Choosing a Camping Knife: Things You Should Know

Choosing a Camping Knife: Things You Should Know, Shieldon

Camping is one of the leading outdoor activities that people engage in once in a while when they need a change in their routine and to connect with nature at a personal level. There are certain tools you need to carry with you to make the expedition more successful. You will require a waterproof tent, a good sleeping bag, cooking utensils, and most of all an pocket knives for camping.

Camping knives are the do-all tools that can either break or make the success of the camping trick. Choosing a good camping knife can be a little hard since there are so many options out there and that’s why it is important that you know the important factors to keep in mind when making that all-important choice, especially if you are a newbie.

Fixed vs Pocket Knives

Choosing a Camping Knife: Things You Should Know, Shieldon

Camping knives come in two main types. It can either be a fixed blade or a pocket blade. Fixed knives are much bigger and stronger but their blades are not retractable. You will be forced to have a knife sheath for them when it comes to storage.

Pocket knives, also called folding knives, on the other hand, are knives that have retractable blades which can be folded back into the handle for easy storage. They are usually nifty, and small enough to be kept inside the pocket. However, they are not as strong as fixed blades. Depending on how intense the task at hand is, you can choose a fixed blade for the heavy type of work and a pocket knife for the lighter tasks. There’s no harm in carrying both either way.

The Size

Camping has many surprises and things rarely go how you plan them to go. With this level of uncertainty, carrying the most formidable camping knife in your collection would be the best move. When out in the wild, size matters, and a fixed blade knife would be a better option at that point.

They are bigger and tougher, with the ability to handle a number of tasks. For example, you will need a knife that you can use to make splinters for fire, cut ropes for propping the tent up, and for self-defense in case a wild bear decides to pay you an unexpected visit.

The Handle

Many people make the mistake of overlooking a knife’s handle and that will cost you when you are out there in the wild. A good handle should be able to provide a good grip that enhances its efficiency, making sure that it doesn’t slip in your hands and injuring you in the process.

You have a lot of options to choose from, you could go with rubber handles, which are the best as far as grip is concerned, or you can go with wooden handles, which usually give the knife a very good look. There’s also the option of going with metallic handles which are the most solid but can get pretty cold when the temperature drops. The bottom line is, take your time when choosing a knife’s handle.

Blade Material

The durability and strength of the knife are highly dependent on the type of material used to forge the blade. The best material is carbon steel. It is strong and durable with the right care. If you neglect it for a while it quickly develops rust and that quickly makes the knife lose its structural integrity.

Stainless steel is what you go for when you don’t want to keep replacing your knife due to rust, the only drawback being it loses its shine which can be an issue for many people who love to see their knives looking nice all the time. If you have the money, you can go for titanium which is one of the hardest metals on earth.

The Price

Choosing a Camping Knife: Things You Should Know, Shieldon

Your budget determines what you can afford. Most times, higher-priced knives are of better quality and will last you longer on top of having some of the best designs. But if that is beyond your range, you can always try budget knives which cost a lot way less than the high-end models but pack some quality features that can come in handy when you are out camping in the wild. One thing many knife collectors usually do is buy knives from online sites that sell unique pieces for throw-away prices. You may get lucky enough to find something unique and rare.

The Purpose

Not everyone uses a camping knife for the same purposes. Some carry them for hunting, some use it as a handy tool for cutting things up while cooking, and so on. The type of knife you go for has to be suitable for the task you intend to use it for.

If you plan to hunt while camping then you may need to carry more than one knife, a huge hunting knife, and a smaller skinning knife for increased efficiency. The heavier the task, the more formidable the camping knife should be. So, before committing your money to buy a good knife, make sure you have a clear idea of what you plan to do with it.

The Laws

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Alt-Text: Laws

It pays to know the laws of the area you plan to go camping because ignorance has never been a good defense in front of the judge. If you are in the United States, for instance, you have to be aware of each state’s knife laws to avoid getting into trouble with the law.

Some states allow people to try any knife they like while others are extra strict on what you can carry. Make sure you take your time to familiarize yourself with all the knife laws of your locality before embarking on that camping expedition. The last thing you would want is to end up spending a night in the pent instead of a warm tent.

Ease of Use

Where knives are involved, reactionary times can be the difference between life and death at times. The problem with camping in remote places is you never know what may spring up from the bushes. You want to have a knife that you can reach out to and defend yourself with it at a moment’s notice.

If it is a folding knife for instance, how long does it take you to spring it open? Some can be very difficult to open and that could cost you some valuable seconds. The ease of use is not limited to self-defense, every other need you may have while out camping requires a knife that does what it is supposed to do without causing you any trouble.

The Weight

Some knives are very heavy and carrying them around with you can be a little cumbersome. However, heavy knives are very efficient as that extra weight adds some momentum to them when cutting tough materials. Lighter knives, most of them being folding knives, do have tasks that only they can handle, like skinning the pelt of an animal.

That is usually a delicate task that requires nifty hands using a nifty knife that works fast without cutting into the flesh. When it comes to dealing with extreme conditions, what you need on your person is a heavy knife as that can quickly turn from a tool to a defensive weapon real quick.

Ease of Maintenance

Camping knives are usually put through the most in the wild and no matter how durable they may have been designed, they need to be taken care of at the end of the day. A knife blade needs to be cleaned and oiled after use to keep the rust away and increase its shelf life. It also needs to be sharpened to ensure the edge maintains a tiptop condition at all times.

All these require money and you have to think carefully about how much you are willing to spend and how far you are open to going for your knife. Find a camping knife that will not add another financial burden on you, something you can handle on your own without any need to take it to a shop for help.

Conclusion

There are thousands of camping knife brands in the market and each of them claims to be the best. Finding what suits your needs can be a tall task especially if you are new to the game. However, you can follow the outlined factors above to narrow down your search. You can check both online and physical stores and never shy away from asking questions before spending your hard-earned money on anything. For more information on camping knives, how to use and maintain them, and other valuable tips, check Shieldon (outdoor knives).

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