Old Camp Tramp with no blade markings

Discussion in 'Swamp Rat Knives' started by desmobob, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I'm starting to think about selling some knives to finance the purchase of a new shotgun. I have an original Camp Tramp with no blade markings. It is unused/uncarried, in a Kydex sheath that also has no markings.

    Should I hang on to this one? Does it have long-term collector value?

    I'm not sure how to properly refer to a Camp Tramp of this vintage... is there a specific name for it?

    Thanks for any insights,
  2. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I'm surprised I haven't heard anything here...

    Way back when, I had read an article that absolutely raved about the Camp Tramp. I was not even aware of Busse at that time... I just decided to buy the Camp Tramp after reading the article. When I got it, I loved it, but it really was larger than I was willing to carry.

    But somehow, I later ended up buying several Busse knives that were also larger than I typically carry or use! I guess in other parts of the country, big camp knives are more popular than here in upstate NY. I tried using a few different big Busse knives on backpacking trips but just couldn't see where I needed them; a normal "bushcraft" sized fixed blade seems to be the sweet spot for me. But the Camp Tramp and the big Busses sure are cool!
  3. rpn


    Mar 17, 2008
    Part of the lack of response may be it looks almost like your asking for a price estimation which is against the rules without a gold level membership or fishing for an offer.

    That said, I love the CT- it's a classic. In general there have been a number or similar releases from Busse Combat and the Yard and it seems to me it's impacted the value of the knife.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...if I could go back in time I would buy a Tramp, Battle Rat, Gen 1 Howler and Bandicoot and run from the knife addiction. Those 4 can cover all my fixed blade needs.
  4. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    No... I'm not fishing for a number or an offer; just curious about this one knife that sucked me into the Busse vortex. I'm getting older and sometimes remember things out of order, but I'm wondering where I read such a glowing review that it convinced me to buy that big Camp Tramp before I had even purchased, or was aware of, the Busse knives.

    Ironically, the CT is the only Swamp Rat knife I own and it sits in a drawer with 12 or 13 Busses.
  5. Ulf Krogstad

    Ulf Krogstad Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2013
    BF in general has been kind of a ghost town for awhile now it seems. Can't remember last time saw new thread in swamp rat forum.

    I doubt the camp tramp has much collector value. Tho sure it's a fine knife.
  6. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I used to spend a ton of time on BladeForums and KnifeForums several years ago. It seemed like the Busse and kin knives were all the rage. Now, the forums and the Busse knives seem to have lost their appeal.

    When I looked on eBay for Busse knives, there are a lot of them but it seems like a handful of collectors doing all the selling. Lots of "buy it now" or "best offer" on new knives, but none of the many pages of enthusiasts auctioning used ones like there was years back.

  7. panella


    Sep 2, 2003
    I can't speak to the actual value of your Camp Tramp, but they seem to be highly regarded for their ergonomics, quality, steel. They also have at least one story of legendary toughness on Bladeforums:


    The whole thread is good, but post #8 tells the story of how the Camp Tramp was used to cut its way out of a truck. Post # 37 shows the actual blade after the ordeal. Looks like it just needs some light re-profiling to remove some chipping. Quite a testimonial.
    I own one that I bought from the Swamp Rat booth at the 2002 BladeShow. Swamp Rat was just starting and they were showing both the Battle Rat and the Swamp Rat. I bought them both and still have them. I've chopped down a couple of small trees with the Battle Rat and it looks untouched. The edge still easily shaves paper. Same with the Camp Tramp which is essentially unused. I believe the early Swamp Rat knives, at least the Camp Tramp and Battle Rat were also diferentially heat treated.

    The Respirene C handles are also very comfortable and extremely durable. If you haven't sold it already, you might just want to hang on to it.
    wetdog1911 and rpn like this.
  8. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    Thanks... that helps me date mine. I was thinking it was several years older so I must have been wrong. I poked around the 'net some more and found that it was one of the first four Swamp Rats introduced in 2002. I love the 52-100 (Busse calls it SR101) blade steel and Resiprene handle. The blade was differentially heat-treated, as you mentioned. I'll hang on to it.
    wetdog1911 likes this.
  9. wetdog1911


    Sep 29, 2002
    I had also heard of Swamp Rat before Busse, mainly the Howling Rat, which I purchased first in 2002. The Camp Tramp and Battle Rat quickly followed. The first Gen CTs and BRs were differentally heat treated then.

    The Bandicoot was last, and although I've had several over the years, including INFI Coots, I just never warmed up to the blade shape and sold them all.

    Then I discovered Busse's and lingered there for more than a few years. My absolute fave and EDC for several years was the SHBA (Straight handled Badger Attack), in both INFI and A2. Had 5 or 6 at one point.

    Anyway, times and circumstances change and nearly everything is gone except for my 1st gen Swamp Rats, a SRKW MUK (my wife's), and either a skinny Badger Attack or a later gen Howling Rat with the micarta handle, don't remember ATM and it's buried in my gun stuff. Has a beautiful sheath done by @leatherman. He did 2, one for me and one for another forum member. The leather matches the handle color perfectly.

    LOL, I've used my BR so much in the garden, that when the CT popped out from hiding a year or so ago, I was like, "Where did this come from?" Got so used to the size of the BR, I thought I was using the CT the whole time.

    Those first gen Rats will never get sold, they are just too well made and too perfect for sooo many uses.

  10. cut it out

    cut it out Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Agree^^^ the first rats were epic in every way. Keeping mine also
    wetdog1911 and desmobob like this.
  11. cut it out

    cut it out Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    I know I’ve shown this a hundred times but there that good. [​IMG]
  12. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I'd keep it. The ResC handle is a work horse. Comfy. Lightens the knife significantly. No down side to performance.

    The model won't pull big money, so I'd sell one of the Busse and keep the rats!!
    cut it out and desmobob like this.
  13. bikerector

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

    Nov 16, 2016
    If you really need someone to keep it safe, I'm sure my ratweilers would keep it company while you figure out what you want to do with it :).

    Regarding Busse/Busse kin, the Busse kin has been really slow until very recently with some new releases, but it seems like Busse kind of absorbed the other two brands with the battle grade Busse's. I know some of the kin websites are also down, but I don't think that was intentional.

    Also to note, SR101 is selling at low prices right now so if the knife isn't Infi, it's tough to sell them right now. It's been good for us that want to stockpile out SYKCO and Swamp Rat collections though. You're better off keeping it and probably getting a few more while the buying is good.
  14. wetdog1911


    Sep 29, 2002
    After many years of use of both Busse and later Rats, I'm of the same opinion .... they are epic!

    Never cared much for the Micarta handles (except on the fat SHBA), and I feel that SRKW kinda screwed up (in a good way), with the 1st gen Rats, building way more quality into them that the price point deserved. The diff heat treat is a good example and the extra attention paid to those 2002 blades. They were just WAY undervalued! Just something that wasn't realized at the time.

    AFA SR101, I've never wished that I had INFI over SR101, even when I had the choice. I would still grab the BR over the BM I also had, simply because it was more comfortable to use and performed equally for me.

    All in all, I'm just glad I was able to snag those Rats when they were first released.

  15. cut it out

    cut it out Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Agreed all the way. Love my INFI but never felt under knifed with the Rats and use them more
    wetdog1911 likes this.


    Apr 14, 2006
    I was told the Tan Handle Rats were not differentally heat treated just the black handled ones.

    can someone confirm if true??
  17. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    .....I don't believe handle colour was a defining point but when they were produced and what model they were. I mean the balde goes through HT well before it is designated a handle colour (or perhaps blade colour). I think the M9s were the last of the DHT blades so if it pre-dates the M9 series it should be.
    Hard Knocks likes this.


    Apr 14, 2006
    We need to get someone from swamp rat to verify one way or the other
    Either way they are some tough knives
  19. rpn


    Mar 17, 2008
    I recall that's the case with the Battle Rats- the ones with the tan handles and black blades like mine.
    360joules and WILLIAM.M like this.

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