A knife is a great tool to take with you in the to wilderness. Hiking knives can be used for any number of things, such as building a fire, doing emergency repairs on gear or even helping to make dinner. The important thing to remember, regardless of what knife you decide to take hiking with you, is that a knife is only useful if you keep it sharp. It's a good idea to sharpen your knife either after you get back from a trip, or before you go out on your next one if you used the knife much on the previous trip.
What to look for when you are reviewing hiking knives to buy.
Lightweight - As with most gear that you take with you in to the outdoors, it helps if you get a lightweight hiking knife, as opposed to a big, heavy hiking knife. Remember that you are going to have to carry this knife, and the heavier it is, the more energy you are going to expend hauling it around, and the more tired you will be at the end of the day.
Fixed or Folding - You have two main choices when it comes to the style of knife you want, and those are a fixed blade or a folding blade. Folding blade knives are typically lighter, but also weaker, because they have a joint, rather than being a solid piece of metal. Fixed blade knives, on the other hand, are usually stronger, being one solid piece, but also heavier.
Best Hiking Knives
A few of the better hiking knives currently out there, based on the criteria above.
Gerber Big Rock Serrated Knife - For those that prefer a fixed blade knife over a folding knife, the Big Rock is a great choice. It's big and strong, with a 4.5 inch blade and a weight of 6.3 ounces, or 178 grams. The lower portion of the blade is also serrated, as the name suggests, which is useful for cutting things like rope. It also comes with a sheath that is easy to thread on to a belt. Again, a good choice for those looking for a fixed blade hiking knife.
Gerber Paraframe Serrated Knife - Another knife from Gerber, this time for anyone who prefers a folding knife. As the name suggests the lower portion of this knife's blade is also serrated, so that you have a few different cutting options. The blade length is only 3 inches, so 1.5 inches shorter than the Big Rock, but the weight is a very respectable 2.6 ounces, or 73 grams, which is significantly lighter than the Big Rock. For someone who prefers folding knives for carrying while hiking, this is a good choice.
Columbia River Peck in the Dark - And in the lightweight category, there is the Peck in the Dark. It's also a folding knife, but with a blade length of just 1.88 inches and a weight of .9 ounces, or 25 grams, you will hardly even know you're carrying it. You wont be hacking apart any logs with this hiking knife, but it's something sharp for those times when you need just that.