First and only general survival/camping knife: BK22 or something else?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by hal3134, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    What I carry and recommend for general hiking and backpacking...

    1) Leatherman PS4 Squirt for bandage prep and zipper/gear repair

    2) Opinel #9 Inox in RFP. Handles food prep and the ocassional wood working task. Ocassionally I replace this with a Mora Companion. But I prefer a pocket knife.

    3) The Backpackers Handbook by Chris Townsend. On the bed side stand and well worn.

    Of these, the book is probably the most important. You can get all 3 for under $100.
  2. Greykilt

    Greykilt Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    Been at 8000' between Boulder and Estes Park at the base line of Longs Peak in the Elk Meadow Range of Rocky Mountain National Forest nigh on 55 years. I carry this when I venture out. If your going up into the canyon in November, think avalance. Think Ice. Fuzzy Sticks and Kitchen knives are all the rage but Ice falls and Ice kills. And its like that here 8 months a year... :D


  3. gadunz


    Dec 4, 2012
  4. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Can you say more about how these tools are useful in avalanche terrain? When the topic turns to avalanche gear, I generally think of beacons, probes and shovels. I've not heard anyone discuss the utility of wood chopping tools in that context but I'm not saying there is none. To deal with path making through the post avalanche debris fields, perhaps? Those can be a mess to work trough or around down in a tight valley.

    Not debating. Honestly curious.

    For the OP... Might want to add 4) Get and read a copy of the "The Freedom of the Hills", which is sort of the standard text on mountaineering. Includes overview of avalanche dangers and approaches to safety there.
  5. Steve6387


    Jul 1, 2013
    Much wisdom here. Knowing what you are doing and how to handle yourself in back country is way more important than the blade you have. As far as tools. My backpacking setup is a med sized folder and a leatherman PST, with the leatherman being the more critical of the two. That combo has gotten me through a number of wet, unexpected, and miserable hiking / backpacking scenarios. While I don't think I've ever needed more than the leatherman, being a knife guy, I feel like I need to have one on me most times. Plus, for a quick and dirty job (splinter, cutting duct tape or twine) accessing a folder that's attached to pack webbing can be more convenient than accessing multi tool blades.

    Edit: I never answered your question because I was too busy pontificating. Nothing bigger than a 16. I say a solid folder / multi-tool setup.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  6. BubbaGump


    Oct 30, 2015
    There is also the distinction between long term and short term survival. In the context of this post, I think we are talking about short term survival in an emergency situation--you find yourself lost, it's getting dark and cold, and you have no other option but to settle in for the night. The goal is to start a fire, stay warm, and shield yourself from the elements. There really is no need to get carried away with gear choice. You won't be building a long cabin and don't need machetes, axes, or massive blades. A sturdy folder will suffice. Being even more practical, stow the fire steel simply as a backup and keep a lighter in your pack.
  7. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    There really is no perfect "one knife fits all", unfortunately; we've all been searching in vain, (and still searching)...

    My suggestion, for your "needs/wants" is stretch you budget to $100 even with a slight wiggle room, and buy 3 Knives to suit you, which will handle everything that gets thrown your way on your outdoor adventures;
    Kabar bk5 for your deep "camping" endeavors, is a real beast! Called "Magnum Camp knife" for a reason... The 8" blade gives you plenty for chopping, clearing brush, and yet still is a pretty good slicer believe it or not... (And the blade shape is still "aggressive" in the event you would have to fight off a bear or wolf or mtn lion, even if you lose you can leave a lasting mark ;) )

    Sheath can be easily attached to a pack or belt, but it is heavy for simple day trips,

    So the Mora Companion fits in great for EDC carry, lightweight, easy to carry for those little hikes with the family, or just to carry around town...

    Lastly, the Swiss Army Huntsman, with it's smaller thin slicing blade(s) it's perfect for slicing an apple, or whatever "light" tasks come about, and with the saw blade and scissors, can opener and bottle opener, etc. it is a great every day pocket knife to carry, and even on your camping trips or day hikes, will fill in all the gaps your "Knife" alone won't do, (you can find a different swiss army model if you choose, but that is my personal favorite)...

    All 3 are easy to sharpen, no frills, and you'll likely never "need" another knife for your journeys; a true pocket knife for EDC, a true "Heavy Duty" blade, and the tweener that fills that gap; If you shop around you can buy all 3 for right around $100...
  8. Fireform


    Apr 1, 2005
    If you're "camping" out of a car, bring as much steel as you like. Hell, bring the dutch oven. Likewise, if you're going out for a night or two, not walking far, then bring a big, heavy knife, especially if you think it's going to impress your buddies. If you're going to do any serious backpacking, though, weight is going to be a major factor, and taking more knife than you really need is going to be ridiculous. I've seen grown people literally walk away from a loaded pack on a 4 day outing because they couldn't stand to carry it another step, and I, as a group leader, ended up toting most of their shit back to the trailhead for them because to leave it behind would constitute littering. In many wilderness areas you can't cut down trees anyway, and in some you can't build fires either, so a different order of woodcraft is required. I would personally feel perfectly well equipped setting out to do the Appalachian trail with the Benchmade 943 in my pocket right now, plus some sort of SAK or small multitool.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  9. NH Hunter

    NH Hunter

    Nov 6, 2015
    I'd say go with a lighter fixed blade instead of heavier. You're already carrying a pack, so u have essentials with you. If I'm carrying a hiking/hunting pack I carry my broker fixed blade. The sling pack in my truck has a bigger knife attached.

    Also, in every pack/bag I have has a heavy duty survival blanket and fire starters. I also include with each kit a few tea candles to hold inside the survival blanket for extra heat. Each one lasts for 3 or 4 hours and is small. You can get them at wallyworld in bags of different sizes. My wife bought a bag of 100 a few years ago so I'm good for a while.

    Enjoy and be safe. Beautiful and big country out there RMNP is amazing.

  10. average gimp

    average gimp

    Jun 5, 2009
    Minor point of correction: The Becker/Ritter is the 12, and comes in over the OP's $100 limit; the 22 is nothing but the 2 in a nylon sheath.
  11. Emre

    Emre Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I've got an Ontario SK-5 Blackbird, which is a very nice knife for the woods. They were well over $100 when I bought mine a few years ago. But a quick Google search shows that you can get one for $109 these days. Might be one to consider.
  12. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    This. If I am at the point of using a firesteel in an emergency situation, it's only because my Zippo, Bic lighter, and box of all weather matches all failed for some reason.
  13. Crunchmeister


    Feb 17, 2013
    I don't personally own a BK2 as I find my Bravo 1 kind of overkill. For <$100 I would go with a tweener (I like my BK16) or if you want a little more knife I like my Ontario SP47 (love the knife, hate the sheath). The ESEE 4 can be had <$100 (my son loves his) but I like the handle on my Ontario TAK1 better (still<$100). I stripped the SP47 and love it. I hate the traction coating on the BK16 the worst. I need traction on the handle, not the blade! What are they thinking? If you want a little more length (if this is your only fixed blade for a while, not recommended) the SP49 and BK9 are both great (still <$100). A little secret? The butt-ugly Hultafors Heavy Duty for <$15 or a Mora. As I think about it, why not both and one of the big boys, if you already have a multitool and/or a SAK? I've also seen the Fallkniven F1 at around $120. I routinely carry one, albeit with a Barkie handle, in my day pack. I am hard on my knives, and the only problem I ever had was breaking about a mm or 2 off the tip of my Mora 511 (my bad). Why anyone would buy a POS Chinese knife, like the Schrade SCHF51, when you can get a Becker for about $10 more is beyond me. But I digress. So far, and this is just personal, my favorite combo for <$100 would be a Mora or Hultafors, SAK and the TAK.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  14. collim1


    Aug 14, 2014
    I much prefer the BK16 to the BK2, and the 16 is still too darn big and thick for me for normal camping type stuff.

    My vote is for the Mora 1, Companion, or Bushcraft Black if you want something "heavy duty".

    Weight and pocket space are a concern for me on most outings. The Moras pack a lot of performance in a lightweight package.
  15. flphotog


    Jul 10, 2014
    I love my BK2 (same as the BK22, except sheath) but have to admit it is a beast. The BK10 might be a better choice for day hikes, for overnight serious hiking the BK2 would be very useful in spite of the weight, that would be up to the individual, personally I would carry it for any overnight hike.
  16. kaizo


    Oct 17, 2014
    If I was in your shoes I would either go for a mora and replace it when needed (which is really cheap and light) or spend a bit more, both in terms of weight and money and buy something like a Busse team gemini. I like light gear but if I were to have one item that is heavy then that would be my knife. I don't have one but BK-22 has a very good reputation and I personally don't think you can go too wrong there.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  17. A.L.


    Jun 27, 2007
    I haven't handled BK22, but from the videos I have concluded that it's too thick for anything useful. I mean, even my BK16 I had to regrind to be more useful in the woods and it's - what - half thinner? Get something thinner and tomahawk or hatchet. That's my opinion.
  18. gadunz


    Dec 4, 2012
  19. Spyder59


    Dec 26, 2014
    You won't go wrong with the Mora. Take a look at it. &#128515;
  20. kaizo


    Oct 17, 2014
    Oh don't worry I didn't intend to sully Mora's good name when I said that. I love Mora in fact, I meant it as in two options on the opposite end of the spectrum. :)

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