Best Camping Knife: Top 17 of 2023

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 02/09/22 •  20 min read

Camping knives are a crucial tool for any camper. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as splitting wood, food prep, and administering first aid.

It is important to choose the right camping knife to ensure that it is durable and can handle a variety of tasks.

The best camping knife must be more than a sharp blade with a handle. There are many different factors to consider when choosing a camping knife, such as the type of blade, the steel it is made from, and the properties of the tang.

It is also important to make sure that the knife is comfortable to hold and easy to clean.

We’ve done all the work for you! After reading through dozens of reviews from real users, not to mention owning MANY knives ourselves, we narrowed down our list to just 5 top-rated products that fit most people’s needs.

OFHQ’s Favorite Fixed Blade Knives

  1. Gerber Strongarm Fixed-Blade Knife (Best Cost-to-Quality Ratio)
  2. Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife (Best Versatility)
  3. ESEE Knives 4P Fixed-Blade Knife (Best Warranty)

OFHQ’s Favorite Folding Knives

  1. Benchmade Bugout 535 Folding Knife (Best in Class)
  2. Victorinox Swiss Army Trekker Pocket Knife (Best Versatility)
  3. CRKT Homefront Foldable Knife (Best Cost-to-Quality Ratio)
  4. CJRB Gobi Folding Knife (Best Budget Knife)

What knives should I take camping?

While this is left to personal preference, we recommend a folding knife to clip in the pocket and a fixed blade to hang on the belt.

This prepares the camper for the widest range of scenarios requiring a knife as a tool. While the folding knife is best suited for small, light work, the fixed blade or bush knife is best for heavier work.

How much is a good camping knife?

Ultimately, you get what you pay for. At the same time, “most expensive” doesn’t always mean “good” for you.

Instead of cost, pay attention to the reviews of those that have owned the knife and used it frequently over time. This can be a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack search. Still, the trial of time and torture tells the true quality of a knife.

Alternatively, pay attention to the warranty: companies that provide the rare unconditional, no-questions-asked warranty have confidence in their product, regardless of the price.

If you find a low-cost knife backed by a lifetime warranty and great customer reviews, it’s worth your gamble!

What is a camping knife for?

Camping knives are incredibly versatile tools that every camper should have at their disposal.

While the list of ways a camping knife can be used is left to the ingenuity of the user, here is a brief list of possibilities:

In a survival or hunting scenario:

What is a good knife for hiking?

When hiking, the best camping knife involves a balance between weight and quality.

That being said, you’re best to consider the duration of your hike and the environment you’ll traverse.

Shorter hikes across mild terrain require a light-duty folding knife for unlikely emergencies requiring first-aid administration, fire, and food prep. A great selection for such a scenario would be the CRKT Homefront.

For overnight or longer backpacking trips (especially involving arduous terrain), a heavier-duty bush or fixed-blade knife is recommended. This is a tricky balance between necessity and weight.

In this scenario, paying extra will acquire both characteristics of being lightweight and durable, for example, the Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Fixed-Blade Knife.

Best Fixed Blade Camping Knives

A fixed blade knife (or bushcraft knife) is a knife with a blade that does not fold. It is attached to the handle with screws or bolts and, typically, is stronger and more durable than a folding knife.

Other than out-right toughness, other benefits of a fixed blade knife include ease of cleaning, ease of sharpening, durability, and the ability to use it for more difficult tasks. These are the most durable types of knives available today because there are no moving parts that can easily be broken or fail.

Gerber Strongarm Fixed-Blade Knife

Among fixed blades, the Gerber Strongarm fixed blade is the essential tool for any preparedness kit. The fixed blade knife comes with a Kydex and Nylon sheath that can be mounted horizontally or vertically on MOLLE webbing or belt.

The Gerber Strongarm fixed blade knife has a black-coated, drop point, 420HC stainless steel blade, which keeps it from rusting and provides a tactical look.

The handle on the Gerber Strongarm knife is made of rubberized diamond texture for a no-slip grip even in wet conditions. In addition to its fine edge, the backside of this knife’s full-tang blade also includes a pummel which functions as part of your rescue efforts by breaking through hard surfaces while doubling up as a breaker at its base.

You can also use this pummel as a hammer to drive stakes into the ground.

The Gerber Strongarm knife weighs just 11 ounces, making it light enough to carry around without weighing you down. The knife measures 8.5 inches long, making it easy to use for most people of all ages.

KA-BAR Becker BK2 Companion Fixed-Blade Knife

The KA-BAR Becker BK2 Companion has a drop point steel blade with a black powder coating and a fine edge. The full-tang blade is made of 1/8″ thick, 1095 Cro-Van steel. The handle has contoured scales with a lanyard hole and a ballistic, glass-filled nylon sheath is included.

This knife features a versatile design that excels at splitting wood, skinning game, camp cooking prep, and more. The model’s drop point blade offers extreme sharpness while the high-carbon content allows for easy re-sharpening when needed.

Plus, the non-reflective black powder coating provides corrosion resistance while still maintaining optimum visibility in low light conditions so you can make sure it’s always at the ready when you need it most.

Morakkniv Companion Fixed-Blade Knife

  • Blade Type: 3/4 tang, straight, scandi grind
  • Blade Material: company secret recipe(TOUGH and scary-sharp)
  • Handle Material: Polypropolene with rubberized rip (tough and cleans easy)
  • Length: 8.63 in. (blade 4.0 “)
  • Weight: 2.9 oz. (with sheathe 4.0 oz.)
  • Warranty: Lifetime against defects in craftsmanship
  • Notable Features: Exceptionally hard, moisture-resistant blade; extra-large handle; MOLLE compatible sheathe

The Morakniv Companion is a sturdy knife rugged enough to handle batoning, which is splitting firewood by banging the knife into the wood.

Morakniv knives are made from Swedish steel and are well-known around the world as one of the best knife manufacturers in existence today.

The Companion’s blade has a robust scandi grind and an extra-large handle designed for heavy-duty work. This model also features a plastic sheath with a belt clip for convenient carry and storage.

Note: the manufacturer specifically states that the blade should not be used with a Ferro rod and should be wiped and oiled after usage.

Ontario Knife Company RAT-3 Fixed-Blade Knife

The Ontario Knife Company and Randall’s Adventure and Training Team (RAT) have a solid reputation as survival gurus. Their newest collaboration, the RAT-3, is a medium-sized fixed blade that has earned itself a notable ranking among top camping knives.

The almost 8″ overall knife has a 4″ black powder coated 1075 high carbon steel blade with a .125″ thickness and an aggressive modified tanto point. The full tang of the RAT-3 extends through the lanyard hole in the contoured micarta handle scales to form one of the most durable survival knives available.

This beastly combat-style knife features some unique elements like an integrated pommel designed as a hammer and chisel, along with serrations on top of the spine of the blade to cut down on weight, increasing strength.

Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife

This Bushcraft Survival Knife is another fantastic knife created by the folks at Morakniv.

The company’s “secret steel” is famous for durability while the scandi grind makes it ideal for campers in a variety of situations. When cutting wood, the blade won’t slip off easily, bites into surfaces without getting stuck, is razor-sharp, and will stay sharper longer.

The handle has a high-friction, oversized rubber handle that gives you control over your work as if it were an extension of your hand.

Backed by 130 years of knife-making legacy, this is a great choice for any outdoorsman or camper who needs dependable equipment that can stand up to harsh conditions.

KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife

“Virtually-indestructible-American-history-in-your-hand” is the impression KABAR’s UMSC leaves when you draw it from its sheathe. Since World War II, the USMC KA-BAR has been heralded as one of the most famous knives in the world.

This knife will not rust and has been heated and drop-forged. Although big and a bit heavy, you’ll never have to worry about putting this juggernaut through some abuse. Its rugged construction is legendary — a truly heavy-duty knife.

A unique feature of the USMC KA-BAR is the butt cap. Made of formidable 12GA commercial-grade carbon steel, it dares you to find something to hit.


You just might hear the knife laugh.

ESEE Knives 4P Fixed-Blade Knife

With a “No Questions Asked Life-Time Guarantee,” ESEE Knives has been making knives in the USA since 1997. Up until recently, ESEE had been supplying its durable, high-value blades to both military and civilians.

The ESEE-4 stands as one of the companies most popular knives. It is a dependable workhorse in a small package.

This full-tang knife includes a molded polymer sheath with a rotating steel clip which can be used to attach the sheath to your belt or backpack strap.

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 Fixed-Blade Knife

Giants among knife smiths, Benchmade has been making knives for more than 30 years.

While finding the best camping knife for your needs does NOT mean you have to break the bank, some knives are just well-worth the investment. A Cadillac of a camping knife, the 162 Bushcrafter is a true work of art, handcrafted and built to take on all your outdoor chores with ease.

The stainless steel blade is more-than-adequate enough to handle a gambit with heavy-duty tasks such as batoning firewood and, in the words of several reviews, could probably “stop a bullet.”

While the leather sheath is high-quality, some have wished for something more contemporary such as Kydex or nylon; however, let’s face it, leather just has that genuine I’m-an-outdoors-stud appeal to it.

Pricey, yes; but, you get everything you pay for!

Benchmade 200 Puukko Fixed-Blade Knife

Funny name; serious camping knife. This Scandinavian-styled Puukko from Benchmade is a work of simplistic ingenuity.

Don’t be put off by its relatively short blade length: its CPM-3V stainless steel construction defines TOUGH! You’ll be able to run this knife through its paces without worrying about damaging it.

The Santoprene handle is a unique touch that provides an uncompromising grip that fully encapsulates the tang. It is undoubtedly a knife built for a lifetime of adventuring.

Shrade SCHF 36 Frontier Fixed-Blade Knife

Want solid quality with dropping a lot of coin? The Schrade 36 Frontier is the way to go.

This full-tang fixed blade knife has a 1095 carbon steel blade, giving it great edge-retention and ease of sharpening. The blade is crafted in a drop point style, giving you an extremely strong tip for stabbing deep into whatever target your heart desires and full tang construction for excellent strength.

The TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) handle is extremely durable and can stand up to all kinds of abuse. Jimping on the spine and grip gives the user a solid grab on this knife and a lanyard hole completes the piece.

Don’t be fooled by the low price – the materials used in its construction are quality! You are paying for an excellent knife that will serve you well for years to come.

Best Folding Pocket Knives

Folding knives can be folded into the handle to make them more portable and easier to store. The blade can be made of different materials, such as stainless steel or carbon steel. The handle is usually made of plastic, wood, metal, or carbon fiber.

Historically, such knives have been more prone to breaking than fixed-blade knives, but newer models have been improved with high durability in mind.

There are many benefits to owning a folding knife.

Finding the best pocket knife for camping can be just as daunting as searching through fixed blade knives; however, we’ve narrowed it down to a few that are sure to impress.

Buck Knives 110 Hunter Pocket Knife

The hunt for the best camping knife would be incomplete without mentioning an American classic: Since 1902, Buck Knives has been a legendary name in folding knives for more than 100 years. They continue to build upon this legacy of quality by offering a great pocket knife at a great price.

The 110 Hunter is equipped with a nail-notch lock-back design for easy two-handed deployment and closing.

The 3.8″ clip-point stainless steel blade is ideal for detail work, such as piercing and cutting in tight places. Hardened through Buck’s patented Paul Bos process, the blade retains a formidable edge and resharpens easily.

A natural wood grain handle and polished brass bolsters add a classic touch to this everyday carry favorite.

Having acquired the enviable reputation as “the working man’s pocketknife,” it is backed by Buck’s “Forever [Limited] Warranty”.

CJRB Gobi Folding Knife

A favorite folder here at OFHQ, the Gobi proves you can have a solid knife without sacrificing your budget. Featuring CRJB’s proprietary AR-RPM9 Powder Steel, sometimes referred to humbly as “budget-steel,” this material has been found to have excellent edge retention, sharpen with ease, and resist corrosion. In other words, a good camping knife can also be affordable.

Also making this a great knife is the ceramic ball bearings in the pivot and the “flipper tab” that makes deployment lightning fast with a quick “flip” of your index finger.

Other features include a deep-carry pocket clip, lanyard hole, and the option to move the clip (with a T6 driver) for left or right-handed deployment!

The Gobi was designed with everyday carry in mind; it’s lightweight and slim enough for your pocket (even when you add in your keys) while still packing enough punch for heavy-duty tasks.

It comes with a razor-sharp blade edge out of the box and is built to last.

CRKT Homefront Foldable Knife

With a black star crowning the pivot on the olive drab handle, the CRKT Homefront Folding Knife looks like a proud heirloom passed down from a WWII Veteran.

The key feature of this knife is CRKT’s patented Field Strip Technology. While many knife manufacturers won’t honor their warranty if you take your knife apart, CRKT encourages it! The Homefront can actually be fieldstripped for cleaning and restoration without any tools.

With a lug-style flipper for index-finger-deployment and easily-sharpened AUS stainless steel blade, the Homefront is rugged, lightweight, and convenient.

Victorinox Swiss Army Trekker Pocket Knife

Famously, Victorinox can’t let a knife just be a knife, and the Soldier is no exception. For those that want more than a blade at their disposal, this “pocket toolbox” includes the following handy features:

  1. large stainless steel blade with wavy edge
  2. wire stripper
  3. bottle opener, lockable
  4. reamer, punch
  5. wood saw
  6. Phillips screwdriver 1/2
  7. screwdriver 7.5 mm
  8. screwdriver 3 mm
  9. can opener
  10. keyring

A truly versatile knife and 100 years behind its craft, Victorinox guarantees this Swiss Army Knife for life.

Spyderco Endura 4 Folding Knife

Spyderco’s signature compact knife, the Endura 4 is a lightweight Hercules. Inside the handle of this small folding knife are dual skeletonized stainless steel liners which strengthen the knife without additional weight and double as an anchor for external components to attach through generating more sturdiness and rigidity.

The VG-10 folding blade features a saber grind that retains a greater thickness throughout more of the blade adding to its overall resilience. Available in PlainEdge™, CombinationEdge™, or SpyderEdge™ configurations; you can be confident the knife you choose will suit your needs.

Spyderco Caribbean Folding Knife

Truly a one-of-a-kind for you knife aficionados, Spyderco’s unique Caribbean Salt folding knife is ready to tackle any cutting task in and around the water. With its corrosion-resistant LC200N (a nitrogen and chromium-rich alloy) blade, the Caribbean is built to be a rugged outdoor knife.

The Caribbean’s Compression Lock® is Spyderco’s proprietary blade lock mechanism that ensures extreme locking strength and swift deployment.

The blade-to-handle geometry makes it a natural extension for the hand and provides a surprising amount of cutting power for its size, while Spyderco’s Trademark Round Hole™ allows easy opening.

Benchmade Bugout 535 Folding Knife

If a knife could be as light as a feather, it would be the Bugout by Benchmade. Weighing in at 1.85 oz., it’s great for everyday carry . . . just don’t forget you have it on you!

And OPTIONS! It’s rare to be able to customize your knife to this degree:

Handle Options:

Blade Steel Options:

This unique knife also features integrated safety mechanisms that ensure quick one-handed opening for both lefties and righties. The Bugout comes complete with ambidextrous thumb studs that are very easy to use because they are designed to be pushed from either side using your index finger, thumb, or the palm of your hand.

Wrapping Up the Best Camping Knife

The search for the best camping knife is an endless pursuit. There are countless combinations of materials, styles, and functions that make selecting just one an overwhelming task.

Ultimately, the perfect camping knife is the one that suits your purposes, is satisfying to use, and, at the end of the day, has left you with a sense of money well-invested.

Also, as we have found at OFHQ, it’s nice to have more than one good knife at your disposal. That way, no matter where your next camping trip may take you, you’re sure to be prepared.

We hope you enjoyed our review of the best camping knife.

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!