Backpackers! What knives are you carrying?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by TAH, May 31, 2018.

  1. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Almost exactly what Chris Still said. My Mora is on my pack, and while I can access it when wearing the pack, the Spyderco is in my pants/shorts pocket and much easier to access if I doff my pack. The Mora and sheath with Firesteel are simply my "comfort item" when it comes to assessing carried grams. There are about a dozen items I've tagged as unnecessary, but still choose to pack them simply because they provide a certain level of mental comfort. My base weight is still about 13.5-14 pounds and I'm comfortable with the a maximum loaded weight for 5-7 days on the trail, so while I could easily ditch one or the other, I'm okay with both (and the Leatherman PS)…

    I could easily justify dropping one or the other, but the habit has been set and I'm okay with the duplication. If I was to drop either one to actually cut weight, it would be the Mora; however, I just like have even a smaller fixed blade as part of my packing list and the Mora fits my setup quite well.

    No, not really. My Dragonfly might be used to open a package of nut-butter (because I hate when they tear open and poop out a large amount vice a smaller, controlled amount). Trying to recall situations are few but I do remember my wife actually using her folder to cut out a bothersome clothing tag, and cutting cordage left on a tree.

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  2. OwenM


    Oct 26, 2000
    Haven't posted here in a long time, but just finished up a week in Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness.
    Just like pretty much every other backpacking trip I've taken the last 8 years, I carried a Spyderco Delica and Victorinox Classic.
    Only exceptions have been short trips in cold weather, where I sometimes take a Corona folding saw and Becker BK7 or Blackjack 1-7 for cutting and splitting firewood.

    Weight isn't really an issue, as my pack was <25lbs with 7 days' food and 1.4L of water this time out, I just don't carry anything I won't use.
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  3. domiro


    Sep 10, 2018
    I usually carry my Spyderco Drangonfly 2 and Condor Bushlore 2011.
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  4. Þráinn Njálsson

    Þráinn Njálsson

    Oct 16, 2018
    Honestly, I would normally not bring anything more than a Swiss Army knife. If I was going on a multi week canoe trip in northern Canada, I would bring maybe an F1 and a small axe, but for the average 3 day backpack trip, I wouldn't really use anything more than a SAK. But I'm more of a climber, so I don't really "bushcraft" when I'm in the mountains. I do more "fast and light" stuff, so I pretty much rely on MSR stove, bivy bag, and compass. If anything goes wrong, I make a bee line for the car. I don't even build fires normally. Now for a canoe trip, all that would change. But for Backpacking, a good'ol Victorinox serves me well, and it's light.
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  5. JB in LV

    JB in LV Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2016
    For day hikes, Mora Companion in pack, Spyderco PM2 clipped to RFP. Optional GEC Beer Scout in RFP, Brous Silent Soldier Ranger v2 around neck.
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  6. knoefz


    Mar 20, 2009
    The Esee 3 is one of my favourites to bring.
    Ofter combined with a sak.

  7. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    for now, I'll be carrying this little scandi design knife by Mark Hill (Yorkshire UK) ) 01 steel, full tang, scary sharp, Walnut scales
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  8. Chris Still

    Chris Still

    Apr 5, 2018
    My last trip all I carried was my Byrd Meadowlark 2. It fit the bill nicely. See what I did there? Byrd. Bill. But yeah, it was fine.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  9. Pilsner


    Oct 28, 2017
    Looks sweet!

    I've got one in the pipeline with Mark, too. Will post pics when it arrives...
  10. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Looks like a scandi Kephart without finger guard or slightly tapered handle as much as it looks like a Mora. Basic woods design.

    I don't carry much backpacking but when day hiking or camping, I usually now carry a Kephart (either a Condor or LT Wright Next Gen) or an Ahti Tikka puuko.
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  11. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    In the distant past when I still had healthy knees and wasn't carrying the weight of a fair-sized backpack 24/7 around the waist, I carried a bog standard SAK and an EKA Camp large folder with a spatula-shaped blade on long-distance hikes. I did not need to make wood fires (half the time was spent above the tree line anyway) but did prepare food every day, and the EKA was great for all kinds of food prep.
    These days I do the occasional day hike, and as I'm more into knives now I always take at least one fixed blade that I can use to do some adhoc brush clearing just to be able to sit down somewhere without getting stuck in brambles, of which we have too much (mid latitude, mid-altitude plateau with a lot of forest and neglected trails, always thorny stuff getting in the way). I always keep my EDC stuff in my pockets and on my belt, including a Laguiole pocket knife with a large punch and a Leatherman Rebar, so no lack of folding blades... The fixed blade is somewhat of a comfort item, assuming that I carry (home)prepackaged food and some kind of lightweight cooking outfit (Esbit, alcohol, MSR whisperlight etc.) I'd probably be able to get by without ever using the large blade, as in the past. But where I used to hike then, there were no badly behaved hunters with agressive dogs, and very few bramble bushes - there are a lot of those things where I hike now.
    I like the Finnish/Sami way of combining a small belt knife with a longer leuku one. In my pack I keep a Hultafors OK4 as the lightweight belt option and an old (1980s) leuku I bought in Scandinavian Lapland, 7 inch blade of decent stainless steel, birch handle, all-through stick tang. It's a surprisingly effective brush cutter. Very handy if you want to forage for blackberries and the thorny vines get in your way, a few sweeps with the leuku will get you access to the fruit and the thing has just enough reach to keep your hands away from the thorns.
    You don't need to travel far to find a need for good knife. Not long ago I just stepped out for a little hike in the immediate neighborhood (I live in a rural place, no need to drive to a trailhead). I was suffering from some backpain, hoped to walk that off but instead it increased after a km or so, and I regretted not having taken a hiking staff. So I grabbed a nice straight hazel branch that had broken off from a hedge, sawed it to length with the Leatherman, rounded off the tips and delimbed/debarked it with the Terava puukko I happened to be carrying, and after 10 minutes I had a decent staff to lean on.
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  12. chief dignitary

    chief dignitary

    Jun 22, 2000
    I used to carry a BuckLITE 422(?) old plastic handled Buck folder from the early 90s. Usually now I carry nothing, but I'm going to try one of Derma-safe folding razors next time I go out.
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  13. mec003


    Jan 1, 2015
    I just want to update that I've been loving the mora eldris lately!!
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  14. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Just scored a Burnt Orange Eldris last week..:D So far its great.. But to be honest I haven't used it yet!!:oops:
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  15. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    One item I almost always carry in my pack is a large blade. At least 6 inch or more. I also carry a small fixed blade and a leatherman wave. The wave almost always gets the most use. Last week, we decided to go for an impromptu hike(me and wife) and me being complacent about going to a trail that I have done a million times is that I decided only to take my folding knife and leave everything else behind. After all it is a short hike, so I took my small pack, removed my large blade and leatherman and added some extra water. On the way back down the trail, I ran across a pissed off ratlesnake. There is tons of brush in that area, but the snake had planted itself on this very narrow trail that lots of people with kids and dogs use. So I decided I would try to get it off the trail. I had no stick. So I decided to cut one. All I had with me was my spyderco endura. It took me about 5 minutes of cutting to get a branch to use to get snake off trail. I was sweating a lot after that. With a larger blade or even the leatherman saw, I would have made short work of that branch in seconds saving me lots of liquid loss. Lesson learned. Either a saw, hatched or heavier fixed blade is always a good idea for me and my terrain.
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  16. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    What were you cutting that took that much effort? I rarely encounter timber that I cannot break and cut, or would need heavy gear to deal with never something that is in between. I suppose I could tackle some of it with that size of blade, but I feel like I'd get a lot done in that time.
    Not to pick at your story, just trying to get a wider perspective, I love me a chopper, but I honestly cannot find many real use-cases.
  17. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I have been thinking to myself, which knives would I take of my collection? I came up with a few possible loadouts of different weights, give or take a moderate folder like a native 5 or CS golden eye.

    BK 62 and SAK harvester
    SYKCO safety mutt and SAK harvester
    Custom 3" nessmuk necker, custom 4" B&T, bahco saw

    If I know I'm going to be building bigger fires, BK9 or ratweiler, maybe a forsaken steel heart. There's an esee 6 floating around as well that could sneak it's way in. Probably also depends if I'm carrying the boy or not in the pack, then I'll be looking to shave a few grams and I can probably count on not starting a big fire. No overnights with the little one yet.
  18. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998

    It is these really ugly large bushes that look like ironwood but are not. The wood is rubbery. I can grab a 1.5-2 inch diameter branch and wrap it around my arm, it will not break. And even with the serrations on the spyderco, it would not saw through easily. But a real saw would have made short work of it. Even my little cable saw would have cut it in less than a minute.
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  19. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    That's how I feel about some of the crazy vines we have in Michigan. I never knew we had such vines until moving across the state to the SE area.

    Ratweiler for reference. Flattened the edge on a tram latin machete a few times when I came back to try and cut these further off the trail. Glad I brought the sharpening puck that day, it was a lot harder work than I had anticipated. These bastids take down a lot of trees in the park I was working in. I bought a bigger machete after that day, since I help maintain the mountain bike trail here, and the vines are a consistent problem, though this is one of the worse spots along the trail.

    This has made me think that a big knife or small machete might not be a bad idea for hiking, especially if I got off trail at all.

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  20. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    Yeah, I am not saying that a big knife is always needed, however, something that can easily process wood is, such as a saw, small machete, large blade, hatchet etc, always a good idea to have along even if you do not needed. The little spyderco did not cut it, no pun intended.
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