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What knife do you carry backpacking?
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John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Use for bigger knives? on 10/08/2008 18:41:15 MDT Print View

For those of you who carry bigger knives, what do you use them for? Real question, not rhetorical...

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
knife on 10/08/2008 18:46:42 MDT Print View

I have a CRKT Peck but tha Gerber LST sure looks nice!

Linsey Budden

Locale: pugetropolis
Use for bigger knives? on 10/08/2008 19:02:08 MDT Print View

On a multiday hike I have no use for a big knife and have hiked knifeless (although I carried fingernail clippers and used these to cut leukotape).

But for dayhikes I add a big fixed blade knife; in fact I use my Dad's Boy Scout knife although I'd like to have a Mora Scout knife (fixed blade, plastic handle, 2.25 oz, About $5.00). This is carried instead of a shelter and sleeping system because in a survival situation, I would certainly resort to old fashioned woodcraft and a big raging fire.

Edited later to add:

Although I have hiked knifeless, it was only for three days and because I left my "Wenger Titanium Esquire" accidentally behind. This great but sadly discontinued knife features a serrated blade and titanium housing and is my everyday knife. During my typical backpacking trip, it rarely gets used for more than a bit of tape cutting and hangnails. Around the house and in the city it gets constant and varied use.

Edited by lollygag on 10/08/2008 23:50:40 MDT.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Re: What knife do you carry backpacking? on 10/08/2008 20:04:58 MDT Print View

I have not convexed the edge of my U2, but I'll be sharpening it on a leather strop with compound, which over time will gradually convex the edge.

I've also got an F1, that was one the first nice fixed blades I bought, and I really like it. Yes, I'd like to get another Fallkniven some day. I really like convex edges.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
bigger knives on 10/08/2008 20:18:25 MDT Print View

"For those of you who carry bigger knives, what do you use them for? Real question, not rhetorical..."

I guess it depend on your sytle of hiking, or the current hike that you are on.

I own several knives and tools that I may consider, based on my needs of the upcomming hike.

If you will be on trail with many others, you can size down to a simple folding knife.

If you are in bush country and are off trail a bigger full tang knife would be invaluable if you need it. I carry an on person survival kit also. (love that bush knife Joseph- I just bouhgt a case XX hunting knife)

My definition of light and yours may be different. I fish, hunt, backpack and have incorporated lighter techniques in each. (kind of hard to filet that fish with a razor blade)



A. B.
large knife on 10/08/2008 20:36:53 MDT Print View

From what I have read a larger fixed blade knife can be more useful in survival situations. It can be attached to a long stick and used as a spear. You can hit the back of the blade with a stick for chopping.

Whether or not you'd ever need that is another point.

A fixed blade is also nice for one-handed or use with gloves (where opening a folding knife can be troublesome).

Kyle Hetzer
(Ghost93) - F

Locale: Western MD
Re: Use for bigger knives? on 10/09/2008 00:20:41 MDT Print View

The reason I carry a larger knife (3.5 inch benchmade and sometimes my 4 inch BRKT North Star) is, for me, part mental, part I like to have certian capabilities. For instance, if I was in a dire situtation, I could use my longer folder and fixed blade for things like batoning wood, or other involved buschcraft/survival skills. In truth I personally don't use my fixed blade that often, but practing fire building skills with it is enjoyable to me. I like batoning wood to get to the good and dry stuff, and making a quick and nice fire. I sometime lend it to a friend to clean fish when we do base camp stlye camping. Though in the end, I just like my knife, and using it in the woods. If thats not you particular cup of tea, thats fine. Although it works for me, and thats what it is all about.

Matthew Robinson
(mcjhrobinson) - F

Locale: Waaay West
backpacking knife on 10/09/2008 01:27:42 MDT Print View

if by backpacking you mean out in the land numerous days i would get a mora (4"). all it comes down to is what kind of job youll be doing most and use the corresponding tool. for survival purposes id rather have a mora. but, if im gonna be cutting rope or other more everyday actons id use some gerber. i think once people learn certain techniques with a fixed blade they will come to appreciate it mora (pun intended). my 2 cents. oh also its probably one of the if not cheapest knife on this thread making it SUL on my pocketbook

Edited by mcjhrobinson on 10/19/2008 11:30:12 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: backpacking knife on 10/09/2008 05:21:42 MDT Print View

I carry a 4" fixed blade lightweight Buck knife. I wear it around my belt. I was taught that a fixed is handier in a survival situation, especially canoeing or kayaking. If I tip over, and my arm, hand gets tangled or caught up in some rope ...or anything...I have one free hand to get my knife out and cut. I don't have to worry about trying to get the blade open. I use this thing for many tasks in camp. I was once confronted by a racoon mid day on the trail and it was acting very strange, probably early stages of rabies. I got my knofe out along with my pole and was ready for any kind of attack. Luckily, it went off into the woods. As woman who hikes solo at times, it is a comfort to me as well to have some sort of weapon for survival.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
What knife? on 10/09/2008 09:42:58 MDT Print View

Here's an article on ultra lite knives, and what folks use. It's right here on the BPL site.

(link below)

And, here's a link for a tiny 0.2 oz razor sold here on the BPL site:

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
Re: Use for bigger knives? on 10/09/2008 13:52:26 MDT Print View

A larger knife can actually lower the weight of you pack. For example:

You can use the knife to split wood which helps with fire making. You can leave the stove at the house and cook right off the fire. That fire going all night will decrease the need for a heavier sleeping bag and in the warmer months you can go without one completely. I have done it plenty of times and actually I felt more comfortable. While we are on the topic of bedding, you can use that knife to gather pine boughs to make a bough bed. Although your not gonna do that in a national park or forest? I also use my knife to cut poles for my tarp.
So I add a few onces with the knife but I probably lose a few pounds with all the gear that I don't need because of the knife.

Food prep is another reason. Its much easier ot cut fruits and vegetables with a 4" blade then it is with a 2". And like some one allready said it is much more easy to clean a fish with a real knife.
trout cooked over a open fire!
wood split with sheath knife


Then there is the whole survival aspect of it. I feel alot more secure when I have a knife that I can trust to take a little abuse. Thats where a folder can never measure up to a fixed blade.

Edited by sjdm4211 on 10/09/2008 14:02:23 MDT.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
SAK on 10/09/2008 17:15:11 MDT Print View

I carry a full size 3 layer SAK.

The 3" blade is big enough to baton-split 2-3" thick wet sticks into dry kindling (put the tip of the blade on the side of stick, hold the blade at a 45 degree angle, baton the spine of blade - carefully).

The small blade provides hours of whittling fun in the evenings and at lunch / rest stops.

The corkscrew is great for untying guy-line knots.

The can opener is great for trail-town & resupply-night treats.

The scissors are for trimming finger/toe nails, popped blister skin, and shaping mole skin / blister foam.

The scissors & awl are great for building pop-can stoves if (when) I crush one accidentally...

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Wenger on 10/17/2008 08:20:55 MDT Print View

I'm using a Wenger Esquire Swiss Army Knife. It has pen blade, springless scissors, nail file, toothpick, tweezers, and key ring. 0.7 oz

Thom Kendall
(kendalltf) - F

Locale: IL
Re: Use For Bigger Knives on 10/17/2008 18:32:39 MDT Print View

I usually carry two knives: One a homemade belt knife with a 9" blade and 13" overall. The other is a little folder. Mr Witt to your question I answer as follows. I use mine as said above to make a fire and cut poles for my tent if I am carrying one. The blade is thick enough that I can dig holes or roots etc. The blade is tough enough that I can use it for about anything I can think of. My question for you'll is do you carry a small stone to touch up your blades?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Knife on 10/17/2008 20:30:03 MDT Print View

Mine is a Leatherman Micra, with pliers instead of scissors, 1.9 oz. I find I use the pliers more than anything else, mostly as a pot lifter but also for times when straps get pulled out of buckles. I am not very dextrous and have a hard time getting hold of a strap end that I've managed to push 1/16" through a buckle. The next most used item is the file, for my frequently splitting fingernails. The knife blade comes third. One of the tiniest screwdriver blades is just right for tightening the screws in my glasses. I wish I could remove all but that one and a "normal" sized one, though, to lighten up the knife a bit more and make it easier to find the one I want. I couldn't do any of this stuff with a razor blade. On the other hand, I'm trying to cut skin-out weight as much as possible.

Yes, it's harder to clean a fish with a 2" blade, but I've done it. I never was any good at filleting even with a proper knife! The 2" blade is also quite adequate for making frizz sticks to start a fire or for whittling a point on a stick in case I lose a tent stake. It certainly would be completely hopeless for dressing wild game or something of that sort or for cutting rope in a hurry (vitally important if you're working with horses). But I don't hunt and I haven't horse-packed for 50 years. If I'm taking out my grandkids and have to lift larger and heavier pots, I take a Leatherman Juice (next size up) or a separate pot lifter.

In my part of the country, cutting poles for a tent or boughs for a bough bed is very much a no-no. It's all "leave no trace" around here. So there's no need for a knife to do that.

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/17/2008 20:32:55 MDT.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
sharpening stones on 10/18/2008 11:15:08 MDT Print View

I carry a two sided EZE LAP diamond stone, the handles foldout like a switch blade and fold up and protect the stone. A peice of sandpaper and cardbord for the convexed knives and I also carry a viking whetstone on a necklace.

When I said cutting poles for my tarp I didn't exactly mean from live trees. The bough bed is a different story, if I am on public land I pack a Ridgerest pad in. Anywhere else and I am gonna chop down a few sapling. Besides it doesn't hurt to thin them out. Its kinda the same thing as controlled burns?

Scott McClure
(scottmphoto) - F

Locale: The beautiful Arkansas River Valley
Re: Re: Re: knife. on 10/18/2008 12:29:14 MDT Print View

I usually carry a Buck 119 Special (belt knife) and an older Scoutlite (a folding Boy Scout knife made by Buck in the mid-1980's or so).

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Knife on 10/18/2008 13:30:31 MDT Print View

There are many posts in this thread that actually correspond to UL/SUL hikers and BPL thinking, the remainder seem to belong to a heavy pack or canoeing group. Sure, I own some impressively big knives such as my Busse ASH1LE, but they certainly don't go with me on SUL backpacking hikes; for that I usually carry a Leatherman Squirt S4.

Edited by Quoddy on 10/19/2008 06:08:53 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Knife on 10/18/2008 13:45:24 MDT Print View

REI- Victorinox 0.7 oz.
Nail file w/
I find this knife great to use when fishing.
Does anybody know how to take the plastic off?

Edited by Creachen on 10/18/2008 13:48:20 MDT.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
SAK Scales on 10/18/2008 16:09:16 MDT Print View

Just pry the plastic pieces off. Starting with the middle, go all the way around several times, prying them up a little more each time. The can-opener of another SAK is the best tool, but a sturdy knife blade will work too.

The SAKs are held together by rivots with heads that entend about 3/32 out from the liners. The scales have a molded-in cup that grips the head of the rivots. Once you remove the scales, the lip on the end of the cup will be stretched out and no longer hold the scales on reliably. To put them back on, use a dab of shoe-goo (or silicone caulk ??) under the middle of each scale.