What is a bushcraft knife?

photo credit: http://finnish-puukko.blogspot.com/

If you have any survivalist friends or family members then chances are you’re a little familiar with the popular bushcraft knife. If not, you’re definitely not the only one. And when people first learn what Bushcraft even is, it makes wilderness skills and the best bushcraft knives all that more impressive!

Bushcraft skills are a vital aspect of wilderness survivalist skills. The bushcraft knife concept can be traced to various cultures worldwide, along with bushcraft skills like food rationing, quick tool making, creating small fires for warmth, making animal traps, do-it-yourself shelters, and numerous other skills.

Bushcraft quite literally means “skill in matters pertaining to life and land.” The word “bush” is thought to have derived from the Dutch word “bosch”, which was used frequently during the colonial period as a term for heavily wooded areas of the wilderness. And when Dutch Colonialists landed in Africa, they applied the term boschjesman (or bushmen) to the indigenous peoples they encountered.

Not only do these skills continue on with surviving groups of indigenous peoples, but hobbyist enthusiasm for bushcraft is also strong in Great Britain, United States, and parts of Europe. And while they’ve carved out a place in the modern era, the integrity and purpose of bush craft knives hasn’t changed either.

Various cultures from around the globe have contributed amazing bushcraft tools and skills over the years, but the best bushcraft knives today are inspired by Finland’s infamous Puukko knife.   Puukko literally means “to carve” and its original craftsmanship actually dates to early nomadic Northern European tribes. Today’s Finnish-made Puukko knives are supposed to represent the very best of Scandinavian knife workmanship.

Like Puukko knives, today’s best bushcraft knives have short 100mm blades, convenient flat backs for the thumb, and small easy-to-grip handles. The Puukko knife fits right into bushcraft culture, as it’s known as Finland’s “everyday knife” for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, cooking, gardening, and even decorative sculptures.

Aesthetically speaking, the best bushcraft knife might not look like anything special because it rocks that “no frills” look. But we’re not talking style over substance here! What makes a bushcraft knife special is its ability to aid in the quick manufacture of survivalist tools, such as mini fire-starter drills, fishing tools, and wooden container vessels.

Plus, it’s absolutely necessary to have a bushknife handy when you’re trying to build some decent shelter, prepare meat to cook, and cut through heavy wilderness brush. Essentially, the best bushcraft knife is designed to help you accomplish nearly everything you need to survive outdoors!

About the author

Jack Thompson is a seasoned outdoorsman, bushcraft expert, and knife aficionado. With over a decade of wilderness experience, Jack is passionate about teaching others essential outdoor skills and providing insights on bushcraft knives. As a writer for Best Bushcraft Knife, he shares his knowledge and adventures, inspiring readers to embrace nature and thrive in the wild.