So, you are going to need some sort of steel on the trail, whether it comes in the form of a knife or a multi tool. There are many reasons to have a knife on the trail, for cooking and shaving wood to make tinder or just simply for cutting rope. And of course you can choose between carrying just a plain ole’ knife, or you can bring a multi tool which of course has many other features. It all just comes down to what you need to do (like everything else….)
Just a few things with knives, you can choose between folding / locking blades or open fixed blades. There is also the choice between a smooth fine blade, or a serrated blade. And of course there is the matter of the blade. Blades are made of quite a few different types of metals, and I am not going to try to pretend that I have much of a clue about any of them. Also, each blade requires a certain amount of keep-up to maintain a sharp edge as well as to keep the blade from rusting.
Some other things to think about is how are you going to carry the knife? Do you want to clip it to your shoulder strap, or just simply slip it inside your pocket? Do you want to clip it to your pocket? Also, keep in mind some of the sheaths that come with some of the knives. Some are made of a hard plastic, while others are made of leather. Size of the blade must also be taken into consideration. What will you need the knife for? Just for opening meal packages or maybe cutting some rope every once in a while might warrant a small tiny blade. However, if you plan on using it to chop wood, you will obviously need a larger knife.
A lot of people like the multi tools. These of course offer lots of options. Some useful tools typically found on these are: a knife, scissors, tweezers, screwdrivers, toothpicks, pliers, can openers, and awls. The multi tools come in quite a few different sizes and weights. They also come with a variety of tools in them, so you have to be sure and read about each one to be sure it has all the tools you require. I have even read about a credit card multi tool.
Some carry both a multi tool and a knife because the knives on the multi tools are not always the best knife, or it simply will not do for the type of use that is planned and a larger knife is required. Either way, everyone should have a knife on their person, or in their bag, after-all, a knife is part of the ten essentials.