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Confession - I hardly use my knife while camping

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by kgd, May 31, 2018.

  1. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    I can't recall ever backpacking with a saw or hatchet in the 45 or so years I've been at it. The longer I live, the less I take.
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I can see the utility of a small folding saw camping, but for me the hatchet is mostly dead weight. If you like to saw things to get straight cuts for whatever reason (stakes, walking stick, and so forth), you can get by pretty darn well with a SAK with a saw blade as long as you're not in some sort of wood production mode. The folding saw can handle this.
  3. kgd


    Feb 28, 2007
    Good to hear from you buddy! Just came back from China where I survived a bunch of field work and sampling lakes sans knife (way too much boarder hassle to deal with to bring one). LOL, I normally "liberate" a little steak knife from a cafeteria when I have to travel over seas for field work, but in chop-stick china, that's not even an option. Even the students I was with tended to use a scissors there. But oh well, scissors aren't very sexy but they have a point and an edge at the very least! I'm debating taking out the S-Curve on my next trip to Woodland Caribou this augist. I think it will model well in Canada's Boreal forest!

  4. Anrkst6973


    May 15, 2008
    I dunno, I remember about 4 decades ago spending weeks wandering the scrub with a mil surplus canteen w/ cup, a GI 2 pic mess tin, a scratchy wool blanket, and a Plumb hatchet ( and not much else) Thought I was living the high life then. Wish I had the time to do it now. :)
    buckfynn, LostViking, Pomsbz and 2 others like this.
  5. A.L.


    Jun 27, 2007
    When I go for little woods walks or snow shoeing, I rather take my multitool than my knife if I had to choose. It stabs my croissants with ease, lift pots, open knots, fix knots, fix gear, saws twigs and so and so.. I recently got myself Esee izula as outdoors knife because I thought it would be easy to just toss in your backpack or pocket and does 99% of outdoorsy tasks.
    WILLIAM.M and DavidZ like this.
  6. DavidZ

    DavidZ Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 30, 2004
    When hiking, my knife doesn't get much use either. But when I take a break it can get a workout. Mostly whittling and just messing around. A multi tool is more practical though.
    jmh33, buckfynn, Pomsbz and 2 others like this.
  7. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    I rarely camp while knifing......
  8. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    That's funny!!! :D John
  9. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    Thanks ! The implied violence in my post is truly meant as a joke, as I do not regularly stab, assault or otherwise harm others.
  10. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    And the winner of this contest is
    Opinel #7 carbon
    It cuts most anything I need it to cut, both kitchen when I travel and any wood task I can imagine when backpacking
    And a SAK Classic in my FAK
    At my age I do not want to carry extra weight and the Opinel is FOB (Free on Board) ie so light as not to matter

    If I am traveling not backpacking then I will supplement this with a SAK Waiter that has a blade, can/bottle opener and a corkscrew/awl
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  11. BBW


    Dec 2, 2005
    For some reason I have the opposite experience. Everything comes in a plastic enclosure that is impossible to open without a knife or scissors. I can't even open the litter box for my cats with my bare hands!

    (oops, I was reading several treads at the same time. no plastic while camping for the most part :)
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    Swampdog and 315 like this.
  12. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    The infernal plastic wrap!

    Although I very rarely have need of much knife when camping, it's the infernal, God d--ed ubiquitous plastic wrap that defies tooth and nail that has me reaching for my SAK. And very often the little classic at that. It's no wonder that the Victorinox classic is the most popular selling pocket knife in the backpacking/mountaineering stores. I long ago lost count how many Mountain House packages of Beef Stroganoff I zipped open with that tiny thin little blade.

    If not for the classic, I can only wonder how many innocent backpackers would have perished from starvation.:eek:

    Grateful, neeman, Pomsbz and 3 others like this.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I feel naked without a knife in my pocket (or on my belt) hiking, woods wandering, woods/field messing around, outdoor photography... pretty much you name it if I am outdoors. At some point I need a knife. So, I have one with me regardless of whether I "think" I am going to need it. Even the little Vic Classic is better than nothing. I prefer a more substantial Vic folder generally. The One Handed Trekker is a pretty versatile outdoors tool along with my little Leatherman Ps4. Don't care much for the OH Trekker in my pocket, but I might slip it inside a day pack or camera bag.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    WILLIAM.M and BBW like this.
  14. Tim20637


    Jan 10, 2010
    what knife is that in the first picture? That has beautiful lines.
  15. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    When I made long backpacking trips (in another century and with better knees) I did not carry a fixed blade, just a SAK and a largish EKA folder with a spatula tip for food prep - great for making pancakes and omelets. Nowadays, I live in an area with a lot of dense woodland, and even on a short day hike, as soon as I want to sit down on a fallen tree along the trail I need to clear the place of nettles, bramble and other nasty stuff before I can put my butt down. Some neclected trails get overgrown, and especially after a wet spring there are a lot of fresh bramble vines trying to take your eyes out. The main reason for taking a fixed blade then is brush/trail clearing, meaning a somewhat longer but not too-thick blade (a machete does a great job of course, but seems a bit over the top most of the time). It could be a 140 mm Jääkkäripuukko or a classic 175 mm Leuku blade, to have that few centimeters of extra reach that keep one's hands away from the thorns. Of course these are also excellent if one wants to make an impromptu hiking staff or similar. Not absolutely neccessary, just faster than a folder, especially when delimbing. Same for quickly making a couple of poles and pegs to prop up a poncho to sit under during a lunch break in the rain.
    Camp fires are frowned upon here, I'll happily take a small thermos for hot tea in the colder season on a day hike, so I don't need to make feathersticks or split wood etc.
    Of course if you want to carry and use a knife you'll find a reason to... ;-)
  16. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    The longer puukko or the leuku would be just my choice from the blades I own; any mid-sized or slightly longer blade of decent quality and not too thick to make it unwieldy will do in the above situation, and there are hundreds if not thousands of such blades out there that would fit the bill. ;-)
  17. CVamberbonehead


    Nov 6, 2017
    I actually use a knife quite a bit when out camping. I am always using a knife for little tasks like cutting string or making food. I never baton or anything like that. I do some whittling, just basic stuff. Even if I didnt use a knife though, Id still bring one just in case of emergency (never know when a marshmallow will need to be roasted lol)
  18. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    Just went camping a couple weeks ago. Car camping, with my son and mom, for two nights. We made dinner both nights, on a Coleman stove. I brought a largish spoon, for the beans, and a spatula, and neglected to bring a kitchen knife. So, I made due with my sodbuster jr. Did just fine as a kitchen knife.
    Grateful and jmh33 like this.

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