What is a camp knife?

My SIL wants a “camp knife”, to actually take camping. To me that is a fixed blade good for cutting meat,spreading peanut butter, and stirring coffee.

What do you think?

I guess…
you should ask SIL. (Sister-in-law?)

Maybe a swiss army knife. Pretty useful tool without the bulk of a multi-tool.


That’s the way i see it

– Last Updated: Nov-29-08 9:41 PM EST –

We probably want a fixed blade cause it's easier to clean after slicing and dicing. - basically a 5-7" chef's knife - straight blade, workable tip.

A G Russell.com's Honcho is a 4+" Folder for $65, but a 6-7.5" Victorinox Chef's w/ plastic handle, ~$20, will do as well. Try Knife Merchant.com.

Gerber used to have several fixed blade hunter types that would do well too.

The same knife you bring to cut ropes
The one you have attached to your pfd to cut a tow rope if needed.

Ask your SIL
how she defines a “camp knife.” Then you or us can help pick one out. If this is a holiday gift, have your brother find out.

For me, as above, whatever knife I’m carrying anyhow will do, but I’m fairly minimalist when “camping.”


A camp knife is a survival knife, long
thick blade, half surraded and well balanced for chopping. Has a leather handle.

Basically, but you’re about to start…

…a religious war.

I am stubborn about my choice for the best all around camp knife.

Weekdaypaddler is obstinate and quite obviously wrong.

Everyone else is a pig-headed fool.

Seriously, hands down this is the best campknife I’ve ever had. I’ve chopped wood, cleaned fish, skinned game, spread p-butter, picked my teeth, and fixed

in-grown toenails.

It holds an edge better than any other knife I’ve ever had.


The version I have does not have the serrations, though. I don’t like serrations, weekdaypaddler does.

He is, however, obstinate while I am merely stubborn.

My better half has one of these; loves it.


I think the key is
She wants it for kitchen duty, not to wear on her PFD.

Frost’s Mora

I recommend (and carry) this knife.

String you forgot
about making marshmellow sticks!

In my youth you could find a knife known as a camping knife. It was a pocket knife with a few standard tools. One or two blades, a bottle opener/flat blade screwdriver, and a can opener. My last few also had an awl.

Most had textured plastic on the sides, which gave a better grip than the Swiss Army Knife. Definition of a Swiss Army Knife - A tool that does many things, NONE of them well.

Too bad about Kabar. They use to be
really great and the TRUE Kabar still is. They’ve been imitated, knocked-off and forged so often, you can’t find a real one anymore.

ka-bar one heck of a company
A boss of mine had his Ka-bar from WW2 in the Phillipines. He wanted the handle repaired as it had rotted away. ka-bar said we will replace it. When Darwin (yup Darwin Balin actual name)explained where and when he had it they repaired it free of charge even though it was not cost effective for them. Gotta respect a company that appreaciates that.

My favourites
MEC sells a frosts “river knife” that has a straight stainless blade about 4.5" long in a plastic sheath. These are ugly, and for about $11 better than most $30 knives out there. They take an edge easily and hold an edge very well. I had a spyderco Bill Moran featherlight. This had VG-10 steel and a great sheath. Well, almost great as in a rapid, on a cross stroke my paddle pulled it out and it sunk for good. That was a nice knife, but not really any better than the Frost.

The Frost/Mora knives with the wood handles are prettier, and can also be had in carbon steel (which might be unnecessary, as their stainless is really good. They make a laminated stainless.

I really like Opinel too. I have a folding fillet knife of theirs.

I am less fond of swiss army, as for food use they are harder to clean. On the other hand, they are good quality and the saw is handy for repairs.

Gotta know your price range
For a practical “camp knife” you can spend from $30 to over $1k (i.e. Mad Dog Knives). Where in that spectrum do you want to spend?

better ask
Like other folks have said, this is a case where you really need to ask what he means by “camp knife.”

When you ask the average person what a camp knife is, they will say something for food prep, maybe cutting some rope or cutting open plastic or paper. If you said “camp knife” on a knife forum, you would be talking about a knife big enough that you could do some light chopping and splitting kindling, as well as doing chef-type chores.

If you want to just take a guess, I’d suggest looking at fixed-blade knives, probably something with a blade 4-5" long. Some reasonably-priced brands to consider are Buck, Case, Benchmade, and Queen, although there are plenty of others out there.

Places I’ve had good luck buying from are







See what I mean about obstinate?

One More!
I don’t have this, and think the Frost knives are so good that it isn’t worth my money, but if I wanted to spend a bit, it looks like just about the best I have seen:


I’ve heard that s30v is great steel, and the design seems well thought out. If anyone has a reason I should buy one, I wouldn’t take much convincing!

I ordered this one.

Gerbers have always given me good service.