The best camping knives: survive in the wild with these tough and compact blades

From cutting a path to cutting saucisson, trimming veg to carving, a good knife is your best outdoor friend – so pull up a stool and get whittling with these top quality blades

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A good knife is often an essential tool in the outdoors, so whether camping, hiking, hunting or backpacking, having the best one for the job is vital. 

It’s easiest to think of knives on a sliding scale, from the classic multi tool with a corkscrew that’s jolly handy on the French campsite, through to survivalist machetes and parangs that are lifesavers in deep jungle, but somewhat overkill in the Peak District. 

Deciding where your activities sit on that scale if the first and most important step, as it’ll dictate pretty much everything else. Felling a tree with a Leatherman is a tedious process, and equally repairing crampons with a Rambo blade invites losing a finger. 

On a brighter note, a good knife will last you for life, so it’s worth investing in a good one – read on for the best camping knives available... 

How to choose the best camping knife for you

Camping knives are a handy tool for keeping on you outdoors. They’re small and compact, with a blade that folds down to keep the sharp edge protected when you’re not using it. They’re not always as sturdy for some real heavy duty tasks, but they're perfect for quick fixes. 

If you’re in need of something more robust, a fixed blade knife will offer more support when tackling bigger tasks and you’re likely to have a stronger grip on the handle compared to a folding knife. 

The downside to these is that they tend to be heavier, and you’ll need to make sure you have a protective pouch so you don’t accidentally stab yourself. 

Be sure to look out for locking blades, as even though it is legal to carry a folding blade under three-inches long, locking knives are not regarded as ‘folding’, and so you are not generally allowed to carry them in public. If you’re unsure, check out GOV.UK for further information on UK knife laws. 

There are also different blade points you can get, but you’ll find that a drop-point knife is usually the most common for camping purposes. Drop-point blades are thick and therefore durable when undertaking a number of different tasks. 

The other common type of blade you might come across is a clip-point blade which has a crescent drop at the top of the blade which allows for slightly more precision but may not be as strong as a drop-point blade. 

We’ve picked out some of the best camping knives that will equip you for life in the great outdoors. Take a look at our list below to see which one is right for your trip. 

These are the best camping knives you can buy

The best camping knives

1. Gerber Ultimate Pro Outdoor Knife

A durable drop-point camping knife for surviving in the wild

Specifications
Best for: Beginner’s knife
Style: Fixed blade
Size of blade: 4.8inch
Weight: 567g
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic handle+Emergency tools included
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier than most

First up in our best camping knives round-up is this drop-point knife by Bear Grylls. It’s a versatile and durable blade that will enable you to do anything from carving wood to preparing food and lighting kindling. 

Ultimate Pro Outdoor Knife is designed with a non-slip rubber grip, which should make it comfortable to hold even when carrying out the trickiest of tasks. 

It’s noticeably heavy, and comes with a tight-fitting sheath. This camping knife is a fixed blade, too, so you can really get to grips with it when a heavier hand is needed. 

Mora Garberg Knife

2. Mora Garberg Knife

Serious, no frills blade

Specifications
Best for: Longevity
Style: Fixed blade
Size of blade: 109mm
Weight: 326g
Reasons to buy
+Epically strong+Stainless blade resists rust
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy

The Garberg is a monster of a blade, not in length but in build, with a 3.2mm thick treated stainless steel blade that’ll take a serious beating. However, it’s far from a blunt tool, with a Scandi-ground edge that’s designed to be easy to keep razor sharp. 

A neat addition from Mora is that the spine of the blade has been ground specifically for use with a firestarter, so keeping warm is one step closer. A genuine leather sheath completes the no-frills, but incredibly durable package.

Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool

3. Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool

The ultimate travelling toolkit

Specifications
Best for: Field repairs
Style: Folding blade
Size of blade: 660mm
Weight: 198g
Reasons to buy
+Fixes pretty much anything+Brilliant toolkit
Reasons to avoid
-Small blade

Any expedition toolkit needs a Leatherman of some stripe, and the Wingman is one of the best. Providing a huge range of usable tools in a lightweight package, the Wingman squeezes 14 tools into a sub 200g block of stainless steel, which is an impressive feat in itself. 

While the smaller tools are broadly comparable to the excellent Victorinox Swiss Army knives, the needle nose pliers are sometimes the only tool for the job, and have got many an adventurer out of a tight spot. For the small investment they’re an absolute no-brainer for any outdoors lover. 

Gerber Gator Premium Outdoor Hunting camping knife

4. Gerber Gator Premium Outdoor Hunting Knife

A good-looking, high-quality camping knife for bushcraft

Specifications
Best for: Hunting
Style: Fixed blade
Size of blade: 4inch
*Weight: 249g
Reasons to buy
+Finger groove for ease of use+Premium leather sheath 
Reasons to avoid
-On the expensive side

Hunters don’t seem to be able to fault this blade when it comes to both form and function, which is why we've include it among our picks for the best camping knives. This fixed blade knife has a relatively small blade but is regarded as sharp enough to skin animals if that’s what you’re looking for. 

What makes this camping knife slightly different to the others is that the curved handle, making it easy to hold. This is done by the finger groove at the bottom of the blade, which will stop your fingers from slipping.

Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Pocket camping knife

5. Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Pocket Knife

A classic Swiss army knife for all eventualities

Specifications
Best for: All eventualities
Style: Folding blade
Size of blade: 3.5inch
*Weight: 45.4g
Reasons to buy
+14 different tools+Durable steel components
Reasons to avoid
-Small and a bit fiddly

This tiny Swiss army knife may look out of place amongst the otherwise rugged-looking camping knives in the list, but never judge a book by its cover as they say. 

The blade of the knife is said to be surprisingly impressive despite all of its 3.5 inches, and the thirteen other components to be equally as handy in a variety of indoor and outdoor situations. 

Ok so you might not be able to skin a deer with it, but backpackers, campers and hikers are likely to find this tool incredibly handy when exploring the great outdoors. 

The Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Pocket Knife is made from stainless steel, comes with a lifetime warranty, and most importantly; it’s got a bottle opener and a corkscrew so you’ll always be able to enjoy a cold one on your camping trip! 

Accusharp Rust Resistant Sport Outdoor camping knife

6. Accusharp Rust Resistant Sport Outdoor Knife

A small blade with a folding handle, which is great for carving

Specifications
Best for: Carving
Style: Folding blade
Size of blade: 2.5inch
*Weight: unknown
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and compact+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Locking blade

This little camping knife is rated highly for its precision blade that is often used for carving and carrying out other small tasks. It is a locking blade, which can make it tricky to open. 

It's also important to remember that despite the blade size, a locking blade is illegal to carry in public, so be sure to keep this camping knife for private use only. 

Accusharps' best camping knives entry is a trusty blade that's also surprisingly effective in a range of outdoor situations. It will serve you well for many years. Plus, it’s an absolute steal.