Repair Kit and Tools
Knives are so useful in first aid, food preparation, repairs, and climbing that every party member needs to carry one. Leashes to prevent loss are common. Other tools (pliers, screwdriver, awl, scissors) can be part of a knife or a pocket tool, or carried separately—perhaps even as part of a group kit.
Other useful repair items are shoelaces, safety pins, needle and thread, wire, duct tape, nylon fabric repair tape, cable ties, plastic buckles, cordage, webbing, and parts for equipment such as tent and stove.
How much you take depends you are willing to carry, however always carry a knife.
The Practical Ten Essentials Knife
What is a practical "Ten Essentials" knife?
This is not the knife you normally carry in your pocket or on your belt. This is the knife that you keep hidden away in the Ten Essentials kit hoping you'll never need it. Let's look at the requirements.
1. Light weight - less than 3 ounces, preferable less than 2 ounces.
2. At least one blade, preferably locking if it's a folding knife
3. That's it.
Some desirable features to consider.
1. A Swiss Army type folding knife
2. A second blade
3. An awl to make holes
4. A saw blade to cut wood and bone
1. All other "blades" such as can opener, scissors, bottle opener, file, corkscrew, tweezers, toothpick, etc.
You can present a valid argument for all kinds of gadgets, a large chopping blade, etc. But the reality is that if it's too big or heavy, you will not carry it in your kit and that would defeat it's purpose.
Get either a 2 ounce plastic handled locking single blade knife, a Swiss Army knife with at least a blade and an awl, or a small fixed blade 3 ounce knife and put it into your Ten Essentials Kit and forget it. If and when the time comes and you have to dig into the kit, it will be there waiting for you.
There are too many good knives to recommend. Choose a reputable brand in stainless steel.
Some well-known brands are Gerber, Buck, Kershaw, Spyderco, Camillus, Schrade, Benchmade, Cold Steel, AG Russell, Wenger, Victorinox, etc.
In my kit, I carry an aluminum handled Victorinox with a blade, can opener, bottle opener and awl. Weight is about 1-1/2 ounces. It's been there since 1974.
Meanwhile carry whatever knife you relish / cherish in your pocket or belt whenever you venture outdoors.
Jim Yuen 3/2002
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