Canoe & Kayak Magazine Expedition Tested : HELLE Wabakimi Knife

Expedition Tested Canoe Tripping Gear—Part Two: In Camp

By Conor Mihell 

Camping kit that proved itself on a eight-week, 600-mile wilderness canoe expedition across northern Quebec.

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As much as canoe journeys like our summer-long, 600-mile expedition in northern Quebec are defined by nomadism, we spend as much time (or more) stationary in camp. That reality makes gear like shelter, cooking gear and cutting tools just as important as canoes, paddles and packs in ensuring safety and enjoyment. Here are a few items that kept us comfortable in camp.

We were thrilled to field test the brand-new Helle Wabakimi knife, a traditional fixed-blade.  At first glance, the handcrafted Wabakimi certainly lives up to the Norwegian manufacturer's legendary reputation for making beautiful knives. But on a canoe trip, the Wabakimi's supreme versatility takes precedence over its good looks. Daily tasks for the razor-sharp, 3.3-inch blade forged in Helle's durable triple-laminated stainless steel included preparing tinder and kindling for cooking fires, cutting cheese and bannock, and gutting fish. It's no surprise the Wabakimi was designed by survival expert (and veteran canoe tripper) Les Stroud. The curly birch handle fits well in the hand and the knife carries securely and comfortably on a belt in a deep leather sheath.

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