CAMPING & HIKING

The Best Bushcraft Tools Your Way to Survive in The Wilderness

Bushcraft tools review
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Have you gone to a non-urban area or have been in hostile conditions for days, months or even years? Have you imagined being in a place off the land where there is no way for you to go to a store and purchase the tools you need? Are you prepared enough to survive in scenarios like these? Perhaps, you need to know some of the best bushcraft tools for your own survival while you are out there in the wild.

Whether you are in the wilderness to live, backpack, hike or have a long camping trip, having the right tools can definitely make a significant difference in the comfort of your stay. This equipment can be a great asset to your pack.

But with the many brands, sizes, colors and styles of tools you can obtain, buying those that meet your preferences and needs can be a daunting task. So let’s take a look at the best bushcraft survival tools for your next wilderness adventure or life style.

What You Need to Survive in The Wilderness

Knives

When it comes to the life style of living off the land and then thriving, a knife remains the most import tool for every bush crafter.

Bushcraft knife in the wild

A good knife is considered the mainstay in any pack. It has to be strong, durable, sharp and functional. The quality of its steel should be at the core of choosing the best bushcraft knife.

Compass

You might consider a compass as a simple gadget, but much should be learned and understood about this tool because your life could depend on it. Did you know that its fluid-content bubbles when you are at high elevation or when the temperature is low? Its needle usually floats in liquid and is always magnetized.

Both elements are actually housed in a rotating bezel. The base plate of the compass is beneficial as it helps read maps and measure or calculate a distance from your present position to your next destination.

Hatchets or Axes

These small and versatile woodcutting bushcraft tools are designed for heavier tasks while you are in the wild.

Bushcraft hatchet

They are great for cutting down trees, chopping wood, butchering large animals, hammering in posts and stakes, digging, or splitting logs. Getting a small or handy hatchet in the wilderness is highly recommended.

Saws

There are instances when an axe won’t get the job done, so having a saw in your gear will take care of that problem. This lightweight and compact tool is a must when cutting wood to build a shelter or make a fire.

Water Filtration System

Clean drinking water should be included in your bushcraft kit. Keep in mind that sources of clear water can be difficult to find and staying hydrated in the wilderness is crucial.

Water Filtration System

A good water filtration system offers effective purification methods and is considered vital for your survival.

Stoves

Stay nourished while you are out on the trail with the help of stoves for cooking. At times, it is nice to stop for a while to eat or drink hot water using your small, efficient and compact stove. This spares you from any worry about making a fire.

Fire Pistons

Discover the traditional technique in starting a fire with a fire piston. This fire-starting device should always be included in your bushcraft kit. Successful ignition can be attained through rapid compression, heat increase, quick removal of the piston from the cylinder, and starting of a fire.

Fire Pistons

The burning material needs to be blown or fanned to spread the heat, which will eventually create a huge flame.

Cooking Utensils

Another must have tool in your backpack is a good set of cooking tools, allowing you to cook a hot meal or heat water for a cup of coffee or tea to warm you up all worth the effort. A good pot and stove can even be your savior when building a huge fire is not possible.

The Best Tools for Bushcraft and Backpacking and Their Reviews

Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife

Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: 11 x 3 x 2 inches

Specific Features:

  • Comes with brushed buckskin leather skin that has flint rod loop, retention strap and D-ring
  • Drop-point blade viable for high grounds atop its polished finished
  • 58-60HRC S30V fixed stainless steel blade, which is 4.43” in length
  • Green-colored G10 contoured and hand-blended handled equipped with red vulcanized spacer intact through pressed titanium tubing
  • Manufactured in the U.S.

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Backpacking/camping
  • Outdoor activities like hunting

Description: Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife is proven excellent by many users in providing years of efficient service without worrying about possible rust or breakage. The knife is functional, solid, well-balanced and has a premium blade steel. Its high-ground drop point blade style is a special feature alongside its sturdy full-tang manufacturing.

The strength of its edge increases over a scandi grind since it is specifically designed to be thin prior to its sharpening process.

Users are suggested to be very careful in using it though as it can be extremely sharp, which can make you harm at some point. Its additional attachment point D-ring offers you various wearing options such as belt and quick attachments to pants, packs or anything in camps.

Its flared tubing handle prevents separation when lateral force is applied. Some users, however, have stated that the handle could be more attractive to match with its flawless blade and sheath design.

The hollow tubes are functional lashing points in turning to a machete, pruning pole or spear to reach nuts and fruits on high tree branches. The red spacers contrast the tang to the handle. In terms of price, take into consideration the fact that good, high quality bushcraft knives cost more than the others did primarily because they are worth to use.

While the Benchmade knife will fail to fulfill your survival fantasies, it will definitely help you survive in the middle of the wilderness.

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Weight: 1.5 pounds

Dimensions: 18 x 5 x 5 inches

Specific Features:

  • A heavy duty knife with full tang suitable for camping
  • Hard shell nylon sheath (black)
  • Designed by Ethan Becker
  • Developed by KA-BAR Knives Inc.
  • Manufactured in Olean New York, U.S.

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Camping/backpacking
  • Outdoor chores

Description: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife has been recognized for its no nonsense design and sturdy nature. It has a very strong steel drop point blade coated with black epoxy powder that provides some rolling resistance when you make deep cuts.

The lanyard hole and full tang design of its handle offers maximum strength. It is functional in accomplishing tasks like splitting or batoning wood, preparing a stack of wood for bonfires, and carving. A decent chop would be made easy considering its small footprint and size.

Camping chores like prepping food, building fires and odd jobs that require handy sharp object can be carried out using this natural tool choice. BK2 could be a good option when you are looking for a do it all knife, but it does not provide excellence at any particular task.

You may want to look for some other alternatives should you need a fine carving knife or a dedicated chopper. Many are impressed on the quality of the materials used in making this knife, alongside its high level fit and finish, and its selling price. This is likely the best tool as a compact survival knife or a camp knife.

Multifunction Military Army Metal Sighting Compass

Multifunction Military Army Metal Sighting Compass

Weight: 0.15 pound

Dimensions: 1.9 x 3.3 x 4.6 inches

Specific Features:

  • Made from glass and metal
  • Resistant to water and shakes
  • Comes with clear night viewing and luminous display inside
  • Has sighting window that contains a sighting line
  • Reference table for distance estimation and scope
  • A U-Easy shopping bag.

Best Use:

  • Camping/backpacking
  • Trekking

Description: Multifunction Military Army Metal Sighting Compass has little difference in style when compared to the traditional Military compass.

The compass has no flip up optic that is used in peering through unlike in traditional lensatic compass. Its sighting optic enables you to directly read the internal compass card found inside the fluid filed capsule. The sighting optic’s vertical lubber line allows you to make the most of the 1-degree compass card resolution.

Its metal construction is workable in measuring your direction, whether latitude or longitude, or horizontal.

When it is floating, it can dial a scale of up to 360 degrees, same is true on its rotary dial. Remember that the compass should not be used near an area where there is a magnetic field to prevent possible disturbance to its pointer. Also, note the absence of any luminous effect when there is no light. Luminous indication will be more durable when irradiation time is longer.

Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet

Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet

Weight: 2.8 pounds

Dimensions: 20 x 7 x 1 inches

Specific Features:

  • Edge hardness HRC57
  • Has an American hickory handle
  • Comes with a warranty period of 20 years
  • Hand-forged carbon hatchet blade
  • Manufactured in Sweden

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Camping/backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: As its namesake, Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet is specifically designed to split chunks of wood large enough to fit into a stove. This tool can also be used in the fireplace to develop splint wood although it is often used outdoors. Enjoy sitting by a fireplace that sparks from your cut wood.

It sharpens easily in less than 2 minutes without a file. It is more suitable than the Wetterlings Buddy and Wilderness Hatchets due to the shape of its head, long handle and its weight. Its hand-forged carbon blade has alloyed steel.

It comes with locally produced, vegetable tanned leather sheath. Its overall profile is so thin that may lead to sticking more than splitting the wood even though it is properly manufactured. Take into consideration that it is eye measured and handmade, resulting in minor variations.

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

Weight: 4 ounces

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 2 inches

Specific Features:

  • Developed for a general purpose of folding saw with 7 teeth in each inch, 8 inches of blade to cut dry and green wood, bone or plastic
  • Two-component plastic handle with leather strap for great grip
  • Safety lock for lock in and lock out functions
  • Specially coated blade (XT Toothing, 7 TPI) for low friction and rust protection
  • Specifically developed for hunters, campers and wildlife enthusiasts

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Camping/backpacking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife activities

Description: Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw, 9-Inch Blade, 7 TPI by Bahco is among the most useful piece of equipment in the arsenal of any bushcrafter. It has a put-together design that is similar to a folding knife. If top notch sawing capabilities is what you are looking for in a folding saw, this tool should be your first option.

Factors like portability, fit and finish, and overall feel might be considered as well considering the tight competition in the market. Many users of this saw have confessed to its remarkable performance in chewing through logs. It offers inherent safety, sparing you from the risk of its blade bouncing off the log and causing injury.

Keep in mind that it should not be used as an alternative to an axe. The long-lasting use of the tool for outdoor kit pieces remains in question for some. Another thing is that its low-friction coating tends to peel off with repeated sawing.

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimensions: 7 x 10 x 4 inches

Specific Features:

  • Durable ceramic/carbon element offering taste-free water, heavy use and safety
  • Repeated cleaning for full filter recovery without requiring any tool
  • Carbon core that gets rid unwanted odors and tastes due to organic compounds like chlorine, pesticides and iodine
  • Equipped with AirSpring Accumulator that increases filtration speed by 1 liter every minute
  • Protection from bacteria, particulate, chemicals or toxins, and protozoa

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Camping/backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Trekking

Description: MSR MiniWorks EX is suitable for frequent backcountry travelers since it offers you a long-lasting filter that cleans pesticides and chemicals from water. A more regular maintenance of this water filter is required than the other filters. It comes with basic assembly, which makes it straightforward when it comes to usage and maintenance.

It is intuitive and easy to take apart and combine for maintenance. It pumps so fast, but should not be an option for big camping groups as it takes a couple of minutes to pump a liter of water.

Shorter hikes and camping trips can benefit from this filter due to its economic and reliability offering, but it’s not recommended for ultra-light backpackers or thru-hikers because it is slow and heavy to carry. One important reminder in using this filter is to adequately protect it when the weather is in its freezing condition as there is a possibility for its ceramic material to crack.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Dimensions: 8 x 3.5 x 3 inches

Specific Features:

  • Workable filter that can fit in the palm
  • Attaches to include hydration packs, standard disposable water bottles, drinking pouch or straw for direct drinking from the water source
  • Filter of water as much as 100,000 gallons
  • Removal of bacteria like cholera, E.coli, and salmonella as well as protozoa like Cryptosporidium and Biardia

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Hiking
  • Scouting
  • Camping/backpacking
  • Outdoor recreation

Description: The lightest available filter, the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is award-winning and can either be attached to the bottle’s top portion or can be used as a straw-style filter. This water filter is less likely to break when highly needed in the wilderness since it does not have batteries and moving parts.

It is dependable and can work for several years, depending on how it is frequently used. It also allows you to drink directly from a water source like the MSR MiniWorks EX microfilter. It functions great when you have the extra attachment. However, the straw attachment is separated, which can be lost in one way or another.

This bushcraft tool can also be used inline on hydration bladder, which requires you to commit a bladder to be used alongside the filter. Its treatment capacity, speed of filtration and value are among its best features.

Solo Stove Lite – Compact Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

Solo Stove Lite - Compact Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

Weight: 0.56 pounds

Dimensions: 4.25 x 308 x 3.8 inches

Specific Features:

  • A patented-design stove that has a double wall, creating an ultra-thin gasification and a secondary combustion. It permits fuel to completely burn with lesser smoke
  • Lightweight and quick boil time-frame from 8-10 minutes
  • Made from durable materials: nichrome wire and premium stainless steel
  • Compact space saving design suitable for backpacking

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Backpacking/camping
  • Hiking

Description: This highly recommended Solo Stove Light has already proven its durability, as “Backpacker Magazine” recognizes it as the number one wood-burning stove for backpackers, survivalists, campers and hikers.

This eco-friendly and compact stove is a must-have in bushcrafters’ kits, as it burns hotter fires using less fuel with its patented design and distinctive secondary combustion. It is tested and proven to overpower aluminum pots when it comes to durability and safety.

Its cleaner burn technique equates to higher efficiency and less smoke. Emergency situations can easily be dealt with through the help of this tool. It also frees up more space in your backpack and frees you from carrying large, polluting and pricey containers.

Pinecones, wood, leaves and twigs can be used as its fuel, making it environmentally friendly. It can be a great bushcraft tool, but not for long hikes because it can be a bit overweight for this activity.

Wilderness Solutions Amber FireLight Fire Piston

Wilderness Solutions Amber FireLight Fire Piston

Weight: 4 ounces

Specific Features:

  • A survival fire ignition tool that uses the air you breath
  • Developed in a transparent design
  • Ignites organic tinder through spontaneous combustion
  • Displays light burst after ignition
  • Does not require recharging as the fuel it uses comes from nature
  • Ignites though it has been immersed to water since it is not affected by moisture

Best Use:

  • Bushcraft
  • Backpacking/camping
  • Outdoor activities

Description: Wilderness Solutions Amber FireLight Fire Piston is reputable as the most amazing fire starting tool for survival. Amber FireLight Fire Piston is the hottest in firing and the latest state-of-the-art development in compression fire starting. The tinder placed in its end part is spontaneously ignited through compression-produced heat with just a single push.

The ignition glows without any effort greater than air. The piston can ignite in various natural tinders found in the fields and woods. You can actually get char cloth with one hit, making it a very reliable tool assuming that the tinder is dry.

It may take you some time to practice its proper use, but it provides definite ease and fun and life-saving feature once you can already figure out the trick. Some users observed that it could not function well after several tries and usage. It also serves as a great teaching tool with its designed function for scouting students.

Zebra Loop Handle Pot

Zebra Loop Handle Pot

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: Three sizes at 12 cm, 14 cm and 16 cm in diameter

Specific Features:

  • Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel that can be cleaned easily, almost indestructible and highly resistant to animals
  • Available in three sizes in diameter: 12 cm, 14 cm and 16 cm
  • Locking handle that can hold food inside when transported, with a notch for ease in hanging the pot over fire
  • Suitable for steaming or cooking food away from direct heat in the dish as well as in cooking over a camp stove

Best Use:

  • Bushcamp
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Travel
  • Outdoor activities

Description: Zebra Loop Handle Pot is a portable cookware set that is best for outdoorsmen. The internal dish of this pot is heralded by most of its users for uniqueness, which allows you to cook or steam inside the main pot or can be used as a plate after cooking.

Everything in this pot is kept in place during your transport due to its positive locking handle. Its small handle packs easier because it does not protrude. It has quality stainless steel material, making it a durable bushcraft tool.

However, there are also those who are not favorable to its plastic clip as there is a possibility for it to crack or the heat to transfer to its handle. Majority of the users of this loop handle pot still put emphasis on its superb durability that can last for a lifetime.

Conclusion

The traditional bushcraft way of life makes its way back in today’s modern world. You and the future generations need to indefinitely survive in the wilderness. This can only happen when the bushcraft tools mentioned above are properly cared and managed.

Tools for bushcrafting

Whatever tool you intend to buy, considering its quality, materials, features, durability and availability is imperative. This should also be equitable to its necessity and to your financial capacity. The safety factor of the tool you are choosing should not be undermined as well. Knowledge about all these survival products before doing any outdoor activity is necessary for success.

How do you find the things discussed in this post? Should there be any information we missed to include here, we would be more than happy to hear it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Mike Walker

    If you want a knife and don’t know what to choose, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is the best choice you can make. The knife is designed by Ethan Becker, a mountain climber, chef, and survivalist. I cannot emphasize this knife enough. It is the survivalist’s survival knife. It is not a short sword or a silly Rambo knife. You can baton through a piece of steel pipe and then go skin a rabbit or fillet fish or whittle an oak spear with this knife if you so choose. I think that sums it up pretty well. Indestructible yet tractable.

    • Jerry Mueller

      Couldn’t agree more! And that knife is a handsome piece of hardware, if I must say. If you’re a serious camper, it’s best that you invest in an excellent knife. Your life depends on it. I also love the fact that this knife is lightweight, but gets the job done. Make sure that your knife is durable and sharp, so better examine the quality of the blade – that’s the key.

  • Jim Clark

    If you go into the wild, you need to have the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System for sure. The filter is light small and performed perfectly. I noticed nothing strange about the water or it’s taste. It is truly very nice feeling to drink the water right out of the river or lake your camping next to vs carrying in bottled water. All in all this is an excellent water filter for the backpacker and I’m very happy with the product.

  • Mark Foster

    That’s so true, the Sawyer Products are good value for money. The product effectively gives out drinking water and eliminates the odor. My buddies and I have this product and we all have good experiences with it . Health is wealth so better get one for the next camping trip, ok?

  • Jerry Mueller

    That’s so true, the Sawyer Products are good value for money. The product effectively gives out drinking water and eliminates the odor. My buddies and I have this product and we all have good experiences with it . Health is wealth so better get one for the next camping trip, ok?

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