Choosing the Right Survival Knife for Outdoor Adventures


Camping entails a lot of risky things. Oftentimes it is simply impossible to carry all of the equipment necessary to answer the plethora of challenges that might arise. However, one tool stands at the forefront of every camper’s arsenal, the trusty knife. A good knife allows for an abundance of options. Everything from cutting to hunting, there is no challenge that doesn’t involve using a good blade. However, in the sea of options, how do you know which survival knife is right?

Out-the-front knives

Sometimes the problem may be that a camper requires a powerful knife, but there is limited space available to pack one. This is where reliable OTF knives truly shine. These automatic blades can pop out using a button, which triggers their sliding mechanism. The short yet effective blade allows an adventurer to safely pack and carry around this essential tool. The additional benefit is that these blades are lightweight so they do not pose a burden but rather evoke pure joy while packing and preparing for your adventures. OTF knives can be utilized for cutting up wood, preparing food, or even for personal protection in all situations that a good outdoor adventure may call for. Lastly, these faithful compact blades have a minimal chance of breaking due to the small form factor and overall sturdiness, all while providing the user with incredible ease while handling. 

Fixed-blades versus foldable knives

On the other side of the spectrum, there are fixed-blade knives that come in a somewhat bigger format and offer a different set of possibilities. These blades are generally stronger because of their weight, which is why they can easily replace an ax. Chopping and digging are areas where this type of knife excels. But their bulkiness comes to their detriment as well because they are, by no means, easy to carry around, and thus not suitable for some of the more delicate challenges. The heavier weight comes with a larger price tag too because it takes more resources to produce. When it comes to managing the risk factor and minimizing the possibility of an injury, foldable knives definitely take the win since fixed blades are not beginner-friendly. It takes a certain level of skill before one can easily handle bigger knives.  

Handle type

Choosing a handle type mainly comes down to one factor, selecting the proper material for a given task. For example, it may not be beneficial to use a knife with a steel handle in extreme heat or cold, as the handle can easily absorb temperature; however, it does prove to be one of the sturdiest handles on the market. Rubber is really good when it comes to easier handling and an overall comfortable experience, due to the absorption of vibration. However, rubber can wear out. On the more aesthetic side, there are handles made out of bone or wood, which fit really nicely but can easily crack because they are brittle and, if not cared for properly, prone to deterioration. Besides the looks and the feel, the type of handle to be used on a knife also depends on its size. For instance, larger knives might benefit from something which has a better grip and absorbs more shock, which is not an issue that concerns their precise and lightweight counterparts. 

The blade 

When considering the type of knife to buy according to the blade, it’s worth considering two factors: the price tag and the sharpness of the steel. The first option comes in the form of regular stainless steel, which is phenomenal because of its affordable price range. Stainless steel is less prone to corrosion. However, it can go dull rather quickly. It can usually be seen on smaller blades. However, bigger tools like machetes usually have carbon steel blades. The carbon allows for an extended period of sharpness. However, once dull, resharpening it is rather expensive because specialized equipment is required.

Multi-tool knives

These versatile pocket-friendly knives offer a wide range of utility, especially for dealing with very specific scenarios such as opening cans, cutting paper, or even using them as tweezers. It is important to note that these blades are considered at best as a jack of all trades but master of none, simply because they are not sturdy enough for any intense and prolonged work.  Going on an outdoor adventure sure sounds like a fun experience. However, if you are a beginner adventurer or simply trying to improve your camping gear, investing in a good knife goes a long way. Things to consider include how compact the knife is, the type of blade and handle material, and the intended purpose of the blade.

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