Victorinox Huntsman Serves As Best Backpacking Tool

My mother gave me my first Swiss Army Knife (nervously, I’m sure) when I was very young, being around 7 or 8 years old.

It wasn’t the classic, red-handled model that carried the company to its worldwide renown, but a wonderful gift nonetheless to a little boy who dreamed of great adventures. It had a steel handle, with many tools, including a screwdriver, knife and saw.

I’ve always been something of a busy-body, taking off on little backyard-and-down-the-street adventures — sometimes unexpectedly — and this little knife made for a great companion.

Unfortunately, I think it got lost when we moved to Wisconsin.

I went without another Swiss Army Knife until this Christmas when I unwrapped a gift that seemed heavy for its size when giving it that pre-unwrapping evaluation. I was pleasantly surprised to see what seemed like an old friend.

Unveiling the Swiss Army Knife didn’t take long, and immediately, I noticed its distinguished build with a stark contrast between bright stainless steel and a dark red and brown wood handle.

It was a different model than my childhood companion, but by no means lesser. My girlfriend, Ashley, gifted me a Victorinox Huntsman. (Thank you, again.)

In short, it’s a good lookin’ tool, and I think one could make many projects a lot easier for folks. Here’s why:

As much as I enjoy camping and backpacking, I’m not always able to run off on those adventures near and far. That means that my 60-liter Osprey and all the gadgets inside often sit dormant until I can let them breathe the fresh backwoods air again.

Not the Huntsman.

This tool rests in my pocket daily, helping me with any number of tasks — also saving me trips to the junk drawer to fish out a screwdriver.

Swiss Army Knives are meant to be highly versatile tools, acting as a catch-all to daily household fixes, quick camping tasks, and so much more. It’s not a daunting hunting knife, nor is it just a set of pliers. These tools can fit whatever role when the time calls for it.

For campers, climbers, backpackers, speed-walkers, gardeners, readers, and everybody else in between who takes on small projects here and there, and spends a good deal of time inside or out, a Swiss Army Knife will likely help you in a pinch.

The Huntsman Specs

The Victorinox Huntsman is less than 4 inches long closed, and it’s about an inch in depth, making it just noticeable when padding down your pockets (assuring yourself you haven’t forgotten it).

Key Features:

  • Large blade
  • Small blade
  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle opener with screwdriver tip and wire stripper
  • Can opener with screwdriver tip
  • Scissors
  • Reamer with sewing eye
  • Wood saw
  • Hook
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • Lanyard ring

(REI does a great job at giving a quick overview of the Huntsman’s features in this video.)

What People Are Saying About It

Customers on Victorinox, REI and L.L.Bean gave this versatile pocket knife a near 5-star rating, with folks swearing by its durability, long-lasting relevance, and its natural ability to conform to any situation, both in the city and out in the woods.

Here’s what one reviewer, who goes by Foxraven, said about the Huntsman on REI’s website:


Only two in 30 years, huh? That’s impressive in itself, but what’s also important to highlight from this review is the pocket knife’s practicality for “the city, suburbs or wilderness!”

Having one tool that fits each of these environments saves backpackers precious time and space, allowing them to make quick fixes on the trail, while not compromising room in their packs.

While reading reviews for this pocket knife, some reviewers gave it a less-than-perfect score for one reason or another. For example, some said the hook was hard to open, while others didn’t quite see the corkscrew being as important.

One reviewer shared their disappointment on L.L.Bean’s website:


I must say, being able to personalize it would give it that bit extra. But, even if, this knife still sees 5-star ratings time and time again, striking up raving reviews because of its functionality at home and at camp.


I see the Huntsman being especially helpful while backpacking, because of its compact design and versatility, which benefits many types of backpackers, including ultra-light hikers who constantly evaluate their pack’s weight.

For many, this tool might just be your lifelong camping companion, while others will simply enjoy its convenience and durability.

I’ve had this tool nearby since unwrapping its Christmas-tree outer layer, and it’s come in handy on numerous occasions, without being burdensome to maneuver its many features.

Overall, the Huntsman ranks at about a 4.8 on average among these websites. As for me, I’d bump it up and give it a solid five stars — even without the ability to personalize it.