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Is a 16.5" CAK to heavy for backpacking?

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by UNCLEDAN, Jul 1, 2012.



    Jun 14, 2012
    Hello, this is my first post on blade forums (or any forum). I've been reading and re-reading many many posts about himalayan imports products and I am sure that I want one, just having trouble narrowing it down. A little about me; I'm 5'7"-5'8" less then 150 lbs. I'm in pretty good shape but I don't want anything too heavy. My first and only khukuri is a large model from khukuri house that I absolutely love, but at 21" oal and 2 lbs 4 oz, it's just to big for to be practical for trecking. It's a great car camping/local chores knife, but I definately couldn't swing it all day clearing brush.


    I am drawn to the CAK because of it's chopping power and apparent indestructibility, however due to the weight I'm thinking a WWII or even a 15" AK might be better suited for my needs. I'll be using it mostly for chopping related camp chores but I want a powerfull all-arounder.

    Another draw to the CAK is that I am a broke student so the "buy both" solution is not an option here. I'll have to sell my "de-limber" to fund a slightly more practical blade, so having the toughest khukuri available as my only big blade is somewhat of a reassurance.

    I know this topic has been disscussed many a time here on the forum, but I was hoping some experienced backpackers, or anyone that uses there khukuri's for extended periods could weigh in on the issue of wieght vs strength and other things to consider.

  2. HardTripper


    Dec 13, 2010
    What kind of backpacking are we talking about? If you're doing Appalachian trail style, long distance, high elevation backpacking, I would bring just a SAK or a Mora if you want a fixed blade. If you're blazing a trail I suppose a smaller khuk is a good tool but I know when Im out there Im counting ounces and thats a ridiculous tool. Try a Mora companion or SAK Trekker.
  3. Abaniko


    Jun 2, 2006
    My views & experiences maybe considered to be somewhat heretical: For Hiking, it is either my 12" Bura Pen Knife, or more frequently it is a 13" CAK. Mere toys. I know.:rolleyes:


    Jun 14, 2012
    Thanks for the response HardTripper, as a kid when backpacking with my dad we usually just had a 6 inch fixed blade and a couple pocket knives so I know a big knife isn't necessary on a well planned trip. This would be more for a bushcraft type scenario, where I will be processing a lot of wood. The khukuri on a backpacking trip would mostly be for chopping fun and piece of mind in case i had to build a shelter or stab a sasquatch.
  5. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Welcome UncleDan,

    I'm not much bigger than you (bigger around maybe a little ) and i find the 16.5" CAK to be perfect for my trekking, camp and chopping needs.
    A khukuri makes a great backpacking blade, don't let anybody tell you different. Although mine does weigh in at 27 oz, i don't find the weight bothersome at all. If you want to drop a little more weight you could also think about a normal Ang Khola instead of the Chiruwa, or a WWII.
  6. Zimbabwe


    Jun 4, 2012
    Don't mock Sasquatch.... Hes watching.... He's allllways watching.....:nightmare:


    Jun 14, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. I think when I have the cash saved up I'll be checking the DOTD's for lighter CAK's.
  8. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    it really depends on how much you want to carry. I normally don't take khuks backpacking but I have a 20 oz 15" Baby Ganga Ram that works pretty well. A 15" Sirupate is a good weight too.

    Anything over 1 lb though I really have to want to bring it.
  9. gomipile


    Apr 17, 2010
    In this weight range, it's more about the carry system than anything. With a comfortable sheath and support platform for that sheath, you won't notice even a 30 oz blade until you need it.

    YMMV, but look into drop leg platforms and custom kydex sheaths.
  10. sweetcostarica

    sweetcostarica Banned BANNED

    Jan 18, 2012

    Many experienced hikers and campers know you can go into the woods with just a 4 inch knife and survive. My favorite demonstaters of this is the Dual Survival guys below. But you need to have the knowledge and skill to be able to do it right.
    dual-survival 1.jpg
    What big blades are for is to make those outdoor chores easier, more efficient, and less tiring. Since weight is a huge factor my opinion is to go with the lightest Kukri you feel comfortable with and moving up from there. Eventually you will figure out which is right for you and have fun all the way to that point :thumbup:. Remember to add the weight of the sheath.

    Siru U.B..jpg Picture from bladeforums.com
    My prejudiced these days is for an 18 inch Sirupate at 21 ounces but those villager ugly/cute Kukris are turning my head.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  11. sweetcostarica

    sweetcostarica Banned BANNED

    Jan 18, 2012
    Sorry, missed this sentence. Any Kukri is fine.
  12. MrMike


    Jan 22, 2006
    I would recommend the British Army Service model. Much lighter and still very effective for most camping tasks.


    Jun 14, 2012
    Thanks everyone I think I'll either be going with the lightest CAK I can find or maybe just a 15 inch AK. I am drawn to the "full flat tang" however so I'm leaning towards chiruwa models.
  14. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    Hi UncleDan, a Lighter CAK sounds like a good idea to me. I've packed a 16.5" WWII would out any trouble so I don't see a problem with a CAK.

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