The Different Types of Knives Used in the Outdoors

different types of knives

If you enjoy camping and the outdoors you are one of a growing number of Americans that do. In recent years the number of people who camp at least annually has been growing. Almost 40 million people do it.

If you camp, you’re going to need a knife. There are so many different types of knives that people use in the outdoors, choosing a knife can be confusing. Read on to learn about knives in the outdoors.


When you buy a knife, you’re sometimes buying for more than pure functionality. You are sometimes buying into its heritage and that’s certainly true of the Bowie knife.

The outdoor life of the early American pioneers required knives. Perhaps the most iconic of all those practical knives was the knife used by Jim Bowie. Although Bowie earned a reputation as a knife fighter, the Bowie knife is actually a practical outdoor tool.

The Bowie knife is essentially a sheath knife. What makes it distinctive is its size. It’s large and heavy. It has a broad blade and a crossguard giving protection to the user’s hand

OTF Knife

Out the front knives are a practical and convenient camping knife. An automatically opening knife is a useful aid when camping or following any outdoor pursuit. The blade is stored inside the handle and opens out and locks using a spring mechanism.

Some OTF knives have a double action. This means that they can also close at the press of a button too. This makes them super convenient for one-handed operation.

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The OTF knife can come with a variety of features making them a solution for camping, hunting, fishing or general use. Learn more at

Swiss Army Knife

The Swiss are famous for precision engineering. Swiss watches are precise and beautiful. The Swiss Army Knife is the result when the Swiss apply this precision engineering to the challenge of making a practical knife.

The knife was originally designed and made for the Swiss army. There are many copies but Victorinox makes the authentic knife.

These knives have multiple tools. There are many options to choose from depending on your outdoor needs.


A multitool can contain knife blades as well as many other useful tools. Your outdoor adventure might involve fixing an RV, filleting a fish or opening a can of beans. All those tasks and many more can be fulfilled with a multitool.


A jackknife, also known as a pockets knife, contains one or more folding blades. The handle houses the blade. A jackknife can come in a variety of sizes but is typically small enough to fit in your pocket rather than in a sheath.

Survival and Folding Survival Knives

The standard survival knife is a fixed bladed knife. There are a few folding bladed versions but usually, you keep this knife in a sheath. This knife is a multipurpose, outdoor tool.

The survival knife can be used for cutting, chopping, skinning, and even digging. The strongest survival knives have a full tang which extends into the handle. Some have a hollow handle designed to store additional aids to survival such as a fishing line, matches, or sewing kit.

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Different Types of Knives

A knife is, first and foremost, a tool. Its usefulness is determined by how well it suits the task you need to complete. Understanding your needs and the different types of knives that match them is the key.

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