Q. I’m going on a camping trip with my troop, but my hunting knife broke. I see a lot of different hunting knives advertised. How do I know which one to buy?
— Knifeless Neil, Summerville, S.C.
A. The best type of knife for camping trips — and most any other outdoor activity, for that matter — is a short, fixed-blade knife with a beefy handle.
Folding pocketknives can fold up on your hand while cutting. Not fixed blades. And remember: When it comes to blades, bigger isn’t always better. Avoid blades longer than four inches. A small, sharp blade can cut just as well as a long one, but it’s safer to handle and easier to maneuver in tight spots. With a good fixed blade you’ll be set for most anything the outdoors can throw at you — whittling, cutting, notching, butchering, filleting, even speading peanut butter.
Here are two of my favorite fixed-blade knives: