It’s good to be out in the wild, to be one with nature.
While a decade ago it was all the rage to go to expensive resorts and spa hotels, now it seems to be way trendier to go camping out in the woods, which is all fine and well. But just because everybody’s doing it, does not mean it’s that easy.
Camping, especially for a longer stretch of time, can be hard work, depends incredibly on weather conditions and can put you in a very tough situation, should you not be well prepared. A camper has to think of all that could possibly go wrong and prepare for it beforehand, be it unexpected climate changes, injuries of any sort, technology failures, equipment malfunctions or other emergencies.
And while with experience and time this preparation becomes faster and easier, for relative amateurs it is of vital importance. Experienced campers may be able to improvise with what’s at hand to deal with unexpected problems out in the wild (we’re looking at you, Bear Grylls!), but if you do not feel like you are there yet, experience-wise, you should definitely triple check your packing, before you head off.
We are sure you will not forget your tent, sleeping bag, food, or extra clothes. But let us talk about knives. Knives are not to be underestimated under any circumstances, one of which is camping. They can mean kill or be killed, have a cleared road ahead or one full of stray branches, they can be the tool which makes you a camper with sustenance. OK, we are getting a little dramatic here.
The truth though, is that a good camping knife can enhance your outdoors experience greatly, given that it is used almost constantly. While slicing open packages, cutting twigs for a campfire or even getting rid of unwanted visitors to your campsite, such as raccoons and weasels, you will find yourself attached to your knife as if it was a natural extension of your hand.
All outdoor knives have two most important characteristics: they are sturdy and extremely sharp. However, if you were to ask a few experienced campers which type of knife is most important for ensuring your comfort and even survival, you might come across a few different answers.
One might say: the survival knife. (Yes, it looks exactly like the knife Rambo uses.) This is a multifunctional tool and weapon at the same time. Along with the aforementioned sturdiness and sharpness, it also relies on its serrated edge to make itself useful in many situations, whether it is skinning a fish, trapping and gutting an animal, cutting wood or even self-defense. It is commonly issued to military personnel, and despite its relatively small size (4 to 6 inches) it is essential to any outdoor adventure.
Another camper might point out the multi-tool (a.k.a. Swiss Army knife) as a must-have for everyone deciding to explore the great outdoors. Companies producing Swiss Army knives are always improving them and keeping the bar high by never stopping to move forward. Most multi-tools have got the standard features of a blade, scissors or pliers, can openers and corkscrews. Having all these things in one place is an undeniable advantage.
However, the downside is that this convenience is overshadowed by the fact that the little tools are harder to use. Yet, there is no denying this type of knife could be very effective, especially in the light work around the campsite.
Should you plan to go fishing or hunting while on your trip, there are different knives for that as well. They are designed and produced specifically towards the needs of hunters and fishermen and every knife has its purpose: filleting, gutting, skinning, etc. However, since they are not used by every camper we do not put them in the same fashion as the others.
This concerns one of the main debates about camping knives. Some people say that it is better to have a good, reliable weapon that you can use for various purposes. Others insist that having knives, specifically thought out for the convenience of accomplishing different tasks, is handier and could be the thing that saves your life.
Doubtless, having this many choices can be overwhelming. But given that picking out a knife that fits your needs really is one of the vital purchases you would have to make before heading out into the wild, you should consider it seriously. Look around the different options, of which there are many, and find the one you would be most comfortable with, not the one somebody else tells you to.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when comparing the merchandise: sharpness, sturdiness and, well, sometimes there are some things more important than size!
If you really are into camping and survival and want to do it like a professional, we can give you some information and advice on how to recognize the quality and the best usage of a knife. So…
The blade is usually made of stainless steel which is resistant to rust and corrosion because they must be reliable in any weather conditions. Blades differ by chromium contain- the substance which makes the alloy corrosion-resistant. Usually they are marked with a letter and a number. Each letter shows specific characteristics, for example the “A” means air-hardening and medium alloy, the ”D” means high carbon and high chromium and so on. The number is most often a 400 number and the higher it is the more chromium the alloy contains and the harder the steel is. You can easily find the meaning of the letters and numbers of a knife in special tables and decide whether it will satisfy your needs or not. The blade may also be normal or serrated (wood saw). It is very sharp and functional so no matter where you are, you can cut almost everything with it.
As we already talked, there are different types of knives. A camping knife can look like an ordinary knife or have a folding blade, or have many other features and gadgets, such as parcel hook, corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener, awl, etc. Now we will tell you more about these tools!
The parcel hook is often used as a handle of plastic bags or even for tightening your bootlaces. The awl turns out to be a very useful tool in many situations- for drilling extra holes in your belt or if you have a splinter in your finger and don’t have something smaller.
The corkscrew can be successfully used for tightening screws on eyeglasses. Some of the gadgets might be removable and others could be added in their place, so that you get the best of your camping knife!
What are you waiting for? Jump into the wild!