Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping

Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping

Is the best Swiss Army Knife for camping the RangerGrip 78 model?
Is the best Swiss Army Knife for camping the RangerGrip 78 model?

With scores of various knife models available from Victorinox, what is the best Swiss Army Knife for camping?  I’m going to tackle that very question in this blog post.

First let’s take a look at the company itself and why you may want to add a Swiss Army Knife to your blade collection if you don’t already have one.

The Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping – Info

  • Name:  RangerGrip 78
  • Price:  Varies, $50 to $80
  • Cheapest Place To BuyAmazon
  • Guarantees:  Lifetime warranty against defects
  • My Rating:  5/5

Victorinox – A Brief History

Located in the town of Ibach in Switzerland, Victorinox has been making knives since 1891.  Their name came about in the early 1900’s when the founder’s mother passed away, he named the company after her, ‘Victoria’.

A few years later ‘inox’ was added, which is an abbreviation for acier inoxydable, which is the French word for stainless steel.

The stainless steel Victorinox uses in their knives comes primarily from France and Germany.

While the company is best know for their Swiss Army Knives, they also make kitchen cutlery for the home and professional chefs, as well as a few other unique but lesser known items.

Their primary competition had been a company called Wenger, also a Swiss company.  After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, both companies took a very hard sales hit, as small pocket knives became a security issue for air travel.  Profits for both companies plummeted, but in the end Victorinox bought out Wenger in 2005.

The latest numbers I could find on manufacturing dates back to 2006, when that year they produced 34,000 Swiss Army Knives, 38,000 multi-tools, and 30,000 kitchen cutlery pieces PER DAY.  Yeah, I had to double check that fact as well… It really is what they make per day.

They export their products to over 100 different countries, and the United States is their biggest importer.

My Swiss Army Knives

While Victorinox makes watches, clothing, backpacks, and other products, the Swiss Army Knife is their most well known.

I got my first Swiss Army Knife when I was kid in Bear Cub Scouts.  Sadly I don’t recall to much about it, but at the time it fit my pocket and had a half dozen cool tools on it.  I was a star among my friends at that age because I had one.

Not sure what ever happened to that little red handled knife.  It was either stolen or I foolishly lost it.

I got another one in my early teens as a gift from my father, much like the first.  I hung onto that knife and still have it today tucked away in a box somewhere.  It’s beat up pretty good as I used it often and carried it every day.  It doesn’t have many tools on it, just two blades, the can opener, flat and philips head screwdrivers, cork screw, awl, and the usual tweezers and toothpick.

In my early 20s my grandfather gave me one… it is one of my most preciously owned knives.  He used the hell out of it, as he was always tinkering and doing stuff.  I never used that knife, I cherished it immediately and keep it hidden away in my sock drawer so I can look at it now and then and remember my grandfather.

All of the Swiss Army Knives I had owned from a child until now were gifts.

My New Swiss Army Knife!

If you’re like me you carry a pocket knife around with you 24/7.  When I go hunting, or for long day hikes, or camping, I also carry a belt knife.  Typically something with a blade between four and six inches in length.

Swiss Army Knife RangerGrip 78. It's a little to big to be considered a pocket knife.
Swiss Army Knife RangerGrip 78. It’s a little to big to be considered a pocket knife.

My primary belt knife, a Gerber Gator Premium, doesn’t get used much on camping or hiking trips.  I use it to field dress deer, sometimes batoning wood for a campfire (but that’s rare).  It’s a fantastic knife and I like to have it around for longer outdoor trips, but it just doesn’t get used much as it tend to be a little overkill for what I use a knife for most.

My smaller pocket knife is great, and it gets used more frequently during my outdoor trips, but I often wonder if I could have something better that can serve more functions, with just a little longer blade.

My answer to that was thoroughly researching Swiss Army Knives.  My curiosity and interest spiked in these types of knives when I was watching a Joe Robinet video on You Tube.  In that video he put a Farmer model through it’s paces, even batoning wood with it.

In another video he used a Bushcrafter model.  I went looking for that knife and was totally bummed out to see they were no longer available.  They were a special production run only.  But that led me to reading some good reviews on other Victorinox knives such as the Farmer mentioned above and the Trekker.

My research led me to the Victorinox website where I poured over the many different Swiss Army Knives they make.  I was amazed to see all the unique tools that could be incorporated into a pocket knife.  Most I would never have any use for, but some I could see as being handy to have.

Anyway, after hours of research and watching You Tube videos I settled on deciding to order a Victorinox Rangergrip 78 Swiss Army Knife!

Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping?  Why!?

I know what you’re thinking… Why is the Rangergrip 78 the best Swiss Army Knife for camping?

Everybody has their own tastes and desires in knives.  But I wanted something that would be able to fill a few different functions while I was camping.  For me this knife fits my needs.

Here are some of the things I like about this knife, and why I consider it the best overall knife for my outdoor needs.

  1. It’s bigger than a pocket knife but smaller than a fixed blade belt knife.  The blade is 3.9″, not to long nor too short, and the handle grip is 5.1″ inches long.  It fits the hand nicely.
  2. The blade spine design of the RangerGrip 78 allows for single hand opening with the flip of your thumb.
  3. It comes with a 4.2″ saw that works incredibly well.  When I am prepping wood for my twig stove this comes in handy.  Most backpacking campfires are made using smaller pieces of wood and not so much big logs.  No need to carry a bulky hand saw – that little 4.2 inch saw works amazingly well!
  4. The awl tool is perfect for using with your fire-steel ferro rod to start fires.  It can also be used of course for camp projects, like working with leather to make sheaths or protective covers.
  5. Never know when you’ll need a can opener – it has one.  In fact on my last camp outing I needed one and didn’t have it!

    The RangerGrip 78 fits comfortably in my hand.
    The RangerGrip 78 fits comfortably in my hand.

  6. Tweezers!  I live on wood-tick country, and it’s pretty darn bad.  Having a tweezers handy to pull ticks as well as thorns and splinters is always a good thing.
  7. The scales are ergonomic and fit the hand wonderfully.  It also has rubber inlays (that black you see in the grip) that help assure a good form hold when handling it.
  8. It comes with basic tool such as a flat head, and Philips head screwdrivers.  I can’t recall ever needing these while camping, but you never know…
  9. It has a locking mechanism for the blade.  It locks into place when open.  It is frame lock design that can be activated by pressing the Victorinox logo on the side of the handle.  I like this feature for safety reasons.
  10. The blade is supple and a good all around size for chores requiring a knife around a camp.  Cooking, line cutting, whittling, making wood tent stakes, field dressing wild game of all sizes.  My small pocket knife can do all those things as well, but having all the abilities listed above in one package is convenient.
  11. The stainless steel Victorinox uses to make their blades has a hardness rank factor of around 56-57.  It’s not an overly hard steel, so it will dull up with use like any knife, but it will be easy to sharpen and maintain a good edge on it.
  12. Victorinox has a lifetime warranty on their product from defects.  The provide excellent customer service, and really stand firm behind their knives.

The Rangergrip 78 is bigger than a normal pocket Swiss Army Knife.  It has the handy features I want in one design, and then some, and places them within one ‘tool’ that is easy to carry around.

This knife can be carried in the pocket, though I feel it is a bit too large for that.  It fits nicely in belt case and is always convenient to have on hand when outdoors when you need it.

It can serve me in a variety of ways in one neat package that is not to small and inconvenient.

Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping – You Decide!

The best thing about Victorinox Swiss Army Knives is that there are hundreds of various models to choose from.

As an example; you can get a knife similar to the RangerGrip 78, but called the RangerGrip 79 – it has a corkscrew tool instead of a Philips screwdriver.  The RangerGrip 178 has a green grip and a serrated knife blade.

If you don’t like the big and beefy RangerGrip series of knives, you can easily find something smaller and sleeker.

It’s little things like that where you can look through vast catalog of products and choose the knife that best fits you.  You can look and decide what you need in a camping knife, and probably find it!  Check out the picture below.

Different models of Swiss Army Knives; different sizes, different tools, different blades, different colors!
Different models of Swiss Army Knives; different sizes, different tools, different blades, different colors!

Interested In Buying A RangerGrip 78?

Do you think the best Swiss Army Knife for camping is the RangerGrip 78?  Well, it may or may not be what you are looking for in a camp knife.  But You can read more about this knife and other models that are available for purchase through the Amazon Link below.

The RangerGrip 78 does not come with a belt carry pouch, which I thought it should have, since it does seem just a tad to large for my tastes to carry around in a pocket.  You can find leather and nylon belt pouches online as well for a fairly reasonable price.

I ended up buying an authentic Victorinox holder for mine at the same time I ordered the knife.

I’ve already put the knife to good use a few times while out in the woods.  It seems to fit the mark perfectly for me in what I want in a general purpose camp knife.

Is the best the Swiss Army Knife for camping?  To me it is.  I like it a lot.

Thanks for reading,


8 thoughts on “Best Swiss Army Knife For Camping

  1. Great timing. Thanks for your article.

    I love the outdoors and am fortunate to be enjoying nearly every day.

    Although my activities are fairly benign there is always the possibility of needing a knife along the way. Why I have neglected taking one regularly I did not think about till your article. I need to carry a knife.

    The knives I have a overkill on my day to day adventures so something life you proposed in your article is more suitable.

    I will do just that. Thank you for waking me up!

    Do you have more favorites?

    1. Hi Robert,

      Yeah, I too wold typically carry a large heavy knife into the woods on my belt.  But for routine treks and light camping it was always overkill.  Having something a little more camp friendly has been a big help to me.  I usually carry a twig stove with me on my outings… I don’t need a large knife for battoning fire wood for my twig stove, but the little saw that comes with the Rangergrip 78 is sure handy.

      When I hunt I carry a Gerber Premium Gator with SV30 stainless steel… the most expensive knife I own.


  2. Thanks!! I was camping 2 weekends ago up in Minnesota and I came so ill prepared because I didn’t didn’t want any problems with the TSA. I wanted to find a multipurpose tool that would be easy to travel and the Victorinox would’ve done the job.

    I was hoping to find a multipurpose tool for another camping trip closer to home, so I think I’m going to hold off on this Rangergrip 78 for something a little bigger. Do you have a specific one towards the 5.9 range you’d suggest that is ideal for camping/fishing?

    1. Hi Simon,

      It all depends on what you do when camping.  The Rangergrip 78 is great for a general camp use knife.  I use mine for everything except using the blade for batoning, which I rarely do anyways.  I’ve found that I usually only use a larger blade and heavier knife for things like field dressing large game or batoning.

      For that type of work I use this knife here, the Gerber Gator Premium with S30V Steel:

  3. Glad to have run across this site.
    I had one similar when I was growing up, it may be time to find one for my son. I had tons of fun with my knives and perhaps my son will do the same.
    The one you are holding in your had looks so much better than the one I had, I guess technology has changed for the better. At what age do you recommend a boy getting his first knife?

    1. Hi,

      My nephew, who is in Cub Scouts, got a pocket knife when he was eight.  There was a class that he and his fellow Cub Scouts took together that was put together by the Scouts about using a pocket knife safely.  I suppose that is a good age to learn about knives and their basic uses.

      I like the Swiss Army knives, they make good pocket knives.  You can get them with lots of tools on them or just a couple knife blades.  And they are sharp, and easy to maintain.  They also come in all different sizes.  The big Swiss Army Ranger Grip 78 is one of the biggest they make.  I have a smaller version of that knife that is more pocket friendly that I carry around every day.  They make them now with locking blades, which are safer in many regards, especially for kids.


  4. I do a lot of lightweight backpacking and am starting to get into alpine climbing. I need a new emergency knife but want it pretty minimalist. I’m a female so I have small hands and I don’t want a lot of extra weight. I think the Rangergrip 78 is a bit overkill for me, do you have any recommendations for the purposes I mentioned?

    1. Hi Katie,

      While I carry and use the Rangergrip 78 when I am camping or canoe tripping, my everyday pocket knife is the smaller version of the Rangergrip style of knives.  For many years I carried Gerber pocket knives, but over the last year or so I switched over to Victorinox knives (Swiss Army Knives).  

      My pocket knife that I carry is about half the size of the Rangergrip, and is called the Swiss Army Trekker.  Here is a link of you want to check it out:


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