Going camping with family and friends is no easy task due to all the planning involved. There are many items to pack for hunting, like a camping bag that requires essential items like sleeping bags, a lighter, some snacks for emergencies and much more. Amongst them, hunting knives are an important addition to the kit, as it has multiple benefits. It helps people keep themselves safe from predators, acts as a multi-purpose tool to cut fruits or even open items that are hard to open.
Many beginner campers are keen on going on their first solo camp trip and want to invest in the best hunting knife they can get their hands on. This article will give them an insight into the various factors to investigate while choosing a good-quality camping knife.
Knife features to check for before investing in them:
- Type of knife: The first aspect to consider while shopping for knives is the type of knife. There are two main categories of them, a fix-blade knife and a pocket knife. A fix-blade does not fold, while a pocket knife does. Fix-blades are sturdier, have better grip and are easier to clean, while the pocket foldable ones are perfect for storage, safer to handle and more ergonomic in design.
- Opening mechanism: The next important factor to consider is the opening mechanism, the two types being one-handed opening and assisted opening. One-hand opening blades have a swift/quick-open mechanism. In contrast, the assisted opening blades open swiftly along with a safety lock in place to ensure child safety at all times. This additional feature allows the engaging and disengaging of the knife at the supervision of the user.
- Size of the knife: Knives come in varying shapes and sizes to cater to all requests and needs of the campers today. A few years ago, hunters would have a larger blade for catching their prey but soon realised they did not have the appropriate grip and strength. Today the size of the knife is entirely up to the customer, whether they wish to use it to hunt larger animals or clean smaller prey. If they want to clean the meat of a small game, a lightweight pocket knife will do the job. If the same camper has to either cut wood to start a fire or hunt larger game, slightly larger knives are better.
- Blade material: The kind of steel used to forge the blade of the knife is also very important for efficient usage and long life. Good blade materials exhibit properties such as toughness, high edge retention, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. The top 4 materials for a sturdy and efficient hunting knife are 420 HC stainless steel, 154CM high-carbon steel, S30V high-end vanadium steel and VG 10 stainless steel.
- The grip of the knife blade: Some blades have handles made of bone or wood that look very elegant but are not the most functional as they can easily slip from the hand if wet. Materials like Kraton, Zytel and ABS are perfect when combined with their synthetic counterparts that increase their strength. They are not only lightweight but also have a convenient grip when wet.
- Blade functionality design: Good hunting knife manufacturers know the importance of efficient blade design. The three ideal design types used to manufacture blades are Skinning, Clip-point and Drop-point blade design. Skinning blades are for medium to large games; clip-point ones are ideal for gutting the meat due to their defined blade tips, while the clip-point is used for every other necessity during the camp trip.