The best camping knife is a knife lightweight enough that it wont add a lot of extra weight to your bag, but with enough size and strength to provide all the functionality of a larger knife. Multi-Tools for Backpacking are something else to consider, but knives usually weigh far less and can provide most of the same functionality.
There are two options when considering the best camping knife, folding knives and fixed blade knives. Folding knives don’t need a sheath and are small enough to fit in to a pocket. Fixed blade knives, however, are stronger but typically a bit heavier. They do not, however, fit well in to a pocket, but usually come with a sheath that will fit easily on to a belt.
Best Camping Knife List
- Gerber EZ Out – The Gerber EZ Out is a small folding knife that weighs only 85 grams, or 3 ounces. It has a belt clip and is small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. Being a fold out knife it doesn’t have much lateral strength, but it’s well reviewed, and if you’re looking for a small knife that can fit in a pocket, this may be the best camping knife for you.
- Columbia River Peck in the Dark – The Peck in the Dark from Columbia River is another folding knife popular with campers, backpackers and hikers. The stand out feature of the Peck in the Dark is the weight, which is only 25 grams, or .9 ounces. It’s small too, and can fit in a pocket or anywhere else that is convenient. So if lightweight is what you’re looking for then the Peck in the Dark my be the best backpacking knife for you.
- Columbia River M16-13 Zytel Combo Edge – The Zytel is another folding knife from Columbia River. It’s a bit larger than most folding knives, with a 3.56 inch blade. It’s a bit heavier too, at 105 grams, or 3.7 ounces. More weight means more strength, however, so if the best hiking knife for you is a folding knife with a bit of heft and strength then the Zytel is an ideal choice.
- Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife – This knife, manufactured by Gerber, is a fixed blade knife with a number of survival features built in, such as a steel pommel for hammering, a whistle, a sharpener in the sheath and a fire starter too. The weight is 317 grams, or 11.2 ounces, so it’s not the lightest knife, but if you’re looking for a survival knife with all the bells and whistles this is the best camping knife for you.
- Gerber Big Rock Fixed Blade – This is a great, no-frills fixed blade utility knife from Gerber. It has a serrated edge and a steel pommel for whacking things. The blade length is 4.5 inches and the weight is 178 grams, or 6.3 ounces. It’s hefty and strong, so if you’re not so concerned about weight and want something that’s going to be used a lot, the Big Rock Fixed Blade is the best camping knife.
- Helle Temagami (Survivorman) Knife – In terms of quality of construction this is the best camping knife on the list. It’s a fixed blade knife from the other big name in survivor television, Les Stroud of Survivorman. It comes with a well oiled wooden handle and has a classic look, and not any of the survival features of the Bear Grylls knife. Each one is hand made though, and the quality is unmistakable. It weighs 400 grams, or 14.1 ounces, so not the lightest knife, but if you want something classic and well made, this is a fantastic choice.