- Written by Ben McKinley
- Category: Gear and Tech
- Published: August 13, 2015
If you are interested in knives you’ve likely noticed the recent trend toward tactical and military positioned gear. I get it. We all like to have a Navy-Seal-worthy weapon in our pocket when we need to peel an orange. I do love my Gerber DMF Folder Tanto, but it’s a bit of overkill for many of my car-camping and picnic needs.
Enter the Freescape series from Gerber. This is the perfect blend of beef and simplicity for the majority of our basic cutlery and chopping needs outside of the kitchen.
I recently tested the Freescape Camp Kitchen Kit and the Freescape Hatchet. I was impressed with both, and I recommend them for your outdoor activities where you’re not counting grams and you have a little extra room for products that work really well.
First, the Freescape Camp Kitchen Kit.
I was impressed with the clean design on this kit. It comes with a fixed-blade Camp Kitchen Knife and a Paring Knife. Both have bright green grips that are easy to spot and grippy to the touch. The carrying case doubles as a cutting board and stores both knives securely during travel.
The case has a three-stage position for opening. Why three stages? Because there is a handy ceramic sharpener that is exposed in the first setting to allow for good leverage while putting a fresh blade on your knife.
Nothing worse that fighting though a tomato skin or cut of meat with a dull blade. It’s no problem with this easy-access sharpener to ensure a razor sharp blade whenever needed. Forget about the days when you promise yourself you’ll sharpen it when you get home… and never do.
In addition to slots for each knife, there is also a space for a towel or wet wipes in the drawer. This is a convenient place to store sliced food while prepping the feast. Finally, the channel on the edge of the cutting board makes for clean prep and easy clean-up.
Sometimes it’s more about what you leave out than what you include. This is especially true in the feature-rich world of multi tools and knives. Simplicity is a good thing.
Next, let's take a look at the Freescape Hatchet.
This is a burly hatchet for all your campsite chopping and hammering needs. It comes with a hard steel, smooth surface blade for low-friction chopping and a blunt hammer to tap in your tent stakes.
The hatchet comes with two handy protective sheaths. One completely covers all metal services of the blade and hammer. At first this seemed like a lot of unnecessary plastic, but when traveling with family and loads of gear, a little extra protection for everything and everyone else makes sense. It’s got a convenient carrying handle and an easy-to-operate lever to secure the sheath snugly on the blade head.
The lower profile blade sheath comes with an elastic cord to secure it around the hatchet handle. When removed, it can be tucked into the base of the handle to avoid losing it. Then again, the bright green color likely takes care of that concern, too.
Mount Hood Alpine racing dad, ski mountaineer and free ride coach Ben McKinley is the CEO of Cascade Web Development in Portland.