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Survival/hiking knife recommendations?

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On 10/30/2018 at 9:04 AM, Luke_WO said:

Resurrecting this from the dead... looking to get more into hiking (nothing too serious, like mountaineering or multi-day through-hikes, but potentially some several mile loops that will take the better part of a day). 

Are there any new products or new developments that I should be considering when looking at a basic hiking/survival knife to bring with me? As I stated above in this thread, I do have a Schrade SCHF9, but I think that may be a bit large. Thinking something around a 4"-5" blade is probably more manageable. 

I don't follow/keep up with knives, so any new info. would be great. Looks like there's plenty of options in the $50-$100 range...

Knives in the 4-5" blade length range are quite nice for hiking and backpacking. They're large enough that they can get the job done, but can still be positioned in ways to keep them out of the way. I have a Gerber Strongarm and an Esee 4. I haven't done much with either yet (the Gerber typically lives in my SHTF bag in my trunk, and the Esee is brand new from last weekend's Blade Show in Atlanta) but both seem solid with decent sheathes. The Gerber is the more tactical option, while the Esee, with micarta handles, is probably less likely to get the stink eye while on the trail. Normally I look to reduce weight when hiking, but I like having a solid fixed blade knife on my hip. I picked up the Gerber for around $45 on sale and the Esee was right around $100. 

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Shorter blades are easier to carry but when you need a bigger knife you need a bigger knife.

USMC Kabars and Glock knives are good but the straight blade sucks if you need to chop.


This is a knife to cover your big knife needs.  I have one I've used to chop, as a pry bar, and other uses with no issues.  Well within the budget too. This and a multi-tool and you've covered your needs.

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Also 2 is 1, 1 is none. I'd buy a mora, for $12 you cant get a better knife. Throw it in your pack and it's a backup. The mora garberg is bomb proof and full tang, if you want inexpensive look at condor and buy 2. The bushlore is actually really nice for the price point of under $50. 

Mora bushcraft black isnt full tang but an amazing blade and I'd trust it to get me out if I was lost and it's all I had. 



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A 7" slightly "bent" camp knife is the best all arounder IMO. unless it has a stupid blade design, you can do chores with it form skinning to chopping. If looking at a lighter 4-5" knife, get something with a full tang and a good grippy handle. 

For day hikes, you probably won't use a it at all. If you are packing it and it isn't for "because I can" reasons, you have it as insurance in case your day hike goes sideways and is no longer a day hike. IMO that means you are building shelter and/or fire and waiting something out, or you are dealing with moving a person in a state they can't move themselves easily. All of those mean you need to chop stuff.  IMO a good 7" camp knife is WAY easier to chop with than a hatchet. MUCH, MUCH larger sweet spot which works faster and gets the job done with less skill unless you are going for full on logs or trees. For kindling to 5" or so logs, the heavy 7" camp knife wins IMO. And that covers light temporary shelter, litters, and small camp fires. 

If going smaller, to get that coverage, you will wind up batoning it. 

Batoning or chopping full tang is something you want. 

I've got a Swamp Rat camp tramp for the job, but they have gone up in price and have never been super available. 

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