One of the reasons for 50 Campfires field trips is testing. We try out gear of all sorts, to be sure, but we also test our theories. The Heart of the Rockies Field trip was a great opportunity to assess our ideas of what makes a great “I’m-only-going-to-take-one-along,” every day camping knife.
In considering the anticipated needs of a week of car camping and glamping, the knife that seemed to meet all our anticipated needs was the Kershaw Leek. Nick carried the combo edge version, and Clint carried a Leek with a plain edge blade.
We’ll let you judge the results for yourself.
Tasks for Your Every Day Camping Knife
While the average car camper isn’t restricted by the limitation of bringing just one knife on a camping trip, approaching the selection as though you were is a good exercise. It makes you consider each characteristic of the knife very carefully.
The first step is to put together a list of your anticipated uses for your every day camping knife.
Based on the previous experience of the 50 Campfires team, as well as what they encountered on the Colorado Field Trip, that list might look like this:
· Dice potatoes
· Picking out an annoying pebble from the tread of my hiking shoe
· Slice tomatoes
· Spread peanut butter and jelly
· Stab sardines from the tin
· Trim leaves from and sharpen green sticks for hotdog and marshmallow roasting
· Cutting paracord for replacing a tent tie down
· Open a package of hotdogs
· Make the cuts to turn an ordinary hotdog into a spider dog or spiral dog
· Tightening a loose screw on the hinge of my sunglasses
· Cutting the frayed end off the anchor line in the boat
· Trimming the tag end on a fishing leader
· Whittling a willow flute
· Extracting a willow sliver from thumb
· Cleaning a trout
· Cutting bite-sized pieces from an apple for eating
· Mincing garlic
· Fishing out a small part from the camp stove that rolled into the crack between the boards on the picnic table
· Slicing open a pouch of Lemon Pepper tuna
· Most of the time being carried comfortably, at the ready in the corner of my pocket
Choosing Your Every Day Camping Knife
Your list will certainly be different from ours, but will be your most valuable tool when analyzing what’s the right every day camping knife for your needs. It will give you a great starting point to determine characteristics and make choices on important things like:
· Blade length
· Overall design and strength
· Blade shape
· Blade flexibility
· Edge grind angle
· Fixed, folding, or pocketknife design
· Handle material and color
· Opening mechanism
· Locking mechanism
· … and more
The final choice is yours. Consider how you’ll use an every day camping knife the most, and make your decision. Of course, the best option is stocking up on a variety of cutting implements from pocketknives through multi-tools to machetes and splitting axes. There’s a place for them all in the camp box of the well-prepared camper.