and opening food packages. I also like to have a multi-purpose knife as well. I believe this comes in handy for other things as I have used the mini saw, can opener, and tweezers on countless occasions. My personal belief is the fixed blade is more for show. I do believe they can serve a purpose and you can find some that double well as an axe because of their large size; however, I tend to stick with a lock blade because of function and weight. I prefer the lock blade over the multi-purpose blade because they need to be a lot stronger and provide a better blade for cutting wood. I have always felt that most standard fixed blades are a little too big for cutting shavings. Regardless, recognize that knives can be used for a number of different purposes including:


1) Cutting open food packages

2) Making shavings

3) Cutting rope or twine

4) Skinning fish or chopping up food

5) Dual function as an axe to chop down branches.

6) Handle can be used as a hammer for some stronger versions. Although a hand axe can serve the same purpose if needed for driving in stakes.


By keeping the above uses in mind, I have also put together a good working list of tips on what to look for when going over all the different camping knives:


1.Get a good blade surface length. You want the main blade to be at least 2 ½ inches long. Ideally, you would want it to be 3 inches or greater. A quick way to measure is to see if the blade is as longer than your pinkie finger.


2.Choose a non-serrated blade. Although a serrated blade can be great for basic whittling, I believe a non-serrated blade works better for most tent campers. The non-serrated blade requires less upkeep as you do not have to resharpen it as much and it is designed for multiple purposes.


3.Do not buy the most expensive kinds. Camping knives are very easy to lose in the woods. Since you will likely go through a number of knives through your camping experience, we recommend always having a backup on any camping trip.


4.Strong lock blade. If you get a lock-blade or multi-purpose knife, it is very important that the blade lock is strong and that when you open up the knife the blade attaches securely. If it does not, opt for another knife. A weak lock blade can cause either the knife to open up accidentally on you or the blade to move while you are cutting wood. Both scenarios will eventually lead to you cutting yourself. Plus, a weak lock blade means you will not be able to bring as much force down on the wood which translates into smaller shavings.


5.Weight of the knife. This usually is not an issue unless you get a fixed blade knife. Fixed blade knifes tend to outweigh the other types by almost double. This is one reason why I normally advise against getting a fixed blade knife. Plus, their size and weight almost require you to have to buy a sheath to hold it whereas lock blades and multi-function knives can normally be placed in your pocket.


6.Choose a blade handle color that will stand out. Because it is very easy to set a knife down or to lose it, I recommend choosing a knife that has a bright colored handle. Swiss Army Knives are good example of this because they will stand out somewhat on the forest floor. Unfortunately, most knives are not designed with this thought in mind; however, finding one that is can save you some time trying to locate it and may even keep you from losing one and having to buy another.


Depending on your camping needs, you may have other factors to consider. If you are new to tent camping, I recommend you start off with a basic lock blade and maybe have a multi-function knife as a spare left in your backpack. This will be good at meeting most of your cutting needs and as you get more camping experience, you can always experiment with other kinds.

*To get more information about buying camping chairs, check out camping chairs.


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