Best BushCraft Tools: Tools that Make Survival Easier

Best BushCraft Tools
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Having the proper tools when you head out into the wilderness is the only way you can be certain of a safe and enjoyable trip. With the best Bushcraft tools, you can definitely make sure you’ll have all of these things. That’s why we’ve taken a look at some great tools and come up with the best ones for you to prep for that next trip.

Product NameWeightRequirementsPrice
Solo Stove Lite Backpacking Stove9 oz.Wood, twigs, pineconesCheck price on Amazon
Professional Multifunction Military Compass2.4 oz.NoneCheck price on Amazon
Snow Peak Trek 900 Cookset6.2 oz.NoneCheck price on Amazon
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System 2 oz.Water squeeze pouchCheck price on Amazon
Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw7 oz.NoneCheck price on Amazon
Michael Josh Flint Fire Starter0.95 oz.Blade, leaves, twigsCheck price on Amazon
Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife7.72 oz.NoneCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying


The material that your tools are made of is extremely important because this is going to let you know how long they will last. Plastic tools are lightweight, but they’re not going to last as long as their metal counterparts (as long as you take care of them at least) because they’re just not as durable or capable of standing up to hard use.

You want tools that are made with metals and no plastic or only plastic in the handles (with metal or something else through the center).

Stainless steel is a good quality material that’s durable and long lasting. Aluminum is a great choice if you’re looking for something lightweight but still reasonably durable as well. These materials are quite common when it comes to tools as well. At least, if you’re looking at hiking tools they’re usually what you’ll find.

stainless steel tea pot

Don’t buy something lower quality and expect it to work. If you’re going to be in the wilderness you don’t want to be counting on a tool that fails.


Any good quality tool that you have is going to offer a good warranty. That’s because companies that produce something worth the high (or moderate) cost that you’re spending on it are going to stand behind that product. They’re going to show you how much they trust their product too, by offering you a great warranty.

The better the warranty the more you can generally count on the product that you’re getting. Of course, not every product you buy can come with a lifetime warranty (or maybe it can) but you’ll want at least a couple years of warranty to work with.

If the product only has a warranty of 30 or 60 days it’s generally not something you’ll want to depend on for an extended period of time. Make sure that you get at least some kind of warranty, however, as even a one month warranty is going to be better than no warranty at all.

It also tells you a little bit about the quality of what you’re getting because something with no warranty at all can be of lower quality.


When you’re getting anything at all to go hiking or camping you want it to be useful. You want something that will do everything that it says it will and do it well.

For example, you don’t want to buy a shovel that breaks when you dig. You don’t want to buy a radio that won’t work where you’re going either. So think, not just about the quality of what you’re going to be using but also the location you need it to work.

You may find a great shovel but it doesn’t do well in the packed dirt of the region you’re going to be in or a radio that runs off a hand crank but it doesn’t have a good signal where you’re going.


An even better thing to look for is a tool with multiple uses. The fewer individual items you need to carry along with you on any kind of trip the better off you’re going to be. A multi-tool will take up a lot less space and give you more ability to do the things that you want to get done.

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that paying for a high-quality multi-tool is going to cost you a bit. Most multi-tools that you find inexpensive are not the best quality, after all, so be sure you’re balancing out the many things your tool can do with how much you can spend.


If you’re going hiking, backpacking or anything else, the size of the tools you take and definitely their weight are going to be extremely important. You need to balance out the size of the tool with the size that you need, of course, a gardening trowel won’t be a good option if you need to dig a latrine, for example.

Take the size tools that you’re going to need, but don’t go for anything larger than what you absolutely need. This will only weigh you down and make it more difficult to get where you want to be.


Choose a tool that is heavy enough to be useful and large enough to get the job done, but not too much of either.

Generally, looking in the hiking or backpacking section of any sporting goods store will help you find exactly what you’re looking for without having to scour through a lot of extra-large tools that you would need for major projects or gardening or anything of that type.


How comfortable are you using the tool that you’ve selected? This means the tools should be somewhat ergonomic so you can grip them easily and use them how they are intended to be used. A shovel that you can’t hold properly to dig is definitely not going to help you with anything.

You need to be able to pick up the tool and use it when you want without having to spend a lot of time getting it just right. This can go for other things as well, like walking sticks.

bushcraft knife

Are you comfortable using walking sticks? If you are then great. If you’re not, don’t take them with you. They’re not going to help you if you don’t really like to use them or don’t know how to use them and they are going to add weight and a cumbersome attachment to your backpack if you’re not actually using them at least some of the time.

Where Am I Going?

Choosing the right tools is as much about knowing your trip as it is knowing the tools themselves. Think about where you’re going to be heading out to. How are you going to be getting there? How long are you going to be gone? All of these things will help you in picking out the type of tools you need as well.

A one hour trip through the state park by your house doesn’t require near as much gear as a weeklong trip through the mountains. Knowing where you’re going helps you figure out the ideal gear.

compass and a map

Consider the weather temperature and conditions, like rain or snow. Also, consider the length of the trip. The longer you’ll be gone the more contingencies you want to plan for. After all, the chances of getting off the trail and being lost for a long time are less if you’re only expected to be gone for an hour or two.

People will start looking for you faster and you’re not going to end up as far away from where you are expected to be. So think about everything when it comes to planning your trip.

How Much Space Do I Have?

Finally, think about the amount of space you’re going to have available. If you have a lot of space you can afford to pack some extra things. These are the things that are nice to have but you really don’t need to have them. An extra set of clothes or a jacket instead of a rain poncho.

These are the things that make your trip a little bit better or prepare you for the things that might happen. But if you don’t have a lot of space you need to be a little more careful about what you pack.

hiking backpack on the mountain

Consider things carefully and make sure you’re always taking the important things first and working your way from there. If you have no extra space at least you know you have the most important things.

If you have a lot of extra space you can downsize your pack or you can start looking for other things that you may have wanted to bring along but weren’t sure were going to fit.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Solo Stove Lite Backpacking Stove

Solo stove lite backpacking stove

Size: 4.25 inches Diameter, 3.8/5.7 inches tall (packed/assembled)

Price: Approximately $70

Weight: 9 oz

Material: Premium solidified 304 stainless steel and nichrome wire

Specific features: Boils water (34 ounces) in 8-10 minutes. It also comes with a nylon equipment sack.

Awards: Won device of the Year award 2014 from 50 Campfires & Area Hiker

The Solo Stove Lite Backpacking Stove is an exceptional wood-burning stove with a very effective secondary combustion. It has base vents which allow air in. The air flows into the bottom from the grill and into the main combustion. The combustion process eliminates oxygen, which, coupled with the rising hot air, fuels fire at the base and also provides a boost to the preheated air through the bottom vents leading to a secondary combustion.

The solo stove has an inverted double wall design. It is basically two cans in one with a pot stand. Being double layered means that this stove burns wood more efficiently than a single wall can.

Air is heated and flows through the holes in the cans. This helps in burning the smoke which is produced by the burning wood on the inside can. When you burn wood and smoke you end up getting more energy.

The stove has two main components that make it as effective as it is. It has the burn chamber and a pot stand. The pot stand has three feet and a gap that allows you to add fuel to your fire. It is made of a metal ring. The three feet allow your cook pot to sit safely. The pot stand easily drops inside the burn chamber when inverted during storage.

This is an environmentally friendly stove that allows you to use leaves, twigs, wood and pinecones as fuel. It saves on space in your backpack and saves you the hustler of using expensive fuels.

It is easy to light, preserves a lot of energy thus cooks very fast and is also easy to clean. The fact that it burns up smoke twice means there is minimal smoke as you cook and you also use less wood.


  • Releases more energy with secondary combustion
  • Burns twigs and pinecones found in the field


  • Although light, compared to alcoholic beverage stoves it is heavier
  • The weight is a bit big for hiking

Related: If you’re going to purchase a camping stove you’re definitely going to want a pot to help you cook over it, right? Well, that’s what the Solo Pot 900 is for and it’s something a lot of people purchase with this stove.

Check the price on Amazon

Professional Multifunction Compass

Professional multifunction compass

Size: 2.5 x 2 x 1 inches

Price: Approximately $20

Material: Glass and Metal

The Professional Multifunction Compass is shake proof and waterproof at the same time. It has a radiant display on the inside making it ideal for night viewing.

This is a high-accuracy compass, which also has a reference table that enables you to estimate the distance and scope. It also has a sighting window which has a sighting line.

This compass, however, can’t be used too close to the magnetic field because the pointer can be disturbed. The luminous effect (which refers to having the phosphor under natural light) only occurs when there is natural light or a fluorescent light among others after irradiation. The longer the irradiation time, the more durable the luminous indication is.


  • Waterproof & shakeproof
  • Easy night use


  • Can’t be used near the magnetic field
  • Can be heavier than others 

Check the price on Amazon

Snow Peak Trek 900 Cookset

Snow peak trek 900 titanium cookset

Size: 5 x 5.5 inches

Price: Approximately $50

Weight: 6.2 oz

Capacity: 30 fluid oz

Material: Titanium

Specific features: Comes with a Titanium Pot Lid

Best Use: Wilderness Camping

The Snow Peak Trek 900 Cookset is a cook set that has three pieces in it; a lid that can serve as a frying pan, a mesh storage bag and the main pot. It is made of very light and rustproof titanium that does not leave behind a smell or taste.

The light nature of the pot makes it ideal for hiking. Both the pot and the frying pan (which can operate as a plate as well) have folding handles ideal for storage. The main pot features round bottom edges which improve the heating efficiency as well as make it very easy to clean.

On the side, just above the center is a welded sleeve that gives room for the two folding handles to rotate. The frying pan has a lip that is folded, giving it a strong and rounded edge. The fold over the handle of the pan has a locking mechanism that enables the handle to stay solid.

The Snow Peak Trek 900 cook set is ideal for all seasons and conditions from snow, rocky canyon, and desert to forest conditions. It is strong against the wind. It is light, compact and has strong handles that remain cool even when the pot is on fire.

It has guiding markings for different fluid volumes. The lid fits perfectly on the pot thus hastens boiling. Having the cook set being made from titanium not only makes it strong but also makes it scratch resistant.


  • Material and pieces are all lightweight
  • Boils water very fast for cooking or drinking
  • Works in all conditions


  • Titanium is a bit more expensive compared to other metals which make the pot a bit expensive.
  • The cooking surface is small. The cooking pot is long and narrow whereas the pan is small.
  • Both the pot and the lid do not have texture or ridges that can support the pot on the stove. This is, however, a minor setback.
  • The mesh carrying bag is taller than the pot which is not necessary. However, you can use this space to carry other items that you might need on your camping trip.

Related: For a total package with this cookset, you can go for the Solo Stove Lite, because water is not going to boil itself.

Check the price on Amazon

Sawyer Mini Water Purification System

Sawyer Mini Water Purification System

Size: 5.5 x 4 inches

Price: Approximately $20

Weight: 2 oz

Material: 0.1 Micron outright deep fiber membrane inline filter

Specific features: 1 – 16oz Squeeze Bag that can be Reused, Washing and Maintenance Instructions

Best use: Personal water treatment system for backpacking

If you are looking for the perfect water filter, the Sawyer Mini Water Purification System is what you should definitely get. It is one of the most versatile filtration systems that you can get. It is ideal for outdoor recreation activities such as camping, hiking, scouting, international and domestic travel and even in emergency preparedness. It is a light filter that fits into your hand, making it very easy to carry along anywhere you go.

The Sawyer Mini Water Purification System eliminates 99.99% of bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and cholera from your water. It also eliminates different types of protozoa which include cryptosporidium and giardia.

The filter can clean up to 100,000 gallons of water. The pack comes with a cleaning plunger, a 7-inch drinking straw, and 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch.

You can easily clip the Mini filter to the drinking pouch contained within, or you can use a drinking straw to get your water from the source. You can also either attach it on top of ordinary throwaway bottles (28 mm fiber) or better still connect it to hydration pack tubing (which is sold separately).

This Mini filter system is reliable, effective, easy to use and can be used in different ways. It has no batteries or moving parts which makes it hard to breakdown, thus it is reliable. The water treatment time is prompt. It is of great value especially when you are travelling, has a durable bottle and is easily affordable.

This water filter does not change the taste of water; the water remains fresh and cold just like you are drinking from a stream.


  • Can use directly in a stream or on a bottle
  • Small size and lightweight unit
  • Doesn’t require batteries or other moving parts


  • Not ideal for car camping or groups
  • Limited in use

Related: The Fast Fill Adapter ensures that your water filter can be attached directly onto a hydration pack so you can fill up your pack in a stream and drink it directly without having to worry about bacteria.

Check the price on Amazon

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

Length folded: 9 inches

Length unfolded: 15.5 inches

Price: Approximately $25

Blade length: 7 inches

Weight: 6.67 oz

Material: Steel with black powder epoxy coating for rust prevention

Best use: Wildlife enthusiasts, hunters, and campers.

The Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw is a multipurpose folding saw that can be used to cut plastic, bone, and dry and green wood, among other things. It is an invaluable tool ideal for outdoor activities. It is light, compact, reliable and easy to use. It has distinctive XT toothing which is hardened for extra sturdiness.

This makes it particularly sharp and fine, thus enabling fast cutting of objects. The Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw has a blade that is made of steel (heavy gauge) which makes it very stable. It also has an anti- rust coating which reduces friction, making it easy to saw.

The blade also has locks and folds inside the handle which makes it safe and easy to carry in the Laplander saw’s belt or in a rucksack. The saw also has a plastic handle and a leather strap which provide a perfect grip.

Even with wet hands, the handle works excellently; the chances of it slipping are very minimal. This is a safe to use saw that requires minimal energy to operate.


  • Features lock-in and lock-out capability
  • 7 ½ inch blade


  • Repeated sawing causes the low-friction coating on the teeth to come off revealing the sharp, shiny teeth.
  • Difficult to find replacement blades

Related: Keeping your saw sharp makes it less likely you’ll need a new one as quickly, which is why the Lanksy Dual Grit Sharpener is a great tool and often purchased with this saw.

Check the price on Amazon

Michael Josh Flint Fire Starter

Michael Josh Flint Fire Starter

Size: 5/16 x 3.15 inches

Price: Approximately $10

Weight: 0.95 oz per rod

Material: Flint (magnesium)

Best use: Hiking and Camping

When camping you definitely need fire and the Michael Josh Flint is ideal just for that. Whether you are a hunter, an angler or just love camping, you will fall in love with this fire starter which is ideal for all outdoor activities. It can also be used for gas stove ignition as well as backyard barbecue pits. It is very easy to use and works perfectly even in humid environments.

The Pure Magnesium Ferrocerium Rod Flint Fire Starter is safe to use especially when you have only a few leaves or pieces of dry wood to start a fire. This flint will get you a fire to keep you warm on a cold night outdoors in no time. This flint rod is made of 99.95% pure magnesium. It is affordable and easy to carry with you anywhere you go.


  • 95% pure magnesium
  • Can be used with minimal tinder


  • Requires a lot of pressure to get a spark
  • Produces very few sparks

Check the price on Amazon

Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet

Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet

Size: 17 1/3 inches

Weight: 45.8 oz

Face: 2.5 inches

The Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet works well in splitting large pieces of wood into smaller ones as well as splitting smaller woods to fit well into a stove. It is best used outdoors, but can be used indoors because of the small size.

This hatchet has a long handle, with a specially designed back for splitting the logs. It has just the right shape of the head (forged, heavy head shaped like a concave) and the right weight. These features make the Wetterlings Splitting Hatchet just perfect for splitting wood.

It has excellent cutting edges made from quality steel and has a leather sheath and a hickory handle that help prevent the rivets and the cutting edge from bumping each other. It closes with a single popper fastener. This hatchet can cut deeply into the wood without getting stuck.

It is beautifully made with a magnetic leather blade guard included. It is sharp, powerful, and versatile and comes ready to use. Although a bit high on the price, it is a perfectly proportioned splitting axe. The axe handle is also thicker compared to most axes in the market.


  • Hand-forged Swedish carbon
  • Comes with leather case
  • Offers 20 year warranty


  • Blade isn’t razor sharp
  • Handle is a little rough

Related: You should keep this hatchet’s handle in good condition, and for that you can take a look at Howard’s Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner.

Check the price on Amazon

Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife

Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife

Blade length: 4.43 inches

Blade thickness: 0.16 inches

Handle thickness: 0.92 inches

Blade hardness:  58 – 60 HRC

Blade style: High quality polished blade that has a pointed the edge

Weight: 7.72 oz

Price: Approximately $180

Length: 9.20 inches

Material: S30V stainless steel blade (58-60HRC); Brushed Full-grain leather, Flint Rod Hoop and holding Strap

The Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife is a well-balanced, functional and solid knife with a premium blade steel. The handle feels nice and has a beautiful design; it has hand molded and contoured green G10 handles, which are kept in the right position by pressed titanium tubing.

The hollow tubes inside the handle are good lashing points which allow you to convert the knife into a makeshift machete or spear.

This knife is made for supreme reliability and is ideal for both unplanned and planned adventures. The Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife is a sturdy knife ideal for almost every function that a knife should perform. Apart from the sheath which you might need to replace after a period of time, this is the perfect knife you need.


  • American made steel and manufacturing
  • Ergonomically molded handle


  • Low quality sheath
  • Some hot spots on the handle

Related: Keep the Benchmade Bushcrafter knife at your side for a good companion and along with Exotac fireROD fire starter, plus the Fieldguide For Bushcraft 101, you’re all ready to go on an adventure.

Check the price on Amazon

Ready For Your Buschcraft Adventure?

If you are just starting out on outdoor activities, these are some of the best tools that you will need to take with you. These tools can easily fit in your backpack and are light to carry, which makes them great for long or short trips. So now, strap your shoes and let’s go discover Mother Nature!

Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.