No one should ever head into the wilderness without a knife. In fact, you should have two knives; one in your pocket and one in your pack, as a back-up.
Anyone who has spent time outdoors knows that having a dependable knife is part of the bare minimum loadout that a hiker should carry.
If all you have is a knife, you can start a fire, build a shelter, and form basic weapons for hunting.
Without a knife, you will find a million moments in the wild where you will say, “This would be a lot easier with a knife.”
Which knife should you carry?
In selecting a knife some of the decision comes down to personal preference. The shape of the blade and features, smooth or serrated for example, also play a role.
The appearance of the knife is also important because, as the saying goes, “Always look cool. Never get lost. And if you get lost, look cool.”
In general, when choosing a knife for outdoorsmanship you want a knife that is strong and trustworthy.
Let’s rule out some of the types of knives you don’t need to carry.
Carrying a dagger is generally not practical, unless ending up in a renaissance fair is part of your survival plan.
Or maybe you plan on going toe-to-toe with bargain brand Jack Sparrow, and you need to lug around that pig-sticker of yours?
For camping and hiking it is not useful to carry too large of a knife. You will find simple tasks like cutting rope, gutting fish, and starting a fire easier with a medium to small knife.
Let’s take a look at some sound knife options.
The tanto style blade is angular and was originally designed for puncturing armor (which may come in useful if you end up at a renaissance fair without your dagger)
A knife with a gently curving blade is the most versatile knife, which make it one of the most popular styles of pocket knife in the United States.
Sometimes you want a knife with special features such as a serrated edge, bottle-opener, or harness clip.