I guess I can answer that question myself. Yes, I (or you) probably do need a jackknife. If anyone does any camping or bushcraft, it’s best to have a jackknife (folding knife) in their pocket, on their belt of in their bag. The reason for this is its versatility. I own a large survival knife as well as a nice jackknife and I will tell you that I end up using the jackknife more than the survival knife. It’s great for smaller tasks and even everyday tasks that have nothing to do with the outdoors.
One thing I want to mention before I go on though – when searching for the perfect folding knife, make sure it’s got a strong open lock mechanism. I remember a time when I was a kid; I was holding my small, cheap folding knife, that I bought from a flea market, in my hand. It had no lock to hold it in the open position. When I went to stab something (just fooling around), the knife folded and cut my hand. That wasn’t fun. Hopefully these knifes aren’t even sold today without a way to automatically lock them open.
Anyway, when choosing a jackknife for use in the outdoors, be sure to set your primary focus on the blade itself. This will be for smaller, lighter uses obviously, but the blade should be versatile and strong. If you’re going to buy a Swiss Army knife, get one of the larger models, such as the Hercules. And if you’re leaning towards a Leatherman, the same hold true. The Surge is a good design. Both of these models are larger than the traditional multi-tool knives, which means their blades are larger too. These are somewhat expensive knives, but they’re very good and they’re rated highly among users and those familiar with them.
As I said, these knives are used for a bunch of things, so before purchasing, think about what you’ll be using yours for and then buy the one that matches those uses best. Blade size and knife weight vary somewhat, so if you’re going to be skinning, you’ll need something larger and stronger and if you’re going to be cleaning fish, you’ll need something smaller and more delicate.
Do you own a jackknife? If so, what do you have? What’s the brand and model? Do you like it? Please let me know. Thanks!