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Why You Need A Knife For Backpacking And How To Choose One

Why You Need A Knife For Backpacking And How To Choose One

Backpacking is a trip that might include living in cheap lodgings or camps in the middle of nowhere. Though it has been considered youth travel, anybody regardless of age, can embark on such an adventure. 

Due to the nature of the adventure and how secluded a backpacker can live while on the trip, they must bring essential possessions with them. For instance, a backpacker requires extra travel clothes, food, water, and a safety kit. 

As far as the safety kit is concerned, it should include things like a flashlight, first aid tools, and protective tools like a knife. It’s vital to note that backpacking might not be a walk in the pack, and such tools can come in handy occasionally. In this case, this post discusses why you should carry a knife when backpacking and how to choose one. Continue reading to learn more.

Why Do You Need To Have A Knife For Backpacking

Why You Need A Knife For Backpacking And How To Choose One

Your backpacking needs to have items like a knife. Here are the reasons you need a trusty knife for your next backpacking trip:

  • For Safety

The first reason why you need a backpacking knife is for safety. While you might not anticipate experiencing any danger during your backpacking trip, it’s always wise to be prepared. For example, you might encounter a dangerous animal or violent individuals and require a knife to scare them away or protect yourself if they attack you.

  • For Opening Packages

While opening packages with hands or teeth is possible, good utility knives can make the process way much easier. Unlike teeth or hands, you only need a single good knife’s shot to open any package.

  • For Food Preparation

There’s no need to carry a kitchen knife when backpacking unless you’re planning on moving to the wilderness. All you need is a good pocket knife that can make food preparation easier and faster. Plus, it’s very handy. 

  • For Building A Camp

If you’re planning on staying outdoors for several days, you’ll definitely require somewhere to lay your head at night. In such a case, everyday carry knives come in handy. 

When building a camp, you might need to break a small piece of wood, something that’s nearly impossible without a sharp utility knife. With that in mind, ensure you bring your backpacking knife along any time you go camping.

  • For Hunting

Suppose your adventure involves hunting. In that case, you must act like a professional hunter and bring the necessary hunting tools, such as a knife. A high-quality knife will help you stab and skin your prey. You don’t have to starve yourself in the wilderness while you can use your knife wisely and indulge in forest meat.

  • For Starting A Fire

You can’t start a fire without wood. It’s also impossible to cut the wood without a tool unless you have strong hands and knees or you opt to gather lay-around branches. Instead of hoping you’ll find a way to get wood, why not carry a backpacking knife? A knife will help you chop wood for the chilling nights and warm a drink early in the morning.

  • For First Aid

Sometimes, a knife is essential for first aid purposes. For example, you might need a knife when cutting bandages, treating blisters, trimming moleskin, and shaping the wood to be used as splinters. Additionally, if you’re experienced in matters to do with health, you can use a knife to make incisions and other first aids that require cutting with ease.

How To Choose A Backpacking Knife

Now that you know why you should invest in a knife before traveling, here are things you should consider when choosing a practical knife:

  • Size

When shopping for a backpacking knife, you should consider its size. If you pick a larger knife, it’ll be impossible to use for small tasks like carving. On the other hand, a tiny knife might not be ideal for chopping or batoning. 

Batoning refers to striking the rare part of the blade to drive the knife through rigid wood. Batoning helps you to cut or split thick branches easily. That said, it’s advisable to choose a knife that’s around nine to ten inches long. Such a knife can perform different purposes since it’s neither tiny nor too large.

  • Full Tang

A good backpacking knife should be full-tang. A full tang knife is a knife whose blade and handle are created with a continuous metal. Such knives come with scales attached to the handle for better grip. Full tang knives are stronger than part tang knives.

Among the reasons why a full tang knife is a better option is because the knife remains effective even if the scale comes off. On the other hand, a partial tang knife can be dangerous or impossible to use once the scale comes off.

  • Fixed Blade

A knife with a fixed blade is durable and reliable compared to its counterpart folding knife. While a folding knife is ideal for everyday carry, a fixed blade knife is more effective for survival. 

Suppose you’re facing a survival situation. In that case, you need a potent weapon without any joints. Therefore, investing in a reliable knife that can save any situation without challenges is essential.

  • Sharp And Pointed Tip

A good backpacking knife should be easy to sharpen and sharp-pointed, and there are reasons why. 

First, a knife with a flat or rounded tip can’t be practical if you require stabbing anything or anyone for self-defense. Secondly, you need a sharp-pointed knife to hunt. 

For example, if you’re going fishing, you’ll need a sharp-pointed knife that can easily stab a fish, as well as when hunting small animals. That said, ensure to invest in a knife that can make your adventure memorable while offering unbeatable protection.

  • Strong Pommel

Also known as a knife’s butt, the pommel is the knife’s handle bottom. You can use a strong pommel for light hammering or pounding. It can also be used to drive in shelter stakes. Purchasing a knife with a strong pommel is advisable since you may never know when you might need some light hammering.


A knife is a vital tool when backpacking. It can keep you safe and make your adventuring activities easy. Nonetheless, you must have the right knife to enjoy its advantages. If you’re planning on backpacking and wondering how to choose a knife, consider the above-discussed features of a practical knife for backpacking.

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