Backpacking is a great pastime because you are getting exercise and fresh air while enjoying the beauties of Mother Nature. Regardless of whether you are just going on a short hike, an overnight camping trip or even an extended hunting trip, a knife is an essential tool that should always be taken along. Needless to say, there are numerous types of knives and the one(s) you choose to take with you depend on the nature of your backpacking journey.

There are countless ways that you can use a knife. The purpose of this article is to provide a short list of other things a knife can be used for besides just cutting food.

Clearing the campsite

Upon arriving at a place where you want to camp, a camping knife can be very handy in clearing the vegetation around the site. It is not uncommon to need to cut back scrub, bush, small trees and other types of low lying vegetation while creating space for your tent and camping equipment.

Chopping firewood

Your ability to survive in the wilderness increases significantly if you can use a knife to cut and gather firewood and build a good fire to keep you warm and cook your meals. Some larger knives with serrated edges can be used for sawing. Knives can chop wood into kindling and create wood shavings. A fire can also keep wild animals at bay and even be used to create a smoke signal for help in an emergency.

Use as a cooking utensil

A good camping knife may be used as part of your cooking utensils. It can be used to cut food such as meat or vegetables during food preparations. It can also cut bread for sandwiches but it is not limited to cutting food, it can even be used to open food cans.

Gather food for emergency survival

When lost or stranded for an extended period of time, you’re likely to run out of food supplies. When that happens, hunting and foraging can become your only options. A good hunting knife can be helpful in digging for edible roots and cutting edible plants.

Finishing the hunt

If your backpacking trip involves hunting, sometimes the animal you have shot is still alive as you approach it. A strong sharp blade can be very helpful in finishing the job and putting the animal out of its misery.

Gutting and preparing the game

Once you have killed the deer or pheasant or other type of game, a quality knife is essential to gut or clean and prepare your animal properly. The same is true for cleaning fish and preparing them for the feast.

Building a shelter

There are numerous methods of building a shelter; most of them require foraging for various materials like branches and bark, along with grasses and other types of vegetation. A sporting knife can help you cut branches and slice vines. It can even help with animal hides and other types of materials used for lashing items together.

Making other tools

A good sturdy knife can be used to create tools for survival. It can be used to sharpen a stick and make a spear for hunting or fishing. It can be used to build primitive traps and snares for capturing game. There are countless useful tools that a knife can be helpful in making.

Self defense

When you are in remote areas there may be times when you get lost or stranded. When that happens there is the possibility that you might encounter an aggressive animal or even person. In these situations you are always better off and better protected by having a hunting knife to defend yourself.

As you can see, your knife has many other uses besides cutting your food. The suggestions listed above are only a fraction of the potential uses of a good knife. With a little creativity and a really good multipurpose knife, you will be amazed just how many tasks can be made easier.

Photo courtesy of BladeOps

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