What Type of Knife Should I Carry?

Every long-distance backpacker or backpacker should carry a knife. It’s one of the most essential tools you can carry in your backpack. A lot of new hikers tend to carry bigger knives than they need. We found that the best knife is one that can carry out multiple functions and still remain lightweight.

How to Keep Your Knife Sharp

Buck Knife

Weight:  5.7 ounces (162 grams)

Blade Length: 4.5 inches

Overall Length: 8.25 inches

Pros: large fixed blade

Cons: expensive, weight, no extra functions like scissors, tweezers, etc.

Buckmaster Knife

Retail Cost: $60

Swiss Army Knife

Weight:  0.74 ounces (21 grams)

Blade Length: 1.5 inches

Overall Length: 2.25 inches (blade folded in)

Pros: lightweight, includes tweezers, scissors, toothpick, file and screwdriver

Cons: short blade length, blade does not lock

Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

Retail Cost: $18


If you plan on thru-hiking or backpacking you should really carry a knife with you. For most hikers, the affordable and lightweight Swiss Army knife with a lot of useful functions is the best option.

There is little need for a large, heavy knife when you actually get on trail. Most knife tasks will be simple and a large blade is likely never used. The likelihood who will need tweezers or scissors is very high.

No matter what knife you decide to carry you should keep your knife sharp so it can function as intended at all times. Because keeping your knife is so important we wrote an article on how to keep your knife sharp.

It is important to remember if you are traveling by plane to get to the trail you will need to check your knife in a bag. The Transportation Security Administration or TSA does not allow knives to be carried onto planes, no matter how small they are!