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6 Best Survival Knives for Wilderness Adventures and Bushcraft

6 Best Survival Knives for Wilderness Adventures and Bushcraft

If you’ve ever watched survival shows, you’ll notice that survival knives are one of the most used tools. And while the best survival knife may not be one you can legally use, you can find many high-quality, durable, and effective blades on the market today. Before you choose the best survival knife for your wilderness and bushcraft adventures, make sure you know what it is and how to choose one that fits your needs.

What Is a Survival Knife? 

A good knife can mean the difference between life and death when you’re out in the wilderness. That’s why choosing the best one for your needs is important. 

So, what is a survival knife? These knives are specifically designed for outdoor use, and they come with several features that make them ideal for camping and survival situations. 

First, they have a fixed blade that runs the full length of the handle, called a full tang. Second, it is relatively long, making it perfect for tasks like building shelters or cutting firewood. 

Third, it will have a comfortable handle, even when used with wet or cold hands. And finally, most survival knives use carbon steel, which is easy to sharpen in the field. So if you want a knife to help you survive in the wild, find one specifically designed for outdoor use.

What Your Bushcraft Knife and You Should Be Able To Do

What Survival Knife Does the Military Use? 

Since each branch of the military serves various purposes, it makes sense that they use different survival knives. While there’s not one main knife for each branch, they have a style matching what they need. 

The army generally has to handle many close-combat situations more than other branches. For this reason, they use the Ka-bar knife (a historical knife used in most of the armed forces). They may also use the Yarborough if they’ve passed a Special Force course. Finally, they also have the Gerber multitool, used as a tool for guns.

The primary knife used in the Air Force is the ASEK, the Aircrew Survival Egress Knife, with a blade of 10.25 inches and made of high-quality carbon steel. 

The Marines also use the Ka-bar knives, but the Strider SMF knives have recently become more popular. This titanium knife is compact and long-lasting.  

Like the Army and the Marines, Navy personnel also primarily use a Ka-bar knife. However, the Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife, with its lighter weight and six-inch blade, has become more prominent in day-to-day use. 

You can’t purchase these knives for civilian use, but don’t fret. We’ve got a listing of several of the best survival knives around.

Man using survival knife to whittle stick.
When bushcraft camping, it is always a good idea to have a survival knife packed in your bag.

What Is a Survival Knife Used for When Bushcrafting? 

You can use a survival knife for almost anything when bushcrafting, from cooking to building a shelter. Having the right blade that can handle chopping vegetables as brilliantly as it can cut through a branch can make or break your bushcraft adventure. And yes, you can bring along more than one knife, but if you want to save weight and space, you’ll need one that can handle it all. 

Pro Tip: New to bushcraft camping? Become a pro with our guide for first timers.

What to Look for in a Bushcraft Knife

You’ll need to consider several factors when finding the best survival or bushcraft knife. The blade is, of course, the most important part. You’ll want a fixed, long blade with a flat edge. A good length is generally around the 3 to 6-inch range and 3/16 of an inch thick. 

You’ll want a grippy handle that you can hold comfortably, and the steel of the blade should run through the handle to the butt of the knife. Most bushcraft knives use carbon steel, which you can sharpen more easily than other types of steel. But ultimately, the best survival knife is the one that feels good in your hand and can handle whatever you throw at it.

Survival knife in moss while person is making camping food
While you are unlikely to need your knife for hand to hand combat, it can come in handy while bushcrafting.

6 Best Survival Knives for Wilderness Adventures and Bushcraft

While you may not head out into the jungle for hand-to-hand combat, you may still face other things there. Or maybe just your backyard to practice your survival and bushcraft skills. Wherever you go, you’ll need a knife worthy of any adventure you create. Here are six of our favorites.

1. Survival Knife | Bushcraft Neck Knife Gift Set Fixed Blade Kydex Sheath & Ferro Rod

About: This handy set comes with a knife, sheath, fire starter, sharpener, and case. Everything you need to tackle anything Mother Nature throws your way. 

The knife is full tang and made of D2 steel, so it’s durable and tough enough to handle any task. The easy-grip anti-slip handle ensures comfortable and safe use, even in wet or slippery conditions. Plus, with the included sheath, you can keep the knife within reach or simply wear it around your neck for quick and easy access.

Special Feature: As one of the best survival knives on the market, it comes in a set, including a fire starter, perfect for wilderness adventures.

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2. Kizer/Maverick Customs Harpoon Fixed-blade Knife D2 Blade with Red Micarta Handle

About: This survival knife offers versatility and reliability with its fixed blade, perfect for all your bushcraft needs, including woodcutting, hunting, fieldwork, and more. The blade has high-quality D2 steel for superior hardness and edge retention, and the non-slip handle ensures a comfortable and secure grip. Plus, the included sheath makes it easy to snap the knife onto your belt so you can always have it close at hand.

Special Feature: The finger choil makes it easier to tighten the handle during use.

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Man whittling arrow with a survival knife
Make building shelter easy with a survival knife.

3. Morakniv Garberg With Survival Kit Carbon Knife

About: Do you like to be prepared for anything? Then you need the Morakniv Garberg Full-Tang Fixed Blade Knife. It features a 3.2-millimeter-thick carbon steel blade with a Scandi grind edge for ultimate sharpness. 

The full tang construction means it is extremely durable and can handle almost anything. Plus, it comes with an included sharpener, lanyard, fire striker, and sheath. Whether you have experience or are just getting started, this is one of the best survival knives on the market.

Special Feature: The sharp edges on the knife’s spine are perfect for use with the included fire starter.

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  • Popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, including...
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4. Bushcraft Survival Knife | Full Tang Fixed Blade Outdoor Camping Hunting Knife in Sheath

About: The Bushcraft Survival Knife is the perfect choice for any outdoor enthusiast. This military-style knife looks tough and can handle even the most challenging tasks. The blade uses 1095 high-carbon steel, making it super sharp and durable. And at 8.6 inches long, it can tackle the biggest jobs. Plus, the easy-grip 1.4-inch-wide handle ensures you can keep a firm grip on the knife at all times.

Special Feature: But this knife is more than just a pretty face. It also comes with a sharpener, fire starter, paracord, and sheath, making it a true survival kit.

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  • Popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, including...
  • Super quiet: so quiet, your neighbors will thank you; the...
  • Fuel efficient runs up to 20 hours on 3.4 Gal. of fuel: thanks to...
Man using survival knife while camping
Use your survival knife to cook meals at your campsite with ease.

5. Bushcraft Survival Knife | Fixed Blade D2 Damascus Steel Hunting Knife K-Sheath Fire Starter, G10 Scraper & Paracord

About: This Bushcraft Survival Knife by Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival goes above and beyond with its D2 Damascus steel, 6.92-inch full-tang blade. Additionally, it comes with everything expected from a bushcraft knife, including a paracord, a fire starter, a sheath, a sharpener, and a case.

Special Feature: This extra-long D2 blade is the highlight of this knife, as one of the best survival knives meant for civilian use.

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6. High-Carbon Steel Knife – Handmade Full Tang Bushcraft Knife

About: This knife might just be your perfect choice for a reliable and durable bushcraft knife. Hot Steel is a family company that specializes in crafting high-quality knives. The full-tang blade uses 1095 high carbon steel, making it incredibly tough and able to withstand the most challenging outdoor tasks. 

The rosewood handle is attractive and functional, providing a comfortable grip even when wet. Additionally, the leather sheath protects the five-inch blade when not in use and attaches to your belt for easy access. 

Special Feature: Some may argue that survival knives aren’t meant to be art; they’re meant to be functional. This survival knife is beautiful and useful, making its handcrafted beauty a special feature. 

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  • Popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, including...
  • Super quiet: so quiet, your neighbors will thank you; the...
  • Fuel efficient runs up to 20 hours on 3.4 Gal. of fuel: thanks to...

Pro Tip: We think Everyone Should Know These Basic Survival Skills. How many do you know?

10 Bushcraft Knife Skills in 10 Minutes

Are You Prepared With the Best Survival Knife?

Now that you’ve got some knife knowledge under your belt, are you prepared with the best survival knife? Whether you need shelter-building, fire-starting, outdoor-cooking skills, or any other outdoor activity, these survival knives can give you just what you need.

Which one of these survival knives will you buy? Tell us in the comments!

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