When you spend most of your time outdoors, there are few things more important than a good blade. The Joseph Bowen TAD Edition Micro Hatchet ($160) combines the small size of a knife with the tactical versatility of a hatchet into one useful cutting tool. In spite of its small size, it doesn't shy away from a serious task, thanks to a chisel-ground CTS-HXP steel blade. It includes a slip sheath designed to wear around your neck, making it as portable as it is stealthy.
We've seen some fancy knife handles in our day, but none more interesting than the ones you'll find on the ends of these Pearce Knives ($20-$75). Surprisingly affordable, these unique knives are made by a second-generation craftsman in the traditional manner of heating metal to high temperatures in a fire and then beating it with a hammer. The handles are made from all sorts of everyday objects, including horseshoes, bolts, rebar, railroad spikes, and even rasps, making them a nice mix of the old and new.
Looking for an all-purpose knife to carry on you pretty much everywhere? The Gerber Outrigger Knife ($35) should do just fine. Taking design cues from at least three prior models, the Outrigger features a fine edge blade, the company's Assisted Opening 2.0 technology for quick access, dual thumbstuds for one-handed operation, a pocket clip for keeping it handy, an open frame design to reduce the weight, a plunge lock for carefree closure, and a rubberized overmold for comfort. Also available in mini and XL versions.