A man uses his best camping knife to nudge kindling in a campfire.

What Separates a Good Camping Knife From One That Outlasts You

Learn how to pick the best camping knife and the significance of our Generations Promise. Invest in quality now for a lifetime (or two) of memories!

It may sound cheesy, but I believe a camping knife is more than just a tool — it’s your best friend, and it can make or break your camping trip.

While there are loads of good camping knives, the best camping knife is one that is reliable, versatile, and creates memories that last a lifetime and beyond. In fact, the best camping knife should outlive you. It should be passed down from one generation to the next.

If you want your son to remember your first camping trip together, using the same knife you did on that trip decades into the future will do the trick. He may even pass it down to his son, too.

That’s the philosophy behind MKC’s Generations Promise: return your blade to us at any point in its life, and we’ll restore it to its original, unmatched working condition, free of charge.

We strongly believe knives shouldn’t be disposable. That’s why we build ours to outlive you.

Infographic: What Separates a Good Camping Knife From One That Outlasts You

What Separates the Best Camping Knife From the Rest?

Many qualities determine the best camping knife: weight, blade shape, handle material, edge retention, etc.

But the most important quality, I’d argue, is durability. A camping knife must be able to withstand harsh conditions and frequent use. You don’t want your knife to rust easily, break, or become dull halfway through its first trip.

Handle and Blade

The best camping knife is large enough to chop wood. It has a solid handle that’s comfortable to grip for extended periods, as well as a thick blade that can handle a lot of abuse.

Of course, size comes with weight, which can be a problem if you’re hiking to your campsite and feeling every ounce. The trick is finding the perfect balance between size and weight.

Generally, a knife that’s six inches in length will provide all the blade you’ll need for a camping trip.

Carry System

You need to be able to carry your camping knife in a way that allows for instant accessibility. That’s an extremely important feature most people overlook.

Burying your knife deep in your backpack does more harm than good. If, God forbid, you’re attacked, either by an animal or another person, you need to be able to grab your knife and have it ready immediately.

Maybe you like to clip it to your pocket or to the strap of your backpack. Regardless of how you like to move, an easy, accessible carry system ensures your safety.

What Is the Best Camping Knife?

Finding the best camping knife, one that encapsulates all the qualities we mentioned above, is no small task. That’s why we’ve done it for you. Here are a couple MKC blades we believe fit the bill:

The Blackfoot 

If you need a simple blade that’s sturdy, lightweight, and easy to carry on long trips, the Blackfoot is the best camping knife for you. Its size and shape make it perfect for small tasks.

The Super Cub 

If you want something a little bigger but still on the light side, go with the Super Cub. It’s better suited for larger tasks, like chopping wood and kindling.

We always say, if your aircraft went down and stranded you in the forest, the Super Cub is the knife you’d want with you.

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The Best Camping Knife: Final Thoughts

A good camping knife can make or break a camping trip, but the best camping knife is one you can always count on. It’s more than just a tool — it can become a family heirloom.

Choose the right knife for your needs today, and you’ll create memories for a lifetime and beyond.


by Josh Smith, Master Bladesmith and Founder of Montana Knife Company