Good camping knives can be a camper’s best friend. While you might not be using them to fend off crocodiles, bears, or lions – à la Indiana Jones – you’ll need a reliable knife to complete many tasks around the campsite. Whether you want to skin game meat or cut wood for preparing those meals, you’ll be amazed at what all the options for the best knife for camping, including Swiss ones, can achieve. But picking out the best knives for your next outdoor adventure can be slightly tricky. If you want something for general use around the campsite, then compact or folding knives are a better option. However, you’ll need the strength and support of a fixed blade for tougher tasks, such as whittling, trimming sticks, or cutting branches.
So, whether you’re looking for camping knives along the lines of the best EDC pocket knives or even the best kayaking knives, we’ve got you covered with a good buying guide too. To that end, here are the 11 best knives for camping, including Swiss ones.
Table of contents
- James The Elko Straight Blade Pocket Knife
- Victorinox Swiss Army Cybertool Lite
- Spyderco Bug Non-Locking Knife
- Lansky Madrock World Legal Knife
- Gerber Gear Ultimate Knife
- AccuSharp Knife Sharpener & Sport Folding Knife Combo
- Gerber Gator Premium Outdoor Hunting Knife
- Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 Knife
- LEATHERMAN Bond Stainless Steel EDC Multi-Tool
- Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer X
- Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
- Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
- Barebones No. 6 Field Fixed Knife
- How To Choose The Best Knives for Camping?
- What is a knife used in camping for?
- Can you bring a camping knife?
- How big should a camp knife be?
James The Elko Straight Blade Pocket Knife
The James The Elko Straight Blade Pocket Knife is the best knife for camping. This stylish pocket knife for keyring carry has a modern and minimalist design with a beautiful yet functional blade. Besides being super-simple and superlight, this knife can slip onto the keyring and be carried everywhere. What’s more, the keychain eye even doubles as a robust ‘pry tool’ and is even a potential bottle opener and flathead screwdriver. While this knife’s Titanium/Damascus build is at the expensive end of pocket knives, you can save by going for the Stainless style instead.
- Work of art.
- Quite small.
Victorinox Swiss Army Cybertool Lite
The Victorinox Swiss Army Cybertool Lite is perfect for the workstation survivalist and is the best Swiss knife for camping. This product brings the multi to “multi-tool” and is aimed squarely at geeks. What’s more, other folks might need a pen, a magnifier, pliers, a torx wrench set, or maybe even a torch. This basically means it caters to just about everyone at some point in their lives. In fact, if you ever needed a pocket toolkit to repair a MacBook, then this would be it. Thanks to the legal length blade and the dizzying array of 32 tools, the components are durable and strong enough not to snap off when you use them. That’s why this is the campsite toolkit to rule them all.
- Comes with 32 tools.
- Legal length blade.
Spyderco Bug Non-Locking Knife
The Spyderco Bug Non-Locking Knife is the best knife for camping. World-renowned knifemaker Spyderco answers the question – “What useful thing to hang on your key fob?” Hence, they’ve come up with this tiny work of art which comes with a tiny 32mm blade. What’s more, it’s perfectly legal and razor-sharp, too, especially for slicing into tricky parcels, biscuit packets, etc. Furthermore, the complete stainless build brushes off keychain scrapes, and even a small lanyard hole keeps it safely attached. All in all, this knife is useful, simple, and can always be carried around in your pocket.
- Tiny yet useful.
- Sharp blade.
- Too small for heavy work.
Lansky Madrock World Legal Knife
The Lansky Madrock World Legal Knife is a proper knife that can cut through pretty much anything outdoors. Copenhagen’s Mikkel Willumsen, who’s famed for his gritty Urban Tactical designs, created The World Legal. Basically, the idea is to make it technically legal worldwide. The knife follows the letter of the law but with a wonderfully aggressive design perfect for camping. Thanks to the 2.75-inch Stainless Blade, you can handle just about any camping task. Furthermore, the pocket clip, nylon handle, and the traditional slip-joint result in this being a robust cutting tool that’ll deliver anywhere.
- Technically legal.
- Proper knife.
- Nylon handle and pocket clip.
- The aggressive design might not work everywhere.
Gerber Gear Ultimate Knife
The durable drop-point Gerber Gear Ultimate Knife is the best knife for camping and surviving in the wild. This versatile knife by Bear Grylls has a durable blade that allows you to do anything from kindling and preparing food to even carving wood. What’s more, this Ultimate knife is designed with a non-slip rubber grip, allowing it to be very comfortable to hold even when you’re doing the trickiest of tasks. While it’s noticeably heavy, it has a tight-fitting sheath. This camping knife is a fixed blade, too, so you can get to grips with it when a heavier hand is needed.
- Emergency tools are included.
- Ergonomic handle.
- Non-slip rubber grip.
- Not full tang.
AccuSharp Knife Sharpener & Sport Folding Knife Combo
The AccuSharp Knife Sharpener & Sport Folding Knife Combo is the best one with a folding handle for carving. This little but powerful camping knife is highly rated for its precision blade, which can be used for carving and carrying out other tasks. What’s more, the locking blade is sharp and has a legal blade size, albeit it’s better not to wave it around in public. So, ensure that you keep this camping knife for private use only. Besides the trusty blade, the knife is an absolute steal and has a large camo ergonomic handle and a full-length finger guard.
- The tip is slightly less durable.
Gerber Gator Premium Outdoor Hunting Knife
The Gerber Gator Premium Outdoor Hunting Knife is the best knife for bushcraft during camping. Hunting campers don’t seem to find any fault with this blade when it comes to both function and form. For one, this fixed-blade knife has a relatively small blade but is sharp enough to skin animals. Secondly, the curved handle makes this knife slightly different from the others and rather unique in that aspect. Thanks to the curved handle, the knife is easy to hold. This is done by introducing a finger groove at the bottom of the blade, which stops your fingers from slipping when you’re handling the knife.
- Premium leather sheath.
- Finger groove for ease of use.
- Campers with large hands might find it way too small.
Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 Knife
The Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 Knife is the best camping knife for everyday use. This knife packs a lot in a small package. For one, it offers a range of customisations, ranging from colors and serrated blades to an aluminum handle construction. Secondly, this perfect EDC camping knife has an assisted opening, making one-handed operations very simple. Hence, it’s ideal for those fiddly camp-site tasks that otherwise take up a lot of time. Moreover, the robust drop-point blade can make any work easy, right from stick whittling to food preparation and everything else in between. Finally, the knife has a rugged but lightweight build, and while it’s expensive, it’ll stand the test of time with ease and become a timeless classic.
- Handy, everyday carry.
- Customizable options.
- Robust drop-point blade.
LEATHERMAN Bond Stainless Steel EDC Multi-Tool
The LEATHERMAN Bond Stainless Steel EDC Multi-Tool might not exactly be a knife, but it’s a very, very useful camping tool. The brand’s latest iteration delivers just what you’d expect from a Leatherman. Firstly, it has excellent quality pliers with a wire cutter and an all-stainless build. Secondly, this combo is ably supported by a cast of smaller but nifty utility blades. In this case, there’s a knife, a ruled scale on the back of the grips, a marlin spike-style tool, two flathead screwdrivers, and even a can opener, file, and a Philips screwdriver. If that wasn’t enough, the 2.9-inch blade is also the legal USA carry length, making this 14-in-1 toolbox an amazing camping tool.
- Brilliant toolkit.
- Fixes anything.
- Legal blade length.
Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer X
There’s no better Swiss camping knife than the Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer X. This Swiss army knife suits all camping eventualities and is a highly useful variation of the classic knife. Basically, it features a majority of the old favorite attachments and features, but in a highly compact format. Besides the set of scissors and the standard main blade, there’s still room for the timeless screwdriver blades duo. What’s more, one has a serviceable tin opener, while the other one has a wire stripper and a bottle opener. Furthermore, there’s even that obligatory spike device. Wrapping up the features are the low-profile design and the ridged alloy scales.
- Textured casing for the grip.
- Trusted brand.
- 9 tools in one camping Swiss knife.
- No corkscrew.
Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
The Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife is the best knife for camping for all outdoor chores. The knife boasts a monster of a blade in build rather than in length. Moreover, it sports a 3.2mm-thick-treated stainless steel blade that can take a serious beating during general outdoor activities. But it’s far from a blunt tool, thanks to the Scandi-ground edge that’s designed to stay razor sharp. Furthermore, a nifty addition is how the blade’s spine has been ground specifically for use with a firestarter, allowing you to set up camp quickly, no matter the weather or situation. Finally, the genuine leather sheath completes the incredibly durable and minimalist package.
- The stainless steel blade resists rust.
- Epically strong.
- Chic leather sheath.
Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife
Are you looking for the best Opinel knife for camping? Consider the Opinel No.08 Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife. This is a low-weight, high-value, classic, and designed pocket knife for EDC and camp kitchen use. There are a lot of things to love about this knife that make it the best Opinel knife for camping. Firstly, the 29 USD price belies the construction quality and overall utility. Secondly, the design optimizes camp kitchen and household EDC use, and not just robust “tactical” style uses. For regular use, Opinel No. 8 hits the sweet spot and is perfect. That’s what makes it one of the must-have camping accessories and the best Opinel knife for camping.
Barebones No. 6 Field Fixed Knife
The Barebones No. 6 Field Fixed Knife is the best all-rounder knife for camping. This knife boasts a simple but beautifully crafted 146mm practical-sized fixed blade and radiates competence. What’s more, the high-carbon steel build has a decent point, full tang, as well as a thumb depression for a stronger grip. Moreover, the knife is visually aesthetic, complete with a copper lanyard ring and a high-end walnut handle. Last but not least, the leather sheath and the solid waxed canvas prevent the edge from dulling and protect the blade from the elements. Additionally, they provide a belt clip for a stylish cowboy-style hip carry.
- Beautiful fittings.
- Simple but effective.
- Belt clip.
How To Choose The Best Knives for Camping?
The size of the knife you take for camping matters a lot since bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better in the world of camping knives. Even the most experienced hikers aren’t immune to the allure of huge camping knives that serve no other purpose than looking cool. The take-home? Keep portability and durability when it comes to the size of knives. At the same time, you shouldn’t pick tiny pocket knives in the process of wanting to avoid huge Rambo-style blades. It’s important for your camping knife to have a minimum amount of weight to provide it with better stability when you’re doing something like splicing wood. If you want to be able to handle challenging tasks, the greater your blade’s thickness and weight, the better it is.
Learn the terms
You need to learn some terms when it comes to camping knives, and one common phrase is “drop point.” Drop point blades have convex curves that slope to the blade’s point, such as a Swiss army camping knife. While they aren’t as popular, spear-point blades have the edges leading symmetrically towards the point, like daggers. Meanwhile, clip-point blades are “clipped” in the back, making them useful for picking and piercing.
One especially handy feature in a few camping knives is the “choil,” which are tiny indentations or cutouts on the blade near the handle. They can be used for helping to light sparks with a Ferro rod or sharpening your blade’s edge.
Finally, we have another key term, which is “full tang.” Full tang blades run all the way from the tip of the blade to the bottom of the handle, lending the knife superior strength and stability.
Finally, we come to the edge of the knife, which comes in either straight or serrated edges. While there’s no right or wrong blade, experienced campers tend to prefer straight-edge blades as it’s easier to get a more precise cut. When you want more detailed work with the tip, hikers find that straight-edge knives are easier to handle. Of course, serrated knives have their own benefits, as they can make slice cuts into tough food items and rope.
What is a knife used in camping for?
Camping knives are trusty tools for campsite activities such as starting fires, assisting with food preparation, and splitting kindling.
Can you bring a camping knife?
Most camping sites allow you to carry survival knives. But certain places like campsites near military bases or lines or federal buildings won’t allow you to carry knives.
How big should a camp knife be?
Proper camp knives should have blades of 8-10 inches. So, a 9-inch blade is just ideal.