There’s nothing quite like the open sky and twinkling stars over your head at night. Going camping is an American right of passage and one of the best inexpensive recreation options available. If you’re getting ready for this years camping season make sure you don’t forget to bring the right tools along. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best camping multi tools as well as a buyers guide to make choosing your favorite a breeze.

Best Camping Multi Tools

You’ll have different tool needs depending on where you’re camping and how you’re getting there. If you’re in an RV or going car camping you can afford to go with the largest and most capable tools available.

For hikers or other folks hoofing their gear into the backcountry size, weight, and multi role functionality become much more important.

With that in mind we’ve picked out some of the best traditional multi tools, shovel/axe based tools, and ultra light additions to help everyone find the perfect tool for their needs.

Leatherman Signal

Leatherman Signal Camping Multi Tool

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The Leatherman Signal was designed to be the ultimate hiking, camping, and survival multi tool. It’s a full size butterfly fold style tool with a mix of general use and camping specific tools. It packs 19 tools into a 4.5 inch long body while weighing just 7.5 oz. These tools include:

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Regular Wire Cutters
  • Hard Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper
  • Awl With Thread Loop
  • Hammer
  • 420HC Combination Knife
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • 1/4 in Bit Driver
  • Saw
  • Bit Driver
  • Hex Wrench
  • Carabiner
  • 3/16 Hex Wrench
  • Safety Whistle
  • Ferrocerium Rod
  • Diamond Sharpener

The saw and main knife blade are both outside accessible tools. The saw is the perfect size for cutting through small to medium branches for firewood. The knife is just under 3 inches long and has both a straight and serrated section. This lets you cut just about anything, from jerky to rope, without issue.

The wilderness specific tools are mainly built into the base of the tool or removable from slots on the side. The ferro rod is quite small but capable of producing a tinder fire with a bit of practice. The diamond sharpener and whistle are equally useful. They allow you to signal for help and touch up your knife and saw blade in the field.

We really like the hammer point on the end of one handle. It eliminates the need to carry a hammer or mallet when setting up your tent for the night.

The Signal is a big, capable multi tool with significant camping functionality. It’s definitely on the high end of the price spectrum but its combination of general purpose utility, outdoor specific tools, and Leatherman quality make it a great contender for best overall camping multi tool.

Gerber Downrange Camping Tomahawk Multi Tool

Gerber Downrange Tomahawk Camping Multi Tool

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The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is a camping multi tool designed to be lightweight yet highly durable. It’s made from 420HC stainless steel with G-10 composite handles in an attractive desert tan.

The axe itself has a full tang design that provides maximum strength. The axe head has been hollowed out to reduce overall weight without lowering the strength at the point of impact.

One of the great things about the Downrange’s design is its multi purpose utility. It has a full size pry bar built into the end of the handle, allowing you to both chop and pry at things. It comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath to make carry safe and easy.

If you want a quality camping multi tool axe that’s rugged yet lightweight the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is an excellent option.

Off Grid Tools SA100 Camping Hatchet Multi Tool

Off Grid Camping Multi Tool

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The Off Grid Tools SA100 survival and camping hatchet is an axe based multi tool that combines lots of useful tools for on and off the grid use. It’s just under a foot long, has a full tang carbon steel body encased in nylon handles, and packs in 30 unique features and tools. These include:

  • Axe
  • Hammer
  • Claw Nail Puller
  • 10 Hex Wrenches
  • Replaceable 6 inch Saw Blade
  • Glass Breaker
  • Seat Belt Cutter

The main tool on the SA100 is the hatchet/hammer combo. The hatchet takes up the front of the body and has a rounded blade profile. This makes it perfect for chopping and splitting small limbs for a campfire or shelter. The hammer is great for pounding in tent stakes or nails.

When you add in the replaceable saw blade you have everything you need to cut and prepare wood for a roaring fire. The remainder of tools on the SA100 are great add ons that fulfill several useful roles alongside the main tools. They aren’t camping specific but do give you a nice bonus for keeping it in your car.

The SA100 is a survival focused tool that’s just as useful on a weekend camp as it would be in a true emergency situation.

IUNIO Camping Axe Multi Tool

Iunio Camping Axe Multi Tool

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The IUNIO Camping Axe Multi Tool is a modular camping multi tool designed to fulfill the key tasks of setting up a campsite. It’s just under 17 inches long, weighs 2 lbs, and incorporates 10 different tools, including:

  • Axe
  • Hammer
  • Fish Scaler
  • Hammer
  • Ferro Rod
  • Knife Blade
  • Mini Saw
  • Bottle Opener
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Compass

The Camping Axe has a carbon steel head on a hollow aluminum handle. One side is the axe bit and the other is the hammer. Within the handle are several compartments that can be screwed open or closed.

These contain the bottle opener, whistle, fish scaler/saw blade, and the ferro rod. The Camping Axe gives you everything you need to chop firewood, clear a campsite, prepare tinder, get it going, and even get your catch of the day ready to go on the fire.

It’s priced well for the value it brings you and is sturdy enough to last through lots of camping trips.

Zippo AxeSaw Camping Saw Multi Tool

Zippo Saw Camping Multi Tool

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Zippo is best known for their iconic lighter and other firestarting products but has also dipped their toes into the multi tool world. The Zippo AxeSaw combines an axe, saw, and hammer into a very compact package.

The AxeSaw is just over 20 inches long, a great size for a packable axe. It has a 5 inch carbon steel head on one side and a durable hammer on the other. The axe is perfect for chopping, clearing brush, or splitting small logs for a fire.

What helps set the AxeSaw apart from competitors is the design of its safety sheath. It’s made from durable composite materials with a rubber overlay. Between the bottom of the axe bit and the end of the handle runs a 15 inch long self-tensioned saw.

The combination of an axe and a saw gives you everything you need for camping wood processing. You can saw limbs into a manageable size then split them into useful pieces of firewood.

If starting and feeding your campfire is a primary camping concern of yours the Zippo AxeSaw is a sturdy, well designed tool that won’t let you down.

We have a great article you might enjoy on the best folding saws.

FiveJoy Folding Shovel Camping Multi Tool

FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multi Tool

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The FiveJoy Folding Shovel Camping Multi Tool is built to provide you with everything needed to set up a perfect campsite. It gives you 9 different tools packed into the body of a shovel, including:

  • Shovel
  • Saw
  • Axe
  • Hammer
  • Ferro Rod
  • Knife Blade
  • Mini Saw
  • Bottle Opener
  • Ruler

The entire shovel tool is made from stainless steel with a handle of aircraft grade aluminum. This gives it significant strength without greatly increasing its weight. The shovel head encompasses the main saw, ruler, axe, and hammer function all in one.

To access the other tools you unscrew different segments of the handle. The ferro rod, saw, and knife are hidden within. The whole thing comes with a sturdy nylon carry case and a strap to better carry it on your shoulder.

If you’re like us you love single tools that fulfill a lot of roles. The FiveJoy Folding Shovel lets you level your campsite, dig a cat hole, pound in tent stakes, and start a fire all in one. It’s an excellent tool to take with you on your next camping trip.

IUNIO Camping Folding Shovel Multi Tool

Iunio Portable Folding Shovel

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The IUNIO Folding Camping Shovel is an adjustable shovel tool with a variety of other useful tools built right into its handle. It packs in 9 different tools, including:

  • Adjustable Shovel
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Hoe
  • Fish Scaler
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Ferrocerium Rod
  • Bottle Opener
  • Nail Extractor

The shovel head contains more than half the included tools. It acts as the saw, the shovel, the hammer, the hoe, and the bottle opener. The remaining tools are contained within the lightweight aluminum handle.

To access them you unscrew the shovel at different places along the length of the handle. This gives you quick and easy access to the various tools. The shovel comes with a nylon carry case that lets you unscrew the handle and carry the shovel as compactly as possible.

The IUNIO folding camping shovel is a durable, inexpensive tool that gives you a lot of value in a very small package for a camping trip.

Leatherman Charge TTi

Leatherman Charge Titanium Multi Tool

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The Leatherman Charge TTI is quite possibly the finest multi tool available today. It’s made from high end materials, uses the latest in multi tool design, and was put together with all of Leatherman’s expertise. It’s a full size multi tool at 4 inches long and weighs a full 8.89 oz. It gives you 19 different tools, including:

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Regular Wire Cutters
  • Hard Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper
  • Electrical Crimpers
  • S30V Knife
  • 420HC Serrated Knife
  • Saw
  • Spring Action Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Hook
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Large Bit Driver
  • Small Bit Driver
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Diamond Coated File
  • Medium Screwdriver

The Charge TTi is basically an upgraded version of Leatherman’s wildly popular Wave+. It substitutes durable titanium in the handles and adds in a few other higher end touches. The most obvious is the high carbon S30V steel used in the main knife blade.

This is a very hard steel that holds an edge well yet still has excellent corrosion resistance. Each of the 4 outside access tools are just under 3 inches long, a great size for use in a camp setting. The saw especially is great for cutting through small to medium branches for shelter or fire building.

The needlenose pliers are perfect for pulling out a stuck fish hook by the lake or grabbing a hot camping pot out of the fire. The cutting hook is similarly useful for cutting fishing line, cordage, or opening up pouches of trail food.

One of the most often overlooked tools in a camping multi tool is the can opener. If you’re car camping there’s nothing like some fresh hot dog chili or corned beef hash cooked in the can over an open fire.

If you’re looking for a top of the line multi tool that also gives you a lot of value while camping the Leatherman Charge TTi is the tool for you. It’s expensive, but definitely worth the price.

For more information on the Leatherman Charge TTi, check out our full review here.

Nite Ize Doohickey Keychain Camping Multi Tool

Key Chain Camping Multi Tool

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The Nite Ize Doohickey is a one piece multi tool that’s perfect for EDC and hiking/camping trips. It’s a tiny little tool, 2.6 inches long and weighing just .4 oz, but still gives you a lot of value.

The Doohickey has 5 different tools built into its small body. The primary tool is a combination pry bar and flathead screwdriver. It’s great for opening up boxes, turning screws in lanterns or stoves, and generally performing small tasks.

Right behind the pry bar is a really nifty little bottle opener. You’ll quickly have your chosen refreshment open and ready to be enjoyed. There’s also a small ruler and three different sizes of hex wrenches. The Doohickey is designed to clip to your keys, onto a belt loop or bag, or be tossed into your pocket.

The Nite Ize Doohickey won’t work as a primary camping multi tool but it provides a lot of really useful features as an accompanying tool.

SOG Flint Camping Multi Tool

SOG Camping Multi Tool

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The SOG Flint is a camping multi tool built around an emergency signaling whistle. It’s made from anodized aluminum and 3 three different tools into one.

The whistle is piercingly loud, perfect for signaling for help should you get separated from your group or lost in the woods. If night begins to approach the ferro rod has you everything you need to make an emergency fire. It’s also great to get your campground fire going if you forgot your lighter.

The last tool on the Flint is a carbide glass breaker. It doubles as a self defense tool if you should ever need it.

Overall the Flint is a useful add on camping multi tool that lets you signal for help or start a fire while in the great outdoors.

CRKT Eat’N Tool Camping Multi Tool Spork

CRKT Spork Camping Multi Tool

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The CRKT Eat’N Tool answers the burning question of whether a utensil really can be a multi tool. It’s an easy to carry little spork made from durable stainless steel and available in a variety of finishes and colors.

The spork itself is perfect for eating campfire eggs, spooning up fall chili, or enjoying some nice hot oats on a cold winter morning. As befits any good camping multi tool it gives you a way to open up cold beer and soda. The included bottle opener is as good as any we’ve seen and the 3 hex wrenches are a good range of sizes for basic tasks.

Combined with the included carabiner for easy bag or belt carry the CRKT Eat’N tool is the perfect addition to any camping or outdoor EDC.

SURVCO Tactical Credit Card Axe Camping Multi Tool

Credit Card Camping Multi Tool

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The SURVCO Credit Card Axe is a multi tool that gives you the foundation for dozens of other tools. It’s basically a solid piece of stainless steel with the ability to pull apart into multiple useful tools.

The main use of the Credit Card Axe is as the head of an axe/tomahawk. The top of it is a sharpened axe blade that can be attached to a handle using cordage. There is also a saw, cutting hook, and several hex wrenches built into this section.

The center of the Credit Card Axe is a detachable arrow head with a band of useful rubber. It lets you quickly craft an arrow for a survival situation or to use for fun on a camping trip. The remainder of the uses are variants of these main tools.

The SURVCO Credit Card Axe is a well made tool that gives you a lot of useful features should your camping trip turn into a survival situation.

Last Man Camping Paracord Multi Tool

Camping Paracord Bracelet Multi Tool

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Anyone familiar with EDC will know about paracord bracelets. They’re survival tool fashion statements that combine useful cordage with a very nice woven bracelet. Last Man Survival Gear has taken this a step further with their Ultimate Paracord Survival Kit. It combines a paracord bracelet with several other useful items for survival.

There’s a compass, a miniature fishing kit, a ferro rod and striker, tinder, and of course 12 feet of paracord. It’s not as bulky on your wrist as you would expect and generally looks quite nice. The survival gear is contained within the weave of the bracelet and the ferro rod is used as the closing latch.

It gives you everything needed to start a fire, catch a fish, and tie a few things together. The Last Man Ultimate Paracord Survival Kit isn’t the only camping multi tool you’ll need but it does a good job filling in the gaps of other tools.

Leatherman Wave Plus

Leatherman Wave Plus Camping Multi Tool

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The Wave+ is Leatherman’s current flagship multi tool. It’s also one of the best selling multi tool lines in history, with millions made. It’s 4 inches long, weighs 8.5 oz, and gives you 18 full size tools, including:

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Regular Wire Cutters
  • Hard Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper
  • Electrical Crimpers
  • 420HC Straight Edge Knife
  • 420HC Serrated Knife
  • Saw
  • Spring Action Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Large Bit Driver
  • Small Bit Driver
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Diamond Coated File
  • Medium Screwdriver

As far as general purpose multi tools go it’s hard to beat the Wave+. The main tools are outside accessible and large enough to sort out nearly any issue. The bit drivers let you quickly adjust almost anything with a screw and the main pliers are perfect for grasping delicate or hot objects.

The saw blade in particular is perfect for powering through small to medium branches for firewood. You can then make a feather stick with the straight edge knife to really get the blaze going.

The Leatherman Wave+ is very nearly the best multi tool on the market today. It loses the overall top spot to its cousin the Charge TTi but is still an excellent camping multi tool at a very reasonable price.

For more information on the Leatherman Wave Plus, check out our full review here.

Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife

Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife

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Victorinox is famously known as the creator of the iconic swiss army knife. The Huntsman is one of their most popular products and will be familiar to anyone who was ever a Boy Scout or Girl Scout. It gives you 15 different tools in a 3.6 inch long body, including:

  • Large and Small Straight Edge Blades
  • Awl with Thread Loop
  • Corkscrew
  • Large and Small Flathead Screwdrivers
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Multi Purpose Hook
  • Wood Saw
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • Scissors
  • Keyring

The Victorinox Huntsman is a full sized swiss army knife with all the fixings. It has two knife blades, a well sized wood saw, and a selection of smaller tools. The tools don’t lock out but they do easily stay in place when used properly.

One of the most important parts of any good camping trip is cooking over a fire. The Huntsman gives you the tools you need to open up a can of beans and chili out in the field plus pop open your favorite beer or classic soda pop.

The tools are all made from quality steel and each fulfill their role beautifully. We especially love the included tweezers. They’re just right for plucking off the annoying ticks that inevitably climb their way into itchy places.

Victorinox has been making quality knives and multi tools for well over 100 years. Their products are well made, beautiful to look at, and provide a lot of value. The Huntsman pocket knife is no exception.

The Firebiner Fire-Starting Multi Tool

Firebiner Camping Multi Tool

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The Firebiner is a carabiner multi tool that incorporates a useful sparking firestarter right in. It has a few other interesting features that give it outsized usefulness for such a small tool.

The body of the carabiner is made from lightweight aluminum and gives you more than 5 different tools. The carabiner itself is useful for connecting various items together or holding your keys. It has a set of slots at the base that you can easily attach a keyring to.

The main feature of the Firebiner is the sparking fire wheel. It shoots out a spray of sparks great for lighting a grill, igniting a stove, or sparking a small tinder bundle. There’s also a sharp cutting hook good for slicing through things like fishing line and string.

The final tools are a flat head screwdriver and bottle opener. On a camping tool like the Firebiner the bottle opener is honestly one of the tools you’ll use most. It does a great job popping the top on ice cold beer or sodas.

For a simple carabiner multi tool the Firebiner packs a ton of value into a very small package. It’s a great tool to have on your next camping trip.

Buyers Guide for the Best Camping Multi Tools

The most important things to keep in mind with any multi tool are price, design style, and the types of tools included. As long as you focus on these areas you’ll be able to pick out the tool best suited to your needs

Price

There’s a pretty wide range of prices you can pay for a quality camping multi tool. You can get a workable basic model for around $30 or spend well over $100 on a top of the line model.

If you want something that will work as both a camping multi tool and an EDC piece you should expect to spend more.

Style

Camping multi tools are an interesting category. There isn’t really a consensus on what exactly one should look like.

You can find classic butterfly fold multi tools, one’s built into shovels, one’s designed around carabiners, and everything in between. The best camping multi tools therefore aren’t going to be one particular type.

If you prefer an axe or shovel model that will work great for you. Other’s prefer the compact size and portability of traditional multi tools.

Size and Number of Tools

Where you’re going and how you plan to get there affect the size of your multi tool and how many tools it will have. Car and RV campers can carry large tools with every attachment imaginable. Hikers and campers will be more likely to look for the lightest and most multi role tool they can find.

If you’re somewhere in the middle a traditional butterfly fold multi tool or pocket knife is probably going to be your best bet.

Handy Camping Tools

For dedicated hiking and camping enthusiasts picking the tools they carry is almost as much fun as the actual camping. There are some basic camping tools that any serious outdoorsman should bring with them for the best experience possible.

Knife – We’ll be 100% honest with you, if you’re going hiking, camping, or exploring without a knife you’re doing yourself a disservice. A high quality pocket knife is the absolute minimum tool load out you should bring with you.

The vast majority of camping multi tools will include a knife in them. Picking out the best one for your needs comes down to how you’re using it, how much upkeep you want, and how sharp you want it.

When it comes to camping and survival knives you should always try and carry more than one.

Axe – An axe is one of those multirole tools that you don’t know you need until you need it. Then you need it a lot.

A good axe can chop wood, clear a campsite, hammer in tent stakes, chop apart venison steaks, and do tons of other tasks. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, each with a job they do best.

It’s hard to find a true multi tool axe but if you can get a good one we definitely recommend it.

Awl – When we mention awls most people give us a funny look and ask what is an awl? At its most basic an awl punctures materials to allow you to thread string or another material through it.

Most people have used one without even realizing it. If you’ve ever added a hole to your belt you probably did it with an awl. They’re great for making field repairs under trying conditions.

If you’re working with leather, putting together a lean to, or designing a classic three pole campfire tripod having an awl available will really come in handy.

Saw – A saw is a great tool to have for hunters, hikers, and general outdoorsman. Ones around 2-4 inches long are perfect for sawing through small branches for a fire.

You can also use a saw to help you field dress a deer or other game animal or to help in basic carpentry tasks.

Shovel – A shovel is one of the most often overlooked tools to take into the backcountry. This is a mistake. A good shovel provides tons of useful features beyond just moving earth.

Planning to have a campfire? You should always have a shovel on hand to safely extinguish it in an emergency.

Practicing leave no trace principles? Try digging a proper cathole without a shovel.

There are lots of great options out there to choose from. You can get purpose built shovels, folding army surplus models, and even true multi tool shovels.

Ferro Rod – The ability to start a fire is the most basic requirement for wilderness preparedness. A ferrocerium rod, commonly called a ferro rod, is the most compact and reliable backup fire starting tool available.

They’re inexpensive, lightweight, compact, and reliably produce a spray of sparks. Even better, tons of great multi tools come with ferro rods built right in.

Hammer – Just about any multi tool can be used as a hammer in a pinch. Having a camping multi tool that comes with a purpose built hammer is a much better option though.

A quality outdoor hammer makes just about any task easier. You can hammer in tent stakes, baton wood effectively, and more easily build shelters.

You may enjoy our best multi tool hammers article.

Can and Bottle Openers – Let’s be honest, most of us are going out camping to rest and relax. It’s hard to enjoy your weekend in the great outdoors without the ability to open up your favorite iced beverages or canned goods.

Camping multi tools with can and bottle openers are worth their weight in gold if you realize you forgot the full size twist can opener.

Final Thoughts

When planning your next camping trip make sure you don’t leave a good multi tool out. The best camping multi tools provide you with tons of value whether you’re at a full service campground or 20 miles into the backcountry.

Look for well built models that fit your needs. Don’t worry about brand names as much as you look at pricing, materials used, and the type of problems it’s designed to solve.