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Dec 28, 2023 | 03:26 pm 223 0

Knife for hunting and hiking. What else should I take with me?

Knife for hunting and hiking. What else should I take with me?

Hunting and hiking are two main hobbies of people who love adventure and vivid emotions. Both provide the opportunity to breathe fresh air, be in the company of like-minded people, and become closer to nature. Before you hit the road, you need to choose the right equipment. It must contain a good quality knife, modern night vision devices, and several other valuable items. All of them will make hunting or hiking in the great outdoors more successful, enjoyable, and safe.

Why do hunters and hikers need a knife?

An indispensable attribute of any hunter and hiking enthusiast is a knife. It is a universal product that can cope with many tasks. They will not necessarily be included in the list of his direct tasks, but this will likely improve the quality of work significantly. When hunting and hiking, you will need a multifunctional knife that can replace dozens of other pieces of equipment. It must have specific characteristics and be suitable in all respects for performing the planned tasks. Most often, hunters take such knives with them for the following purposes:

  • finishing off wounded animals;
  • skinning;
  • carcass cutting;
  • cutting small branches for fire;
  • cooking;
  • setting up a camp (if hunters have to spend the night in the forest);
  • protection from attacks by predators.

Hikers also actively use knives. For them, he is an indispensable assistant who will enable them to complete many essential tasks. Most often, travelers who prefer hiking take knives with them for the following purposes:

  • opening cans;
  • cutting food;
  • preparing branches for a fire;
  • digging small holes;
  • various camping works;
  • collecting/cleaning multiple gifts of nature (for example, mushrooms, nuts);
  • protection from sudden animal attacks.

The lists presented include only the most frequently performed actions with a knife. In addition, there are many other tasks in which these products will become indispensable human assistants. Their presence will be significant in emergencies when hunters or hikers must fight for survival.

Rules for choosing a knife

Any knife occupies a central place among other elements of equipment. Therefore, hunters and hikers should carefully select it. Thanks to this, you can purchase a product that will work efficiently in any condition and bring significant benefits. In choosing it, you need to be guided by three essential criteria and supplement them with your wishes and needs of the task you will perform.

First, you should find a suitable knife design for hiking and hunting. Here, buyers will have two main options: folder and fixed. The first is a knife with a folding design. It is ideal for applications where maximum security is required. When folded, such a product will not be able to injure people, even if worn without a unique protective cover. Fixed models and categories have a non-folding design. They are suitable for hunters and hikers who want to purchase a genuinely durable product that can withstand any, even non-standard, use.

The second most important selection criterion is the shape of the blade. It is selected by the tasks a hiker or hunter sets for himself. The most popular options are drop-point, clip-point, and skinner. Models from the drop-point category stand out for their wide blade and low spine line. This shape makes these knives perform equally well when performing piercing and cutting movements. This feature makes drop-point an excellent option for hunters and travelers who plan to use it to perform many different tasks. Clip-point models have a lot in common with drop-point. Their main differences are the presence of a thinner tip and two blades. This clip-point shape makes it the most versatile knife that will perform well while hunting and hiking. Skinner's models are mainly suitable for hunters. They were initially intended for skinning dead animals but have many other uses. So, with skinner knives, it will be easier to clean various gifts of nature, cut the skin from small pieces of meat, and do other similar work. All skinned models are very compact. Hunters and hikers will appreciate this advantage with a minimum of free space in their backpacks.

Third on the list of main criteria is the material. Most modern models are made of steel of different grades. Their choice determines the ability of a knife not to become dull over a long period, to work under increased load conditions, to prevent rust from occurring, and to function for an extended period. Among the many types of steels that are suitable for making knives, experts identify four that are optimal for hunting and hiking. The most popular material is called S30V. It is a high-quality steel containing a high concentration of vanadium. Thanks to this feature, the material simultaneously becomes wear-resistant and also gains the ability to resist corrosion effectively. The only drawback of products made from S30V is the difficulty of sharpening the blade. However, such steel holds an edge for a long time, making this problem almost invisible.

154CM is considered an excellent material for making blades. This high-carbon steel stands out for its increased wear resistance. It is not afraid of moisture and guarantees the durability of the model made from it. Most often, 154CM is used to make knives with small blades. Another option is VG-10. This stainless steel has a similar set of properties to 154CM. At the same time, it withstands repeated use better, making it suitable for knives that will be used daily. VG-10 is not afraid of moisture and temperature changes so it will be a good option for almost any hunting knife. The last of the most popular materials is 420HC. This stainless steel is relatively easy, which makes sharpening a knife as simple as possible. In addition, 420HC creates excellent cutting properties, so it is best suited for blades that will be used to cut various objects.

In addition to the essential criteria for choosing a model for hunting and hiking, there are many others. They are not often considered, but there is still no need to neglect them entirely. The most significant among the auxiliary criteria is the size of the handle. Knives with excessively short handles will be awkward to hold. This will require additional effort, which will gradually lead to arm fatigue. With a fast operation, such a drawback will not be noticeable, but if you work for 2-3 hours, the muscles will feel significant fatigue. A long handle is also not an acceptable option. It will significantly complicate the control of the knife and turn the most straightforward job into a difficult task. Based on the above, you only need to buy blades with a suitable handle size. It is selected depending on the size of a person’s hand and needs.

It would be best if you never forgot its cost when looking for a knife for hunting and hiking. Here, it is essential to balance your needs with your financial capabilities. Also, we must not forget that expensive knives from elite brands cannot always cope well with a particular task. Because of this, it is first recommended to sort out models that match the characteristics and only then choose the financially affordable one from the proposed options. Excessively cheap knives should be avoided. They are made of low-quality steel so they can let you down at the most crucial moment of a hunt or hiking trip.

Additional equipment for hunting and hiking

It would be best to try to fill your backpack 100% when hiking or hunting. In some situations, certain items will become helpful and allow you to cope with many essential tasks. In addition to various valuable things, hunters and hikers need efficient night optics. It will open up access to performing different work even after sunset or before it appears over the horizon. Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the right clothes and shoes.

Clothes and shoes

People always want to feel as comfortable as possible to avoid being distracted from their favorite activity. Therefore, before you go on a hike or get your next trophy, you need to choose the right various wardrobe items. Many factors should be considered, ranging from the terrain to the time of year. This is the only way to select the best option for each case. First of all, you should pay attention to thermal underwear. Countless types of such clothing are suitable for warm or cold weather. They always have pros and cons, so it is recommended to study all available options carefully.

A set of trousers, a T-shirt, and some headdresses will be optimal for spring, summer, and early autumn. The latter should have a long, wide visor to protect the eyes from the bright sun. All clothing items should have a camouflage pattern matching the terrain you intend to hunt or hike. When looking for a material designed for manufacturing clothing, you must look at such properties as naturalness, strength, durability, and breathability. If these conditions are met, wearing such clothes will be as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

In early spring, late autumn, and winter, hikers and hunters must choose insulated clothing when the temperature outside remains relatively low. It must contain such mandatory elements as warm pants, a sweater, and a jacket intended to be worn during a certain period of the year. Remember to wear a hat, gloves, and other clothing if it's freezing outside. Choosing the correct camouflage pattern in early spring or late autumn is essential. This is optional for hiking, but this question is always considered relevant for hunters. In winter, if there is snow, it is enough to wear light-colored clothing.

Night hunting and hiking, carried out with an overnight stay in nature, deserve special attention. For them, choosing clothing is as essential as similar activities during the day. In the case of hunting activities, one must be guided by seasonality criteria. It is necessary to consider that it is always colder at night than during the day. Also, remember camouflage. Many nocturnal animals have excellent vision and can spot poorly camouflaged hunters quickly. For hikers who take part in multi-day hikes, camouflage is optional. It is enough to dress by the current season and remember the difference between day and night air temperatures.

Shoes are an equally important element of equipment for hunters and hikers. It significantly affects human comfort, so its choice should be approached responsibly. Preference should be given to models made from natural materials in all cases. Most often, they have increased elasticity and take the shape of a person’s foot. This improves the feeling while walking and helps fatigue accumulate more slowly. Another essential characteristic of shoes is breathability. It makes it possible to avoid sweaty feet and the appearance of an unpleasant odor. In addition, when buying boots for hunting and hiking, you need to pay attention to indicators such as water resistance and the ability to withstand sudden temperature fluctuations. For hunters, an additional criterion is the ability of shoes to contact various surfaces silently. In all cases, you should choose shoes with wear-resistant and non-slip soles. It guarantees good adhesion to any surface and is not afraid of damage in contact with any hard surface (for example, sharp stones).

Night vision devices

If you plan to hunt at night or participate in multi-day hiking trips, remember your night vision devices at home. They will all be useful and help you cope with many complex tasks. For hunting enthusiasts, a night vision scope will be most beneficial. Once installed on a weapon, it can generate a good-quality image. With its help, you can find various animals in the dark, aim carefully, and shoot precisely at the target. Today, you can find a vast number of sights on sale. Under certain conditions, all of them will become indispensable assistants to the hunter and provide an opportunity to get a trophy. In addition to such optics, binoculars and monoculars are helpful for night hunting. These devices, supporting night vision technology, will give a chance to study the nearby territory and look for signs of the presence of animals. 

Additionally, with the help of such optics, identifying living creatures will be easier than using a scope. Another useful device is NV goggles. They will be helpful when moving through dense thickets and places with many natural obstacles (pits, stones, wetlands, etc.). In addition, NV goggles will become indispensable when working with weapons (reloading, cleaning, etc.) after sunset.

For hiking, night optics will be just as indispensable as for hunting. It will make it possible to see in the dark and do essential work. The most helpful nighttime device will be glasses. They will allow you to safely move along unfamiliar dirt roads, avoiding poorly visible obstacles. In addition, such optics will allow you to set up a camp in situations where the light of the Moon and stars is not enough to complete this work. Binoculars and monoculars will be no less helpful for hiking enthusiasts. They will perform well when inspecting open areas and help you find the right direction of movement, notice the approach of dangerous predators from afar, and find a suitable place to spend the night. Such optics always have a magnification function. It will allow you to examine distant objects in detail and quickly see landmarks indicated on the map. Night vision scopes will only be needed on a hike when you need to get food by hunting.

In all cases, another useful night vision device can be a camera. She lets you record your adventures on video and even broadcast live events. The resulting video materials will be good entertainment and valuable for other purposes. For example, a video shot by a hunter will help analyze all the mistakes made or become an excellent training material for beginners. In addition, it can be used to fill thematic websites and blogs.

Useful items

Hiking and various types of hunting are unpredictable activities. You never know what might happen to each participant, so you should always prepare for unpleasant surprises. In this regard, you should take many valuable items that may be useful in a given situation. Their list may vary depending on the type of activity and the characteristics of the area in which it is held.

A hunter or hiker should always have a small food and water supply in his backpack. It is necessary in case of unforeseen circumstances that force you to stay in nature longer than planned. It is best to take nutritious foods and food that does not require cooking (for example, cookies and canned food). Choosing water without gas and any aromatic additives or dyes is recommended. In addition to food and drink, you will need a first aid kit in nature. It must be filled with various antiseptics and medications that a hunting or hiking participant needs daily. Having a plaster, bandage, and medical gloves will also be manageable. The latter will make it possible to safely provide medical care even in cases where it is not possible to wash your hands thoroughly.

Sometimes, nature can be unpredictable, so it often refutes all forecasts of weather forecasters and brings down heavy rain or snowfall on the traveler/hunter. For such cases, you should always have a raincoat in your backpack. It will protect the top layer of clothing from getting wet and allow you to continue your favorite activity after the precipitation stops. You can use a simple piece of tarp as an alternative to a rain cover. Continuing the list of valuable items, we cannot mention matches. They will allow you to light a fire at any time, which can be used for warmth, drying clothes, cooking, and protection from predators. Instead of matches, it is acceptable to use a lighter. It should be checked for functionality before each hike or hunt.

Hiking and hunting are activities that involve close contact with nature. In this regard, during a hike or tracking various animals, communication with multiple representatives of the fauna is inevitable. Some of them can ruin your event and force you to return home. These creatures always include annoying insects. Their monotonous buzzing can drive even experienced travelers/hunters crazy, and their numerous bites can cause harm to health. To avoid all this, you must take effective insect-repellent sprays and aerosols. They will save you from the excessive attention of tiny pests and allow you to fully engage in what you love.

In some cases, plants can harm humans. You can escape from them only by carefully moving along the paths, near which you can potentially encounter one or another representative of the local flora. In addition, close contact with nature requires every hunter and hiker to be attentive to the environment. For this reason, it is recommended to always carry garbage bags with you. They will provide an opportunity to collect all non-degradable waste and thereby contribute to protecting the nature of our planet.

Extended stays in nature, typical for hiking and some specific types of hunting, require a more significant number of auxiliary items. In these cases, a sleeping mat or bag, various cutlery (plastic can be used), hygiene products, water filters, thick gloves for multiple tasks, and much more will be indispensable. All of the above will help hunters and hikers survive in the wild. The last but one of the most essential items is a device that allows you to communicate with rescuers. With its help, you can send a distress signal and call for assistance in situations dangerous to life and health. Such a device should have a built-in GPS sensor. Its presence will help rescuers find a person who is lost or in trouble, even if he is unconscious and cannot independently call for help.

Hunting and hiking are becoming more popular every year. They provide an opportunity to break from the bustle of big cities, enjoy the silence, breathe fresh air, and learn a lot about yourself. These hobbies require the use of special equipment. It should include such a mandatory item as a knife and several other essential things. All of them will turn any hunting or hiking trip into a fantastic adventure in which you will be prepared for any possible surprises.

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