If you do a lot outdoors, having the right equipment is essential to your own safety, and to accomplishing the task you set out to do. For example, supposing you are using a cheap, breakable hatchet that you found for a great deal (because no one else wanted it!). If a part of the axe broke, it could hurt you, or someone else standing near by.
A good all around tool for anyone, whether you live in the city or the country, and whether you have been a logger way up North for twenty years, or have lived in the city all your life and are just a kid, is a knife. I don’t mean a huge machete hanging in a gigantic sheath from your belt (although some people do have them, they are not very practical for everyday use)! I mean something small with a two or three inch blade. Something that you could carry in your pocket, or on your belt.
The reason a knife is such a good all around tool, is because you can use it in lots of different situations. If you’re trying to clean something out of a very thin crack, just use the blade of your knife. If you are opening a box or package sometimes you need a blade to tare through some tape or something. Or you might use it to cut the string of a straw bale. There are countless other reasons and situations where you could use a knife, which is why you should not just go grab the first cheap knife you see.
Depending on what you are using it for, you will want different kinds of knives. A good one for a lot of people is a two or three inch long folding blade knife. Of course some people will prefer a fixed blade knife (stored in a sheath at your belt). A fixed blade knife is usually stronger, because it does not fold in the middle. However, they are a little less handy to carry around, and sometimes can make it hard to run if they bang against your leg. In my opinion, probably the most handy option for a knife is a multi-tool. A multi-tool usually has a knife blade, plus all the extra tools, sometimes including a screwdriver, pliers, bottle opener, saw, file, scissors, wire cutters, and lots of other things. I have a multi-tool in a case on my belt that I carry around all day, and I never have to worry about it falling out of my pocket or rubbing against my leg. You could also use a utility knife. They are sharp but very breakable so I don’t recommend using one.
I have a friend who has collected over thirty knives of every shape and size! This is really handy for him, because whenever he is going outside, he can grab whatever knife best suits the job he is going to work on.
The more expensive a knife is, probably the better quality it is. Before you buy your knife, it is a good idea to look up reviews about the knife you are thinking about, or to ask someone you know who has bought something with the same brand name.
Remember, a knife is a blade and you have to be careful when using it. A dull knife will more likely slip from whatever you are cutting, which could cut you. So it is generally better to have a good sharp knife.
Make sure you know what kinds of knives are allowed in your area, and if there are knives that are not legal, don’t buy it if you are offered one!