From Camping to Cooking: The Best Outdoor Knife Sets

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you don't have to have two sets of knives for the kitchen and the campground. You can still have one set of knives that will function equally well for all of these tasks. Here are some tips on what to look for in a knife set, and how to care for your knives.

What to Look For

When choosing a knife set for outdoor activities, ideally, you'll want to have a set that can cut a rope as easily as slice a carrot. If you choose a set that includes a heavy-duty cleaver knife, like the Hakai Cleaver Knife, then so much the better. Having a heavy cleaver will make dressing any small game that you hunt just that much easier. If you can find one that includes carbon-steel blades with no-slip handles, then you might even have something with which you could dress larger game, such as deer or even elk.

Heavy, high-quality blades that keep an edge and that are easy to hone make the best all-around knives. You can use them as butcher knives, whittling knives, rope-cutting knives, and even, in a pinch, rudimentary can openers. The best cleaver knives will slice through sinew and joints with relative ease, and an outdoor knife that keeps its edge will be just right for skinning game. Of course, no multiple-use outdoor knife worth its salt will fail if you use it to chop vegetables or gather herbs that you plan to use when cooking your prey over an open flame.

If you're an angler, then you're going to want to fillet your fish before cooking. A good knife set will have a long, thin, and strong blade that will be just right for the job.

Best outdoor knife: the Gyakusatsu butcher chef knife Browse Outdoor Knives →

Caring for Your Knives

To ensure your knives last a long time, treat them as if they're survival knives instead of just kitchen butcher knives. Aside from making them last a lifetime, it's crucial to clean even the best cleaver knives to keep any infectious crud or organisms from making you sick. Soap and water is best, so you don't need to get anything super-fancy for the actual cleaning.

In addition to cleaning each outdoor knife separately, you should also regularly oil the blades lightly. Use 3-in-1 or a similar product. Do not use motor oil. Be sure, too, only to oil the blade and not get anything on the handle. Slippery handles equal cut-off fingers.

Sharpening the blades regularly will not only make it easier to cut with them but will also help with their longevity. Using a whetstone will usually suffice, but if you have large butcher knives or cleavers, then a rotating sharpening stone would be a good investment. If you have a serrated outdoor knife or kitchen knife in your set, then you'll need to practice how to sharpen it. You do it tooth-by-tooth with a ceramic honing rod.

Remember, too, to keep your knives in a dry place when you're not using them. Even if you're diligent with the oil, you still might miss a spot, and keeping the knives dry will protect them from rust.

The Kyodai Utility Chef Knife, perfect outdoor Knife for camping. Shop Outdoor Knife →


For outdoor enthusiasts, having a reliable and durable knife set that can handle a wide range of tasks is essential. The best knife sets for outdoor enthusiasts should include butcher knives, cleaver knives, and outdoor knives, as well as a fillet knife for anglers. By following the tips outlined in this article and choosing a high-quality knife set, you can ensure that your knives will last for many camping trips and outdoor adventures to come.
Buy Outdoor Knife →