A good knife is a must-have piece of gear for any outdoor trip. Long considered one of the “ten essentials” a quality knife can be a true lifesaver in an emergency.
However, there are literally thousands of knives available on the market today. So, selecting just one that’s right for your needs can be a challenge, to say the least.
To get you started, we created this ultimate guide to the best camping knives around. We’ve even reviewed some of the top models so you can spend less time researching your gear on the internet and more time enjoying the great outdoors.
Table of Contents
- Best Camping Knife Reviews
- 1. Best Knife For Camping And Hiking - Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber
- 2. Best All-Around Camping Knife - Spyderco Dragonfly 2
- 3. Best Pocket Knife For Camping - Benchmade Mini Barrage 585
- 4. Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping - Victorinox Swiss Army EvoGrip
- 5. Best Camping Folding Knife - Spyderco Tenacious
- 6. Best Fixed Blade Camping Knife - Morakniv Companion
- 7. Best Camping Knife Under $50 - Petzl Spatha
- 8. Best Lightweight Camping Knife - Spyderco HoneyBee
- 9. Best Camping Cooking Knife - GSI Outdoors Santoku
- 10. Best Canoe Camping Knife - NRS Captain
- Best Camping Knife Buyer’s Guide
- The Verdict
Best Camping Knife Reviews
Here are our reviews of the best camping knives that you can buy:
1. Best Knife For Camping And Hiking - Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber
The Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber is a high-end knife for any outdoor pursuit. Inspired by Spyderco’s coveted 40th-anniversary knife, the Native 5 is a true high-performance folding knife for people that won’t settle for second best.
The knife is built using a CPM S90V stainless steel blade, which is enriched with vanadium for maximum durability. The blade is corrosion resistance, so it’s ideal for frequent use in wet environments.
This knife also has a carbon fiber handle that’s light enough for use on backpacking trips. It also has Spyderco’s signature rounded blade hole for one-handed operation. The downside? The Native 5 isn’t cheap. But, when it comes to quality, you get what you pay for with Spyderco knives.
2. Best All-Around Camping Knife - Spyderco Dragonfly 2
For all-around performance at a somewhat reasonable price point, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is a great choice. The knife features a mid-sized plain edge blade using premium VG-10 steel. As per usual, the blade also has Spydeco’s Round Opening Hole for one-handed use.
Additionally, the Dragonfly 2 cuts weight by using a fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle. The handle on this knife is specifically designed to be ergonomic, with a built-in series of grip angles for better leverage.
Additionally, the Dragonfly 2 has a great blade-to-handle geometry that makes this compact knife feel like a much larger model, but without the added weight. The Dragonfly 2 also has a sleek clip that offers some weight savings over similar models.
3. Best Pocket Knife For Camping - Benchmade Mini Barrage 585
Small but mighty, the Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 is a modern masterpiece of the camping knife world. This knife uses extra-strong CPM-S30V steel for its blade, which features a straight edge for added versatility.
The handle is made from G10, which is a very durable plastic laminate that feels good in your hands. By using a plastic laminate instead of metal or carbon fiber, Benchmade was able to shave some weight off of the Mini Barrage.
Since it has a 2.91” (7.39cm) blade length, the Mini Barrage is also a good choice for everyday carry. This pocket knife weighs in at just 3.76oz (106.59g) so it’s light enough to take on any camping trip. Oh, and all Benchmade knives are manufactured in the USA, so you can be confident in your purchase.
4. Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping - Victorinox Swiss Army EvoGrip
When it comes to pure versatility, it’s hard to beat the Victorinox Swiss Army EvoGrip. This multi-tool has everything you need for an extended camping trip and nothing you don’t.
Like all Swiss Army knives, the EvoGrip comes with an assortment of tools. In particular, the EvoGrip has 15 tools, which include a large blade, a wood saw, scissors, and multiple screwdrivers.
What sets the EvoGrip apart from the rest of Victorinox’s knives, however, is its unique handle. The EvoGrip has a specially-designed scale (handle) that is ergonomic and comfortable enough for all-day use. So, it’s the perfect companion on any camping trip.
5. Best Camping Folding Knife - Spyderco Tenacious
The Spyderco Tenacious is a high-performing camping knife that’s perfect for any outdoor adventure. This knife has an 8Cr13Mov stainless steel blade with a unique leaf shape for the best in cutting precision.
Additionally, the Tenacious is easy to open with one hand, thanks to Spyderco’s Round Hole. It also has a textured spine for easy one-handed use and a slip-proof grip.
The handle of the Tenacious is made from G10, a durable plastic laminate. The knife also has a concealed steel liner that provides extra rigidity and strength without added weight or bulk. Plus, you can even easily customize the location of the pocket clip to suit your personal preferences.
6. Best Fixed Blade Camping Knife - Morakniv Companion
The Morakniv Companion is a time-tested favorite in the knife world, which is why it gets our vote as the best fixed blade around. This knife, which is produced by a leading manufacturer in Sweden, is built with a stainless steel blade, which makes it reliable enough for everyday use.
The Companion is a budget-friendly knife with a soft TPE rubber handle. The handle on this knife is comfortable, yet grippy, so it provides plenty of security for precision cutting.
The best part? The Companion also comes with a great polymer knife sheath. Morakniv’s standard knife sheath has a built-in belt clip, which makes it easy to attach to your belt or pack. It also comes in a variety of colors so you can get a knife that fits your personality.
7. Best Camping Knife Under $50 - Petzl Spatha
The Petzl Spatha is a multifunctional camping knife that’s specifically designed for outdoor use. Although it was originally created with climbers in mind, the Spatha is highly versatile and is perfect for camping, backpacking, or every day carry.
This knife has a stainless steel blade with a plain edge/serrated edge combo. Thanks to this combination, the Spatha can easily cut through ropes while still being useful for other precision cutting needs.
The Spatha also has a notch in its blade for one-handed opening with bare hands while its textured wheel makes opening the knife with gloves on a walk in the park. This knife also has a large hole in the handle which makes it easy to attach to any object using a full-sized climbing carabiner.
8. Best Lightweight Camping Knife - Spyderco HoneyBee
Lightweight, affordable, and oh-so-durable, the Spyderco HoneyBee is a great little knife to bring on every camping trip. This knife is made with a 3Cr13 plain edge steel blade that provides solid all-around performance in a variety of environments.
It also has a full stainless steel handle for added durability throughout years of use. While it’s not loaded with additional features, the HoneyBee is one of renowned knife maker Spyderco’s most affordable knives. So, it’s a good option for people who don’t want to spend a fortune on a blade but still want the best in quality.
9. Best Camping Cooking Knife - GSI Outdoors Santoku
If cooking up gourmet food while you’re outside is your favorite way to enjoy a night under the stars, then the GSI Outdoors Santoku just might be what you’re looking for. The GSI Santoku features a 4” stainless steel blade with the perfect rocker for use in the kitchen.
Designed specifically with outdoor master chefs in mind, the GSI Santoku has an ergonomic rubber handle for all-day comfort as you prepare your next backcountry gourmet meal. The knife also comes with a protective sheath to ensure maximum sharpness throughout years of use.
10. Best Canoe Camping Knife - NRS Captain
Canoe campers are a unique breed. Life on the water requires special tools, which is why the NRS Captain is the perfect companion for any canoe camping adventure.
This purpose-built knife features a folding blade, which is unique in the world of paddling rescue knives. It has a rope cutting hook at one end for quick and easy release of any lines under tension in an emergency situation. The knife also has a sharp serrated edge for use in a variety of circumstances.
If that wasn’t enough, the Captain has a blunt end that can be used as a screwdriver, as well as a glass breaking tip for emergency use. Oh, and it has a built-in bottle opener, which will hopefully keep you well hydrated on all of your adventures.
Best Camping Knife Buyer’s Guide
With so many different camping knives available today, it’s pretty difficult to narrow down your options. So, here are some things to look out for as you’re shopping around:
The vast majority of knives on the market today are made with some form of stainless steel. Each knife uses a unique alloy that provides its own advantages and disadvantages.
With so many different alloys available, it would be impossible for us to give you advice on each model. So, we recommend doing some targeted research on the manufacturer’s website to determine if a specific blade material is right for your needs.
Most camping knives feature handles that are ergonomically designed for a better grip. These handles come in a variety of materials, including:
Fixed v. Folding
Whether or not to get a fixed or a folding knife is a seemingly endless debate. Fixed knives are known for being extra durable since they have fewer moving parts. They also generally have much longer blades, which means they’re useful for a wide range of different tasks.
However, fixed blades are hard to pack and conceal because of their larger size. They’re also not suitable for carrying in your pocket and require a sheath for transport.
Folding blades, on the other hand, are prized by people who want a lightweight knife that’s compact and easy to carry. Plus, the best folding knives are as durable as any fixed blade out there.
So, it really all comes down to personal preference and how much you plan to use the knife. If you want a super durable large knife that you can depend on in any situation, a fixed blade is probably best. Otherwise, a folding knife is smaller, more compact, and easier to carry for infrequent use.
The size of a knife is very important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, larger knives tend to weigh more, which makes them less ideal for backpacking and other weight-conscious pursuits. However, larger knives are generally easier to use than smaller knives, which can be tricky to manipulate for precision cutting.
Additionally, many countries have laws regarding blade length on any knife that you carry on your person. These laws vary by country to country and between different states or provinces. So, if you intend to travel with your knife (be sure to put it in your checked bag!) a smaller blade might be ideal.
No one likes to carry around more weight than they have to while camping. Although a knife might not seem very heavy, all those ounces do add up. So, a lightweight knife might be the best choice for any backpacking adventures.
A quality knife is essential for camping. But, finding the right knife for your needs can be difficult. So, when shopping for your next camping knife, be sure to consider all of the different factors that go into choosing the best blade for your future outdoor trips.