Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
This gear and more like it is now available in the new Outside Shop, where Outside+ members receive a $50 discount on qualified purchases of $100 or more*. Learn more about Outside+ here and join now.
There’s an old man named Kurt up around Brainard Lake, Colorado who skis 250 days a year on ancient Voile telemark bindings mounted to a pair of skinny K2s he scored for $20 a thrift shop. He sticks to the trees on his own and everything he needs fits right into a fanny pack hanging off the back of his hips: Some beef jerky, a Pepsi, and a folding wood saw. A packable saw might now seem essential to most skiers, but we’re betting Kurt knows something we don’t. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few options, now available in Outside’s new Shop, that your backcountry pack might be better off with than without.
Barebones Hori Hori Ultimate Knife and Sheath ($55)
The Hori Hori Ultimate knife and sheath mimics the popular Japanese 13-inch gardening knife with inch marks on the blade and a serrated edge for sawing branches. The twine cutter doubles as a bottle opener and the walnut handle feels smooth as you pull it out of the sheath. Pound in tent stakes, dig a No. 2 hole in the woods (leave no trace!), or prep the kindling for your next backcountry fire. This is a timeless, stylish piece with a multitude of uses. BUY NOW.
Barebones Japanese Nata Tool ($65)
For bigger cuts, reach for the Japanese Nata Tool. Its solid steel core extends through the length of the hardwood handle, making for a more balanced swing weight at 1.5 lbs. Perhaps you’ll shave some bark or prune some trees to clean up that backyard tree run you’ve been curating for years. If you’re in charge of the next backwoods fire, you need this tool. BUY NOW.
Barebones No. 6 Field Knife ($75)
Keep it straight and simple with the No. 6 Field Knife and its high carbon tempered steel blade, reinforced by a full tang. Purposeful details like an inlaid copper lanyard ring, 900D polyester sheath, and belt clip provide everything you need and nothing you don’t. Forage for berries or carefully open that Amazon package you don’t remember ordering. If you need one knife to do it all, this is it. BUY NOW.
Gerber Armbar Cork ($39)
For a more American-style field tool (it opens beers), Gerber’s Armbar Cork features arsenal: corkscrew, foil cutter, pry bar, bottle opener, and can/package opener. Go ahead, flip open the knife or scissors with one hand. Just be careful, these blades are sharp. This is the multi-tool that belongs in your backcountry pack, glove box, or, yes, your purse. BUY NOW.
Gerber Center-Drive Bit Set ($121)
Opening beers in the backcountry is cool, but when you have serious work to get done, you need the full capability of the Center-Drive and Bit Set. It has a center-axis driver that opens to align like a real screwdriver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. With 13 bits to choose from and a slide-out set of heavy-duty pliers, you’ll be ready for most field repairs, but will probably reach for it at home, too. BUY NOW.
Gerber Flatiron knife ($42)
The Flatiron is like a mini meat cleaver in your pocket and takes on wood and those sausages you dragged into the backcountry for a post descent campfire snack. The Flatiron is 8.5 inches long and comes equipped with a frame lock and pocket clip for safe, easy access. BUY NOW.
SOG Aegis AT ($85)
The SOG (Studies and Observations Group) story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. This knife inspired the Aegis AT, an easy-to-carry folding knife, with a highly functional 3.1″ cryogenically heat-treated D2 steel blade that opens rapidly and stays open with a safety lock mechanism. BUY NOW.
SOG Camp Axe ($55)
Pair that with their lightweight Camp Axe with a ribbed grip and you’ll be prepared, no matter where you go outside. Ever been the person with a tool when a tool was needed? Yeah, it’s a good feeling. BUY NOW.
SOG Folding Saw ($20)
The same goes for the Folding Saw’s 8.25″ blade of hardened and tempered steel that makes short order of branches, small logs, and brush. A comfortable handle helps to cut deep and true on each and every pull stroke. The extremely sharp teeth are differentially tempered for long life and work on wood—we bet Kurt would approve. BUY NOW.
*For complete details see Program Terms. U.S. mailing address only; inventory quantities limited.