7 Smart Ways to Use a Survival Knife in the Outdoors

By James Barton •  6 min read

A survivalist has to step outdoors to explore the natural environment. Mother Nature rules out there. Therefore, you will need several items to tame it and achieve your goals. One of the many items that you cannot do without is a survival knife. A good quality survival knife is so versatile. It can replace a number of specific items that you would otherwise have to carry along.

What are the ways you can make use the help of survival knife when you are out in the wilderness? As you are just about to learn, there are up to 7 ways to use a survival knife in the outdoors. Let’s learn about these ways.

Here Are Some Useful Ways To Use a Survival Knife

1. Creating a Path

Nature is better appreciated in the forested areas. Camping deep in the forest is one of the most enjoyable things survivalist do. But to access such areas, you must create a path. Obviously, you cannot expect access roads in a forest. A large version of a survival knife can help you clear your way to creating a path.

For this application, you will need a fixed-blade survival knife and not a folding knife. A fixed-blade knife tends to be stronger. Therefore it can cut large objects such as tree branches that may block your path. Another good thing about fixed-blade knives is that they lack moving parts. This feature boosts their performance and minimizes the need for maintenance.

2. Preparing Firewood

It may be cold in the outdoors. Or you are going to camp for a couple of days. In both cases, you will need some firewood to start a fire. This is because you will need to keep yourself warm and/or help you cook your food. It is possible that you will not carry along enough firewood because of bulkiness.

It’s no doubt an axe or splitting maul can help with preparing firewood. But, you probably will not carry an axe or splitting maul with you into the wilderness. A survival knife will do. Since you will not be chopping tall trees with the knife, a sharp one is good enough. It will help you cut up logs and branches to provide you with enough wood for survival.

3. Digging

A good survival knife is a perfect replacement for a shovel. You are unlikely to carry a shovel alongside a knife into the wilderness. If you need to dig a hole, then a good fixed-blade knife for survival help you do it. Some high-quality folding survival knives may also do the work.

While a shovel is easier to use and will do a better job, a survival knife is a worthy alternative. I bet you agree that using a knife is better than using your hand. A caution though is that digging can damage your knife. The action may also blunt its edges. However, a high-quality knife can withstand the effects of the soil and remain sharp.

4. Making a Camp

Making camp in the wilderness will require several tools. This is because you will have to first clear the site and then find materials to help you cordon-off space. A high-quality knife is extremely versatile. It will eliminate other tools. You can use the knife to remove any shrubs or bushes that stand in your way.

A survival knife will make the process quicker. A sharp and strong knife can cut down tree branches quickly. It will also help you to make stakes for setting your temple up if need be. A knife is even more useful if you intend to improvise a shelter from tree limbs and leaves.

5. Self-Defense

You never know what will come your way in the outdoors. Threats can come in many different forms. The common ones are fellow humans with criminal intent. It is not strange to hear that a hiker or survivalist was attacked and killed by a serial killer or drifter. In rear cases, you may encounter a wild animal viewing you as prey or as a threat.  

In either case, a knife can help you with self-defense.  However, you must know how to use a survival knife properly for self-defense. The benefit of a knife is its stealth. You can use it without causing too much commotion. Using a gun, for instance, can attract other attackers or put you in legal trouble. A tactical survival knife is ideal for self-defense.

6. Hunting and Cooking

A survival knife may not be the best instrument when it comes to hunting. But, a knife is your best weapon if you cannot use a hunting rifle for any reason yet you are out of food. Even with a rifle, a knife is still helpful if the animal does not die instantly. You will also need the knife to make a meat out of the kill.

Once you get a meat, you will need a knife to prepare food. This is only applicable if you will be eating vegetables or an animal in the wilderness. Even if you hunted fish, you must prepare it with a knife. If you have canned beans or whatever food, a knife will help you open it. As you can see, a knife is invaluable if you are in the outdoors for a camping trip.

7. First Aid Component

Injuries are common outdoors. Packing a small First Aid kit for your journey is a great idea. A very sharp survival knife can complement your kit. The knife is vital in the event that you or anybody else you are camping with gets hurt.  

However, using a knife for First Aid requires some skills. You can use the knife to remove painful splinters. You can also use it to carefully cut up any fabric to help act as a makeshift bandage if you do not have a First Aid kit. A sharp knife will perform just like a scalpel in the case of an injury.


As you can see, you cannot afford to underestimate a survival knife. you definitely need it in the outdoor environment. Those are some of the ways to use a survival knife in the outdoors. The moment you have a knife in your hands, you will realize that you cannot make it in the wilderness without it. To unlock, the versatility of this survival tool, ensure you choose a high-quality model. It should be strong, resilient and durable.