Good camping knives can ideally assist you with a bunch of tasks, whether that is preparing food, cutting wood or ropes, or even as a self-defense tool.
These days, there is a plethora of camping knives to choose from, so which ones are the best to take for your next outdoor adventures?
We have you covered in our extensive camping knife guide that will walk you through all the different knife features to look out for when it comes to finding the best camping knife.
- How to Choose the Best Camping Knife for Cooking
- The Best Camping Knives
- Budget knives
- 1. Morakinov companion
- 2. StatGear 99416 Surviv-All
- Folding knives
- 3. Spyderco Endura 4
- 4. Victorinox Pioneer Alox
- Fixed-blade knives
- 5. Gerber Strongarm
- 6. KA-BAR Becker Campanion BK2
- 7. Benchmade Bushcrafter 162
- – What does tang stand for?
- – Is a coated blade a good thing?
- – How can I test if a knife is really sharp?
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Camping Knife for Cooking
Camping knives these days are available in all shapes and sizes, but to find the one that is best for you and will serve you well during food prep, there are several things you should know and consider first.
First of all, what exactly is a camping cooking knife? A camping cooking knife is a knife that is heavier than your average kitchen knife and potentially also a bit bigger with a sturdier build.
Here are some other factors to consider when choosing a good camping knife:
- Easy to use & durable – This knife should be easy to use for anybody and able to withstand rough outdoor conditions with lots of moisture and dirt.
- Grippy handle & not too heavy – You don’t want your knife to slip out of your hands while using it, but also don’t supper from hand fatigue when using your knife for long periods of time.
- Able to perform heavy-duty tasks – Whether it is skinning game or fish scaling, slicing fruit, or even cutting wood or other objects, your knife should’ve able to perform it all.
- Rust and corrosion resistant – As camping exposes your knife to changing temperatures and more moisture than inside a normal home, your knife should be rust-resistant and ideally made out of stainless steel.
The Best Camping Knives
We have trialed and tested some of the most versatile and razor-sharp camping knives out there, so you can pick from the best ones only:
Just because you are camping on a budget does not mean that you have to forego having one of the best camping knives with you. We have kept smaller pockets in mind with the following budget knives, so you can still prepare a class meal al fresco:
This camping knife has a bit of a smaller blade length (8.8 inches) and thus a lighter weight (it only weighs about 4.8 ounces), but is not any less durable or robust than some of the larger camping knives available on the market.
For a very decent grip, you can rely on the rubber handle, which offers almost but not the full tang knife stability you would wish for a camping knife, but this is to be expected when buying knives in this price range.
Another reason why survival knives are so popular is because of their multi-tool use. Unfortunately, the Morakniv Companion will only provide you with cutting and slicing properties but not with the causing a spark side of things. The spine is not designed to strike a Ferro rod. Therefore, you will have to find some other tool to make a fire.
On a brighter note, however, you will receive a lifetime warranty with this camping knife and, on top of that, a plastic sheath with a belt clip for quick accessibility and comfort.
This 440 stainless steel drop point blade, measuring 4.25 inches, provides full tang and a slick design. A total weight of 15 ounces also means you will definitely feel the Statgear lying well-balanced in your hands but without it being overly strenuous.
The sheath is manufactured to protect your drop point blade perfectly AND includes a blade sharpener, a strap cutter, AND a Ferro rod, making this a survival knife of note for the novice as well as well-versed campers.
The folding blade does lock into the sheath, so you won’t have to worry that this knife is ever going to slip out. A quirky and appreciated feature of this particular knife is the green glow-in-the-dark strips on the handle, which will help you to find this compact knife easily in the dark.
Easy to carry and easily accessible, lightweight, and compact, makes folding knives are the perfect pocket knives when going on a camping trip.
Even though some might prefer preparing meals with a fixed blade knife, there is absolutely nothing wrong with food preparation with a convenient folding knife, as these bad boys can perform most of the tasks a heavy-duty knife with a fixed blade can:
This knife will fit effortlessly in any pocket thanks to measuring only 5 inches and weighing 4 ounces. When you open this perfect pocket knife, you will discover a saber-ground stainless steel blade that comes with a safety spider hole to safely push the blade into the handle.
The handle itself is manufactured out of fiberglass-reinforced nylon and has grippy traction scaled all over it, which comes in handy when working in wet or sweaty conditions.
Although not being the ultimate heavy-duty knife, this knife offers a full tang blade.
We all love a good Swiss Army knife; they are some of the best survival knives out there and come with Swiss precision and quality, as does the Pioneer Alox. It has basically all the tricks up its sleeve that a SAK offers, plus an extremely sharp edge blade.
This classic knife might not be used for splitting firewood, but it is ideal for fine food prep and long enough to do some wood splicing for kindling.
Apart from a blade length of three inches, you will have access to eight more tools, which include a can as well as a bottle opener and small screwdriver, a wire stripper key, and scissors – sounds like everything you need and more from a camping knife, right?
If you are not too worried about the weight or size of your camping knife, then going for fixed-blade knives is probably the best call. Usually, these knives are much stronger and more durable than any folding blade can be.
If you get yourself a full tang knife such as these, you will literally be prepared for any task or situation during your outdoor adventure with an indestructible tool/ survival knife.
This knife is an incredibly powerful camping knife and is highly rated among campers for a lot of reasons.
Firstly, the high carbon steel blade can perform slicing as well as chopping work easily as well as tackle challenging tasks thanks to a full-tang blade while feeling lightweight in your hand.
Secondly, the grip has been designed with slip-free handling in mind, and the grooved and diamond-textured grip will not let you down when you are busy making kindling, slicing onions, or gutting freshly caught fish.
And last but not least, the StrongArm comes with a sheath that is basically a multi-tool of its own. It can be worn and mounted in various ways, on a belt, on MOLLE webbing, or in a drop-leg fashion.
All of the above and more make the Gerber StrongArm the ultimate survival knife that will not disappoint you in the outdoor kitchen.
If you know your stuff when it comes to knives, you will appreciate this knife as it has been designed by knife master Ethan Becker.
Thanks to that, it comes with a great balance of price and strength and a blade that is wide, thick, and heavy (aka indestructible), making it perfect for a lot of heavy-duty chopping tasks in the great outdoors.
This fixed blade knife is probably the most supportive and definitely the strongest full-tang blade on this list.
And yes, as with any well-designed outdoor knife, you will be able to make a fire with this camp knife as it comes with a choil by the handle that can either sharpen or strike rods, i.e. be used as a fire starter.
Potentially the most pricey but also the most quality, reliable knife on our list is the Bushcrafter. Yes, it is a luxury buy, but also one that will fulfill many duties for you and probably last you a lifetime, thanks to the incredible craftsmanship involved in the manufacturing process of this blade.
Its blade length measures 4.4. inches, and the total weight is a hefty 7.7 ounces, so nothing for weaklings. However, the non-slip handle comes with scales that will ensure a good grip when working with this knife.
You can wear this knife on your belt thanks to its belt loop attachment, and it also comes with a protective D-ring and a retention strap to keep the thick blade safe.
Here are some further valuable information on camping knives and some technicalities explained if you are looking to buy your first knife for the great outdoors.
– What does tang stand for?
In this article, you will notice that we use the words half-tang or full-tang to describe the blade of a knife. This basically refers to how deep the steel of fixed blades will extend into the handle in one solid piece, i.e. how strong the blade is and how balanced the knife will feel in your hands.
Here’s a bit more in-depth information:
- Half- or quarter-tang – These knives are usually fine for most camping necessities, and if you haven’t saved on the wrong end in terms of quality, these knives will be quite stable and perform each task very satisfactorily.
- Full-tang – With a lot more stability as well as durability, you can use knives that have this description, especially for heavy-duty tasks such as splitting wood.
– Is a coated blade a good thing?
There are some blades on the market which have a coating over their stainless steel base, which protects it and increases the durability of your knife while at the same time adding some visual appeal.
Whether or not this is a good thing, however, very much depends on what you want your blade to be capable of doing. Usually, almost every knife can create a spark with a ferrocerium rod. Some of them even have specially carved edges on their spine to make it easier to strike a spark.
While the blade will become more durable, the coating will prevent the spine of the blade from being used with a fire starter. In addition, an extra coat can be a bit harder to clean and potentially even chip as you try to sharpen your knife, which will hurt the visual appeal.
However, if you happen to own a coated knife, don’t worry, as you will still be able to use the actual blade. Do so with care because it can damage the blade if you do it too hard and too often.
– How can I test if a knife is really sharp?
While some more senior knife owners like to test the sharpness of their blade with their thumb, it might be easier to test the sharpness of your knife with something else, such as a piece of printer paper.
Simply try and slice through the sheet, and if you can do so with minimal effort, then your blade is sharp enough. If your blade snags or catches a lot in the process, it means that your blade is still too dull.
Finding an everyday carry knife that you can use for your camping adventures AND that can moonlight as a cooking knife can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for.
Now that we have explored the meaning behind tang and whether a good folding knife will be able to perform just as well as a fixed blade knife, you can confidently start your next outdoor adventure with your new EDC camping knife and cut to the chase – pun intended.