Ask any avid outdoor enthusiast what piece of gear they always recommend and 9 out of 10 will tell you to bring a knife. They are one of the most versatile tools you can bring, regardless of what types of activities you are pursuing.
From hunting and fishing to hiking and camping, you’ll rarely have a day go by without wishing you had a knife in your pack.
Double action OTF knives are probably the best choice for those who spend a lot of time outside. They are super practical and easy to use and pack. Keep reading to see why OTF knives are the best choice for your next adventure.
What Are Double Action OTF Knives?
An OTF, or out the front, knife contains the blade inside the handle until you need it. This keeps the blade secure so you can store a knife in your pack or pocket without worry.
Out the front knives use a spring mechanism to automatically release the blade forward out of the handle, locking it in place.
A double-action OTF knife is one that also closes automatically when the button is pressed, versus a single action OTF knife that requires you to manually retract the blade back into the handle.
Double action OTF knives are the most convenient and easy to use automatic knives you can get. Here’s how they can make your time outdoors even better.
1. Make Camping Easier
Everyone who camps on a regular basis knows the importance of a trustworthy knife. They come in handy for so many things when setting up and enjoying your time in the woods.
When you are out in the woods, lightening your load is extremely important. You can’t bring everything with you. You need to be very selective about the gear you bring. Each piece needs to serve multiple purposes.
OTF automatic knives can replace multiple tools you might normally bring. Leave the can opener, scissors, and ax at home.
First off, you’ll need a knife for cooking. From cutting up sausage and cheese, to cutting open a can of soup, you’ll find yourself reaching for your knife constantly.
You can also use a good knife to cut branches and firewood if you need to. You can use a knife to remove poorly located bushes, plants, or branches to make camp more comfortable and use that debris in the fire as a bonus.
Forgot your tent stakes? We’ve all been there. Use your knife to sharpen sticks to use as makeshift stakes.
You probably have some type of cord or rope with you. If you have 1 long strand, you might need to cut it into smaller pieces for different jobs. You might need a piece to hang a food bag at night from a tree, preventing bears or raccoons from getting into it.
You might need a small piece to tie oversized gear items to the outside of your pack. You can also use some for a clothesline to dry out clothes after a rainy day or unfortunate fall into the river.
2. A More Effective Fisherman
When you are spending a day on the water, you’ll need an easy-to-use knife that you can extend and close all with one hand.
If you plan on keeping your catch, you’ll want to treat the fish humanely and put it out of its misery right away, rather than letting it suffocate for a while. When you land a large fish onto the boat or shore, you might need to hold the fish down with 1 hand while reaching for and accessing your knife with the other hand.
You can use the knife to sever the gills and bleed the fish. Doing so as soon as you catch the fish can improve the quality of the meat.
A knife will also come in handy when needing to cut the fishing line before it gets too tangled. If you forget your nippers, a knife will allow you to swap out hooks and lures easily.
3. An Essential Hunting Tool
Every hunter needs a knife they can rely on. When you are lucky enough to finally harvest the animal you are after, whether a trophy deer or a small squirrel or rabbit, you’ll need to pull your knife out.
Using a knife when harvesting big game allows you to field dress the animal if necessary in order to pack the animal out on your back. Otherwise, if you are close to your vehicle, you can take care of that on the back of your truck or back at home.
Regardless of the size of your animal, if it’s hot out, you’re going to want to skin the animal and store the meat in a cooler as soon as possible. High-end OTF knives make this process much less of a hassle.
If you are on a weeklong deer or elk hunt, but you want to eat fresh meat each evening, you can likely find small game or birds which you can process and cook right at camp with a solid knife.
4. Make Watersports Safer
Those who spend a lot of time in, under, or on top of water should always have an automatic knife nearby. There is a lot that can happen in a moment’s notice and you need to be prepared.
For freedivers and spearfishers, for example, you are holding your breath underwater. If you get tangled, you have very little time to figure out a way back to the surface. People occasionally get tangled in fishing line or long kelp. Having a knife strapped to a wetsuit can literally save your life.
For those who enjoy paddle sports, whether it’s a raft, canoe, or kayak, a knife should be kept in your PFD (personal flotation device) at all times. You never know when you will flip over or be thrown from your vessel. It’s possible to get tangled with ropes or straps from your kayak.
You also never know when your boat fails you or you get lost. You may need to make an emergency shelter. Having a reliable knife with you allows you to make shelter, fire, and catch and cook food.
5. Be a Smart Hiker
Whether you are on a short stroll through the woods, or hiking miles into the wilderness, there’s no reason to be without a knife. To enjoy hiking to the fullest, your backpack needs to be comfortable.
There are often adjustments that need to be made to make our packs more efficient and comfortable. You can cut useless straps from your pack or remove buckles that might be poking your back.
You might also need to make some improvised clothing changes. Forgot your headwear but have an extra t-shirt? Cut it up and make a DIY bandana.
Knives also make it easy to enjoy the snacks you brought. Easily spread peanut butter onto apples or bread or slice some cheese to pass around.
6. Administer First Aid
Nobody ever wants to think about first aid, but it’s essential to prepare when spending time outdoors. You should always have a basic first aid kit when you head into the wilderness for any length of time. It only takes a moment for something to happen.
You can handle many small inconveniences while outdoors with a knife. You may be able to remove a splinter with the knife tip. If you get a blister, you can cut a small piece of moleskin to cover it up.
If an accident causes severe bleeding, you can quickly cut a piece of clothing to use as a tourniquet in order to decrease blood flow. You can cut up large bandages and create a splint if needed.
Because the top OTF knives have high-quality steel blades, they can be used to cauterize severe wounds. Because out the front knives have handles, you can hold out the blade over a fire to heat it up until it is glowing red.
7. Protecting Yourself
And of course, having a personal knife at all times can serve as self-defense. Of course, you never want to think of using your knife this way, but at least you have it.
And even if you never have to use it, you’ll always feel a little safer knowing that you have it. Peace of mind can help you stay calm and make better decisions.
There are many animals that live in areas where people recreate every day. Most will stay away from people and have no desire to hurt them. But it helps to have a knife handy for those rare times when we run into the wrong animal at the wrong time.
7. Protecting Yourself
For anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, it’s always a good idea to keep a knife with you, either in your pocket, backpack, or clipped to your clothing. You never know when you are going to need it, but you will definitely need it at some point.
Keep it handy, keep it clean, and keep it sharp. It will serve you well for a long time.
We have an incredible selection of double action OTF knives available at affordable prices. Check out our selection of the best double action OTF knives and get yourself a knife you can trust today.