Do I Need A Knife While Hiking? (All You Need To Know)

Do I Need a Knife While Hiking

As a hiker going on your first hiking trip, you want to know what to pack in your backpack. So you research what to put in your backpack when hiking, and a knife is on the list.

The trail you want to hike is a trail your friends have hiked through, and they never said anything about wild animals. 

You then wonder if or not you need a knife while hiking this trail or if it’s a general requirement.

Yes, it would be best if you had a knife while hiking. However, the purpose of a knife while hiking isn’t only to protect yourself, but it serves other purposes to help during hiking activities. For example, you use a knife to open your food package, cut tape, or rope; these require a knife, not necessarily a big one.

In this article, I’ll explain whether or not you need a knife while hiking and, if yes, the type of knife to get.

Then, I’ll explain further all you need to know about taking a knife while hiking. By the end, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you need a knife when hiking.

Should You Take a Knife When Hiking?

Do I Need a Knife While Hiking

Yes, it would be best if you took a knife while hiking. This knife might be the one to save your life one day, although you might not need it that way throughout your life while hiking.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a knife since your trail isn’t dangerous, but your knife can save your life in other ways.

For example, you use your knife to open your food, or if you’re hunting or fishing while hiking, this knife helps with what you got. So, there are many reasons to take a knife when hiking

A knife would be helpful in the case of an emergency, and you have to camp out while hiking. In addition, you can use the knife to cut tree limbs to help build an impromptu shelter.

A knife is necessary if you’re going on a hike that will span for days. It would help if you had a knife to mark your trail, open your canned food, prepare food, cut ropes, etc.

If you have a broken backpack strap and are on an extended hike, your knife will greatly help fix it.

In essence, you should take a knife while hiking. However, if you don’t need it to protect yourself, you can use it for other things, as a knife can work as a multipurpose tool.

Having a knife gives you the mindset that you’re ready for anything. For example, a knife comes in handy if your hiking trip becomes an emergency and you must sleep out.

Which Knives Are Good for Hiking?  

The best kind of knife to take while on a hike are knives that can perform multiple functions or a lightweight.

This kind of knife won’t take up much space in your backpack and are easy to hold.

Before deciding on the kind of knife that is best for you to take while hiking, think about what you need that knife for.

Are you hiking for the day, or will it be an extended trip? However, in some countries like the U.K, there is a restriction to what knife you can take when hiking.

That’s because of U.K laws on offensive weapons, which you can classify a knife as. The good thing is they can carry a pocket knife, a good hiking knife.

However, if you want to carry other knives for hiking, you have to have a reasonable excuse for carrying the knife.

Here are some classifications of knives that are good for hiking.

  • Multitool
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Neck knife.
  • Folding knife.
  • Medium fixed blade
  • Large fixed knife
  • Survival knife.

#1. Multitool

You can usually fold a multitool. Multitools contain other tools like scissors, tweezers, etc., apart from the folding blade. These kinds of tools are easy to carry and have multiple uses.

#2. Swiss Army Tool

Swiss army knives are foldable pocket knives with different tools and blades, like a multitool. It is a small tool you can carry around while hiking.

#3. Neck Knife

It is also known as a small fixed-blade knife. It isn’t too big, and you can use this knife to carry out hard tasks. You can wear it around your neck, pocket, or in a sheath.

#4. Folding Knife

A folding knife has a single blade that you can fold in. Different types of knives fall into this category.

#5. Medium Fixed Blade

It is also known as a belt knife. It is bigger than the neck knife and can perform more tasks than it. You can attach it to your backpack or carry it on you.

#6. Large Fixed Knife

The blade of a large fixed knife is bigger than the one in the medium size, and you use it for more complex tasks.

This knife can do anything, but it isn’t the best knife I would recommend.

#7. Survival Knife

The knives in this category have stronger and bigger blades; you can use them to chop wood while hiking. 

In the table below are examples of knives suitable for hiking.

Knife NameCharacteristics
KA-BAR BK16 Becker point knifeIt is light and can fit into your bag.
Swiss army knife.Light and can perform multiple functions.
Buck knife.It is light and does not rust when wet.
Crkt drifter.A lightweight knife you can fold and fit in your pocket.
Spyderco Delica.Light and foldable. It can fit easily in your pocket.
ESEE Izula II.Easy to carry and fit in your pocket, belt, etc.

Where Do You Carry Your Knife While Hiking?  

It depends on where you are going hiking. For example, if you are hiking in Europe, you might only be able to put your knife where it is visible if you have a reasonable excuse.

There are several places you can put your knife while hiking if you do not want to avoid placing it in your backpack or outside.

Instead, you want your knife where you can easily access it. Below is a list of places you can keep your knife while hiking.

  • You can clip it into your bag. This option is great if you carry a fixed blade and want to avoid keeping it in your pocket.
  • Your pocket’s static line. Fix the knife handle into the static line and belt loop.
  • You can carry your knife around your neck while hiking by wearing it with a chain.
  • You can carry your knife in a dangle that drops down your leg if it isn’t inconvenient.
  • You can put your knife in your waistband with the waistband carry-on. Just ensure you attach it properly.
  • You can also carry your knife outside your waistband.

Ultimately, where you carry your knife while hiking depends on where you are and how comfortable you feel with the knife.

You might be the kind of person who is uncomfortable with their knife hanging down their waist and feel its pushing into their backpack.

Is a Knife Good for Survival?  

Yes, having a knife is good for survival. You see the need for a knife when you need to protect yourself, build a shelter, make a fire, etc.

To say a knife is good for survival, it has to have these traits listed below.

  • It shouldn’t be heavy, so you can easily carry it around while hiking, and it won’t be an extra load.
  • The blade tip in your survival knife should be sharp and pointed.
  • The blade of your survival knife should be full tang, i.e., the blade and handle are from one piece of metal.
  • The pommel of your survival knife should be solid because you sometimes use it for light-duty pounding.

Now that you know your knife is a survival knife, here are the things you can do with your knife to increase your hiking experience.

  • With a knife, you have some protection from wild animals if you ever encounter any while hiking.
  • While hiking, you might need to use a rope, and you can’t cut a rope with your hand. So the knife is handy here; you use it to cut the rope.
  • If you’re eating canned food, you need a knife to open it. Also, your knife will help cut the ingredients needed if you’re preparing food.
  • You use your knife to cut wood to make a tent while hiking.
  • You can start a fire to heat yourself or cook with the spine of your knife.

In essence, knives are essential for your survival when hiking.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, having a knife when hiking is essential for every hiker. With your knife, you can protect yourself and do many things to make yourself comfortable while hiking.

It’s a good thing lots of knives are suited for hiking and won’t add extra weight to your loads like the multitool and pocket knife.

Josh Matthews

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