The 20 Best Camping Knives for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Planning on hitting the great outdoors sometime soon? You’ll probably want to pack light. There’s no bad weather or unfortunate accidents in nature — only unlucky circumstances combined with improper gear. You don’t want to get stuck in the great outdoors without the right gear — whether it’s ill-fitting hiking boots that cause blisters or a dull camping knife that won’t readily cut cords and branches.
Camping knives make the great outdoors much more accessible and safer, as you can do everything from building a shelter to protecting yourself with them. Some are sharp, some have serrated blades, and some combine forces with other camping tools to provide you with the multitool you need to do everything you want in nature, safely. They all take up very little space in your hiking backpack and will be quite useful in a pinch – trailing point blade
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Which Camping Knife Is Best For Me?
The short answer when considering the best camping knives is that it depends. Survival knives are often highly useful, some of them featuring a folding design and handy add-ons like a flint fire starter or a carrying clip. Others are designed more like multi-tools, with both a knife and other attachments designed to help you build your tent, start a fire or cut small segments of rope — to name but a few uses. The best camping knife is the one that can take on multiple functions at once.
Some fixed-blade knives, for instance, might be useful for cutting rope or were made to skin animals or take on hunting tasks, but they aren’t as compact or multi-functional as a pocket-sized camping knife. There are even handsome knives that mimic culinary qualities but aren’t quite as useful for more standard, camping-related tasks (these knives are also slightly bulkier).
If you ask us here at SPY, sometimes, the best camping knives are the ones you least expect: ones that fold up and slide with ease into the pocket of your work pants or trucker jacket, and then prove handy when you need them the most. Ideally, your camping knife of choice should fit the needs you’ve run into in the past — when you haven’t had one of the best camping knives nearby, but could really have used one.
With all of that being said, it’s time to gear up and get out there. Here are the best camping knives for surviving and thriving on your next venture into the wilderness.
- Wren River Hawk Folding Knife
The best camping knives, for starters, need to be compact and easy to haul in a jacket pocket or your day pack. Beyond that, it helps if they’re built to last and ready for outdoor activities like fishing. Wren’s River Hawk Folding Knife checks all these boxes and then some, with a utility-minded one-handed opening system and a comfortable, textured G10 handle. The drop-point stainless steel blade is highly durable, too. The blade itself is also corrosion-resistant, not a bad design touch for outdoor excursions.
Best overall camping knife
Buy: Wren River Hawk Folding Knife $55.00
- Smith & Wesson Folding Survival Knife
This camping knife from Smith & Wesson is a best seller in the tactical knives section on Amazon for good reason. The blade is made of durable high carbon stainless steel and has a sturdy, black aluminum handle that’s dependable to hold. The knife has a finger flipper that’s convenient and easy to access, and it has ambidextrous thumb knobs that make it ideal for everyday carrying. There is also a liner lock that keeps the blade secure inside when you’re not using it.
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Buy: Smith & Wesson Folding Survival Knife $15.45 (orig. $21.99) 30% OFF
- Benchmade 945BK-1 Mini Osborne Knife
Benchmade’s knives are about as good as it gets in terms of standout design and impeccable quality, with plenty of history behind it (the Osborne style has been in Benchmade’s rotation for two decades). The straight-edge stainless steel blade is specifically made for camping and finished off with a cool, tactically minded black Cerakote finish. But it’s the black G10 handle with blue barrel spacers that really catches our eye, not to mention the one-handed opening design and useful, sharp blade.
Best designed camping knife
Buy: Benchmade 945BK-1 Mini Osborne Knife $189.00
- CRKT Tuna Knife
Switching from a fixed-blade knife to a foldable knife, depending on your camping plans, can be a game-changer, especially if you’ve got limited room in your jacket pockets or your tackle box. CRKT’s high-carbon stainless steel blade is designed to last for years, and the thumb stud makes it especially easy to deploy if your hands are full. You can certainly use it as an EDC knife when you’re back from your camping and fishing trip, but it’s going to be at its best when taking on all of life’s adventures on the banks of a flowing river.