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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 (such as 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 slices 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 millennia-long 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
  • Solingen, Germany has a knife-making tradition dating back centuries and still produces highly regarded (but expensive) knives to this day
  • Sheffield, England's "steel city" makes cutlery and other knives
  • Kinmen (Taiwan), known for its cleavers that were historically made from steel delivered to the island by Chinese artillery fire
  • Taal (Philippines) for flick-open knives, illegal in some countries


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 flying pack any knives into your check-in baggage as carrying a knife into the cabin is strictly prohibited.

Officially, knives of any kind are prohibited on trains in China, but in practice packing a very small pocket knife for peeling fruit etc usually is not an issue.

Carrying a blade for self-defense is not recommended. Just like other weapons, a knife is more likely to raise the stakes and cause more damage than it prevents.

See also[edit]

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