One of the most useful items I carry on backpacking trips is a small pair of scissors. Scissors are great for trimming leukotape if I feel a blister coming on or for shaping a piece of tenacious tape if I rip a hole in a piece of gear. I also occasionally use them to open a bag of freeze-dried food that resists my entry, but I can’t remember the last time I needed a knife.
My scissors are one of the tools in the Swiss Army Classic Knife I keep clipped to the outside of my backpack. It has five tools in it, a knife blade, a pair of scissors, a nail file, metal tweezers, and a plastic toothpick. I lost the tweezers and the toothpick long ago, but the scissors and nail file both get a decent amount of use.
While I never use the knife blade, I carry that Swiss Army Knife because weighs less than an ounce (0.7 oz to be exact) and the knife body protects the tools inside. I clip it to the outside of my pack with a mini-biner, so I always know where it is.
But when I’m backpacking I never use a knife. I don’t use one to cut up my food, because I’d have to keep it clean. I just bite off chunks of cheese or sausage from a bigger piece. I also don’t need a knife to spread peanut butter or Nutella on bread because I only carry a spoon. Sometimes I skip the bread, though.
I have carried knives for batoning wood when we know we’re going to want a fire or for cleaning fish when we go fly fishing and we want to cook up some trout. Mainly Mora’s inexpensive but high-quality knives, like The Garberg or The Companion.
But for plain old hiking and backpacking, I never use a knife.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the affiliate links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.
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