There's little else in life that will make you feel more powerful—or useful—than carrying an uber-sharp knife. The one I always take with me is the Morakniv Eldris ($30). Swedish Morakniv has been building high-quality, inexpensive knives since 1891, and the Eldris, which has become a staple of my camping, watersports, and everyday kits, lives up to that legacy.
All Moraknivs are made in Mora, Sweden, and feature steel blades, either stainless, carbon, or laminated, and rounded, oversized plastic handles. The Eldris stands out because of its odd size; the 2.3-inch blade is actually shorter than the handle. Although it looks funny, I've found the short, fixed blade to be super useful. It allows me to put more pressure into a cut without feeling like the blade might break. I'm much more comfortable whittling hardwood with the Eldris than I am with knives five times its price. It works great for whittling shavings for a fire, grooming the perfect s'mores stick, or creating the occasional wood-carving.
The Eldris's stainless steel blade hasn't lost much bite after a year of consistent use. The flat, ground spine can be used as a striker for magnesium or fire steel, a handy feature to have on an adventure knife. The included plastic sheath does a good job protecting the knife in transport and gives a satisfying click when secured properly. If you spring for the Eldris Accessories kit ($50), you get a neck kit, which includes a lanyard, fire steel, and a secondary silicone button lock for added security.