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  1. #1
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    Default Can Opener

    What are the pros and cons of carrying a light weight can opener?

  2. #2
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    Well, it is one more thing to carry, but if you're packing a P-38 (or maybe a P-51) then both size and weight are negligible. It's one of those things that might come in useful if you're really hiking long distance and never know what you might come across in a shelter box. Otherwise, it's not a necessary piece of kit.
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  3. #3

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    Most canned goods have a lot of water in them, that’s what makes them heavy. Maybe the food tastes better, but at the end of a full day’s hiking almost anything tastes pretty good, so you might as well pack lighter food.

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    A lot of the Swiss Army Knives have a can opener blade (with a screwdriver). Multipurpose, and always in my pocket.

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    Last time I carried one and actually needed it was back in the mid-80ies doing trips in the Middle East.
    Since then I never came again across a can needing a separate opener.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright View Post
    What are the pros and cons of carrying a light weight can opener?
    You end up carrying canned goods, which is mostly a con. I do have few items that I occasionally may bring in cans to be eaten relatively quickly, dolmades and sliced black olives come to mind.
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  7. #7
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    I've carried a P-38 with me constantly since my days in the Army in the 70's. The only time I recall using it was to scrape melted, re-hardened wax out of my candle lantern. But for it's size and weight, it's comforting to know if I ever come upon a shelter, starving, and find an unopened can of beans as old as me, I can easily and more quickly open it to poison myself with botulism, than having to scrape it in circles on a flat rock to break the lid weld. YMMV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolshed View Post
    I've carried a P-38 with me constantly since my days in the Army in the 70's. The only time I recall using it was to scrape melted, re-hardened wax out of my candle lantern. But for it's size and weight, it's comforting to know if I ever come upon a shelter, starving, and find an unopened can of beans as old as me, I can easily and more quickly open it to poison myself with botulism, than having to scrape it in circles on a flat rock to break the lid weld. YMMV
    +1 on the P-38. I’ve been carrying mine for almost 50 years. Good for cleaning finger nails, screw driver, etc. I’ve used it to open MREs, even cans.
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  10. #10

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    I carried a P-38, Korean War vintage, that my uncle gave me. Used it for years. One day, at an office that I was working at, no one could find a can opener to open the coffee can. I pulled the P-38 off of my key chain and everybody was able to get their coffee fix for the day!

    The following weekend, I was at a flea market and found a vendor who was selling P-38s for ten cents each. I bought 20 and passed them out at the office the following Monday. The cheap present was big hit with the recipients, and I wager the may of those P-38s are still on the key rings of many of the people that I gave them to.

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  11. #11
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    I bought a dozen P-51 openers (like the P38 but a bit larger) for ten dollars. Gave some away. For a few grams I do carry one, though don't carry cans any more. On a resupply I might just want a... something in a can.

    Then again, I'm not an ultralight hiker. To each their own.
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  12. #12

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    I'm dismayed at how few people and especially long distance hikers don't have can openers. It is a plain necessity for cooking. Tomato paste and sauce alone are reason enough to bring it and then there are olives, beans, vegetables, fruits. Those tomato squeeze tubes are all garbage and I have yet to find a decent powder either, excluding my own.

    Even if you only use it for the first meal you make after resupply its worth it. People dont cook anymore though. Bring a damn can opener, or don't and I'll just continue to shake my head.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by VeganHiker View Post
    I'm dismayed at how few people and especially long distance hikers don't have can openers. It is a plain necessity for cooking. Tomato paste and sauce alone are reason enough to bring it and then there are olives, beans, vegetables, fruits. Those tomato squeeze tubes are all garbage and I have yet to find a decent powder either, excluding my own.

    Even if you only use it for the first meal you make after resupply its worth it. People dont cook anymore though. Bring a damn can opener, or don't and I'll just continue to shake my head.
    Lots of people cook.

    Virtually none of us carry cans along the trail, however. But feel free to do so yourself without the need to shake your head or tell us to 'bring a damn can opener'.

  14. #14
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    Small but has great taste...no can opener needed

    81rZ0OeyBZS.jpg

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    Small but has great taste...no can opener needed
    Thanks but price and availability are still an issue and you still run into other items.
    81rZ0OeyBZS.jpg[/QUOTE]

  16. #16

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    For a stand-alone car opener you can't beat the Korean war surplus can openers which are lightweight, easy and quick to use. Nothing fancy needed.

    I use, with care, my 0.8 oz (25 gram) fixed blade knife for multi-resupply hikes (even buy as you go) where I open at most one can per stop. It is best for cans that don't have to be fully opened. It's a Buck knife but I can't find it online. It was probably purchased at a Walmart or hunting/fishing/camping type store.



    20220810_213416.jpg 20220810_213506.jpg 20220810_213248.jpg 20220810_221339[1].jpg

  17. #17
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    +P38 since 1968 has never left my keychain.

  18. #18

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    OP asked for pros and cons of carrying a can opener. Biggest con would be the it might tempt you into buying a canned good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    OP asked for pros and cons of carrying a can opener. Biggest con would be the it might tempt you into buying a canned good.
    The rewards will be gratifying

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright View Post
    What are the pros and cons of carrying a light weight can opener?
    The cons for me would be i would not have anything to use it on. I dont bring cans
    Trail Miles: 5,125.9
    AT Map 1: Completed 13-21'
    Sheltowee Trace: Completed 20-23'
    Pinhoti Trail: Completed 23-24'
    GSMNP900: 134.7(16.8%)
    Foothills Trail: 47.9
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    CDT: 210.9
    BMT: 52.7

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