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A knife is a universal tool, of endless uses for camping, fishing, foraging, outdoor cooking, do-it-yourself repairs and outdoor life.

While many travellers have reasons to use a knife, many countries and venues regulate carrying of blades.

Types of knives[edit]

  • Multi-tools such as the Swiss Army Knife are useful. However, if you lose your knife, you lose your whole toolbox! Multi-tools are mostly toys, be sure to bring a proper one if you depend on it (the real Swiss Army Knife).
  • A survival knife is a simple, sturdy general-purpose knife. Every camper should have one. The ones marketed as survival knives are often not up to the task, with the knife itself clumsy and add-ons that (if needed) should be replaced with proper tools.
  • A pocket knife is a light-weight option.
  • A Stanley knife has a retractable blade.
  • A kitchen knife is useful for self-catering. Typically part of the equipment of a travel trailer.

While travelling in populated areas, the knife is mostly a convenience, allowing you to make leafs of your bread etc. But every hunter or fisherman knows the importance of a good knife, and for the wilderness the knife is the one essential tool: with a good knife an expert can make fire, lodging, transport and anything else needed.

Locations famous for knives[edit]

Though knives are made and used all around the world, some places are famous for knife-making.

  • Switzerland, known for the Swiss Army knife, made by Victorinox AG.
  • Japan, which carries on a millennial tradition of fine metalworking.
  • Mora (Sweden), known for the Mora knife; a simple general-purpose knife.
  • Finland, from where the Mora knife tradition originated
    • Kauhava, with the Iisakki Järvenpää factory and museum
  • Kinmen (Taiwan), known for its cleavers that were historically made from Chinese artillery shell casings.
  • Solingen, Germany has a knife-making tradition dating back centuries and still produces highly regarded (but expensive) knives to this day


In many countries, unauthorized knife-carrying is criminalized. Even in countries where knife-carrying is not a crime, some restaurants and other venues prohibit knives. Venues in high-crime areas, as well as vulnerable institutions (banks, nightclubs, embassies, etc) might require guests to pass through a metal detector.

In some places a pocket knife with a blade shorter than a designated length (the palm of your hand is usually as long as it gets) may be allowed, where other knives are not.

When travelling by air, you should preferably not bring a knife at all; they can usually be bought on arrival. If you need a specific knife, pack it into your check-in baggage or send it by post. Carrying a knife into the cabin is usually out of the question.

Carrying a blade for self-defense is not recommended. Just like other weapons, a knife is more likely to end up in the wrong hands and cause more damage than it prevents.

See also[edit]

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