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10 Different Knives for 10 Different Campers

From the Camp Chef to the Pyromaniac to the Prepper

A “camping knife” is not a strictly defined thing. This fact proves problematic for the camper who wishes to embark on an adventure with the appropriate cutlery: You need a camping knife for your campout, but what is a camping knife? The truth is that camping knives are as varied as the campers who use them, and to help you match your style of camping to a style of knife that might be most useful to you, we’ve assembled a list of ten different knives for ten different campers.

1. The Camp Chef

The Camp Chef is the camper who’s always bustling between the cooler and the collapsible table, slicing vegetables, preparing meat, etc. When they’re done with that, they hover around the Dutch oven or tinfoil dinners until their masterpiece is complete. Then they sit around and insist everyone else eats first until all that’s left is the burnt stuff on the bottom of the pan. If you think you’re a Camp Chef, you might like the…

Benchmade Meatcrafter Fixed Blade Knife

The Benchmade Meatcrafter has a long, thin, springing blade and a razor edge making it excellent at processing meat (like filleting a fish or dicing steak) and slicing fruits and vegetables. It’s the perfect medium size: small and light enough to make delicate cuts and long and sturdy enough to manage bigger chores. The Meatcrafter is available at three price points, catering to the wallets of campers everywhere.

2. The Bushcrafter

The Bushcrafter is the camper who doesn’t bring a tent and sets off into the trees shortly after arriving at camp. If you follow them, you’ll find them halfway through building a shelter that will withstand rain, snow, wind, aggressive wildlife, and the entropic destruction of time. To the Bushcrafter, nature is a sandbox from which mighty castles and roaring campfires can be built—assuming they have a capable tool, like the… 

Morakniv Garberg Fixed Blade Knife

This fixed blade boasts a series of features that Bushcrafters will love: A full tang for superior strength, a scandi-ground Swedish steel blade with a robust edge, a sharp right-angle spine for striking a ferro rod or scraping things without damaging the edge, and a comfortable all-weather polymer handle. It includes a right- or left-side polymer sheath with a leather belt loop for convenient carry. If you want to get out there and work some wood, the Morakniv Garberg might be for you!

3. The Survivalist

The Survivalist is the camper who drives out to the middle of nowhere, parks their car, and walks with a minimalist pack until they’re lost, then tries to survive a few nights on what they brought. They’ll make a fire and cook a meal with tiny tools in their survival kit before navigating back to where they parked, where they wonder how exciting it would be if they ever got lost for real. And if they ever did, they’d be remiss unless they had something like the…

ESEE Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife

The ESEE Laser Strike has many features a Survivalist will appreciate. It has a 1095 high carbon steel that can take a serious beating, a tough coating to improve corrosion resistance, and a hollow tang that houses magnesium and a ferro rod with two kindling wads (you can access this to use it or replace it with matches or another tool by using the washer on the sheath lanyard to unscrew the handle scales). In a survival situation, the condition of your knife becomes a low priority, but the Laser Strike is built to take the abuse of even the most extreme circumstances. But if you make it through the ordeal but managed to break this mighty knife in the process, ESEE’s warranty covers you to get a replacement.

4. The Pyromaniac

This is the type of camper I am: It’s all about burning things. The Pyromaniac is a camper who can make a fire out of anything, anywhere, and in any weather condition. They’ll go straight to the firepit the moment they arrive at camp and won’t leave until forced to. Once the fire is started, they’ll begin the art of fire poking—AKA burning the end of a stick for no reason. In the morning, they’ll be the first up to get the fire going again. I recommend keeping gasoline far away from this type of camper. A useful knife for a Pyromaniac is something like the…

White River Firecraft FC4 Fixed Blade Knife

The White River Firecraft FC4 is a cutter made for the fire-lover. It has some exciting features: a sharpened portion of blade spine to scrape the included ferro rod, a stainless steel divot in the handle for use with a fire bow, and a sturdy CPM S35VN stainless steel blade that can transform any piece of wood into kindling. It includes a weather-proof Kydex sheath with a leather loop for belt carry.

5. The Backpacker

This type of camper does a fair bit of hiking before their camping—and brings all their gear with them on their back. You’ll see them trekking up mountains like goats, hauling a bag bigger than they are and twice their weight. For the Backpacker, every ounce counts, so the perfect knife will be something like the…

Benchmade Bugout Pocket Knife

The Benchmade Bugout is capable, comfortable to use, well-made, and—most importantly to a Backpacker—extremely lightweight. The full-sized Bugout weighs only 1.9 oz., with the Mini Bugout coming in under an astonishing 1.6 oz.! The Bugout feels like nothing when you’re not using it, thanks to its slender Grivory handle, but works like a heavy-duty pocket knife when it’s time to cut, thanks to its top-of-the-line CPM S30V stainless steel blade.

6. The Trailblazer

The Trailblazer is a camper who isn’t content with erecting their tent on an established campground. They make their discontentment known by demolishing whatever plants currently occupy the path to where they plan to sleep. If there’s no trail to that ideal patch of grass, they’ll make a trail. That is made all the easier when the Trailblazer has a tool like the…

Condor El Salvador Machete

Condor is known for its excellent full-sized machetes and fixed blades. The El Salvador is a pretty standard machete, but it’s made from high carbon steel that can withstand the abuse machetes are, by necessity, subject to. And best of all, it’s affordable, so you don’t have to fear for your finances the next time you see fit to blaze a new trail.

7. The Hunter

For the Hunter, camping is really about playing predator. They set up camp, cover themselves in weeds and dirt, and wait in the woods until they make their catch. When their prey is killed and cooked, it’s time to enjoy a meal as fresh as they come. Processing game is a large part of the trip for some Hunters; to do that, you need a knife like the…

Buck 119 Fixed Blade Knife

One of the oldest and most beloved American designs, the Buck 119 offers a full grip, a guard, and a razor-sharp 5.75” stainless steel blade. This knife’s belly and acute edge make quick work of cleaning and dismantling game. It’s a time-proven option that won’t let you down. (Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any Buck hunting knife.)

8. The RVer

Depending on who you ask, the RVer isn’t actually camping. They skip the rugged and natural in favor of comfort. These campers roll up to the campsite hauling modern convenience behind them in a trailer that ranges in size from “eyesore” to “How is that street legal?” The RVer is a comfortable camper with first-world problems like a loose screw or whatnot. Instead of a typical pocket knife, these campers would benefit from something like the…

Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool

The Leatherman Surge boasts a whopping 21 unique tools in a 1.5-inch by 4.5-inch package that you can keep on your belt with the included nylon sheath. Prominent features include a set of robust pliers, two locking blades, a screwdriver, a can opener, and a host of other useful tools. When camping in a camper, you don’t need a big knife to tame nature; you need a utility tool to maintain your nature-proof bubble of comfort so you can confidently venture out knowing you have a secure place of retreat.

9. The Mountain Man

The Mountain Man spends more time camping than otherwise. You’ll find this camper roaming around the mountainside, caring for nature, and maintaining a hut or shelter of some sort. These campers know the land they wander and generally do little to disrupt it. But when required, the Mountain Man will produce their trusty blade from their pocket and get to work. These campers usually use something like the…

Case Trapper Traditional Pocket Knife

The Case Trapper boasts two blades on a timeless non-locking slip-joint system. Case Knives has been gracing the pockets of campers for decades. The multiple blades of the Trapper lend it to whittling while providing versatility due to the differing tip styles. Truth be told, any case knife would make a great companion to a gentle, kind-spirited Mountain Man camper.

10 The Prepper

Last but not least is the Prepper. This camper shows up in a reoutfitted military truck and erects a tent made from Kevlar and titanium. After the solar-powered electric fence is set up, they can finally relax—with a shotgun in their lap. But when it’s time to venture into the woods to gather firewood (or vanquish the zombie hoard threatening the border), the Prepper will be glad to have the…

TOPS Steel Eagle 11 Fixed Blade Knife

This monster of a fixed blade has a meaty quarter-inch thick blade, a full tang, a serrated spine, and a thick handle. TOPS is known for overbuilding knives, and the Steel Eagle—its flagship model—is perhaps the most overbuilt. With an 11-inch blade made from high-carbon steel, no vine of Nature, demon of Hell, or zombie of the Apocalypse will stand a chance.


Okay, maybe I strayed into hyperbole, but I think you get the idea: the camping knife that’s right for you depends on the kind of camper you are. With any luck, the above list will have provided you with some direction or at least been informative or entertaining. Of course, countless viable alternatives exist to all the knives we listed above. If you want more options, read our Best Camping Knives article or check out our Camping Knives, Survival Knives, or EDC Knives. You might find that perfect cutter to supplement your upcoming campout—or maybe a knife that inspires you to go on one.