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What do you guys use?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Blade_Crazy, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Blade_Crazy


    May 26, 2011
    I have a question and really am just looking for some conversation as to what knives you guys use when you camp or hike? I keep looking around for a good camping/hiking knife but cant really decide what i want.

    So in short whats a good traditional camp knife?
  2. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Well, I usually don´t go camping. But I like day hikes. I always use a fixed blade for this. (seems more traditional to me)

    Something like this


    That´s my personal fave. Halfintegral and 440C steel. Great knife

    Kind regards
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  3. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I think this really depends on the style of hiking you do and may be more appropriate the "Great Outdoors" forum.

    IMO, it depends on which direction you approach being in the woods. I think there are 3 primary traditions here: field &stream (ie. hunting and fishing), survival & bushcraft and modern backpacking & climbing. All 3 approaches are valid but they're very different and will lead to different conclusions about what is "right".

    I'll speak out of the modern backpacking and climbing tradition. I carry 3 "tools". First, I carry a basic locking folder as an EDC type knife. It's in my shorts or pants pocket all the time and not in my pack. It's most decidedly *not* on my belt where it will interfere with pack straps. A good traditional pick for this is an Opinel #8 or #9. Easily handles all food prep work and pretty much any other cutting task. Weight is almost negligible. With a 3" blade, it can be pushed into fire making (short of batoning) and fish cleaning. My backpacking gear tends to sit for prolonged periods of time and I like to keep an EDC 3" locker in my 10-essentials bag in my pack at all times. As much as I prefer 1095 for EDC use, I've moved to stainless. Truth be told, my current backpacking knife is non-traditional (I think). It's a Buck Bucklite Max 482. Another good pick would be the Buck Ecolite 112 (which would be better if offered in a drop point).

    I also carry a non-traditional Leatherman Squirt PS4 in my first aid/repair kit. The pliers are used for pushing a needle and thread for field repair and the scissors are used for bandage prep work for first aid.

    In the winter I carry a 7" folding saw for emergency shelter and fire making. I also take it car camping.

    For ultra-light summer backpacking where you're relying on pre-prepared foods (like ramen), there's a very good case to be made to just getting by with something like the PS4. I've done a lot of ultra-light backpacking with the only knife being a (traditional) Victorinox key-ring sized Classic. I also carried a (very traditional) Camillus peanut-sized jack, but found that having scissors available for first aid is really helpful. And have since found the PS4 to be even more useful, due to the pliers. So, in order of priority my picks are:

    1) Leatherman Squirt PS4 <- non-traditional
    2) 3" blade, locking folder <- Opinel or Buck are my picks
    3) 7" folding saw <- Opinel makes them if you want to stay traditional
  4. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Camping and hiking usually a 4 inch sheath knife on the hip. An Opinel folding saw or Gerber/Fiskars sliding blade saw in a pack.

  5. Vanguard41xx


    Dec 29, 2010
    Buck 119 or a Mora....simple but they work!
  6. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    Not counting the slipjoint that is always in my pocket, I have a few fixed blades that I like to use -- a Himalayan Imports khukuri, a Blackjack 125, and a Ray Laconico criollo. I select one based on the activities I anticipate doing.

    That said, most of my time outdoors is spent on dayhikes. That means traveling light with a small pack filled with water, food, and a few essentials. For these hikes I prefer to use a puukko. The knife and sheath make for a lightweight, unobtrusive package. I haven't found any sheath design that is as comfortable as the dangler style.

    This one has quickly become my favorite.


    - Christian
  7. rinos


    Feb 17, 2008
    For camping,leuku and puuko combo,ussualy in backpack and folder in pocket(GEC trapper this days),
    Day hiking,folder in my pocket and sometimes puuko.
  8. Blade_Crazy


    May 26, 2011
    Hey Carl, if you dont mind me asking what is the 4in fixed that you tend to carry?

    Pinnah, I thought about putting it in "The Great Outdoors", but i am looking for a more traditional answer so I thought i would put this under traditional fixed blades.

    I guess to get a little more specific, what qualifies a fixed blade as traditional? and which ones work best?
  9. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    My two fixed blades for the woods are a well used Buck 102 woodsman, or my old wood handle Frosts mora number 1 with the laminated blade in a puuko style sheath made using the plastic mora sheath as a liner. The saws take care of any wood processing.

  10. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    BladeCrazy, I hope the discussion stays here to focus as much as possible on traditional options, which may not be as well understood or represented in the Great Outdoors forum.

    With respect to what qualifies as "traditional" among fixed blade, my 2 cents is a) traditions vary considerably from region to region so one aspect is which tradition you're talking about and b) with a particular region, I think a pattern needs to have been around for a bit and possibly associated with a particular use and particular manufacturer to be "traditional".

    Within the US, I can think of a whole bunch of different fixed blade patterns that I would consider traditional but which one would be best would really depend on what sort of things you're looking to do.

    There are bowie style hunting knives like the Buck 119.

    There are thinner all-purpose knives like the Buck 105 and Case 316. I have one of the latter and it's a great camp kitchen/all purpose knife.

    There are tougher, older utility knives like the old Schrade H-15.

    There are skinner type knives like the Western L46-5 (and older Marbles).

    There are smaller "bird and trout" style knives by Buck, Western, Case and many others.

    There are fillet knives and fishing knives by many makers.

    This is just scratching the surface...

    IMO, short of non-sustainable damage and impact to the land (varies wildly from region to region) there's no single right way to be in the woods. We bring to the woods all sort of dreams, aspirations and even spiritual motives. So, the more you can say about the "traditions" that move you and shape your approach to being in the woods. It may be too that a particular tradition of a particular manufacture will mean something near and dear to you. I'll probably end up owning a Schrade H-15 for no reason other than I love Schrade.

    In very, very practical terms, I think virtue of fixed blade knives is over-sold in terms of modern camping. If I'm car (or canoe) camping and having a fire, I find that a small hatchet and folding saw is better in all aspects for fire tending. I'll take along a my Case 316-5, but this is only for car camping and just for fun of having a fixed blade around. I justify in that it's nice to have a decent kitchen knife and the 316 fits that bill nicely, but truth be told, I can handle most kitchen tasks really well with a locking folder with a 3"-3.5" blade just fine. In terms of modern backpacking, stoves and tents are fire and shelter and produce much less impact on the land (locally), especially if you're hiking on or near maintained trails.

    Again, I'm not trying to dissuade you from a fixed blade. You should carry whatever makes your camping experience more fulfilling.
  11. Robert.B


    Apr 17, 2003

    Queen bear head is quite a well rounded knife...can get them for around $40 with a D2 blade and nice bone handle, beware they come about as sharp as the edge of a fence post so will require sharpening out of the box. 4" blade, almost identical proportions to my buck 102 cocobolo.
  12. Blade_Crazy


    May 26, 2011
    Thanks Carl, I own a Buck 119 and I believe I will end up trying a mora of some kind just because I have some free money to try it with.

    And thank you pinnah, I actually purchased a hatchet recently for wood processing and i think i just like the idea of having a fixed blade of some kind with me.

    I will probably look for a puukko of some kind and grab a mora just to see what all the fuss is about.

    Thanks for the input, this is a great place with good people
  13. Blade_Crazy


    May 26, 2011
    Dang-it Robert.B now i have to add that queen to my list..... hmmm my left over spending money just got thin.
  14. quattromori


    May 7, 2011
    I'm afraid I don't have a short answer for this.
    I usually carry one knife (an Opinel or a slipjoint) dedicated to food, unless it's a dayhike (where I will just bring pre-prepared food).
    Apart from that, it depends. I often carry a SAK (a Climber, or a OHT until I gave it away, although I might get another one). I'd like to try a short fixed blade (no more than 3") on overnighters or longer treks.
    And if I plan to process wood, I bring an Opinel folding saw.

  15. WvHiker


    Aug 27, 2009
    I do a lot of camping and hiking, and I almost always take a SAK. For years and years it was a Super Tinker, but I've switched it out for a Farmer. I've flirted with modern folders, fixed blades, you name it; always wind up with an SAK. Sometimes for fun I bring along a more traditional (last year it was a Trapper), but I still bring the SAK in my pack for the can opener and bottle opener (which I use to hold the bail of a boiling hot coffee pot.)

    If you're car camping bring any knife you think you may be able to use or enjoy. I sometimes bring along a Buck 119, but I've yet to use it for anything.
  16. pertinux

    pertinux Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    All told, that's a good thing-- although I still can't quite justify this, as fulfilling as it would no doubt be:


    Oh, my.

    ~ P.
  17. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007

    That is a great in hand photo. I looked at these, but was unsure.
  18. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    As others have stated for the money the mora number 1 is hard to beat however I'm not real fond of the factory sheaths but that's about my only quarrel also I've always felt buck's 103 skinner to be an incredibly capable knife for general outdoor use even if it is marketed as a "hunting knife" I just like the looks of the blade profile a bit better when compared to the 119 I'm just not into super pointy clip point blades.
  19. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    In the pocket I usually have this

    For fixed blade it varies. But this one is as good as any that I use, a Kephart is a good traditional blade
  20. festerfromnzed


    Aug 18, 2008
    My camp knife...DH Russell....Samba slabs




    And of these...

    and this in my jacket..


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