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I'm not used to multi-day hikes, and soon I will be going on a 5 day hike and I thought it would be a good idea to carry a folding knife this time just to be on the safe side. I wont be needing it for food prep or setting up camp, since those would be provided.

Where is best place to carry a knife? I'm thinking of using the hip-belt pocket of my backpack, but I read somewhere that this is not a very good idea since you could become separated of your backpack. My nylon hiking pants pockets seems to flimsy to carry a metal object with the capacity to tear it all up.

EDIT: complementary information.

  • The trek in question is Salkantay in Machu Picchu, cold, layering clothes, rain possibility.
  • The pants are convertible in shorts and made for hiking (the fabric is Rhodia Amni UV 50+). They are much softer and lighter than cotton or jeans pants and are made to dry really fast and ease perspiration.
  • The folding knife has some weight to it, so it will be dangling in the pocket, also I don't trust its corners rubbing against the fabric.
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A Nylon-Pant for a 5-Day Hike? Not a good idea though! –  WedaPashi Jul 8 '13 at 5:27
    
@WedaPashi, why not? –  Steed Jul 8 '13 at 7:42
    
I dont have enough knowledge about few things like where the above fellow is going to Hike, what sort of a Nylon his pant made up of, what type of the terrain it is going to be, at what temperatures, What sort of a trail it is going to be (with Dried Grass, Normal Grasslands, or through thickets and so other things), is the guy going to have a tent and/or sleeping bag, etc. In India where I trek, people tend to have Army Cargo Pants or Pants with some thick but flexible fabric. But if its raining, Nylon is the obvious choice here. Depends on terrains and Weather I believe. –  WedaPashi Jul 8 '13 at 8:34
    
Good for You. Things now got much clearer! –  WedaPashi Jul 8 '13 at 15:11
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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I have one such a belt-pocket which I can either attach to my Haversack's waist-belt, or my own hiking pant's belt clips or the belt itself using a runner (but belt is not an option for you because you are using a nylon pant).
It depends on both (its weight and size) at the same time since having it tied up at a wrong place can injure you and/or can be very uncomfortable when you climb on boulders, or giant natural steps like the ones you have in dried water-streams.
If it is portable enough to put in a Waist-pouch, then it seems to be a good option. Because, Waist-pouch is something that you should never loose at any point of outdoor time. Now if you say that you do have a waist-pouch and its of Nylon-like material, then you are back to square one.

I have the folding kind of a knife, and I tie it up to my waist-belt, and a tiny mutli-utility Swiss-Knife which I always have in my Waist-Pouch with a candle, Camphor and MatchBox and a 5 mtr Nylon Thread-Roll and a Needle and medical stitch-string roll. And some Jelly balls and Extra Batteries for Cam and Cellphone :)

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I do have a leather waist pouch/fanny pack. I don't know if I will bring it to the trip since I will be carrying a backpack the whole time and the wait pouch will probably feel unconfortable below the hipbelt. –  Luiz Borges Jul 8 '13 at 13:14
    
Then I guess having the Knife belted to the waist-belt on your recessive hand-side could be an option. (If you are righty, them have it on left side, and vice versa) –  WedaPashi Jul 8 '13 at 15:14
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I've found that most folding knifes get easily lost (might just be me). This is because you need to train yourself to always put it in the same place. And the folding mechanism tends to be a weak spot when doing heavier work.

I have a solid knife with a sheath means I can grab it at any point (while climbing, hanging over the side of my sailboat etc.) and I always have a default place to put it back. I carry it mostly clipped on one of my pockets (either by my chest or on my pants when in light clothing).

After years of hiking, sailing and camping a (pocket) knife is the number one thing to bring.

  • Safety: cutting lines and ropes (no not to intimidate robbers or stab wildlife)
  • tool: since I've got a very thick blade i can use the backside for large screws and the tip is handy for prying etc. (be careful tho, one slip and you'll need more then just your first aid kit.)
  • Fire building: Besides making tinder a good knife with a stone for a hammer can cut branches and small trees.
  • Leisure: When you need to wait or have nothing to do you can do some wood carving.
  • Cooking and eating: yes after all that I even cut my steak with it (after a good cleaning of course) but with a good knife and a spork you can eat everything.

The knife I use is by light my fire and comes razor sharp and has a good sheath

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Because this knife is fairly large (primarily because it doesn't fold) it doesn't really carry to well in city's etc so I'd advice stowing it away properly when getting out of the wilderness.

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I've been on many multi day hikes, and have used both folding knives and fixed blade knives, I like to use a larger duty belt which I use to attach my Binoculars, Water Canteen, Pouch for snacks and my knife, It sits nicely in a small cover which holds great on the belt! The best thing about having the belt is that it will always be on you even if you need to remove your bag, and it is easily accessible. And also great when resting, as it can be easily taken for for a few minutes!

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I carry a folding knife with me in the field, usually on quickdry pants. Generally I find the problem is more it swinging around in the bottom of the pocket than damaging the cloth, so I find that the best place is in the front pocket, clipped over the back/bottom part of the pocket lip. That way it's both secure and convenient, and this is usually a fairly well-reinforced area on the pants – I've never had a problem with wear and tear.

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Precisely for this reason I now only buy folding knives with a clip! –  Sdry Aug 19 '13 at 7:51
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A folding knife is always a great idea. I carry mine everywhere - city and backpacking. It gets used at least once a day - open a beer, cut a string of rope, cut up food, remove a thorn, open up a stubborn snack. No need thinking if it is with me or not.

Because the knife is important to me, I choose my cloths with it in mind. Cotton pants, with deep pockets and sturdy construction. They sell for $1 at a second-hand shop.

My point is, think of a way to carry it on your person, not the backpack. You will find a million uses.

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As I said above, I will be using light trekking pants, so they aren't as sturdy as cotton ones. –  Luiz Borges Jul 8 '13 at 13:15
    
@LuizBorges, you can clip it to the edge of the pants, hanging against your skin. This should be more solid, than against the pocket, but is not really convenient for walking, plus it exposes the knife to your sweat. In your place, I would follow WedaPashi's advice and clip it against the waist-belt of the backpack. Have fun! –  Vorac Jul 10 '13 at 7:20
    
When I buy hiking pants I make sure there is a spot for clipping a knife into a pocket. A good pair of pants will have this pocket along with a reinforcing piece of metal that the knife clip slides on. –  Induster Jul 29 '13 at 21:44
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