Choosing the best camping knife, the best backpacking knife, or any other outdoor knife boils down to one thing: reliability.
A good knife will quickly become the most important piece of gear in your pack, simply because of its usefulness. The range of tasks a camping knife can perform are only limited to what you need.
From shaving for tinder, to food prep, to carving, and countless other uses, being prepared with a good camping knife makes your outdoor excursions much easier and enjoyable.
We’ve assembled this guide to introduce you to some of the best camping knives on the market and what the aficionados have to say about them, as well as a few guidelines for choosing the knife that’s right for you.
The Best Camping Knives Are:
|1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife||Check Current Price|
|2. Mossy Oak Survival Knife With Sharpener And Fire Starter||Check Current Price|
|3. Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheath Knife||Check Current Price|
|4. Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger||Check Current Price|
|5. Victorinox VN44695||Check Current Price|
|6. Schrade SCHF28 Little Ricky||Check Current Price|
|7. ESEE Knives 6P-B||Check Current Price|
|8. Jellas Pocket Knife||Check Current Price|
|9. Off-Grid Knives - OG-220S||Check Current Price|
1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife — Best Backpacking Knife
Because of its high-friction grip, this fixed blade knife stays put in your hand, even in the coldest, wettest conditions. The Morakniv Companion Outdoor knife features a hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade, making it super durable, sharp, and practically rust-proof.
Whether it’s carving, cutting timber, shaving for tinder, skinning, food prep, and much more, whatever your outdoor excursion throws your way, this knife can handle it.
This knife is made in Sweden and comes with a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.
- Dimensions: 4.00 x 1.00 x 1.00 in
- Weight: 5.01 oz
- Materials: Stainless Steel
- Made with quality Swedish hardened Sandvik stainless steel
- Grip is designed to stay put in your hand for safety and control, even in the harshest conditions
- The fixed-blade knife is useful for any camping or outdoor adventure.
- Stainless steel blades are more durable, stay sharper, and rust less than carbon steel
- Includes a plastic sheath with belt clip for easy portability and accessibility
- Some users said the blade wasn’t sharp enough for extended use
- Some reported the handle was made from low quality material
Constructed from 440C stainless steel, meaning you get a sharper, sturdier, and more rust-resistant blade that’s ready for anything.
This fixed blade hunting bowie knife also features a sharpener, fire starter, and a saw back for survival training or any other outdoor expedition.
The soft rubber handle provides better grip and more control during use, and it’s nylon sheath makes the Mossy Oak Survival knife safer to carry and easy to access when you need it.
When hunting, this knife is ideal for skinning and dressing game. Going camping? Use it to shave, saw, carve, and clear brush.
- Total Length: 15 in.
- Handle Length: 5 in.
- Blade Length: 10 in.
- Blade Thickness: 3.8 mm
- Weight: 16.8 oz
- Materials: Stainless Steel
- Includes Nylon Sheath
- Features sharpener and fire starter for preparedness in the outdoors
- Its’ dual serrated/straight blade makes it versatile enough to handle game hunting and clearing brush for camping.
- Soft, rubber coated handle delivers excellent grip for comfort and safety during use
- Sturdy design allows for all the stability you need and stainless steel blade stands up to the most difficult of tasks
- Includes a nylon sheath for safety and accessibility during transport
- Some users reported the blade wasn’t sturdy enough for their needs
- Some reported the handle came loose easily with use
- Some said the firestarter broke easily with use
Bear Grylls is arguably the most well-known name in survival and outdoors sports due to his vast expertise. Gerber is one of the most respected names in knives due to its 70+ years of making quality knives. Together, they’ve designed one of the most useful camping knives money can buy.
This lightweight, foldable compact knife features dual-sided thumb studs so you can easily open it with one hand, and its partially serrated blade does double duty for sawing and cutting whatever you need.
The blade is high-carbon stainless steel for maximum durability and sharpness use after use. Its half-serrated, high-carbon stainless steel blade is ideal for edge retention and cutting rope, and it comes with a nylon sheath.
The sturdy, ergonomically designed no-slip rubber grip provides optimal control and comfort for use in the toughest situations. For added safety, its lockback feature keeps the blade locked securely in place while it’s open.
The knife includes a durable, mildew resistant nylon sheath and a survival pocket guide penned by Bear Grylls full of valuable wilderness survival information.
- Total Length: 8.5 in.
- Closed Length: 4.9 in.
- Blade Length: 3.6 in.
- Weight: 4.3 oz.
- Materials: Carbon Stainless Steel
- Features an ergonomically designed no-slip rubber grip for safety and comfort
- Features a dual-sided thumbstud for one-handed opening
- Comes with sturdy yet lightweight mildew resistant nylon sheath for vertical or horizontal carry
- Features combination straight/serrated blade for more usage options, and a lockback security feature to keep the blade in place during use
- Comes with Bear Grylls’ pocket survival guide
- Some said the knife was difficult to open one-handed
- Some said the newer version of this model is less quality than the original
- Some users said the blade required frequent sharpening
This dependable knife sports a full tang design, and the blade is crafted from 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel, making it ideal for camping, hunting, and general outdoor adventuring.
Particularly useful for skinning, the shape and fine edge of the blade offers a precise cut every time. It’s full tang design secures tightly to the textured delrin handle slabs with compression rivets to ensure the blade stays safely in place during even the toughest jobs.
The knife comes with a lanyard hole, and leather belt sheath for easy access and carry. This is one of the best backpacking knives out there and it comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Dimensions: 7.1 in.
- Blade: 3.3 in.
- Weight: 3.1 oz
- Materials: High Carbon Stainless Steel
- Full tang design
- Crafted with high-carbon stainless steel for a superior blade
- The textured delrin handle secures firmly in place for safety and control
- Includes a leather belt sheath and lanyard hole
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Some users reported the blade was too dull
- Some said the handle was poor quality and broke easily
Hailing from respected Swiss knife maker Victorinox, this knife is one in a long line of quality products designed for reliable outdoor use.
Because it’s blade is made with durable, high carbon steel, the Victorinox VN44695 is a fantastic option for taking on your next camping, hunting, backpacking, or outdoor survival adventure. The no-slip ergonomically designed handle gives you total control and a firm grip, even when wet.
This knife is particularly useful for hunting and fishing, as it is dishwasher safe for super easy clean up after the messiest of jobs, and is NSF approved to ensure your knife has been rigorously tested and is safe for food prep on your next camping trip.
- Dimensions: 8 x 1.5 x 0.75 in.
- Weight: 3.2 oz.
- Materials: High-Carbon Steel
- Perfect for outdoor sports, particularly hunting and fishing
- Lightweight and compact, yet sturdy enough to handle tough jobs
- Made in Switzerland by one of the most respected brands in knives and multitools
- Features a high carbon steel blade for a razor sharp edge
- Handle is ergonomically designed and slip-proof
- Compact and sturdy
- Dishwasher safe and NSF approved
- Some owners said the blade rusted fairly easily
- Some reported the tip snapped off or bent with only a couple of uses
This full tang knife is designed for reliability out in the wild, regardless of what you use it for. It could be the best hiking knife too.
The durable blade is made of 8Cr13MoV titanium-coated high carbon stainless steel, perfect for anything from the most basic to the most difficult jobs.
The handle is textured and made from thermoplastic elastomer materials for comfort and secure grip, and is firmly attached to the tang design by three stable rivets.
The finger grooves and choil provide an extra layer of safety and confidence that your blade will stay put in your hand. The Schrade SCHF28 Little Ricky includes a thermoplastic belt sheath for ease and a lanyard hole for carrying options.
- Measurements: 5 x 5 x 5 in.
- Weight: 1 lb.
- Materials: Titanium Coated High Carbon Stainless Steel
- Durable, titanium-coated high carbon stainless steel blade stays sharp and sturdy use after use
- Features a textured, no-slip thermoplastic elastomer handle
- The finger grooves and finger choil ensures no-slip safety
- Comes with an easy-carry belt sheath and lanyard hole
- Full tang design
- Some users reported the blade was easily nicked and pitted
- Some said the blade edge bent and broke easily
At 6.50” length and 3/16” thick, the steel blade of the ESEE 6P-B is both sturdy and balanced, yet surprisingly lightweight.
This full tang knife features a removable Micarta canvas handle and jimping on the spine for a confident yet comfortable grip and controlled handling.
This knife comes complete with a lanyard hole in the pommel, and a polymer carry sheath with removable pocket/belt clip.
Because this knife’s blade is made from 1095 steel, it’s not only a great knife for outdoor sports, but is also the material used for professional cutlery use.
Like most quality cutlery, because of its unique materials and construction, this blade may rust, and should be cleaned and treated regularly for optimal use.
- Total Length: 11.75 in.
- Blade Length: 6.50 in.
- Weight: 1 lb.
- Materials: High-Carbon Steel
- Features a full tang design with stacked Micarta linen handle for controlled use
- Sports a super sharp, 1095 high-carbon stainless steel blade
- Stands up to the most rugged of environments, great for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and outdoor survival activities
- Includes polymer sheath with removable clip attachment and lanyard hole
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee covering repair or replacement
- Some reviewers reported the blade bent easily
- Some reported the blade was too dull for repeated use
- Some reported the handle was poorly designed and uncomfortable to use
We liked some of the bells and whistles that come with this knife, including a sharpener, glass breaker, and seat belt cutter.
On top of that, this folding knife delivers an anti-corrosion and anti-rust titanium-coated 7Cr17 440A stainless steel partially serrated locking blade that’ll handle whatever job you throw at it.
Because it’s easily retrieved from the included belt clip and features a one-handed opening design, this knife is easily accessible and usable, even when you’ve got your hands full.
A great survival knife for camping, hunting, fishing, and a whole host of outdoor activities, the textured aluminum handle is ergonomically designed for comfort and security.
- Total Length: 7.9 in.
- Length of Blade: 3.4 in.
- Weight: 4.55 oz.
- Titanium coated stainless steel blade is anti-corrosion and anti-rust
- Textured, ergonomically designed handle facilitates precision use
- Includes seat belt cutter, glass breaker, and sharpener
- Comes with a nylon sheath for safe storage
- Some users said the knife was difficult to open
- Some said the seatbelt blade was bent and dull upon receiving the product
- Some reported the knife seemed cheaply made
The Off-Grid OG-220S sports a cryogenically treated Japanese AUS8 Blade for enhanced sharpness and durability, and decreased chipping and corrosion.
At only .4375-inches in width, the blade is also surprisingly thin for its level of durability. It features dual thumb studs and a flipper trigger for quick, one-handed opening abilities for when you need it most.
It’s fiberglass reinforced nylon RFN handle is ergonomically designed, and jimping for optimal grip and thumb placement provides extra stability and comfort during use no matter how extreme the weather.
Take it camping, backpacking, for survival training, or whatever outdoor adventures you can find. Wherever you use it, you know you’re covered by Off-Grid’s 100% money back guarantee. It also features a convenient changeable pocket clip and lanyard hole for easy carrying.
- Blade Length: 3.75 in.
- Handle Length: 4.75 in.
- Width: 1.25 in.
- Blade Width: .4375
- Weight: 5.68 oz.
- Features a flipper lever and left and right thumbstuds for easy one-handed open and close
- Nylon, fiberglass reinforced handle grips for extra comfort and control
- Features a cryogenically treated, Japanese AUS-8 blade
- The customizable clip gives you the choice of where it will clip for easiest access, and it features a lanyard hole for even more wearable options
- Some reported the screw holding the blade in place came loose
- Some reported the knife is cumbersome to wear with the belt or pocket clip
Our Buying Guide For The Best Camping Knife
Choosing the right camping knife depends largely on quality and what you’ll be using it for. After you’ve decided how you’ll get the best use out of your knife, there are a few things to consider and some features to explore that will enhance that use.
You may have noticed there is a lot of terminology surrounding the features of a camping knife. If you happen to be a knife-novice, we thought it would be helpful to explain some of this jargon.
If you know your stuff, you never know, you may still end up learning a thing or two.
Some Lingo You Should Know
- Tang — The tang (or shank) is the extended portion of the blade that connects within the handle. Usually, a handle will attach to the extended tang with a series of rivets or screws.
- Thumb Stud — A thumb stud is a button like protrusion that sticks out of the side of the blade of the knife, positioned so you can open the blade of the knife with one hand easily by using your thumb.
- Jimping — Jimping is a feature to assist with grip and control with a series of notches or ridges traveling down the spine of the blade.
- Flipper — The flipper is another feature that allows for quick and easy one-handed opening via a spring-loaded tab or button protruding from the blade.
- Guard — The guard, or a raised portion of the knife between the blade and the handle, is a useful safety feature for a camping knife. Some knives have a single guard or a double guard. Either way, guards are made to, well, guard your hand from slipping down onto the blade, thus preventing a trip to the ER.
- Sandvik Stainless Steel — Sandvik steels commonly used in knives are labeled by a series of numbers and letters indicating the steel’s proportion of alloying elements, hardness, heat treatment, etc. These are indicators of the steel’s wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and blade stability.
- Anodize — Anodization is an electrochemical process that enhances the blade’s surface, making it more corrosion resistant.
- Delrin (Acetal Homopolymer) — Delrin® is a treated crystalline plastic used to craft handles, usually for tang knives, because it is particularly resistant to warping and moisture absorption.
- Micarta — Micarta presses organic materials like cloth or paper, dries it in resin, then laminates it to create a durable, slip-resistant handle.
While these certainly aren’t all the terms you may have questions about, it’s a good beginning to what you need to know.
It’s also helpful to know more about the science behind the metals used to craft a quality blade.
Choosing Your Blade
When it comes to the features of a blade, form largely follows function. A blade’s shape, edge, grind, and materials are important features to consider when choosing the best knife for you.
There are three grinds, or methods of shaping a blade’s edge, that are the most common when looking at outdoor-use knives:
- Flat Grind — Most useful for general cutting purposes
- Hollow Grind — Best used for slicing
- Convex Grind — Best for chopping, used in hatchets or larger fixed blade knives.
The kind of steel your blade is made of will also determine not only it’s best usage, but also quality. Overall, you’ll want to look for a blade made from metals that are tough, hard, and corrosion resistant.
There are plenty of options out there, among the most common are:
- Stainless Steel Varieties
- High-Carbon Steel
- Powder Metal Steel
Choosing Your Features
As we stated above, form follows function when it comes to a good knife. Here are some common amenities that many camping knives feature to help you get the best use out of your knife:
Common camping knives can range between 5 to 10 inches in length. What you need depends on what kind of camping you’ll do. If you need to clear a site for a tent or sleeping space, a longer blade may be more helpful, as well as if you’re attempting to clear a trail or path.
The tang of a knife has everything to do with the stability and balance of the knife with respect to the size of the blade. For camping, full tang knives are preferred because of their easy handling and control.
Choose a handle ergonomically designed to be held for extended tough jobs, and with enough grip to keep the knife firmly in hand in cold or wet weather.
Your preference for construction material will depend upon many factors, but there are a couple of setbacks to each that may influence your choice.
For instance, a handle made of natural materials such as stag are a popular choice, but with time they can crack or shrink. Synthetic materials are good choices for comfort and grip, but rubber can deteriorate over time with lots of use and wet weather.
Micarta is a popular choice when it comes to synthetic handles, as it doesn’t have some of the same deterioration issues of rubber (at least not as quickly), and when grooved or stippled it’ll give you a great grip.
A pommel on the end of your handle can be really helpful for hammering (or cracking walnuts, if you’re so inclined). Some would argue, however, a good solid rock could achieve the same result.
You never know if you’re gonna have access to good pounding rocks, so you know… it never hurts to be prepared.
Many camping knives contain a fire starter in the handle, and that’s great if your matches get wet or you want to learn some survival training techniques like how to start a fire with some flint and tinder during the pending zombie apocalypse.
Some camping knives also come with a sharpener. This is a pretty helpful feature, there’s nothing worse than trying to use your knife for carving or cutting only to realize it’s too dull to do the job. Don’t have a built-in sharpener?
Here’s a helpful video for other ways you can sharpen your knife if you’re stuck in the woods with a dull blade:
Fixed vs Folding
The old-school ideas of what a folding knife is for vs what a fixed knife does best are being left by the wayside with the newer generations of camping knives.
A Final Word On Camping Knives
The usefulness of a good camping knife is hard to quantify, no matter where you find yourself needing it. Beyond usefulness, the internet is rife with stories of life-or-death wilderness situations where, if it weren’t for a reliable camping knife, things would’ve ended up in disaster.
Ultimately, whichever camping knife you choose, it’s imperative that you understand how to handle it safely. Follow the guidelines for safe use often included on the packaging, and have a look at YouTube. There are lots of videos there on how to use your camping knife safely.
When it comes to the best knife to take along on your next camping excursion, we recommend the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife. Its quality construction and materials ensures it’ll take a beating, but will keep going strong whenever and wherever you need it.