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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default multi-tool necessity?

    I'm planning a hike with my husband and I already have a sheath knife I'm taking - I know bulky, but it's my trusty blade I've had since I was a kid and it's coming with me.
    For my husband, we're trying to decide between a folding knife or a multi-tool. Already taking separate nail clippers and tweezers. Other than that, when would need for other tools come up on the trail?
    Tell me what small tools you have used or wished you had while thru hiking and why they were important!

  2. #2

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    Did the whole AT with mini Swiss Army knife. Scissors handy.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Multi -tool with a corkscrew is a must. Just think a bottle of wine walk out of town up to a overlook and a full moon oh yeah

  4. #4
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    I'm carrying a Multitool only on trips where I'm alone under harsh conditions where any failing equipment might be dangerous (like multiday solo snowshoeing) and a multitool might provide the means to do a field repair.
    Another reason was when doing Middle East desert hikes I liked to repair shoes and sandals for locals and fellow hikers.
    Any other hike, its a tiny Swiss knife in my pocket and nothing else.

  5. #5

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    Look your camping gear over, and I think you’ll find that not much is needed to repair/maintain it. Just get something with only items you might actually use.
    Useful items:
    -scissors
    -knife
    -needle nose pliers (for stuck zippers, etc.)
    -needle and thread

  6. #6

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    The only tools I felt were necessary were, scissors (cutting mole skin and hydrocoloid patches), tweezers (tick removal). I carried a plate compass with a built in magnifying lens to assist with tick ID and removal.

  7. #7
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    "Just think a bottle of wine walk out of town up to a overlook and a full moon oh yeah"
    I think that there are now plenty of good wines inside screw top bottles..
    besides, do you go back to town to return the bottle ?

  8. #8
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Of course not we always go forward....
    And disposal of all trash responsibility

  9. #9
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Default

    Besides that, I was just poking fun because of a recent post about a multitool/corkscrew combo.
    So lighten up there Franco....

  10. #10

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    Not a drinker, but I've found a corkscrew useful for something (besides bottles) on just about every hike I've done.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Besides that, I was just poking fun because of a recent post about a multitool/corkscrew combo.
    So lighten up there Franco....
    I already have.. by using a little knife without a corkscrew.

  12. #12
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Haha, well played

  13. #13

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    I use tools for trimming nails and mustache, cutting cordage, and gear repair. I think I could get by with scissors, tough thread, and a needle to match the thread. Others might find cutting nails with scissors challenging or dangerous, especially when switching hands.

    I am not a thruhiker (yet) but I have accumulated more miles and days on the AT than a typical thruhiker, just not in all the right places to be a 2000 miler.
    Hot water, hot ramen, burning alcohol, all in my lap

  14. #14

    Default

    The little SAK 21g classic is fine. I never thought I'd require anything more but sometimes something resembling an actual knife is needed so I added an Opinel #6.

  15. #15
    Garlic
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    Ditto the comment above about bringing only the tools you need to repair the gear you carry. Along those lines, someone wise taught me to not buy hiking gear for which a repair kit is sold.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  16. #16

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    I carried a multi-tool for years under the "just in case" rationale, along with a sewing kit and jackknife for minor repairs and fashioning things. I recall the day the multi-tool came out of the pack for an impromptu "weigh in" of all my gear and was astonished it was half a pound (8.3 ounces) and only recalled useing it once in six years to relieve a stuck zipper on my pack. Being a spreadsheet fan, that day I started three lists of gear, weights, and frequency of use of items I usually took with me for week long, weekend, and day hikes. After each hike I would go through the list and record what was used and what stayed in the pack. I stayed with that process for a considerable time and found the multi-tool along with a few other bits of gear were not used much, if at all.

    Armed with that information, I figured out a standard jack knife sufficed for most anything and was able to leave the multi-tool at home. I started applying the use list for other gear that rode with me a lot but was seldom used. Suffice to say, using the checklist and scale I was able to sort out gear I actually used from gear that was nice to have but seldom used and substantially reduced pack weight. These lists has been very useful over time and remains one of the best objective tools to sort through gear to either come out of the pack or reinvest in lighter alternatives as budget allows.

  17. #17
    Registered User carouselambra's Avatar
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    I am a fan of the Micra by Leatherman. I carry one while hiking and on my key ring. The ones that have been confiscated by TSA at checkpoints are usually for sale on eBay for much less than when new. Pro Tip: For hiking, I have a twelve inch light rope tied to my Micra on one end and to the key attachment in the mesh pocket of the brain of my backpack on the other end. This was a lesson learned after leaving one behind after scissoring something open on a break.

  18. #18

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    I would add the needle and thread too. And yes, the Fontana Dam marina DOES sell a little sewing kit. Lucky for me.

  19. #19
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    The smallest SAK does the trick for me, and I have the one with the nail clipper for longer hikes. I carry a handful of zip ties for repairs.

  20. #20

    Default

    Zip ties! That is great tip. Thanks

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