The 6 Best Camping Knife For Different Activities And Budget

by Ally Mash | Last Updated:   October 8th, 2022
The 6 Best Camping Knife For Different Activities And Budget

If you are looking for the best camping knife with a fixed blade, a folding or pocket knife then this article is for you. Here, we review the best camping knife for people on a budget and various activities such as backpacking, hunting, and more. We also share a buying guide on what to look for when choosing a camping knife. This will be shared near the end of the article so keep on reading.

So let’s jump right to it!


What is the best outdoor camping knife?

Best camping knife under $50

There are many things that you look for in a camp knife. To be a good camping knife, you have to offer a high stainless steel construction that holds up to pressure. You have to offer superior self-defense options that prove you to be the ultimate camping survival knife.

The new Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife is one of the best multi-tools you can buy for your next camping trip. It comes with a specially designed blade coating that offers maximum corrosion resistance. The knife is lightweight, handy, and will fit right into your belt loop.

When not in use, this handy camp knife fits into a handy included polymer sheath. Its non-slip grip and 2.5mm thick blade construction make it a good camping knife. This is the high-quality, easy to hold short blade that you will want to have with you when you are roughing it in the great outdoors.

  • Easy to sharpen: The blade is made of stainless steel material and is therefore easy to sharpen but also doesn’t require a lot of sharpening.
  • Good design: The companion handle has a patterned, high-friction grip that performs well in wet and cold conditions. It is an ideal choice for beginners who want to learn the ropes of using and maintaining a camping knife.
  • Multipurpose: The camping knife has a medium thickness and sharp edge and is therefore ideal for carving, food prep, and cutting tinder.
  • Portable: The knife comes with a sheath with a belt clip for carrying the knife on your waist when outdoors.
  • Loose fit: The sheath doesn’t have a clip or strap for keeping the blade in place when moving around.
  • Not full tang: The blade is not full tang and is therefore not equipped for cutting anything larger than string or small branches.

Best fixed blade camping knife

The new Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife is one of the industry’s top-selling and highest recommended camping knives. It comes with a carbon steel blade that is backed by a full warranty of guaranteed quality straight from the Morakniv company. It’s one of the best camping knives for first-time campers.

This classic blade camping knife is an excellent knife type to make use of in casual as well as serious situations. It’s the tang fixed blade knife that you can use to keep your tent in place while keeping ornery critters safely out of your hair. Its high carbon stainless steel body makes it a cost-effective Morakniv companion.

This handy heavy-duty high carbon steel camping survival knife comes with a rubber handle that makes it essential for your next camping trip. It’s one of the best self-defense multi-tools that you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones as you sleep or explore the woods around you.

  • Durable: This camping knife has a full tang carbon steel blade making it tough enough to even handle heavier bushcraft tasks such as cutting wood for bonfires.
  • Good design: The blade features a 90° sharp spine which is ideal for starting a fire with flint or firestarter. It also features a tough, resistant polyamide handle which gives you a better grip.
  • Value for money: This knife is durable, easy to sharpen and adequate for using in different tasks such as woodworking, animal processing and camping. This makes it easily the best fixed blade knife under 100
  • Not for wet environments: Since the blade is made of carbon steel, it is more susceptible to corrosion and oxidation than stainless steel. If you don’t want to worry about rust accumulating then you should avoid using the knife often in wet environments.

Best folding camping knife

The handy new BlizeTec Survival Knife: 5-in-1 Camping Pocket Folding Multitool Kit comes with patented Benchmade Bushcrafter technology for the ultimate grip and feel. Its superior blade coating offers the maximum level of corrosion resistance.

Its Benchmade Bushcrafter construction is backed with a full warranty from the company. This guarantees that you can make use of its partially serrated construction on many camping trips to come. Its nonslip handle lets you use the short blade for a wide range of tasks. It’s easy to hold and made of high-quality material.

When it comes to long-term corrosion resistance, this is the camp knife that will last for a lifetime of good service. Its construction lets you quickly carve, cut, and secure any materials that you may have on hand. It’s a partially serrated short blade model that cuts like a champ even under the most trying conditions.

  • Lots of features: The knife comes with a belt clip, fire starter, window breaker, line cutter that can also serve as a bottle opener and a LED light that can work up to 12 hrs.
  • Versatile: It is a great knife that can be used as protection and as a tool for various tasks.
  • Subpar performance: The flashlight is not brighter than one on a smartphone. The seatbelt/line cutter requires a lot of force to cut a cord.

Best pocket knife for camping under $100

The new Kershaw Shuffle DIY Compact Multifunction Pocket Knife is an exciting new example of a good camping knife to have with on extended periods out of doors. Its high-quality non slip handle is easy to hold, making it a convenient addition to your hunting, fishing, or camping gear.

It’s a 2.4-inch steel blade that comes complete with state of the art black oxide coating. You can use this knife in your everyday life as well as when you go on an extended trip into the wild. The entire unit weighs a remarkable 3.5 ounces and will fit comfortably in your jacket pocket or looped onto your belt for easy reaching.

The multi-functional knife comes with a Phillips bit, Flathead bit, bottle opener, jump ring, lanyard hole, and a fixed position removable pocket clip. This makes it one of the most useful knives for hunting, fishing, tent erecting, and general camping. The knife is backed with a full warranty that comes straight from the maker.

  • Good design: The knife features a bottle opener and a speedsafe assisted opening which is useful in case you need to draw your knife quickly using just one hand. It also has a reversible pocket clip for carrying the knife and a phillips and flathead bit for fixing small tasks around the camping site.
  • Lightweight: The knife is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and given its weight, it’s a decent knife for everyday carry and hiking.
  • Not as convenient: It is somewhat difficult getting the screw bit out and putting them back into their place holders. You most likely need another knife or tool to get them out. In some cases the magnet driver doesn’t hold the bits securely which results in them falling off randomly.

Best backpacking knife

The new Oerla TAC OLF-1009 Fixed Blade Outdoor Duty Knife is one of the best camping knives on the market. It’s also one of the current top 10 best-selling camping knives in the country. It features a stainless steel blade that has been designed by experts to meet and exceed all current industry standards.

If you’re looking for the perfect knife type for your needs, this handy new blade camping knife can easily meet them. It’s a full tang fixed blade knife made of high carbon stainless steel. You can use it to gut fish, cut rope to any length, and keep your tent firmly anchored to the ground. It’s useful for a wide variety of other purposes.

This heavy-duty companion comes with a rubber handle that makes it essential for any modern camping trip. Its high carbon steel construction guarantees long-term durability. This is the camping survival knife that is best known for giving you maximum self-defense capacity against bears, raccoons, and other outdoor hazards.

  • Compact: The knife easily fits the size of your hand making it the best small fixed blade knife.
  • Durable: The knife features a heat treatment full tang stainless steel blade that is very sharp and sturdy for handling various tasks such as food processing and cutting branches. Good design: The end of the handle can be used as a window breaker.
  • Portable: The knife comes with a sheath that offers different carrying methods such as 0° and 90° degrees when backpacking, hiking or camping.
  • Small handle: The handle is quite small which isn’t a problem if you have small hands.

Best survival knife

The WEYLAND Survival Knife and Hunting Knife is designed to live up to its name in excellent fashion. the blade is a full tang model that is based closely on similar knives employed by members of our nation’s armed forces. This means that the knife has been battle-tested to provide the ultimate level of utility in the outdoors.

Of course, the knife is also solidly built for many other types of outdoor recreation. It’s the perfect blade to accompany you on hunting, camping, fishing, and hiking trips. Whether you are camping near a settlement or out in the vast woods, you can rely on its tang construction to give you the maximum level of needed support.

This particular blade has also been equipped with a specially designed gut hook. This will help you to quickly and efficiently process the wild game that you catch on your trip without running the risk of spoiling it. This is a grade-A feature that few other knives of this quality possess, making it a must for hunting and fishing excursions.

  • Good design: The knife features a gut hook which allows for a safer cut when opening the cavity so your meat will not spoil from accidentally cutting into its organs. The end of the handle can be used as a window breaker or for protecting yourself with a highly focused impact blow. It also has a serrated edge for going through small branches, bone and tendons.
  • Value for money: This knife offers a lot of value for its price making it also the best budget survival knife.
  • Not sharp: Out of the box the blade isn’t that sharp and requires some sharpening to give the edge the sharpness of your liking.

Our Top Pick

Our choice for the top camping knife is going to be the new Oerla TAC OLF-1009 Fixed Blade Outdoor Duty Knife. This is the model that comes closest to fulfilling our ideal vision of what a camping blade should include. It also features the highest quality construction for durability that will last long into the future.

The model is backed with a full warranty of guaranteed quality that comes directly from the maker. It has stood up to a wide battery of exacting tests in order to prove its quality. For all of the above-listed reasons and more, we choose the Oerla TAC OLF-1009 Fixed Blade Outdoor Duty Knife as our most recommended camping blade.

How To Choose A Camping Knife

One of the most useful items to keep in your pack is a sturdy knife. This will help you prepare food, cut cord, make repairs, fashion a roasting stick—or even save your life in an emergency. In short, knives are essential tools as they make daily life a bit easier and life in the woods much nicer. Yet, finding a good knife, especially one that doesn’t break the bank, is actually pretty complicated.

The reality is you can find a good knife in just about any price range, even at a sporting goods store. So, price is not the issue; knowing what to look for is the obstacle most people face.

Thus, we’ve highlighted below the three essential questions to consider when choosing the best camping knife for oneself:

What is the intended use of the camping knife?

Campsite Preparation

When prepping your campsite, you’ll be cutting rope, opening packages, and modifying or repairing equipment. In this case, you should be looking for a compact knife that you can keep with you at all times. Thus, a folding knife is ultra-portable, quickly accessible, and allows for single-handed use making it a decent choice for prepping your campsite. 

Food Preparation

Similar to when you are at home, preparing meals while camping requires a fine and sharp knife for slicing, dicing, and chopping fruits, peeling vegetables, and chopping meat. Here, you should look for a knife with a blade thickness between 0,1 inches and 0,125 inches and a sharp edge. Both fixed and folding blade knives are suitable, just remember to clean the blade after use to prevent unwanted corrosion and contamination.

Wood Processing

Most of the time while camping, you’ll need to prepare plenty of firewood to enjoy a long-lasting fire. This requires a blade that’s at least 0,125 inches thick with a sharp, long-lasting edge. The thick blade makes the knife more durable and easier to crack the wood open without it getting stuck in the process.

If you tend to carve wood while in the outdoors, a convex edge, fixed blade knife with a very comfortable handle is a must. Usually, fixed blade knives with a Scandinavian grind are better suited for the rigors of cutting logs or making thick curls for a fire. 

Animal Processing

Having the wrong knife in hand can make the butchering game in the backcountry a very difficult task. Gutting, filleting, and skinning animals requires a knife that can be easily sharpened and that holds a sharp edge. For this, a mid-sized knife with a convex blade would be an adequate choice.

Also, it’s better if you go with a fixed blade knife because they are easier to clean as opposed to a folding blade knife where blood, guts, fur, and feathers can gunk up the hinge, or get in the space where the folded blade resides. If your knife is intended to be an all-purpose tool, it could end up being very unsanitary for cooking, so consider using a different knife for prepping your meal.

Personal Protection

Knowing that you have a knife strapped to your belt or tucked away in a pocket can give you peace of mind, especially in the backcountry. Although you should do everything to prevent an unwanted visit, as a last resort, you can quickly pull out your knife to defend yourself in case of an attack.

Folding knives are great since they can always be kept in a pocket and ready to be deployed, but a fixed blade knife cuts down on your readiness time. When it comes to protecting yourself, size does matter and so a mid to long length knife has a lot of stopping power and will certainly let the enemy know that you mean business. 

What kind of camping are you planning?

A different type of camping knife and blade is preferable depending on your activity. This applies whether you are backpacking, camping in designated campgrounds, or doing dispersed camping. For instance, a backpacker is better off with a blade made of stainless steel. It requires less maintenance, won’t corrode easily, and is softer steel than carbon steel. As a result, you don’t have to sharpen it often and it’s less likely to snap or be brittle.

A carbon steel camping knife is known for its harder steel and easiness of sharpening. Yet, it’s not an ideal choice for backpackers because it requires more maintenance as opposed to a stainless steel camping knife.

In most cases, a folding camping knife is a suitable choice when out camping in designated campgrounds. They are able to perform the tasks related to campsite and food preparation while coming across as a civilized person towards fellow campers. The other benefit is that you are less likely to lose it since you can easily tuck it away in your pocket. Just be sure to keep all the moving parts clean and well-oiled too.

Finally, if your camping style revolves around seclusion, spontaneity, selecting your own site, and being self-sufficient then a fixed blade might be the best camping knife for you. The fixed blade camping knife will serve as a good tool for processing animals, chopping woods, and protecting yourself in case of danger.

How much should a camping knife cost?

If you are thinking of purchasing a camping knife in the range of $30 – $50, you can get a knife that is sturdy and good for heavier duty work. Camping knives that start at $100 still offer an improvement in quality.

A lot of times these are handmade knives or that can really maintain an edge, keep their sharpness for a long time even after some really robust work. Also, the blade is often made of good quality steel that won’t break so you are getting what you pay for up to a certain extent.

Camping knives that pass the $200 range also incorporate the aesthetic quality of the blade in the price.

For your first knife, it’s generally a good idea to get a camping knife in the range of $30 – $50, because it takes some time to learn how to use and maintain a knife. A camping knife in this price range makes it more acceptable for practicing and improving your knife skills. 

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Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.