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Pros and cons of the various knives to bring along when camping or hiking

The question about the one single item you will bring if you are dropped on a deserted island without clothes or anything else is as old as the world. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the single item which could be of the most use for you in such a situation is a knife. With a knife you have protection, you can make shelter, cut food and make yourselves some sort of clothing too.


Of course it is highly unlikely that you will be put into such an extreme situation, but in other more common cases, like when you go out camping or hiking, it is essential to bring a knife with you. You can use it for cutting food, cutting cords, making a shelter, hunting, for fixing your gear, or for a wide variety of tasks which you may need to perform while outdoors in the wilderness. But what is the best type of knife to take to your hiking or camping trip? Here are some of the pros and cons of the different types of knives you can choose from.

Pros and cons of the different knife types

Fixed blade knives

Since it isn’t foldable, a fixed blade knife is not the most common choice among campers and hikers. This type of knife needs to be carried in a sheath or other case, which makes it bulky and heavy. On the other hand, it is a very strong knife, because of the full tang construction (the metal from the blade continues into the handle of the knife. So, you choose whether to carry a heavier and bulkier full blade knife with you when you are going on an outdoor camping or hiking trip. It could be a choice between strength and dependability vs weight and bulkiness. You decide!


Single folding blade knife

This type of knife is much more compact and easy to carry around in your pocket. Yes, it is compact, but its hinge makes it weaker than a full blade knife. These types of knives are usually quite affordable and can come in different sizes and varieties.

They can be used for tasks such as cutting food, gutting fish, cutting small branches and other everyday tasks. As far as survival goes, this is not the most reliable knife to have on you if you are hurt or lost in the wilderness.



The most famous multitools carry the brand name Leatherman. These instruments have a wide array of different types and sizes of blades, wire cutters, plyers, screwdrivers and various different tools fitted in 1 body. Usually with multitools, the blades are rather narrow and small, and the other tools are very unlikely to be needed for survival in the wilderness. The multitool is handy for repair jobs and fixing mechanical faults, rather than for hiking or camping.

Swiss army knife

There are so many different types of Swiss army knives which feature amazing different tools. The problem is, the more tools it contains the heavier and bulkier the knife gets. The best type of Swiss Army knife to take on a camping or hiking trip is the classic small model with 1 main blade and a smaller one, a saw to cut branches, as well as an awl for punching holes and repairing gear and packs. The corkscrew and the can opener could be of help on your trip too. Although the blades can easily blunt, Swiss army knives tend to be the most popular kind of knives for camping and hunting because of their compact size and the variety of options for tools they have.