Lightweight Backpacking Knife (Folder or Fixed)

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

  1. Deinos

    Deinos Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2016
    I was always more partial to the Gunblade myself...:D

  2. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    In my world, we go on 2 different kinds of backcountry trips. The first is super casual. Low miles. Food that requires preparation. A flask of whiskey. Plans on making fires. That sort of thing. On trips of that sort, I take a chopper, saw and fire stove. Lots of fun.

    The other kind of trip is more along the lines of what OP posted about when talking about 20 miles days. Long miles. Challenging terrain. Finely honed packing lists and counting ounces in order to make the agenda. No fires. No need to cut/chop/split/whittle food. No knife needed for food prep.

    IME, if you're carrying more knife than a simple SAK when you're in the woods, it's because it and things you can do with it make you happy. You don't *need* it to stay safe.

    As I noted in my first post in the thread, for racking up 20 mile days, I think just about any 2 oz knife will do if combined with a key chain sized multitool.
  3. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I have to disagree with that ... yes on a short trip you may take more in weight and creature comforts ...

    but on a long trip you NEED the methods to process wood and food and fire ... there isn't the option of hollaring "help" ... or that someone will wander by ... it's a safety/survial matter ... not what do I like to carry ...

    it's those long trips you need the equipment and if 5 or 6 ozs or even an extra pound or two makes or breaks you then you shouldn't make that trip.
    craytab and 91bravo like this.
  4. Jocephus1


    May 30, 2007
    Depends on where I'm going as that dictates my blade choices, but lately I've been carrying the Bugout and a Mora on my backpacking trips that are weekend stuff.

    For the more backcountry stuff and longer trips, I tend to carry "beefier" knives though. Usually something from Esee/Tops/etc. Not that the Mora/Bugout can't do it...I just have waaaaaaaaay too many knives.
    Lapedog and JJ_Colt45 like this.
  5. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I totally disagree with you. I carry the same stuff whether I'm 5 miles or 20 miles into the woods. I build fires whether I'm a 1/4 mile from my vehicle, or 20 miles. It's nice that you have what works for you, but like I said earlier, what works for you may not apply to everyone and be insufficient for someone else. Please don't tell us that your way is the ONLY way to do things, as that is clearly not the case. You can't speak for everyone here...
  6. Colorodo

    Colorodo Gold Member Gold Member

    May 23, 2014
    Endura ZDP-189 3.3 Oz.
  7. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    It would be interesting to find out what Steiger and later Messner carried on their ski crossings of Antarctica. They were certainly in a not calling for help sort of situation but I'm pretty certain that they didn't carry tools for processing wood.

    Conrad Anker reportedly carries a Bladeo. Not what I call very robust, but they are light.
  8. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    considering there isn't wood in the Anrarticia ... I'm sure they didn't ... but I'm sure they had fuel and a of stove some sort ... for heat and food prep and boiling water as eating snow only dehydrates you more from your body having to work to stay warm feeding ice into your system.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  9. Rasmus80


    Sep 21, 2011
    A SAK huntsman or similar would be the best choice in my opinion.
    For lightweight backpacking you really don't need more than that.

    That knife will handle any task you face.

    Carrying a fixed blade is not necessary and usually you would bring a small multitool anyway.
  10. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I been using a carbide edge ti knife in my shop for everything for a couple years, cutting everything! It doesn't sharpen itself though. Got a belt grinder for that. :p
    91bravo likes this.
  11. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    This right here. If you aren't capable of humping a few extra ounces then you shouldn't be doing the trip.
  12. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Adding a 9lb rifle plus ammunition to my trips generally means I have to give up counting ounces.
    Lee D, craytab and 91bravo like this.
  13. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    After following this thread I have come to the conclusion. .
    A, carry what you want, what works for you.
    B, don't think you are going to convince anyone else your way is better.
  14. slyraven


    Feb 19, 2019
    Here are my picks:

    opinel - 1oz
    esee izula red fire ant - 1.90oz
    delica - 2.5oz

    I feel some type of blade is always needed, unless you don't mind using rocks that are scatter around. You can use those after chipping them thus making them pretty sharp like native Americans did.

    But, I rather just toss in a sharp blade and know that in a pinch, I can build a house with it lol
  15. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    Im gonna suggest a neck knife type knife for your purposes. An Esee Izula or Izula 2, or a Tops Tibo (a bit cheaper, arguably better). There are lots of choices here. For a pocket knife/backup I would suggest a Swiss Army knife of some kind. I like the Camper. A SAK is great because its a whole tool kit in your pocket and the tweezers are great if you get a tick on you. If thats too heavy, though the keychain ones are truly tiny, then you could go with an Opinel. Theyre feather light, and cut like crazy.
    For a more traditional knife, try a bird and trout style knife and a stockman or scout knife for backup. Good luck.
  16. Edm1

    Edm1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    Last time I went to Philmont I took my leatherman. Never used it. Being that I like a knife, I now carry my opinal 6. Going this weekend and may take a mini fox river..just because. Last month I took my PM 3. Because it was newish. Actually used it and it worked well.
  17. Rasmus80


    Sep 21, 2011
    I guess much of it comes down to the objective of the trip.
    If you plan on spending the nights around a campfire, then a more sturdy knife, perhaps paired with a folding saw would be a good idea.
    If you don't plan on making a campfire, then the SAK is all you need. I advocate for a SAK over an Opinel, because of the additional tools in it.
  18. onionfan


    Nov 29, 2008
    Spyderco Enuff Salt. Small and tough, virtually maintenance free.
  19. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    My old school hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, etc. fixed blade is the Spyderco Bill Moran drop point, around 3 ounces, great for field dressing game. Comes with a very sturdy sheath. I have traipsed more miles over hill and dale than I can ever remember and it has done the job for many years for me.

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    tknife likes this.

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