When it comes to gearing up for an outdoor adventure, one item that should never be overlooked is a reliable camp knife. Whether you're slicing through a tough rope, preparing a meal by the campfire, or simply whittling a piece of wood, the right camp knife can make all the difference. With the vast array of choices available, finding the perfect blend of functionality, durability, and price can be a daunting task.

From the durability required for heavy-duty tasks, to the precision needed for more delicate work, each knife on this list has been chosen for its exceptional performance in various outdoor scenarios. We've also taken into consideration the different preferences and needs of campers, ensuring there's a knife here that fits every type of outdoor enthusiast.

Whether you are a seasoned backpacker, a weekend warrior, or just someone who loves the great outdoors like we do, this list of our USA made blades will help you find the perfect camp knife to accompany you on your adventures.

Best Compact: Field 3.0
Best Folding Knife: Merchant 2.0 S
Best for Budget: Field 2.0
Our Favorite: Egress

What Makes a Good Camp Knife

Understanding what makes a good camp knife is essential for anyone venturing into the outdoors. These knives are more than simple tools; they are crucial for various tasks in camping scenarios.

Strong Blade Material and Design

The quality of a camp knife is largely determined by its blade. Materials such as stainless steel or carbon steel are top choices due to their sharpness, strength, and resistance to elements like rust. Stainless steel is preferable in moist environments, while carbon steel is excellent for maintaining a sharp edge. The blade's thickness and the way it's sharpened (its grind) also matter. A thicker blade can handle tough tasks, and a well-ground edge is necessary for precise cutting.

Comfortable and Lasting Handle

A good handle is crucial for control and comfort. The handle should fit well in the hand, preventing strain and ensuring a firm grip, even in wet conditions. Materials like G10 are popular choices (and what we prefer) for their durability and grip quality. The size of the handle should also match the blade to maintain balance and ease of use.

Size and Ease of Carrying

The size of a camp knife is important for practicality and versatility. A blade length of about 4 to 6 inches is often ideal, balancing the ability to cut effectively with being compact enough to carry easily. A well-made sheath and mount is also important for safe and convenient transportation.

Multi-Functional Features

A good camp knife should be suitable for a range of tasks, from preparing food to cutting wood. Features like a full tang (where the blade extends into the handle), a serrated section for tougher materials, or a gut hook for specific tasks can enhance the knife's usefulness. The choice of these features will depend on the user's specific needs.

A good camp knife is defined by its durable materials, comfortable handle, practical size, and multi-use capabilities. These aspects not only improve the camping experience but also ensure the knife can reliably perform various tasks outdoors, making it a vital tool for campers.

Best Compact: Field 3.0

The Field 3.0

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With keeping things light and small in mind, the Field 3.0 stands out as a premier choice for those seeking a smaller, yet fully capable camp knife for their outdoor adventures. While it is modestly sized at just over 8.0 inches in length, this knife does not compromise on functionality or durability, making it a top pick for enthusiasts who prefer a more manageable and lightweight option.

The compact design of the Field 3.0 makes it an exceptionally convenient choice for campers and hikers who are conscious of space and weight in their gear. Despite its smaller size compared to the larger Field 2.0, the Field 3.0 maintains a robust performance in various outdoor tasks. Its design is especially noted for the blade's pointed tip, which is expertly crafted for precision tasks such as detailed cutting or piercing, offering an advantage in tasks where finesse is key.

Durability is a hallmark of the Field 3.0, showcased by its KG Gunkote coated blade. This finish grants the knife great resilience against abrasion, chemical damage, and physical impacts, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of outdoor use. The blade, while streamlined in profile, retains a significant amount of steel near its edge. This feature not only prolongs the life of the blade's sharpness but also improves its ability to resist edge wear and tear.

Best Folding Knife: Merchant 2.0 S

Merchant 2.0 S

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Folding knives don’t usually make a list for camp knives but the Merchant 2.0 S marks a significant advancement in design and functionality. This model, an evolution of its predecessor, introduces improvements that solidify its role as a top pick for campers who value both precision and style in their tools, all while keeping it folded up in your pocket or pack.

Designed with the needs of and time use, including outdoor adventurers in mind, the Merchant 2.0 S features a carefully crafted curved blade. This isn't just a stylistic choice; the curve enhances the knife's overall cutting efficiency, making it ideal for a variety of camping tasks, from preparing food to cutting ropes. Furthermore, the entire blade is manufactured at the Toor Knives facility right here in San Diego, California.

For campers who prioritize both function and form in their gear, the Merchant 2.0 S stands out. Its combination of expert craftsmanship, high-quality materials, and a design focused on practical use makes it a standout folding knife for camping. This knife isn't just a tool; it's a testament to our commitment to excellence, offering campers a durable, efficient knife for their outdoor adventures.

Best for Budget: Field 2.0

The Field 2.0

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For those looking for a high-quality camp knife that's gentle on the wallet, the Field 2.0 is an excellent choice. It is especially suited for hunters, offering a range of features that make processing game both efficient and safe. The knife's design, with a clear focus on functionality and durability, doesn't compromise on quality, despite its affordable price.

The Field 2.0 features a drop point tip, which is perfect for precise skinning tasks. Additionally, the blade's substantial belly is designed for smooth and effective field dressing. Its edge is divided into a 2.75-inch straight section for detailed work and a razor-sharp 1.75-inch curved section towards the tip for more traditional cutting tasks. This thoughtful design makes it versatile for a variety of camping needs.

Durability is a key feature of the Field 2.0, with its KG Gunkote finish providing excellent resistance to abrasion, chemicals, and impacts. The blade's shape is also designed to retain a significant amount of steel mass behind the cutting edge, which ensures a longer life for the blade's sharpness and better resistance to edge impacts. These features make the Field 2.0 a reliable tool that can withstand the rigors of outdoor use.

An added advantage of this knife is its angled 90-degree spine, extending from the tip to the thumb jimping. This design provides more surface area for tasks like hammering and sparking a ferro rod. These additional functionalities enhance its value as a multi-purpose tool, especially for camping.

The Field 2.0 stands out as a top option for budget-conscious campers. It offers an impressive combination of specialized features for game processing and general camping tasks, robust construction, and thoughtful design, all at a price that makes it accessible to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.

Our Favorite

The Egress

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Among the variety of knives available, the Egress holds a special place as our favorite. This knife isn't just a tool; it's a product of extensive military and first responder experience, specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of search and rescue operations. Its creation is influenced by expertise in Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) techniques, ensuring that it's more than capable of handling the toughest outdoor challenges.

The heart of the Egress is its CPM S35VN blade, a material renowned for its exceptional strength and resistance to wear. This choice of steel is crucial for its intended use in search and rescue missions, where a knife must perform reliably under prolonged and diverse conditions. Its notable corrosion resistance is particularly valuable, enabling the Egress to perform exceptionally well in wet or marine environments.

What really sets the Egress apart, and a key reason for it being our favorite, is the blade's thickness and construction. At 0.25 inches thick, the blade is designed for not just cutting, but also for more demanding tasks like prying. It's a testament to its robustness and versatility in various camping situations.

Another distinctive feature of the Egress is the tungsten carbide Breacher Ball™ located on the pommel. This addition, larger in size at 0.25 inches in diameter, extends the knife's utility beyond cutting. It's an invaluable tool for breaking through hard materials, a function that can be crucial during emergency situations.

January 10, 2024