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Lightweight Backpacking Knife (Folder or Fixed)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by wacki, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    How about an Ultralight Backpacker? 6al4v Ti with a Carbide edge, will never rust, barely needs sharpening and the entire knife/sheath combo is less than an ounce.

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  2. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
  3. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Folder: Benchmade Bugout. With the blue scales so easy to see. Amazing piece for the weight.

    Fixed: White River Backpacker. Again, amazing for the weight. Orange scales for visibility.

    But that Fairly piece listed above is pretty sweet!
  4. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    If you want something really bare-bones like the Izula, look at the Baryonyx Grimalkin (a little smaller) or one of the Varusteleka minis, either the mini Puukko or the mini Skrama (a little bigger, and all a lot cheaper than the Izula).

    Me, I’d bring a Kansbol.
    hunter55 likes this.
  5. hunter55


    Apr 22, 2011
    I prefer the Varusteleka Terava-Jaakaripuukko 110 [Weight: 175 g (6.17 oz), Blade length: 110 mm (4.3''), Blade thickness: 4,20 mm (1.65'')].
    Design simplicity, full tang, scandi grind, sharp edge, reliable... in carbon steel or stainless.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    Henry Beige likes this.
  6. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Well, that is kind of a big factor. You might want to choose.

    I don't go into the woods without a fixed blade. I'm not concerned about a couple extra ounces though, I'm a knife nut after all, so having what I enjoy with me while doing other things I enjoy is important. If I were concerned about weight, something like the size and weight of an Esee 3 would be the minimum I would feel comfortable going with.

    For an UL folder, the bugout seems like a good choice. I wouldn't go with an opinel because of durability, lock, and maintenance concerns. For me, a vic SAK is vastly more useful.
    Lapedog likes this.
  7. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    The White River Backpacker in any of it's 3 variations makes a nice little fixed blade ... comes with a cord wrapped handle ... upgrade to G10 ... and another upgrade to Micarta if you prefer.
  8. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    Cold steel Finn bear. Fixed. 12 bucks
    jux t and bralexander like this.
  9. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    I carried a Spyderco Pacific Salt serrated for most of the AT (section hiked). Truth is I barely used it but I liked having a large blade with me. It's about 3oz with a 4" rust proof blade. Good option I think. Centofante 3 is another good one and the pivot is pinned so no risk of loosening. VG-10 has good corrosion resistance. I like a back lock for reliability.
    Sure you could go with Axis - I carried a 940 for a stretch - but I don't really trust the Omega springs especially if they get wet and corrode.
  10. CanadaKnifeGuy

    CanadaKnifeGuy Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Mora Companion is an enormous amount of knife, for a tiny weight. I have one in every backpack / pack setup . Stainless or carbon - your choice .

    If you want smaller, a BK14 is a great all-rounder .
  11. Spikediesel

    Spikediesel Spare time SAK builder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 14, 2018
    Both of these have been suggested and they would both be an excellent choice! The nod goes to the Backpacker for quality of finish and a nod to the Fastpak for weight and ELMAX!!!!
    I love both of them and I’m confident neither would let you down. If you want a little more knife check out the White River Firecraft 3.5
    cbach8tw and Lapedog like this.
  12. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014

    These are my three when I’m intending on keeping weight down. Bugout, Bradford G3, and as always the Cadet. They’ve always been more than enough.
    t5brick likes this.
  13. bladeCraft124

    bladeCraft124 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Spyderco Stretch. My favorite "all-around" knife for camping/hiking.
  14. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    A great choice. That one has gone with me on many trips as well. I miss the Stretch.
  15. rexromic

    rexromic Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2011
    Fallkniven F1 or Sebenza will cover all!
  16. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    You have a lot of good suggestions. Personally I would rule out anything that is heavier than 2 oz (including sheath, if fixed).

    Only thing I would add is that I pair my backpacking knife with a key chain sized multi tool. I like the Squirt but the Gerber Dime would be another option. I find them helpful for gear repair and first aid.
  17. bdmicarta


    Feb 16, 2012
    Those both look good to me. I used to do a lot of backpacking but haven't been in a long time. On one of my last trips I carried a Gerber LST, which is a pretty minimal folder. Truth is I didn't need a knife very much. Right now I have a Bradford G3 and I would probably carry that.
  18. SHiftFaced


    Apr 25, 2019
    I keep a buck 119 fixed on my bag
  19. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Thread by-product purchase #1,768,475

    Thanks to @Akcir I went to the Rainier Knives website. They didn’t offer shipping to the UK, so I sent a message asking if they would. Tom replied within minutes that he had immediately added it as an option, so I now have a Fastpak on its way to me - trans-Atlantic Elmax goodness! :)
  20. Pteronarcyd


    Feb 19, 2019
    Most in the ultralight backpacking community eschew a knife, although I think doing so is folly.

    For a long time I carried a Gerber Ultralight LST, which did everything I needed it to do at the office, in the car, and at home (where bigger knives were readily available if needed). I felt the ULST was more than adequate for outdoor endeavors, but one weekend I ventured into a temperate rainforest and realized my little Gerber was nowhere near up to the job of processing kindling in the wet environment if such activity was required. Fortunately, I was using an alcohol stove so had no need for a fire, but it was all too apparent that getting soaked could quickly foster such a need.

    When I returned home from this outing I embarked on a search for a small fixed blade knife that was capable of batoning without weighing too much. I opted for a Bark River Mini Fox River with a stout, 2.9-inch, 3V blade. At 3.9 oz it's not ultralight, but it does provide great utility and insurance.

    Given a knife is considered one of the outdoors 10 essentials, I recommend carrying a small fixed blade knife into the bush for anything more than a casual day hike. Take a look at the ESEE Izula.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    jackknife likes this.

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