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The Best Pocket Knives for Camping, Hiking, Bushcraft & Survival at KnifeCenter.com

The Best Pocket Knives for Camping, Hiking, Bushcraft & Survival at KnifeCenter.com


hey everyone David C Andersen here
coming at you again from the woods behind the knife Center because today
we’re taking a look at a bunch of pocket knives that we think are great for
camping let’s check them out while we would always recommend a good
fixed blade for camping there’s actually plenty of scenarios where you’d want a
good folder at your side as well not everyone is comfortable carrying a fixed
blade or maybe you’re looking for a nice backup or complement to your larger
knife but then in some cases you may not even be able to carry a fixed blade
luckily if you need to go with a folder there are ton of great options out there
and we’ve pulled our top ten for you to take a look at first off for safety’s
sake we always recommend a locking blade folder for these types of uses and we’d
also recommend a plain edge over a serrated blade in these cases because
it’s gonna be a little more versatile and useful for you since you’re probably
going to be doing a little bit of wood carving or even food prep with these
knives also for a camping knife handle comfort is going to be very important
whereas a nice contoured fixed blade is usually gonna be more comfortable it’s
hard for a pocket knife to compete in that regard so we’re gonna take a look
at some options here with a beefier handle that are easier to hold on to but
in addition to that a good pair of gloves is also always a good idea it’s
gonna help eliminate some of those hot spots and make these knives easier to
hold on to so first we’re gonna start with a trio of lock backs and the first
one is a classic the buck 110 folding hunter this one actually belongs to one
of our videographers which explains the Use You see here and it goes to show you that
these things can put up with a lot of abuse there’s a reason this knife is
still being made today more than 50 years after its introduction and that’s
because it works it’s got a really nice clip point blade with a nice acute tip
and a very good hollow grind with bucks famous 420hc steel there’s a lock back
here at the end to keep things secure and one of the great things about the
classic iteration of this knife is that it provides a very nicely sized handle
they’re thick enough that it allows you to get a really nice grip on this knife
without being so thin that it digs in when you go to put it to harder tasks
there’s no pocket clip on this knife and while a lot of people don’t like to EDC
this for this reason it does come with a nice leather pouch for your belt
additionally the classic look of this knife is going to look right at home at
any campsite next up is the Victorinox
hunter pro M from the makers of the Swiss Army knife and this also comes
with a nice pouch for your belt this knife has a more modern look than the
110 and it has a one-hand opening stainless steel blade the whole cutout
makes it very easy for left-handed or right-handed use and we get a nice drop
point blade with a very sturdy flat grind on it the real star here though
are these handles while this steel may not hold an edge as well as some of the
modern super Steel’s it’s very easy to keep a super keen edge
on it and it still performs excellent the real star though are these handles
they’re a synthetic rubber like material and they’re very accommodating the lock
back is mounted mid spine as opposed to the end like on the 110 and it sits
really nicely in that handle giving you a very full grip this one happens to be
an orange color although you can get it in a couple other colors as well as a
wood handle option any one of them is a great choice because this is gonna feel
great and perform very well next up we’ve got another orange handled lock
back and that’s the cold steel ultimate hunter I say lock back but this
mechanism is actually cold steel’s Triad lock in use it functions just the same
as an ordinary lock back but there’s some extra stuff going on internally
that actually make this even stronger and that lock is what allows this to be
a truly hard use folder moving on to the blade we’re starting to get into some
more premium Steel’s we’ve got s35vn here as well as a slightly thicker blade
with a very high flat grind and the geometry of this knife is set up in a
way that it’s a very nice compromise between outright strength and slicing
efficiency that drop point profile is also going to be very useful in the
woods for all manner of tasks and the blade length is just about perfect here
being very easy to handle moving back to the handles this orange version here is
both highly visible and very comfortable we actually get to pocket clips with
this knife one for the left side or the right side but if they are causing a hot
spot for you they’re very easy to remove to make this handle even more
accommodating sticking with the subject of heavy duty folders for camping we’ve
got the Tops fieldcraft folder and this one’s for the bush crafters out there
first thing you’ll notice is that this features tops is modified Scandi grind
and a Scandi grind is a specialized grind for woodworking you can kind of
think of it as a double planed chisel and that type of geometry works very
well for things like doing feather sticks notching or trap triggers or any
of those other wood craft tasks that you might want to engage with we’ve got a
very nicely sized blade of 1095 carbon steel and this was actually a knife
inspired by the original fixed blade version and in the transition to a
folder they actually have not given up all that much in terms of strength we’ve
got nice micarta scales that keep things nice and grippy as well as extremely
thick liners that house that liner lock as far as liner locks go this one is
extremely beefy in fact I’ve seen frame locks with thinner frames than this
there’s multiple carry options with this knife as well we do have a pocket clip
for left or right side carry and the knife also comes with a high quality
leather sheath for belt carry the last thing you’ll notice is that there’s a
divot here on the micarta scales and that’s on both sides of the knife what
that actually allows you to do is use your knife as the bearing block for a
bow drill set so if you’re trying to start a friction fire with the bow drill
method you don’t have to go looking for that top piece to keep your hands safe
it’s integrated right there next up is one of my favorite recommendations for a
really really hard use folder that works well not just for camping but also
tactical uses and that’s the DPX hest and this one happens to be the HEST f
triple black this does have a shorter blade than some of the knives we just
looked at but it is incredibly durable thanks to a slightly thicker profile and
niolox steel again that drop-point profile is something that’s going to
work very well when you’re out camping but we’ve also got a very interesting
cut out here in the spine and that does two things one it allows it to function
similar to Emerson’s knives and it allows you to open the blade as it’s
being drawn from your pocket but also it allows you to pop a bottle of your
favorite brew while you’re camping because that is also a bottle opener in
addition to that beefy blade what makes this knife so incredibly durable is the
very thick frame lock that he uses this knife has actually made in Italy by lion
steel for DPX and that’s why you see this nice little feature right here it
may just look like an over travel arrestor but if you screw it down it
actually locks the frame lock into place so you have a redundant system that
keeps that lock from disengaging accident
with positive strength on one side and great traction on the other thanks to
this g10 scale this is a knife that’s gonna hold up to very harsh conditions
and be just what you need next up we’re gonna talk about benchmade and this was
actually a hard one to narrow down to just one model because a ton of their
knives could have made this list the griptilian line is certainly a great
option for camping as is their Adamas folder and basically anything from their
hunt line would be a great choice as well but in the end if we had to narrow
it down to one it would be the benchmade freek and the reason we went with this
knife over all those other great options it came down all to the blade shape
again that versatile drop point is going to do everything you need in the
outdoors and overall this is a size and shape that’s going to transition well to
EDC uses when you’re back in your day to day life and it even has enough belly
here at the front that it could be an excellent hunting folder really this is
just about the most versatile knife on this list and would be a great choice
for just about any use but especially the outdoors
we’ve got s30v steel and it’s not too thick and still has a very high flat
grind plenty enough strength for what you’re going to need a folder to do as
well as excellent slicing geometry moving back to the handle we’ve actually
got a two-tone design here and while this gray section may look like a
rubberized insert that’s actually the harder section while the black areas are
slightly tacky for extra grip that’s certainly going to make it easier to
hold on to when you don’t want to lose it and we’ve also got benchmades
fantastic Axis lock here what we love about this lock is it’s very intuitive
and it’s very easy for left or right hand users to operate thanks to the
mechanism that goes all the way through the hand the extra advantage that that
lock gets us is it allows us to open and close the blade while keeping our
fingers free of the closing path next up we’re gonna scale back and talk about
Swiss Army knives for a little bit and like the benchmade lineup there are a
ton of great Swiss Army knives out there and a lot of them have made great
companions for campers over the years whether you like the classic farmer the
one hand opening trekker or even my personal favorite the outrider there’s
not a lot of bad choices out there but if we had to narrow it down to one it
would be the Victorinox Ranger grip 79 one of the things that helps this knife
stand apart from other Swiss Army knives is we have some rubberized
inserts here which are going to help keep your
grip on the knife when you’re outdoors we’ve also got a nice one-hand opening
blade that is secured by a very nice liner lock but unlike most liner locks
that are disengaged here by pushing on the front you actually push on the
emblem here which then pushes the liner lock out of the way while this knife is
not gonna stand up to quite as much hard use that narrower profile is actually
gonna make it a little more agile in certain scenarios and for me nothing
beats a good Swiss Army knife as a backup to your larger knives another
thing that helps this knife be a winner is there’s not too many layers of tools
here meaning it’s not super thick so it’s still very easy to use and not at
all cumbersome the front side also includes a can opener as well as a
bottle opener in addition to the screwdriver implements on the tips and
Victorinox has one of the best folding pocket saws in the business and we get a
nice length here with this knife furthermore the back side has a couple
of other great tools that are going to be phenomenal for campers and that’s a
nice all with a sharpened edge that’s gonna allow you to put holes in things
as you need to as well as a corkscrew which does more than just open bottles
when you’re out in the woods the tip of this is actually very good at untying
knots that are stuck too fast for your fingers to get free next up is an
affordable knife that’s become a classic in outdoor circles and that’s because
it’s a design that’s proven to be more than just the sum of its parts and
that’s the Ontario rat one shown here in d2 steel d2 of course is a very popular
steel with outdoorsmen but if you’d rather have a stainless this is also
available with AUS 8 the handles are a little bit thinner than some of these
other knives and they’re not too uncomfortable but again as with any
folder and this especially I would still recommend gloves the handle additionally
is quite accommodating for very large hands because of the way it’s designed
here it actually provides a very nice place for you to choke up on the blade
when you want to do some finer tasks again we get a very nice drop point
blade with a full flat grind versatility slicing efficiency all important things
when you’re outdoors camping this next choice may seem a little bit out of left
field at first but the CRKT home front is our next pick like a lot of these
other knives we get a nice drop point blade shape this time with a hollow
grind and a lot of belly here at the front allowing this to be used for a lot
of slicing tasks like skinning food preparation the handles are also a
little bit thinner like the rat so again it would recommend gloves those elements
alone wouldn’t be enough to take this knife onto this list but the feature
that does is the field-strip mechanism when you’re out camping it’s tough to
keep things clean like you would at home things like mud dirt or grit can really
gum up a folding knives mechanism so you want an easy way to keep it clean the
way the field-strip mechanism allows you to take this knife apart into three
pieces with no tools makes it very easy to rinse out when it gets gummed up and
put it back together very quickly our final pick is a little bit out of left
field and I’m actually breaking a few of my rules with this one and that’s the
Leatherman signal even though it has a knife plate I don’t really consider this
a pocketknife but it still makes a great companion in the outdoors we do get a
nice utility blade with this knife which is very useful even though it is combo
edge which is gonna limit its utility a little bit in the outdoors when we open
the tool up we do get a few nice implements on one side including a nice
all but the other side features this single piece multi-tool integrated into
the frame which can be removed and this contains a small ferrocerium rod here on
the side that’ll help you start fires for signaling or warmth as well as an
integrated whistle which is going to save your lungs if you do need to do
some signaling well it’s always a good idea to carry these items separately
it’s good to know that we’ve got a nice backup set integrated with the tool on
the back we do have a bottle opener but as you can see we’ve got a nice flat
spot here on the end and that can be used for hammering whether you’re trying
to crack open a nut or drive in a tent stake it’s a nice useful little addition
on the other side we’ve actually got a small diamond sharpener which will not
only allow you to keep this blade sharp but also any other blades you might be
carrying so these are just a few of the options you have out there when it comes
to a nice camping folder and even if you don’t pick one of these we hope you’ve
taken some of our advice to heart and that’ll help you to choose one that’s
right for you if you want to get your hands on any of these knives click the
link in the description below to head on over to knifecenter.com

41 thoughts on “The Best Pocket Knives for Camping, Hiking, Bushcraft & Survival at KnifeCenter.com”

  1. Love my lightweight Spyderco Manix2. It locks, prepares food very well, has a plain blade, and has great steel that stays sharp.

  2. I like my spyderco manix 2 with the cpm154/S90v blade! and also my buck 110 drop point bos S30V blade!

  3. Can you guys do a similar comparison of “ultralight” backpacking blades? 2.5 ounces or less? Currently I carry an orange Spyderco Delica for lightweight backpacking or sometimes a Leatherman Skeletool KB. I’d love to do a Spyderco Native 5 in LC200N because I can rust VG10 in 3 days. Looking at the Spyderco Para 3 lightweight too. Victoronox Classic SD is popular among the ultralight crowd but I want more blade than that.

  4. Honestly I just use my PM2 for everything, compression lock is strong (enough) and the s30v doesn't need touching up that often.

  5. Fixed blade I take for camping is Ka-Bar1211 is best knife I have!!!
    And
    Spyderco Para3 is best edc folding knife I use everyday outdoor for camping too!!!

  6. I recommend Opinel #8 or a Cold Steel Twistmaster XL drop point (if you can get a used one in good condition). Don't trust a liner lock or frame lock for heavy field use.

  7. Always remember that the Buck 110 offers absolutely NO finger protection.
    No Guard, No finger dent, No Nuthin.
    I do own a Buck 110, just cuz…
    But I use it very carefully with a good amount of Fear. This sucker will Cut you.
    My EDC is a Gerber Paraframe which cures ALL of the 110's problems.
    Easy open, easy close, ONE handed Close, Finger cutaway, super light, and you probable won't cut yourself.

  8. Whenever I go outdoors I bring my SAK old Dutch Army model with alox scales as a last resort knife/tool.
    If I could not bring a fixed blade and had my pick I would go for the Battle Horse Knives model Tree Frog but I don't have one. Another very nice one is the EKA Swede 82. The EKA is stainless so might be better in wet conditions. If it's really wet all the time (like rafting) change to the EKA Swede 92. Same knife but with 'rubber' handle instead of wooden handle.

  9. Sadly here in the UK folding lock knives are illegal as are fixed blades in most instances …. we can only carry a folding knife with a sub three inch blade …… bummer eh? …atb Jim

  10. Excellent presentation. I would have no argument on any of your selections and the reasoning behind them. They will all serve well for their intended tasks.
    My companions everyday for the last 7 years has been my ZT 301st folder along with my Victorinox Swiss Spirit X multi tool. They are with me always at work, play, errands, and outdoors. After nearly 40 years of carrying all manner of knives they have stood the longest.

  11. I liked the test that Dutch Bushcraft Knives did!!! The cold steel sr1 was top dog in the test and they even battonned and threw it!!! Cold Steel's president Lynn Thompson has said the sr1 was meant to be able to fill the role that your fixed blade would in the event you couldn't have one!!!

  12. A very well thoughtout selection of a campers' knives. I have already chosen the SAK Rangergrip 78, and as backup the Leatherman Signal. I put a mini screwdriver into Ranger's corkscrew, and a FireFly mini ferro rod in the toothpick slot. Since I'm only going car camping this time…I feel completely covered for any situation, but if I was going interior camping, then I would carry a fixed blade (I have Randal bought at their "store" in Florida, almost too nice!).
    Just as a FYI :- I always carry a Silky saw and a SMALL hatchet by Gerber. If things might get tough…I could always add to this as long as it is canoe camping, not backpacking (because of the weight).
    Thank you for an intelligent video…useful and entertaining.

  13. You should really read some history. Other than the Buck 110, which is now readily available in high carbon steel, a pocketknife with one blade is dumber than a screen door on a submarine. I could go on, but it's obvious that you haven't read word one about the history of the pocketknives carried by Roman Legionnaires, mountain men,, longhunters, soldiers, and every real wilderness expert right up to present day. A pocket knife with at least two blade, I prefer three, is better than any fixed blade knife for almost everything.

    You have a knife by Victorinox, but you don't even seem to know that the worldwide number one camping, bushcraft, wilderness, survival knife is still a pocketknife with more than one blade. It's the plain old Swiss Army knife that has one long blade, and one short blade. But you offer up single blade pocketknives that make no sense at all.

    The Buck 110 is an exception because it's actually built to be a fixed blade knife you carry when you need to go somewhere that would look askew at a fixed blade knife hanging on your side. And it works well. Since it first hit the market, more deer have been skinned with a Buck 110 than with any other single knife.

    For heaven's sake, read some history. Then put a Trapper, or better, a Stockman, on your list. I carry a Case XX jumbo Stockman with three blades, and it does everything a knife should be asked to do better than any belt knife. The Trapper is also good. Very good. But the sheepsfoot blade on a stockman makes it a world vclass woodcarving knife, and even many professional woodcarvers use it.

    A large Stockman is really just a Trapper with a shorter skinning blade, and with the addition of the Sheepsfoot blade, but if you learn how to use it, it can't overpower any single blade knife on the market, including belt knives.

    Two thousand years of history can't be wrong, even if YouTube marketers might wish otherwise. YouTube gets all sorts of things dead wrong, and this is one of the, along with the myth that we need a full tang knife, which is just plain stupid.

  14. The ultimate hunter by far was the best hard use knife on your list. The axis lock is a fun fidget but not strong enough for hard use and the liner or frame locks are a no go for me in hard use.

  15. The best pocket knife for these purposes is indeed a fixed blade. Second best is a Buck 110. Any variant.

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