Tourist knives: types and subtleties of choice
If you accidentally get lost in the forest, but, fortunately, even a small folding knife is in the pocket of your trousers - this is good luck. It is worth having a good habit of always taking a good tourist knife with you to the forest. We will understand their varieties.
Why do I need a knife on a hike?
The knife for hiking in its universal purpose is used on extension routes and parking lots to create comfort, ensure safety and, of course, in extreme situations for survival. Traditionally, a tourist knife is used:
- for processing and cooking foods;
- when breeding and maintaining the flame of the fire, the manufacture of various complex and simple racks and crossbars for the hearth;
- for cutting skewers, rods, stakes for the installation of awnings and other shelters, collecting deadwood for insulation;
- for the manufacture, if necessary, of medical devices - tires, stretchers, crutches, etc.
Given the required functionality, a clear separation of knives for tourism into “camping” and “non-camping” does not exist, or rather, it is conditional. Therefore, when purchasing a product, they usually proceed from general requirements, certain selection criteria, guided by their own skills and preferences. It is necessary to take a knife for tourism on a long hike thoughtfully, bearing in mind the purpose of the hike, its duration, route and the terrain along which it passes.
Do not lose sight of: places of visit, the composition and age of the tourist group, the degree of health of its members, not excluding safety issues and the possible occurrence of extreme situations.
Given a wide range of tasks solved with a cutting tool, ideally, an experienced tourist should have three types of knives on the trip: the main, auxiliary and instrumental.
- The main type of camping knife It is usually used to perform "power" operations - cutting branches, harvesting firewood, etc. It should be solid, with a not very long blade (12-15 cm) and a convenient handle. For gourmets, such copies are best purchased from handmade masters. The scabbard is better than a bright color (less likely to be lost) or with a bright braid of the handle.
- Auxiliary - It is used for cutting food products, cutting ropes and other small operations. Usually these are folding knives, selected on the basis of their functionality and personal preferences regarding aesthetics and comfort at work.
- Instrumental or multifunctional (multitool) with a corkscrew, can opener and other tools in one case.
Types of designs
Structurally, tourist knives are divided into 3 main types - folding, awkward, non-separable (fixed) and collapsible. The choice of a specific design is carried out on the basis of functional necessity and expediency. Folding tourist knives are usually inferior in strength to whole-made clumsy knives. They are more difficult to clean from dirt, food and wood. However, they are compact and lighter in weight.
A folding knife is suitable for outdoor recreation, any picnic is rarely possible without it, but it is not suitable for a long tourist trip. But as an additional, universal cutting tool, it’s quite convenient to open canned food, pierce a hole, open a bottle of water, etc.
Clumsy, non-separable knives are simple and reliable. For a long trip, they are the most acceptable option. They are made of quality steel, with a strong and reliable handle. They are suitable for solving many problems - for cooking, processing branches and pegs when setting up a tent, etc. It is not bad to have a cover (preferably a belt, for convenience) and a sharpener for fixes.
Collapsible clumsy camping knives are made with removable blades, other structural elements, which is extremely convenient for long transitions, since the kit includes spare blades. The removable parts of the product are usually lightweight and do not take up much space.
When choosing a collapsible model, it is important to check the reliability of the fastening, ensuring the rigidity of the structure. Multifunctional and inexpensive multitool perfectly complement the main look in a long trip.
The blade of a tourist knife must be selected from grades of not too hard steels - they are fragile and difficult to sharpen. Too soft steels will not be sharp enough. The most suitable option for a camping knife is steel of medium hardness (for example, 58-60 HRC). It is practical and sharpened even with the use of aids. The forms produced by the production of blades are diverse:
- Finnish (concave views);
- straight butt blades;
- blades with reduced butt;
- blades with increased butt;
- by analogy with the samurai "tanto";
- in the form of a goat leg.
In tourism practice, the first two types of blades are popular. The thin end of the finca is quite suitable for digging out, and with a high-quality, sharp sharpening of the end, the fixed will be appropriate in hunting. Spear-shaped and lowered line of the butt is often characteristic of penknives.
The thickened butt and sharp end significantly expand their functionality. In a multi-day hike in a wooded area, a Finnish having a good fixed blade cannot be dispensed with.
The handle is an important element of the product that determines the convenience of its use. It should be conveniently located in the palm of your hand, corresponding to its size, not rubbing in the process of long work. An excellent knife should feel like a natural addition to the hand. Personal preferences are important when choosing a handle. For someone it is more pleasant to hold knives with carved, bone or wooden handles, while others, more rational and practical, choose options easier. Modern firms provide a choice of a significant variety of styles of handles and materials of manufacture - the choice is yours.
The rubber grip has excellent grip with the palm, fits tightly in the hand. Bone handles are beauty and aesthetics. Wooden is convenient to hold in your hand, but they need special care. Plastic sticks are more unpretentious, besides they are moisture resistant. A small protrusion is needed between the blade and the handle, which protects the hand from slipping onto the blade. Practical is the presence in the handle of a small hole for the lace.
To a certain extent, conditionally, given the reviews of experienced tourists, you can make a rating of the best brands present in the market of camping knives.
- Knife KA-BAR USMC Utility (USA). Total length - 30 cm, with a leather grip and reliable protection. The edge of the blade is smooth, easy to sharpen.
- Tom brown tracker - a hunting knife, practical when hiking. Length - 30 cm. Blade 11 cm, with a saw.
- Swedish products - SOG SEAL and A1 Swedish Survival.
The first - with a securely fixed blade, is especially durable. Sharpening does not require, does not rust. The blade does not bend even when using the knife as a lever. The blade is 18 cm thick - 5 mm. With notches on the surface of the blade. The second is an excellent knife for camping trips, with a total length of 28 cm. The blade is 16 cm, with a whole corrugated handle, hand protection and a neat hole for the lace.
Among other foreign brands of quality products, we indicate:
- Benchmade Bushcrafter (Survival Knives)
- Buck Vanguard (strength and reliability);
- Gerber Blades Big Rock (quality budget options);
- Victorinox Swiss Champ (multi-function knives);
- SPYDERCO Endura 4 (accuracy, accuracy and reliability).
Widely represented on the domestic market are tourist knives of Russian origin. Here you can distinguish, for example, knives: Katran from PP Kizlyar, Jack from the Southern Cross brand, Pavlovsk knives, Tourist 5 models and others. Good and folding knives of the latest model in manual operation.
Excellent multifunctional cutting products, which are especially popular, are produced by Swiss companies Lazerman and Victorinoks. Firms produce multitools of high quality, in functionality from 2-3 functions to 40 or more - the choice is unusually wide. True, multitools with many features are expensive. The multitools of the Chinese World Rider brand and domestic production, which are not much inferior to foreign counterparts, are somewhat cheaper. A significant number of functions and low weight are their obvious advantage.
How to choose?
From the point of view of the criteria for choosing a tourist knife, it is important to consider the following points:
- it must be functional, that is, correspond to the tasks that it has to solve in the campaign;
- average thickness of the blade;
- the shape of the blade is simple, and the handle is comfortable, which should not be hollow;
- scabbard necessarily with bright color.
The optimal type of tourist knife corresponds to:
- convenient size (1020 cm), small knives lose their versatility;
- effectiveness in use;
- steel quality, strength and weight;
- constructive reliability and safety;
- convenient care.
When choosing a cutting tool for camping trips, especially long ones, it is important to consider any detail. In this context, the question of choosing penknives or fixes becomes rhetorical, since in the end everything depends on the functionality of the product.
Although the folding and has a smaller weight and dimensions, in its functionality it is limited, since the "power" types of work to perform with it is extremely inconvenient. For example, prepare wood chips for a fire.
Therefore, a knife with a fixed blade (fixed), firmly installed in the handle, is more practical and universal. To this, the main form, you can buy a small and modest multitool with a certain number of functions. Not the last factor when choosing a product is the type of blade sharpening, which determines both the functionality and the effectiveness of its use.
There are 6 types of sharpening.
- Flat, with uniform narrowing of both sides of the blade.
- Sword-like, when the sharpening of the blade follows a little further than with a straight. With this method, the knife remains sharp for a long time.
- Complex, double. The edge of the blade remains thin, and then the sharpening expands. This contributes to good cutting properties and their long retention.
- Concave - forms the sharpest cutting edge. The knife is easily immersed in any objects. Requires frequent sharpening.
- Convex, when additional metal is left on the cutting edge, and the knife becomes sharp and durable, maintaining excellent cutting properties for a long time. Similarly sharpened hatchets and knives used in the cabin.
- One-sided, “chisel” type, when one side of the blade surface is sharpened.
The condition of the cutting edge is relevant not only in terms of product functionality. The edge with arched recesses has excellent qualities. However, in the field, this type of sharpening is almost impossible. For tourist knives, the first three types of sharpening are usually used.
The choice of a camping knife is exactly the case when it is advantageous to choose the “golden mean”. Moreover, such a choice is wide. Now you are fully equipped and ready for a pleasant journey.
Do not forget to bring along with you a tourist knife, a compass, a flask of water and a map of the area.
See how to choose the right travel knife in the next video.