Every tourist, hunter and fisherman always has a constant assistant with him - a knife. It is necessary for the equipment of the camp, for cooking, they resort to it in the process of fishing and hunting, because without it, as without hands. Therefore, you need to choose a knife for the trip very carefully, approaching this matter with all responsibility.
Why do I need a knife on a hike?Knife
What does a knife have to do on a camping trip in the modern world? Consider the main tasks of this ancient tool.
- Cooking food. Cut the products taken with you: bread, sausage. Peel vegetables, mushrooms, fish or poultry caught. Elementary: open canned goods, which make up the bulk of the tourist’s dry ration.
- Breeding and maintaining fire. Camping fire is needed for cooking, for heating (in the cold season), for drying things (if wet in the rain). The knife is needed in this case:
- in order to chop, chop wood and chips for lighting a fire;
- to prepare slingshots under the hearth or under the ropes for drying things.
- Making fixtures. For example, chopsticks such as skewers for frying mushrooms, fish, sausages. In case of injury, you can make a tire, crutch, or, in severe cases, a stretcher.
The basic rules for choosing a knife for travelJackknife
The following tips will help the selector to navigate how to choose a knife for a trip:
- the knife must be functional;
- the thickness of the blade should not be thick or thin, so as not to break and was convenient to use;
- the shape should be simple, the handle comfortable;
- the knife must have a sheath;
- the color is preferably bright to see in the grass or in the snow;
- a knife is a tool and should not be bought too expensive.
When choosing a knife for hiking in the forest or mountains, you need to pay attention to every detail.
Foldable or awkward?
This is the first question that arises when choosing a tool. Which knives are better for hiking: small folding ones that fit easily in your pocket, or with a fixed blade?
A folding knife is convenient for its small dimensions. But it is not very reliable and it has certain limitations in functionality. Folding knives have a not very long blade, and they are not intended for power actions. It is not possible for them to chop firewood, for example. The hinge joint between the handle and the blade often breaks.
A more practical ordinary knife with a fixed blade extending deep into the handle. They can do almost everything that may be needed. And the scabbard attached to the belt will make such a knife more convenient.
One tip: having made a choice in favor of a clumsy knife, you can still get a folding knife that attracts with its versatility - a multifunctional universal knife for camping with a large number of functions (knife, scissors, opener, tweezers, etc.).
Blade of knifeFin knife
What should it be? What shape? What is made of? Let's consider everything in order.
Which is better?
The blade of a camping knife is best chosen from steel that is not very hard. Hard steel makes the knife brittle and difficult to sharpen when camping. But too soft knives will not work either. Their problem is insufficient severity. The best option for a knife for tourism - with a blade of steel of medium hardness (58-60 HRC). They are practical and, if necessary, can be sharpened with any improvised materials.
Firms producing knives for hiking and traveling make them with very diverse forms of blades:
- finca (concave-shaped blade);
- spear shape;
- straight butt
- with a decrease in the line of the butt;
- with an increase in the line of the butt;
- "American Tanto";
- scramasax or goat leg.
Before choosing a blade of one form or another, you need to understand why it will be needed on a trip. The most popular are knives with a blade shaped fin and spear-shaped.
The finca has a thin tip that can be easily adapted for digging, and if you sharpen the upper edge of the tip, then such a knife is perfect for hunting.
Spear-shaped blades or with lowering the line of the butt often have penknives. A butt of sufficient thickness and a pointed tip makes them good and functional travel aids.
What type of knife is needed on a trip, each tourist decides for himself, based on his desires, requirements, needs and opportunities. If there is a campaign for a day, in places not particularly distant from civilization, then the shape of the spear will fit perfectly. But if you are waiting for a multi-day transition with passages through the forests, cooking at the stake, then you can’t do without a hunting knife.
Sharpening the blade also plays an important role when choosing a knife. The type of sharpening largely determines what the tool is capable of. There are several ways to sharpen:
- Smooth. The blade gradually narrows on both sides equally.
- In the form of a sword. Sharpening on the blade starts a little further than in the first case. This method is considered one of the best. The blades remain sharp for a long time.
- Complex sharpening (double sharpened). The edge of the blade is very thin, and then the sharpening is wider, which gives the knife high cutting qualities. Knives with such sharpening do not blunt for a very long time.
- Concave. Creates a very sharp cutting edge. The knife easily fits into any items. Disadvantage: frequent sharpening is required.
- Convex. It is the opposite of concave. A lot of metal remains on the edge, due to which it is very sharp and durable and retains its cutting qualities for a long time. In this way, the axes and knives used for cutting are sharpened.
- One-sided - "chisel". Only one side is sharpened, in the form of a chisel, hence the name.
The cutting edge plays a huge role in determining not only the functional properties of the knife. An edge with recesses has very good cutting properties, but it is almost impossible to sharpen such a knife in the field. Therefore, when going camping, preference is given to tools with smooth cutting edges with a sharpening in the form of a sword or complex sharpening. They are very sharp, retain their properties for a long time and, if necessary, are easily sharpened.
Knife handleWooden knife handle
The choice of knife handles is exclusively based on personal preferences. Someone prefers to carry knives with carved handles of bone or wood, others choose minimalism and practicality. Today, manufacturers give a huge variety of materials and shapes to choose from.
The rubber grip has a good grip even with a wet palm. Bone or from the horn has a beautiful noble appearance. Wooden fit well in the palm of your hand, have a pleasant to the touch surface, but require special care. Handles made of plastic are more picky; they are not afraid of moisture.
An important condition when choosing the type of knife handle is ease of use. It should fit comfortably, comfortably in the palm of your hand, corresponding to its size, and not rub in case of prolonged use. A quality knife feels like an extension of the hand.
Between the blade and the handle there should be a small ledge - protection so that the hand does not slip on the blade.
Usually, if the knife is good, there is a hole for the lace in its handle.
The sheath is necessary to protect the knife from damage, and the owner from possible injuries. Often, knives are sold already with a scabbard. But if not, it is better to take care of their acquisition.
Good scabbard is made of leather or kaydeks. These are durable materials that do an excellent job with their function. Often on the sheath there is a pocket for a grindstone, which is very convenient. There must be a strap that prevents the knife from falling out of the sheath.
Overview of the best camping knivesKA-BAR USMC Utility
- The first place, according to customer reviews, is occupied by a knife made in the USA - KA-BAR USMC Utility. He has a blade 18 cm long, and the total length of the knife is more than 30 cm. He has a leather handle equipped with effective finger protection. The cutting edge is smooth, easy to sharpen.
- In second place, Tom Brown Tracker - a knife created for hunters. An eleven-centimeter blade is equipped on one side with a saw designed for scraping. The length of the knife is 30 cm.
- Third place is shared, the SOG SEAL Team knife and the A1 Swedish Survival knife.
SOG SEAL Team knife with a fixed blade SOG SEAL Team has established itself as the most durable. It does not need to be sharpened. The blade does not corrode under the influence of sea water. It is resistant to bending, even if used as a lever. Blade - 18 cm, 5 mm thick. There is a notch area on the blade.
Swedish knife A1 Swedish Survival is the perfect knife for your trip. The length of the knife is 28 cm, the blades are 16 cm. The handle is one-piece, with square corrugations, there is protection for the palm and a hole for the cord.
Knives and legislation
When making a purchase of a knife, ask for a certificate for the knife, which indicates which category of knives you choose. It is advisable to carry this certificate or information sheet with you, so that, if necessary, you can present it to law enforcement officials. The wearing of knives is punishable by law.
Having chosen the knife of your dreams, throwing the backpack over your shoulders, you can go even to the ends of the world! Have a nice rest!