The sky is growing dark and the air is getting cooler. You’re scrambling to get that tarp up before the wet stuff hits, but just as you press your serrated pocket knife against a stretch of rope the blade starts to wobble. Then the pivot screw pops out and lands in the dirt.
You swear. You maybe even whip that busted knife into the woods. Sure, you’re mad that it’s going to be a helluva lot harder to put up that tent now. But what really pisses you off is that you bought that pocket knife just a few weeks ago. And yet, it fell apart quicker than a guest on Jerry Springer.
You don’t have to spend a small fortunate to get a durable, high-quality pocket knife for camping and backpacking. Something well under $100 should do you just fine. Of course, if you need something larger for hunting, skinning meat or scaring the hell out of your neighbours, the price tag will go up.
For part two of my two-part series on Backcountry Blades, I’ve complied a list of knives that have proven themselves worthy. I’ve either used each one myself or they’ve scored well in reviews by backcountry explorers far wiser than I. And please be aware that this article contains affiliate links. So if you’re in the market, check out the S&TT pocket knife review.
This company makes some of the best pocket knives around. The Mini Griptilian is a sweet all-around knife with a solid locking mechanism. Some Benchmade products need a little sharpening right out of the box, so just keep that in mind. Aside from that small nit, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is pretty solid. You can also get a serrated version as well to chew through thin branches and whatnot. You can grab one at REI for about $85. Click here to check it out.
Ah, the classics never die. The Victorinox brand has earned ample respect for crafting a quality Swiss blade. The Mountaineer Pocket Knife has got all the basics you’d expect from a traditional Swiss Army Knife: a nifty tool to bust you outa any bind. It’s also relatively lightweight and not too pricey at about $40.
A dependable all-purpose workhorse that offers few frills. It has a fiberglass reinforced handle complete with Spyderco’s signature “Bi-Directional Texturing,” which offers ample grip when it’s time to get to work. At a mere 2.5 ounces, the Spyderco Delica is great companion for the trail. You can get a full product description by clicking here.
Here’s a light and inexpensive little number for those who prefer fixed-blade knives (I’ll admit, they are easier to clean). It has a secure grip with friction grooves near the butt. Also, turn it around and that dogfish face makes for a handy bottle opener. Perhaps the best thing about this Dogfish Neck pocketknife is the price: a mere $16 on Amazon
A high-quality, no-frills blade that stays sharp and sharpens well. I like the serrated model, myself. It weighs in at just 3.2 ounces – a sweet little pocketknife to slip into your pocket before hitting the trail. It’ll run ya about $41.
Mora has developed a well-deserved rep for producing high-quality blades at a decent price and this pocket knife reinforces what’s best about this brand.
The basic Mora-style blade has been commonplace in many Scandinavian countries for centuries. The use of carbon steel means the blade is much easier to sharpen and holds an edge longer than other many other products.
This is part two of a two-part series on Backcountry Blades. You can also check out part one: 3 of the best hatchets for backpacking.
Do you prefer the trails less travelled?
Join like-minded trekkers by signing up for the S&TT e-mail list. Every week, you’ll get:
- Profiles of little-known hiking destinations
- Gear reviews for backpackers and hikers
- Feature articles on strange and off-beat hiking
Plus we’re 100% spam-free (and proud of it)