Good camping knife

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by =adrian=, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    I'll be going camping in few weeks and am after a good reliable camping knife that won't break the bank.

    I do have a small folding knife already, but am after a bit bigger multi-purpose knife that will last me long time for any future camping/fishing trips I may do.

    I read some great reviews about this knife

    Ka-Bar Short Black Knife - 1256 | Bronzemoon Outdoors Ka Bar Knives, Ka Bar Knives UK, Ka Bar Knives For Sale, Ka Bar Military Knife, Ka Bar Military

    I am a little concerned that I might look like wanna-be rambo guy, also as the camping will not be in Amazon jungle (most likely the very top/North of Scotland), I'm not sure I'd need a knife like this.

    Any recommandations much welcome.
     
  2. balidey

    balidey
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    Scotland must have changed since I last went there :D
    I like to have my Gerber Suspension close by, £22 from Amazon. I find multitools are much more useful when camping (or general day to day use), and far less intimidating than a proper knife. But I suppose its depends what blade length you want.
     
  3. aVdub

    aVdub
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    That does look at bit like something one would take if dropped onto an island in the middle of the Pacific for a few years....

    How will you be camping. Will it be living off the land, or on a site that has a club house and a small shop?
     
  4. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    I know it does look a bit extreme, but as this was meant to be multi-purpose knife, I guess it has to be a big bigger than the usual 2 inch key-ring blade.

    I was thinking about a blade of around 4".

    I plan to go to a remote place and set my camp there for few days. I don't have a specific place in mind as of yet though.

    The other blade I have is a folding knife that my grandad used many decades ago. Sadly the blade is a part of few set piece (including saw), but the whole thing is falling apart (blade is 4") and while it might be still used to some very light tasks, it won't help me with anything tougher.

    EDIT: I like the reviews and the price of the Gerber multitool, I was planing on picking up the Leatherman Wave at some point, but I may buy this instead.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  5. aVdub

    aVdub
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    Not up to date on blade sizes in Scotland, but could be worth checking.

    If you are going to do a bit of fishing, picking etc then tbh a good sharp 4inch blade will serve you well and will clean up fish, rabbits etc with ease.

    I sometimes spend a few days living on a random beach hunting bass etc and get by with a Rapala fillet knife and an old trusty short stiff blade.



    Ideal legal world I would have a machete..............
     
  6. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Yes, I might do a little fishing as well. I plan to take my fishing gear, as well as photo gear. That is pretty much what I plan to do, drive there, set up a small camp on a random beach, spend 2 - 3 days there.

    I will have access to my car, so I won't be completely cut from civilisation, but ideally I would like to spend as much time there as possible without having to drive anywhere.

    The blade could be used for many various tasks, that's why I don't want to be limited by the size. I also plan to keep it for long time and it might get used in more remote parts of the world too.
     
  7. BB3Lions

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    I have two at home, if you do carry them, make sure they are holstered in the appropriate carrying sheath.

    Then your legal.
     
  8. The Bass

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    You can have a folding knife that's 3" or less in public as long as you don't take it to places like pubs (the most common example). Any fixed blade or a folding one that is longer than 3" cannot leave your home without good reason.

    If you want something to keep on you go for a 3" folding knife, if you are happy leaving the knife locked in the car when travelling and making sure to keep it as discreet as possible when camping and you need something that can kill a boar (;)) go for a longer fixed blade. It's probably worth getting one with a serrated section to give it more versatility such as this version of the one you linked. For a 5er more it looks like you can get a better sheath with it. As far as which to go for it's probably best to look at brand reviews and then go for whichever you like the look of as they're all going to be pretty good at cutting things.
     
  9. Toko Black

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    Those are not good camping or survival knives - the ka bar is a combat knife.

    Depends on what you mean by camping knife. A small well made sharp knife will do well and best for small jobs like cutting lines and cleaning up wood, however, if you want something that will function for clearing brush, removing branches etc then you start getting into machete territory.

    I have a Rajah II folder from coldsteel as a multi function tool that will do delecate and heavy jobs.
    They aren't cheap at around £120 but they are VERY well made and VERY sharp.
    However, you need to be very careful with knives like that both in making sure you don't hurt yourself or others (more than capable of taking an arm clean off) and with the law. Don't go carrying it around at any time other than at your campsite or place you are working with it as it instantly becomes illegal if you have it in public places. Traveling too and from a campsite with it packed away safely is fine in most cases.

    Most of the big fancy looking knives like you see in the films are not that practical or good in real world situations. Take a look at what farmers and workers use in the real wilds and use that as a basis for selecting a tool that is proven to work well.

    From experience, if you want to replace a hatchet or axe with a knife that can also be used more purposes, parangs and kukris are the best pound for pound work horses and a well made one will last and serve you well.
    Again you must excersise common sense where you take them and saftey when handling them.

    The survival knife I would choose to take with me to cover all eventualities would be a San Mai Gurkha Kukri but that's a £500+ knife ;)

    To be honest, I would probably think about getting a basic axe and something like a Pendleton mini hunter.
    Much less bother to have to explain and perfectly practical.
    Especially if it's just camping anywhere other than real wilderness experiences.
     
  10. oakie

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  11. Thug

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    This.

    You run the risk of getting it siezed by police or even you being arrested.

    Take a good Gerber or Leathermans or even a Swiss Army Knife.
    There is NO NEED for a knife that big (unless you are Rambo).
     
  12. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    Unfortunately, swiss army knives, gerbers or leathermans while being handy little tools, are NOT good outdoors man / camping knifes.
    It is good advice if you are looking for a utility tool to carry around with you, bad advice if you are going to perform any proper outdoor jobs.

    If you are young ie a teenager or walking into town shopping with a fixed bladed knife you are asking for trouble.

    If you are going camping, bush crafting or other totally legitament reason for using a 'tool' that a knife is, it is FAR safer and more sensible to use the appropriate tool for the job.

    I would NEVER use a folder that isn't lockable and has a strong well made lock.
    The law has deemed these illegal to carry in public because of the fact that a securely locked blade in the forwards position is similar in rigidity to a fixed blade knife and therefore easier to stab with.
    It is far less likely to flip back and cut into your own fingers....

    ... which is precisely why I won't use one, they are dangerous to use because you can accidentally knock the blade back onto your own fingers and potentially cut them off should you slip or something heavy moves while you are trying to work on it.

    If you don't have a legitament good reason for carrying a knife don't carry one.
    If you do, make sure it is sharp, well maintained and appropriate for the job.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  13. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Thank you for all the comments and recommendations so far. Please keep them coming, Ill have a closer look at all of them this evening when Im on my PC (Im on my phone now).

    Lets clear few things before moving on.

    Knife is not a weapon, it is a tool and I see it as such.

    Im not a teenager (Im in my 30s) and I dont plan to take the knife to public areas. It will live inside camping bag and not attached to my belt when I walk in into a local pub.

    Im looking for a tool that could cut branches for a fire as well as fillet a fish (I appreciate that a good knife for cutting braches wont be good for filleting), and as such it will be used to perform various tasks.

    I dont really want to spend anything more than £50. There is more stuff that I need to buy before my trip and I wobt be able to afford a few £100s blade.

    I assume that one can carry any blade one likes if there is a valid reason for it. I think camping is a valid reason to keep 4-5" blade.
     
  14. Toko Black

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    With your restricted budget and requirements - I personally would buy a small hatchet for £10 or less from B&Q and a quality 3" fixed blade knife.

    Chopping wood and branches with a knife is too hard unless it's a machete / parang / kukri large bladed knife. You can buy a reasonably cheap one for £20-25 but it is a lot harder to justify and not as flexible for more delicate work as an expensive version made from better materials.

    You could go for a Pendleton lite hunter for less than £20 which is a budget version of a more expensive knife.

    Knife + hatchet £30

    I have always liked coldsteel knives as they have always been very well made and durable for the price points they sell at.
    Their top stuff is superb, they cheap stuff is not fantastic, but usually good value and reliable for what you are paying.

    If you want a slightly better knife, go for the smaller but higher quality Pendleton hunter lite.

    Knife + hatchet £50-55

    Cold Steel Pendleton Mini Hunter knife review
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  15. NewfieDrool

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    What about a folding saw for cutting your wood for fires. There are a whole heap of them available in different lengths and some are very cheap and will do the job.
    It's all I use in my trade apart from Felco secateurs and loppers.
    A basic Bahco saw is about £14 upwards depending on blade type or Silky do the better ones and start at about £30.
    Just thought I would mention this as its another option for you.

    Edit heres a link which shows you a cheap Bahco example but it has 169 reviews from Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bahco-Laplander-Folding-Saw-396LAP/dp/B0001IX7OW

    You may require a more aggressive tooth setup though but it gives you an idea of whats about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  16. nheather

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    Folding knifes are not so good for bushcraft, best with a fixed blade.

    The blade doesn't need to be that long, 4" is plenty.

    Remember, as others have said, that you have to have a good reason to carry a fixed blade in public. A 4" blade whilst camping (assuming we are talking wild camping, not in a Hoseasons leisure park) is fine, but you couldn't justify having it on your person when you go to Tescos for supplies.

    My son does a lot of this stuff with Scouts, Explorers, Duke of Edinborough, Queen Scouts Award and the best bang for the buck that they are recommended is the Mora (Frosts) Clipper Companion.

    Companion MG

    Can be had for around £10 to £12 - you can often find it in a package with a sewdish firesteel which is well worth having.

    Cheap but excellent steel used in the blade.

    Whatever you go for, don't forget a whetstone to keep it sharp.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  17. bearman3784

    bearman3784
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  18. davepuma

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    I've done loads of camping both on campsites and wild camps. I've never really found a use for a knife while camping but still carry one. That said, I am not cutting firewood or gutting fish. I have two knives - a Spyderco UKPK and a Leatherman Skeletool.

    I've seen this one come up as a suggestion elsewhere:

    Frosts Mora Bushcraft Training Knife - High Carbon Clipper - Greenman Bushcraft
    MadeInSheffield.com - Knives Pocketknives
    Bowie Knives in Sheffield Steel by Little Mester Reg Cooper and Arthur Wright

    There is a legal carry section at Heinie (recommended retailer) that shows all the knives that are UK legal. LINK

    I do have a Brewzer bottle opener on my keyring that has come in handy while camping though!
     
  19. nheather

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    In a nutshell it is legal to carry a fixed blade of any length as long as you have justification.

    For example, if you are a chef on your way to work you can carry long, sharp kitchen knives. But if you are a chef doing your weekly shop at Tesco you can't carry them. Whereas, if you are Joe Public and have just bought some kitchen knives in Tesco you can of course carry them to the car. The legality is all about need and context.

    Folding knives are different - effectively a 3" limit for all intents and purposes.

    Quick-deploy folding\retractable knifes illegal for all intents and purposes.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  20. balidey

    balidey
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    A few people are saying Gerber / Leatherman tools are not very good for camping.
    A lot of this depends on your requirements.
    When I go camping I sometimes need a small knife. I sometimes need a pair of pliers. I sometimes need to saw (very small, green) branches. The Gerber Suspension has been invaluable in all these situations and more. And its £22.

    If you are going camping and you do have a need for a proper knife, fair enough, but to dismiss them as not suitable is not very good advice. It depends what you want it for.
     
  21. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    They are handy little tools and can fill in for one off small jobs. However, they are NOT suitable as a camping knife / tool for the jobs the OP has asked about.

    Just because something can do a job does not mean it is good for the job.
    You could take a kitchen knife, a hack saw and a brick to do many of the tasks of camping rough, but you are making the job both harder for yourself and risk damaging your equipement and injury to yourself.

    The best option is always the correct, appropriate and well maintained tools for the job.
     
  22. SanPedro

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  23. Mr.D

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    I've a big swiss army knife thats been great for over 10 years.
    A leatherman titanium which I don't like that much as it doesn't keep its edge as well as the swiss . Its my backup knife when travelling

    UZI 4inch lock knife that I never use and is in a drawer somewhere. This to me is a combat knife folder and I don't like it.

    Nepalese Kukri made from leaf springs, very heavy , chops through anything . Rarely comes out the house , handy for xmas trees.
     
  24. Sonic67

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    Not sure any of this lot is useful but…

    First I wouldn't want to rely on a single knife. What if something happens to it and also I tend to find what you actually want and what you find yourself actually needing are two very different things. I also tend to be wary of spending too much on a single thing. It can be heartbreaking if you ever lose it.

    Being able to fix a mate's glasses half way up a hillside can also be far more useful than having a big Rambo knife.

    On my key ring I have a maglite solitaire (I usually have other torches as well but one always on the keyring is always useful),

    a compact corkscrew (the amount of times I've been somewhere and needed to open a wine bottle...)

    World's Smallest Corkscrew | IWOOT

    an army style can opener

    Surplus and Outdoors - Militaria - Army Knives - Collectables - Bayonets - British Militaria - UK Shopping

    and a key bottle opener

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&...ex=aps&hvadid=21889766&ref=pd_sl_5olq96igbk_e

    Now you can open pretty much anything.

    and a glowring so I don't lose the keys at night if I drop them:

    Gifts Under £10 | Cheap Gift Ideas | Glow In The Dark Products - Nite GlowRing

    Glowrings are also useful for attaching onto sleeping bag zips etc. Various places sell them. They can be in different sizes and colours as well.

    In an upper pocket this stuff:

    A victorinox swiss card classic (has a pen, scissors, etc, )

    Victorinox Swiss Card Classic Set Translucent Onyx 11 Functions 07133T3 : Tooled-Up.com

    I have a couple of others of a similar idea as well. They are flat and can go in wallets etc.

    Amazon.co.uk: tool logic


    Also a poundland or 99p shop near me sold a set of three refillable lighters for a quid with a built in LED light as well. I bought a few of them. A few windproof matches can be a good idea as well.

    I'd get a leatherman or gerber for a lot of actual use.

    The gerbers pliers tend to be used for stuff like fixing webbing.

    Survival tins can be useful too if you are that way inclined. Make your own up or buy one. They have wire saws, needle and thread, compasses, plasters, flint, potassium permanganate, fishing wire, snare wire etc inside.

    A kukri or machete or something for hacking down trees if you are Bear Gryllis. Might be worth having a look at some of the stuff he endorses or looking at a few military sites as well.

    M&G >>> Knives & tools Knives Tools Other British Army Navy Surplus + Alpha Industries + Kids Army Camo Clothes + Cossack Hats

    Military Surplus | Miltary Clothing | Police Kit | Police surplus

    Knives - Knives - Bushcraft
     
  25. Chox1988

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  26. Toko Black

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    Ray Mears recommends:

    An axe.
    A folding saw.
    A bushcraft knife.

    Depends how light you want to keep your kit.
     
  27. nheather

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    That's what he says on camera, but once it has stopped rolling he relocates to a 5* hotel. :D

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  28. IronGiant

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  29. mooperman

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    Where he recommends slippers, a nice warm blanket and a hot water bottle...:D
     
  30. =adrian=

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    Right, so many great recommandations. Thanks!

    My idea was to go just by myself away for few days (my family is going abroad and I'll have few days off work), but I told it to one of my mates and he wants to go as well. This way I can share the petrol money so I can spend more on useful stuff (like Rambo knife - joke :)).

    Anyway, I was after one of those small multi-tool for some time. Always wanted this one Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool with Oxide Finish - Black, but kept saying to myslef 'oh, I'll buy it next month'. Although the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool doesn't look as good, I will buy that one instead. The price difference is massive and I don't think the Wave is 4 times better.

    So that's one thing. As for the folding saw, I'll probably get one of those as well. I do have a shovel in my car already. Altough I think an axe would be useful tool I don't think I can stretch my budget that far. I'll get one in future.

    As for the knife, then yes, I think a fixed blade knife would be the best idea for me (never really trusted folding knives to do tough jobs, as they usually just fold or break). I read that carbon steel is better than stainless steel, so ideally looking for a knife made out of carbon steel.

    I like this one, as it is nice blade and not expensive, but I don't really like that plastic handle. Probably not as tough as the blade and I imagine not very good to use with wet and cold hands. I'll keep this knife in mind, if I can't find anything with better handle (ideally tough rubber like the Ka-bar knife I posted on the beginning of this thread), I'll go for this one.

    As for the type of camping. Well, it won't be the 'sitting-on-a-chair-outside-the-caravan-on-the-Devon-coast-200-yards-from-a-pub-and-a-store-doing-crosswords' kind of camping. On the other hand it also won't be one of the I-just-killed-a-boar-with-my-bear-hands-let's-skin-it-and-eat-it-before-the-grizzlies-come kind of either. I do like the sound of Cape Wrath, though need to learn a bit more about it (I don't really like the fact that there are no trees there). I don't think you can really have a proper away-from-all-the-people kind of camping anywhere in UK anymore (I could be wrong though, please tell me if I am). Though it looks like the extreme north of Scotland might be the best bet.
     

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