Buying an outdoorsy knife if you don’t know what you’re doing can be tricky. You might end up buying a spoon, or a fork, or some sort of pine-handled spatula. No? OK. That was a really bad joke. For obvious reasons, purchasing a knife is serious business. Get the right knife and you’ll have a useful tool for your roamings in the wild. Buy the wrong knife and you’ll have a superfluous bit of kit that weighs you down, brings nothing useful to your trip, and scares those around you. Think: do you really need a barbed machete for a couple of days camping in Wales? Probably not.
So, what should you look for when buying a knife for use in the UK? What should you consider? How big does it need to be? What sort of stuff do you need to use it for? And so on, and so forth.
Here are some things an outdoor knife can be used for:
- Fire Making
- Food Preparation
- First Aid Tool
- Opening Beers
Is Knife Size Important?
That cheeky old saying that people 50 and above use on a daily basis, the one that goes “It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it that counts”, doesn’t really apply to outdoor knives. When it comes to items such as this, its ability to completely the task set is largely dependent on how big or small the knife is (as well as, of course, the experience of the person wielding it).
A knife that’s too small will be unable to chop down trees, or be driven through thick wood. While, at the other end of the scale, a knife that’s too big will be useless for tasks that require a precise and delicate approach.
Depending on who you ask, and how passionate they are about adventure knives, you’re likely to get very different answers to the recommended size question. Some say a top of knife to bottom of handle length between six and ten inches is the most versatile (with blade length around the three to five inches mark). This size, it’s reckoned, can hold up well to a variety of different tasks without being cumbersome. That said, we’d recommend you really think about whether you need a knife that big for your adventure as there are smaller knives that might be more appropriate for UK-based stuff.