It’s time for the annual camping trip to Wyoming and we in the Deerslayer household are busily preparing. There’s much to be done; checking out the camper (greasing the bearings, checking all the seals, topping off the propane, and such), planning the meals, packing bedding, towels, paper plates, cutlery. We’re driving from the southern-most tip of Texas to Wyoming and there will be no running home for stuff we forgot.
Part of a successful camping trip is being prepared. Having fabulous food is the most important thing. And appropriate beverages. But nothing can throw a damper on the occasion like starting to slice some beautiful tomatoes, a mouth-watering steak or sausage, only to discover that your knives are dull and won’t stand up to the job. There are three things to consider when packing knives for a camping trip:
- Choose the knives you will want to have with you.
- Be sure that they are sharpened to perfection.
- Transport them in a way that no one gets hurt.
Before you leave for a camping/hunting trip, you should have, to a certain degree, your meals planned out. Are you planning to grill steaks, prepare some cuts of venison, chop any veggies for salad or pico de gallo? Slice some bolillos, baguettes, or banana bread? Keep these things in mind as you choose your knives for the trip.
Because we spend a good deal of time camping (not as much as we’d like!) I keep duplicates of all my most used knives in our camper. Starting on the left, I chose a medium all-purpose knife, a small chopping knife for onions, jalapeños, garlic, and such, a larger butcher knife for meats, a huge heavy butcher knife for ribs and the like (Deerslayer is roasting a couple of small wild pigs on this trip), two sizes of fish fileting knives which are my favorites for removing fascia (silver skin) and sinew from cuts of venison and wild pork. I particularly like these two knives because they have very thin blades, a long, sharp tip, and their own leather sheaths. I also keep 4 steak knives to use with our meals. There’s nothing more aggravating than trying to cut into a delicious steak with a plastic knife!
Sometimes, the Crock Sticks come with a plastic, protective shield to help prevent cuts. If you are sharpening many knives with gusto and exuberance, as Deerslayer often does, it doesn’t hurt to provide a little added protection, thus the oven mitt. (Trust us on this!)
Once you’ve decided which knives to bring, be sure that they are perfectly sharpened. It’s not that hard to do at home and, ohhhh, so worth it. Deerslayer always sharpens my knives to perfection. He uses Crock Sticks which are available from various sources on the internet. He’s used the same sharpening apparatus for years. The ceramic rods, while very breakable, can be cleaned with abrasive cleanser to remove the metal dust that accumulates during the sharpening, allowing the Crock Sticks to be used for many years. YouTube provides several tutorials on using the Crock Sticks sharpening system. Deerslayer learned the importance of keeping all our knives razor-sharp from his dad, who knew a knife was sharp enough when he was able to shave the hair from his arm with it. I’ve really been spoiled when it comes to having perfectly sharpened knives at the ready. It’s important to note that it isn’t necessary to pay a fortune for “designer knives” to have professional quality tools. A sharp edge can be achieved at home.
Once you’ve decided which knives you’ll be needing, choosing a safe way to transport and store the knives can be tricky. There are fabric and leather pouches available that have pockets for each knife. The pouch rolls up and ties closed. In my book, that’s money that doesn’t need to be spent plus the pouch doesn’t allow me to grab what I’m looking for. I stumbled upon this method that keeps my knives at the ready while not taking up space in my camper drawers.
The cardboard cylinders from paper towels and gift wrap make safe transport sheaths for my knives. Rubber bands keep everything in place.
Knives can even be stored in the concocted sheath in a shoebox or drawer of a camper. No cuts while rummaging through the knives!
Trip to Wyoming:
- menus – check
- food and beverages – check
- camper – check
- towels and bedding – check
- knives – check
It’s gonna be a great trip!