Camp Kitchen Knives?

4:22 p.m. on February 21, 2018 (EST)
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So for those of us out there who have to forethought and ability to pack a dedicated knife for kitchen duties, what do you use?

I can recall many instances where I've "made due" with whatever woods knife I had at the time, and many others still where the potential to do more involved food prep factored into my decision as to which knife to bring.

This is different though. I'm talking about an additional edged tool one brings specifically for processing food.

So what's the good word?

7:10 p.m. on February 21, 2018 (EST)
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I have been using Opinel knives for 32 years now. They have become the only knives that I take backpacking or hiking. They are inexpensive but cut better than any other knife as their blade are thinner but very tough. I use a Opinel No. 8, A medium sized knife with a 3 ¼ inch blade. It works wonderful for food prep and anything else I need to do in the wilderness such as wood carving for fire making. You can get the inexpensive plain Jane models for about $15 and the premium olive woods for $20 and bubinga, an African rose wood for about $25.

The only thing I have to do with them is melt a little beeswax in the joint for moisture management and to prevent blade sticking… and sharpen them occasionally of course. They come with carbon blades or stainless steel blades. The stainless steel blades hold an edge better and of course they are better for food prep as well. Then impart no taste like the carbon blades can do with some foods. Opinel knives are lighter weight than other knives of the same size and they pack more blade length in the handle.

I do a lot of food prep, most of what the knife is used for and know an elk hunter in Montana who will only use an Opinel because of its performance. He packs his huge amounts of meat out on his pack.

Knives are very personal but if you like light weight and higher performance this knife is worth a look. They have been around since 1895 with only minor changes and design and are used by farmers peasants and pilgrims as well as travelers all over the world.

8:58 a.m. on February 22, 2018 (EST)
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Opinels are great, and very lightweight.  Another possibility, if you prefer a fixed blade, is any of several models of Moras, especially the traditional ones - cheap and effective.

11:04 a.m. on February 22, 2018 (EST)
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We bought a knife randomly over ten years ago to toss into our car camping cook kit and it remains one of my favorite cooking knives despite the low cost. It cuts meat and chops veggies equally well. The low cost is a bonus because if you lost it there would be no tears.

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Cook-5-5-Inch-Serrated-Cooks/dp/B0028LVP8U/

Pretty sure that is the one we have though ours only weighs 2.6oz on the scale.

6:55 p.m. on February 22, 2018 (EST)
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I carry a light folder with half serrated edge that can be opened with one hand for working around horses. It clips into my front pants pocket. 

For boat trips I carry a stainless steel Mora with a plastic handle and plastic sheath so it can get wet and it is always on my lifejacket. 

Both work great for backpacking. 

12:59 p.m. on February 23, 2018 (EST)
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i usually only bring one knife, and it's generally something with: textured/nonslip scales; a good, safe mechanism for locking the blade, and a sharp blade. if i bring anything specific for food, it would be an opinel knife, #7.  not a huge fan of the slippery wood handle or the locking ring for general use, but both are fine for easy slicing, and the knife is simple and light.

2:06 a.m. on February 24, 2018 (EST)
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Backpacking trout fishing trips - 4" filet knife.  Dry camps where I typically cook fresh foods - 6" French knife.  Both are light.  Nothing special, otherwise, about these knives, I am not into blade porn.  Always bring my Victorinox tourist knife.

Ed

12:19 a.m. on March 5, 2018 (EST)
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I use a chef's knife I bought at Dollar Tree and a plastic cutting board also bought there. $2 for both. I often buy potatoes and other veggies to make things out of whether I am backpacking or bikepacking.

11:04 p.m. on April 9, 2018 (EDT)
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I am an avid knife collector and have a lot of knives of all price ranges, designs, and blade steels.  But for a dedicated food knife it's hard to beat a plain old Opinel.  I usually bring a #8 for food chores, but if you want to go smaller a #6 or #7 would work fine.

10:11 a.m. on April 11, 2018 (EDT)
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Came across this one for $.99 at Renys.  Weighs 40g/1.4oz including the sheath.


DSC03066.jpg
Crappy lighting, but it is branded as Colorsplash paring knife by Gibson Home and sells for around $4 on Amazon. Small and functional. Oh and cheap!

2:35 a.m. on May 8, 2018 (EDT)
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I used 2 sets of Opinels Knives for preparing my meal. 

10:47 a.m. on May 8, 2018 (EDT)
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I don't bring a "cooking knife" but I do bring an old Trout Unlimited knife that is lightweight, locks well, and cuts salami and cheese.  That's about all I use it for, and all the cooking we do on the trail. 

10:44 p.m. on May 17, 2018 (EDT)
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If we are talking backpacking knives then they should be as small and light as possible.

My own small Gerber lock blade is my "kitchen" knife. It has a 2 1/2" stainless steel blade, is 5 7/8" open and 3 1/2" closed. and weighs 2 oz. persactly.

Rubberized inserts in the handle and a lanyard hole at the back end of the handle are its other attributes that make it nice to use. I've put a 6" braided lanyard of reflective Triptease tent stake cord thru the hole to keep it "found".

So this is it unless I'm hunting big game, in which case I have a much larger lock blade Gerber Parabellum for gutting and boning out meat to backpack out.

Both knives are "Made in USA", BTW.

Eric B.

2:23 p.m. on May 24, 2018 (EDT)
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I find myself using my kitchen knife for all kinds of tasks.  So of course it has to be sharpened regularly.  My favorite and go to knife is an Old Hickory butcher knife and I also have an Old Hickory pairing knife.  There are an old standard in my family.  

5:01 p.m. on May 25, 2018 (EDT)
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I don't know what came over me but yesterday I bought a new Benchmade folder.  It is a half serated blade about 3 1/2" with spring loaded opening.  The way it is ground it will be easy to keep sharp. Always wanted one.  A great knife.  It will work for everything from spreading peanut butter to gutting an elk.

7:25 a.m. on May 30, 2018 (EDT)
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Well i think it should be strong and easy to carry, so it can get the job done, i have two suggestions for you one is small cheap, and the other one is a bit pricey but its Damascus steel, and a proper kitchen knife. i hope these both will help you. Choice is yours.

I dont know why but i cannot share the link and also i am unable to upload the pictures,

so for small go to amazon.com and type alpine kitchen knife, it is for $9.95

and for Damascus Steel knife go to swordsswords.com and type code to find it 13A1-DM1976.

 

i am unabe to find a code on amazon.

11:22 a.m. on May 30, 2018 (EDT)
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When camping or backpacking, I have only and ever carried a fixed-blade Mora, for both kitchen and utilitarian purposes. I can't imagine trying to prep food with a folding blade. So many nooks & crannies for gunk to build up! 

ETA: I was taught many moons ago by a wise, aged outdoorsman to wear my knife on a lanyard like this as well. :)

32845227_10160273551000328_7313440212497

11:45 p.m. on May 30, 2018 (EDT)
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Jayson Merryfield said:

When camping or backpacking, I have only and ever carried a fixed-blade Mora, for both kitchen and utilitarian purposes. I can't imagine trying to prep food with a folding blade. So many nooks & crannies for gunk to build up! 

ETA: I was taught many moons ago by a wise, aged outdoorsman to wear my knife on a lanyard like this as well. :)

32845227_10160273551000328_7313440212497

 Ok, I'll bite, why does one put their knife on a lanyard?  I was taught by my scout master carrying a sheathed knife on your belt, aligned with the front of your thigh could result in a bad fall and stab scenario.  It made me decide to carry fixed blades in my pack and eliminate this hazard altogether.

Ed

2:12 a.m. on May 31, 2018 (EDT)
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Ed, I picked up this habit in the mid-90’s, along with my Mora, after a winter survival camp with Mors Kochanski. There were two reasons given to me that I recall:

1. You are unlikely to accidentally unsheath your knife, something perhaps unlikely but foreseeable when worn on your hip where your arm will swing against it. On your chest it is unlikely to be jarred in that way. 

2. No one will be able to grab (to borrow; to steal) your knife without your being aware. 

I don’t often hike while wearing it like this, and it usually lives in an easily accessed pocket on my pack, but around camp It’s one of the first things I take out and out on. 

5:04 p.m. on May 31, 2018 (EDT)
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When canoeing or sea kayaking I wear a Gerber blunt tipped "rafting knife" in a QR sheath, handle down, on my life vest. That has been also my "kitchen knife" but it is the only time other than hunting that I carry a larger knife than the little lock blade Gerber I described above.

I see this thread as mainly a thread about car camping, horse/mule packing or canoeing trips where knife weight is not an issue.

2:51 p.m. on June 22, 2018 (EDT)
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Jayson Merryfield said:

When camping or backpacking, I have only and ever carried a fixed-blade Mora, for both kitchen and utilitarian purposes. I can't imagine trying to prep food with a folding blade. So many nooks & crannies for gunk to build up! 

ETA: I was taught many moons ago by a wise, aged outdoorsman to wear my knife on a lanyard like this as well. :)

32845227_10160273551000328_7313440212497

 That is a valid point about a folding knife possibly collecting food debris however I don’t buy it for most of the backpacking foods we take. What I’m saying is we usually don’t carry raw chickens. Any veggies are not a problem nor is salami and other meats are either dried or in foil or tin. Still it is a good point. 

Welcome to the forums

I carry my my knife in my pack so it is secure and protected. I don’t do bushcraft, mostly food prep and possibly a bit of fire craft but usually don’t need it for that in the bone dry weather here.

Fixed blades in the sandy, gritty area of the southwest collect the grit in the sheath and destroy the edge so a good folder is my choice for a light weight blade. But you’ll be happy to know that the Mora sheath is one of the best for grit as it holds the blade away from the sheath with space in between but the grind even though the stock is thin does not make a good slicer, good wood carver though. 

i

7:57 p.m. on June 22, 2018 (EDT)
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Jayson Merryfield said:

1. You are unlikely to accidentally unsheath your knife, something perhaps unlikely but foreseeable when worn on your hip where your arm will swing against it. On your chest it is unlikely to be jarred in that way. 

The scout master's demonstration showed if you push hard enough on the pommel, a knife can be made to plunge through the (leather) sheath and penetrate whatever the tip of the sheath is abutting against.  A violent fall that has you collapsing, chest to knees, with your belly pushing the knife into your thigh is the scenario he was alluding to.  Granted it seems a lot of force, enough to result in other injuries.

Ed

6:30 p.m. on August 30, 2018 (EDT)
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I customarily carry at least three knives: a fixed-blade ~5" for general utility, a fixed blade ~3" for fine work, and a Victorinox Rambler in my ditty bag.

After years of consideration, I've come to realise that the best type of knife for backcountry/survival use is something rather like a thicker version of a German pattern chef's knife (Kochmesser) and paring knife, with a straight-back, dropped-edge blade pattern that forms a natural fingerguard and raises the fingers off a cutting surface. Here's a design I developed a few years ago:


2017-06-27.png



Fixed-blade knives are advantageous for food prep, because they can always be completely cleaned, unlike any jointed knife, where food can get lodged in the joint and fester. I would never use my smaller fine work knife for any tasks that would gum it up (like chopping at pitch pine to start a fire), so it's always available for food prep duties.

With a set of knives like this, there is no reason to carry a separate food knife.

Strangely, very few knife makers seem to have realised the advantages of this design. David Boye is one of the few, with his Basic series:

https://www.boyeknives.com/pages/boye-cobalt-basic-3


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September 22, 2018
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