Lightweight Backpacking Knife (Folder or Fixed)

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

  1. villadelph


    Jan 23, 2019
    The Bailout is officially released today. The 3V, new grip and pommel/lanyard loop might be useful on your travels.

    TBH, I always consider buying second-hand Bugouts but the micro chipping concerns me.
  2. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    Mora 510 if you want a tough and light fixed. One turn of orange hockey tape to keep it visible in camp. I'm considering this for an AT trip next year.

    jackknife, bralexander and Alberta Ed like this.
  3. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Opinel, Bugout, Native 5, Mora.
    pinnah and jmh33 like this.
  4. Workingsloth777


    Mar 10, 2019
    I would just go with the bugout.

    Personally I don't do much backpacking, but my bugout is a great EDC. Theres been a few times I forgot I had it on me due to the light weight and deep carry clip.
  5. JeffGW


    Feb 2, 2019
    How about a Bark River Ultralite Bushcrafter? It weigh 2.9 oz blade length 3.27 inches. It is one of the sharpest and most able slicers I have.
    Pteronarcyd likes this.
  6. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    It's worth noting that the original author of the 10 essentials, Harvey Manning, advocated for a simple Boy Scout Knife. Fuller context, Manning was the editor of the first several issues of "Freedom of the Hills", which for many decades has been considered something of the American Bible of mountaineering technique. Mountaineering, almost by definition, happens above treeline where there is no wood, and thus heat for food, warmth for the body and shelter all need to be provided by what's in the climber's backpack; stove, warm when wet clothing, tent.

    I think the one place where there is a real "need" for bigger blade in the backcountry are those places where you need something like a machete to cut back the brush to make forward progress. The other situation is when the expedition is long enough between resupplies to make carrying fuel too difficult in terms of weight and there is ample opportunity for sustainable wood harvesting. I actually use this approach on long backcountry skiing day trips where the only way to complete the drip during day light is to be fast and light as possible but there is a realistic possibility of being forced to bivy overnight, possibly with an injured partner. In those cases, carrying a knife, saw, wood stove and a tarp is lighter than carrying sleeping bags and a tent. Note, I don't advocate what I just described. I find it to be pushing the red line safety wise. I do it occasionally with people I trust but don't want anybody dying from trying it.

    EDIT: I confused this thread with another one.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  7. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    99% of the time? Maybe in your world. I don't carry knives into the woods because they make me happy. I carry knives into the woods, because I need them to cut/chop/split/whittle wood, food, cordage, and camp/cooking tools. Your experience is geographical and geography varies from area to area, so what works for you, doesn't apply to everyone and may be insufficient for someone else.
  8. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    And some people forget that 99.9999% of back country skiing trips are done just to make people happy, a lot like even being in the back country, and using knives out there. I'm not sure why someone would post here not understanding such things.
    JJ_Colt45 and 91bravo like this.
  9. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    Ya Pinnah, how would you like it if you needed/wanted specifically a knife for cross-country skiing above treeline and someone just dismissed your reasoning as simply coming up with an excuse to get a new knife? o_O

    To the OP, imo for general uses the most knife you're gonna get for the lightest weight would be a Daniel Fairly carbidized ti alloy camping knife:

    Should be virtually weightless, freeing up a few ounces in your pack that could be used for additional beef jerky or whiskey.
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  10. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Stick with something light, batonning is not what I think you would be doing based on your own words, but you could gather wood by what is around if needing a fire. get an Opinel no. 8, a SA type knife for basic tools, and a White River backpacker, should not be that heavy.
  11. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    I say you man up girly man and stop worrying about weight. You probably need the workout anyway. Carry just the biggest knife you can, a sword. No need for a pack at all. Just a fire starter. When you need warmth you chop down a tree or just leave it up and light it on fire. Animals need heat to. When you need warmth, just go find an elk or buffalo and split him open, take out his guts and sleep inside and you can eat from inside out. The animals bladder is your drinking source. See no need for a pack. This sword will do it all for you.

  12. js1badsti


    Nov 20, 2015
    I saw esee was mentioned-I carry a esee 3 horizontal on my belt and to me it is featherlight and a very capable knife for camping,backpacking etc.Esee also has a stellar reputation.
    jmh33, Pteronarcyd and halden.doerge like this.
  13. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    I like this one myself. I think it is just over 2 ounces.
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  14. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    That Pendleton Mini Hunter looks handy. Does the weight include the sheath?

    EDIT: I confused this thread with another one.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  15. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Where exactly was that? Maybe I missed it.
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  16. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Yeah, I missed that too. I was thinking it was an ‘either/or’ scenario for some reason. Silly me.
    craytab likes this.
  17. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    In fact, in the thread title and the op, folder or fixed is one of the criteria. The op is clearly asking for recommendations of either.

    These recommendation threads go more smoothly when folks read and understand the specifics the op is looking for rather than imposing their own off topic beliefs while saying the op is looking for something he/she is not....

    On topic, I'm really starting like the idea of that ti knife several people have posted above. For me personally I'd like something a bit bigger. Perhaps a large ti sword @Mecha ? :D But I'm not as concerned about weight as the op.
    Lapedog, Mecha and Pilsner like this.
  18. snapshot2017


    Jan 28, 2017
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  19. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    I like Fairly's ti knives a lot. Good all-purpose designs and then he makes them even lighter by skeletonizing the tang. The tungsten carbide treatment makes a ti knife good for cutting the sort of things one finds in the woods: fibrous materials, meat, cords, wood, leather, fish, beef jerky bags, whiskey pouches, etc. And ridiculously easy to sharpen.
    Pteronarcyd, craytab and Pilsner like this.
  20. BladeMan

    BladeMan KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 12, 1999
    Ti knives, and especially swords, are my first choice since many moons. I have one or two, all forged by some talented guy.
    To be honest, the tungsten carbide treatment - i have carbidized a bunch of untreated 6al4ti knives myself - is doing ok, but it is really no match for a properly treated Ti alloy that is suitable for bladewares (which could be still carbidized).

    For best results on a carbidized Ti knife, you have to put an edge on the non carbidized edge only and sharpen only that one side, which is by default not very sharp to start with and you also end up with a micro chisel edge. Sure, it "should" kinda sharpen itself with use but still, it's a workaround backup knife for me only. That is something you should consider, and this is all my personal experience only.

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