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May 16


5 Best Pocket Knives of 2023 for Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping

By Jonathan

May 16, 2023

5 Best Pocket Knives of 2023 for Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping

5 Best Pocket Knives of 2023 for Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping

A pocket knife is a powerful tool that you must include in your backpack at an accessible place. Storage should not be a problem because it is almost the smallest item you will have that can fit in a pocket.

You can have more than one pocket knife, but remember to carry a knife sharpener, especially if you are going for a long-distance hike.

Pocket knives have hundreds of uses, but we have summarised the most critical ones so that as you walk around with your fantastic knife, you may put them to maximum use.

How to Maximize the Uses of the Best Pocket Knives of 2023

A multi-purpose pocket knife

A multi-purpose pocket knife


While most hiking trails are generally safe, you are venturing into the wild, and anything could happen. A pocket knife is one of the few legal weapons in most places. While it is not designed to be a weapon, it might be your first item of defense or even the only one.

Self-defense requires you to act fast, but while at it, you must also consider the aggressor's ability and intention. Drawing the pocket knife prematurely can cause the attacker to be more aggressive and act faster than you. Remember, they are prepared to attack you, and chances are they caught you by surprise.

Your first option should always be getting away and only defending yourself if there is no escape route.

First aid

Accidents in the wild are imminent, and in some cases, they require a fast response. Pocket knives are helpful when you need to tear clothes faster. When a person gets a deep cut, you can tear the cloth around the area to expose the injury.

Pocket knives also cut bandages to size when dressing a wound.

When you or someone else gets into an accident and the seat belt gets stuck, they need to get away from the car quickly; you use pocket knives to cut the belt. This also applies when the vehicle catches fire, or there is a risk of drowning.


The right pocket knife should enable you to fish and prepare the catch for cooking.

The right pocket knife should enable you to fish and prepare the catch for cooking.

Backpackers rarely carry fishing rods because they pass as extra luggage. However, while on the trail, you will encounter a lagoon with fish swimming around, yet you have been eating canned food for many days.

This is your opportunity to change your diet, and your pocket knife will again rescue you. A sharp pointed knife is the most suitable for this task.

To successfully catch fish with a pocket knife, it must be within reach. Some lie on their tummy or squat to be close enough to the target. You have to remain still and wait to strike.

After catching the prey, you will still use the knife to cut it and remove the scales.


Besides fishing, you can use a pocket knife to hunt small animals such as rabbits. However, you must find out whether you are in a hunting zone, lest you get into trouble.

There are knives made explicitly for hunting, but a folding pocket knife can also do a decent job. Hunting may not be part of the activities on your to-do list, but you get to a place where hunting is allowed, and you feel the urge to eat fresh meat.

You, therefore, need to get a pocket knife that is versatile enough to handle different jobs. Much as the knives are made from different materials, we highly recommend stainless steel because it is more durable and does not rust.

The best pocket knife should be able to bring down the target, skin it, and separate the meat from the bones. Ensure you clean and dry the knife well after use.

Building the camp

A pocket knife is used to sharpen a pole before erecting the camping tent

A pocket knife is used to sharpen a pole before erecting the camping tent

You may get to your camping place and find that vegetation has overgrown, and you want to avoid sleeping surrounded by shrubs and tall grass. Your pocket knife will sort this out since you can use it to clear the place.

Again you start setting up the camping tent, and you realize one of the poles is broken. At this point, you can use the pocket knife to cut a branch from the nearby trees and trim it to an ideal size supporting the tent.

You can also use the pocket to dig holes where you are setting up the tent and cut the ropes to hold the structure.

Food preparation

A pocket knife is used to cut and prepare food while camping

A pocket knife is used to cut and prepare food while camping

Much as you mostly bring canned food to camping, there will always be something that needs to be cut. It could be a fruit or some vegetables you collected along the way. A pocket knife has several applications when it comes to food preparation.

You can spread butter, cut cheese into smaller pieces, or apply peanut butter on the toast. Bringing a pocket knife when camping gives you autonomy over the food you eat. You can buy raw food from the nearby towns and cook it, enjoying a fresh meal.

Pocket knives are also helpful when making a fire. You can use it to cut the firewood into smaller pieces that will light up faster.

Removing debris from your boot

It's finally time to rest after a long trek on the rocky terrain, but first, you need to prepare for the next day. One of the things you must do is get your camping boots ready, but there are tiny pieces of rocks stuck in the sole.

A sharp pointed pocket knife will come in handy in removing the debris hence ensuring your boots remain in excellent condition. These rocks can make trekking a bit uncomfortable since the feet are unstable.

You can do this task while seated around the campfire catching up on the day's activities or reminiscing if you are alone.

Opening boxes and Parcels

You get to a replenishing station and have a parcel that has arrived ahead of you. It could be the supplies you had shipped early or someone thoughtful enough to send you a message of good luck with some goodies.

The fastest way to open the parcels and boxes is by ripping them apart using a pocket knife. You will save time and reduce the risk of messing up the contents.

A pocket knife left out to dry after use.

A pocket knife left out to dry after use.

Product Reviews

SOG Escape Tactical Folding Knife

SOG Escape Tactical Folding Knife- 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Blade Emergency Pocket Knife

SOG Escape Tactical Folding Knife- 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Blade Emergency Pocket Knife

This is a stainless steel blade folding knife with so many benefits you must take advantage of. It is considered an emergency response pocket knife because of how fast it opens and how you can deploy it with one hand.

The single-blade pocket knife has a serrated section and is designed to serve other functions, such as cutting seat belts, stripping wires, and breaking glass.


  • It is a high-quality and sturdy pocket knife; hence you will use it for a long time.
  • The blade comes already sharpened and ready to use, meaning you can buy it along the way and use it immediately.
  • The blade is too sharp that it can cut through anything. This could also warn you to be careful while handling it.
  • It is reasonably priced.
  • The small size enables you to carry it in your pocket for easy access when you need it.


  • It is relatively heavy and can feel a burden sum if you hold it in your hands for long.
  • The pocket clip breaks easily; hence the knife remains

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Folding Knife

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight 7.15" Signature Folding Knife

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight 7.15" Signature Folding Knife

This is one of the best pocket knives manufactured in different handle colors, including green, orange, black, brown, blue, and purple. The knife blade is made from stainless steel and has a sharp edge and a hole that acts as an opener.

Dual skeletonized stainless steel liners are used inside the handle to ensure the knife is robust and lightweight. The handle has a secure grip owing to the slip-free traction, which offers resistance to the slipping hand.


  • It is lightweight; hence you can have it in your pocket and not feel like you are carrying anything.
  • The razor comes well-sharpened and remains in good condition for a while.
  • The opening and closing mechanism is smooth and, at the same time, firm enough to ensure it does not open up accidentally while in the pocket.
  • The stainless steel used to make the blade is of good quality that will not rust even when exposed to salty water.
  • The pivot is firmly in place to ensure the blade can not move, but the knife still opens efficiently.


  • It is relatively expensive
  • The handle becomes slippery with time because of wear and tear
  • The blade is short and can only pierce to shallow levels.

Victorinox Classic SD 7 Function Pocket Knife

 Victorinox Classic SD 7 Function Pocket Knife

Victorinox Classic SD 7 Function Pocket Knife

This pocket knife is a game-changer for your outdoor activities. Since time immemorial Swiss army knives have been on the lead, and this remains the case. They are designed with both aesthetics and functionality in mind.

This multi-blade and versatile pocket knife is a survival tool that every camping enthusiast must have when going for an adventure. The quality is so good that the manufacturer gives a lifetime guarantee against defects in quality and material.


  • The Swiss blades are made from stainless steel, making them resistant to most elements.
  • This survival tool is super lightweight to the extent that you will not feel it when carrying it in your pockets.
  • It has seven functions: a cutting blade, screwdriver, scissors, tweezers, toothpick, nail file, and key ring.
  • Despite having seven functionalities, it is the most compact pocket knife you will ever carry.
  • You can use the tweezers to pull out stings or thorns should you get stung by a bee or pricked.
  • The outer casing looks good, which you attach with your keys and carry everywhere you go.


  • The color fades when exposed to the sun for extended periods
  • It is too small to serve some functions that require larger blades. This means you must have a backup pocket knife when camping.

Gerber Gear 30-001364N Suspension –NXT 15-in-1 Multi-tool knife

Gerber Gear 30-001364N Suspension –NXT 15-in-1 Multi-tool knife

Gerber Gear 30-001364N Suspension-NXT

As the name suggests, this super knife contains 15 other tools, some of which include spring-loaded pliers, a ruler, a file, a flat-head screwdriver, a wire stripper, and an awl. Despite these components, the design remains sleek and can be stored in a pocket or attached to the bag with a clip.

This pocket knife is a good tool for hunters, tradesmen, and campers.


  • The butterfly opening and locking mechanism ensure that the blades do not deploy when not in use.
  • All the blades are made from stainless steel, which is durable and non-corrosive.
  • The price is reasonable for the quality that you get. It offers value for your money.
  • Since it comes with a belt clip, you do not need a bulky belt pocket.
  • It is a strong and well-built tool. All the functions work perfectly well
  • All the blades and bits lock in securely; hence there is no fear of them opening when you are unaware.


  • The blades are hard to open and not ideal for handling emergencies.
  • The cutting blade needs to be sharper, and you may need to pack an extra pocket knife for when you need to slice some hard meat.

Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660)

Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660) 3-In

Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660) 3-In

This pocket knife will charm you and leave you wanting no other knife. The size is just right – not too big and not too small and can fulfill a wide range of cutting tasks. The blade comes sharpened, but you can still re-sharpen it if you feel it is not sharp enough for your needs.

The handle is also made of stainless steel, but it is well-contoured to give the knife a good grip. The locking mechanism keeps the blade firm and well-locked up when in the folded position.


  • This pocket knife is durable because the steel used to make the blade and handle is non-corrosive.
  • It is the best pocket knife for emergencies since it can be released fast and with one hand.
  • The stainless steel handle fits perfectly on most hands and is safe to use and carry.
  • The design is sleek, giving it good aesthetic value.
  • It is thin and flat enough to fit comfortably in the pocket.


  • Closing and opening it using one hand is complex and may need some practice.
  • You need to clean and oil the blade after every use to prevent it from catching rust.
  • Some people find it too plain because the handle and blade come in one color.


The Best Pocket Knives of 2023 must be multi-functional because of the many uses that the blade is required to serve when camping and hiking. No pocket knife fits this description better than Victorinox Classic SD 7 Function Pocket Knife.

If you want to gift an outdoor enthusiast, this will be the perfect option because you will have solved many of their problems.

The most functional parts are the blades and scissors. The screwdriver also finds some applications once in a while. Conversely, Tweezers are rarely used unless you get pricked, the thorn remains in the skin, or you get a bee sting.

The fact that you can chain it with your keys makes the pocket knife even more portable and an item you have no reason to leave behind.

About the author

My name is Jonathan J. Williams, a 36-year-old male, and hiking is my oxygen. It is my source of life. I hike on good days and bad days for relaxation and exercise. Backpacking and camping go hand in hand with camping; the three define my life. The trails and mountains keep calling at me.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Wear on the Spyderco handle?! I have Spyderco blades that have the same handle material and are 11+ years old with NO wear. One of the knives is a daily carry and rides in my pants pocket every day.

  2. You think these are the best knifes of 2023 huh… the Kershaw are good, but your list of the best knife of 2023 are missing so much and very misleading on points of price, durability,reliability and overall factual information

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