How to Choose the Right Camping Knife

Tom Brown Tracker 2You have options no matter what kind of camping gear you’re looking for. Sometimes the differences among camping equipment options are obvious and straight-forward. A two-person tent and a six-person tent are clearly different. However, the differences among different brands or versions of some gear is a little harder to recognize.

For many people, a knife is a knife. A knife has a handle and a blade, and that’s all you need to know. However, knives can be quite different from one another. Things such as the size, shape, and blade or handle material of a knife can determine how a knife can best be used. So how do you choose the right camp knife?

The first thing you need to to is figure out what you want to use your knife for. Are you going to use it for cutting fruits and vegetables, or spreading peanut butter? Do you plan to practice your whittling? Are you going to cut 550 paracord with it? Do you intend on using your knife to hammer in tent stakes, fight off bears, or split firewood?

Figuring out what you’re going to use your knife for will make it easier to choose the right knife. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the same knife for splitting wood and spreading peanut butter. While you may want to find the perfect camp knife for every task, you may end up needing more than just one.

The size of the blade definitely plays into a knife’s function. A knife blade around 3 inches is ideal for cutting fruit or whittling, but it’s not really suited for splitting wood. Big knife blades will let you split wood, but they’re not ideal for precise or delicate cutting. A medium sized knife will bridge the gap between delicate cutting and heavy chopping, but it won’t be perfect for either.

Knife blades come in a variety of shapes. Sometimes a knife’s shape is meant purely for aesthetics, but shape can also influence a knife’s performance. Tom Brown Tracker knives, like the one pictured above, have a belly that makes it easier to chop wood. Of course, this shape doesn’t lend itself to crafting a PB&J. If you want to use a knife for simple tasks, choose a simple, more traditional, knife blade shape.

What your knife is made of is also important. Different steels and handle materials have different characteristics. Durability, hardness, and ease of maintenance are all things that you should consider.

The absolute best way to choose a knife for camping is to get your hands on one. Come to the store to check out different types of knives, examine them, and get more info from our knowledgeable staff!

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