We all know a multi-tool is handy to have around. But did you know it could also help you with the most important job: staying alive.
Here’s ten ways it can do just that.
Fix Your Rig
Sometimes a survival situation involves a grizzly bear, or a fall from a cliff, but these situations often start out under more mundane circumstances. For example, your car slides off the road in the wintertime, or the outboard motor on your boat breaks down while you’re on the far side of a large lake. Your ability to make minor repairs can be the difference between making it home alive and staying at the scene of the accident for good. By carrying a Leatherman, you’ll know that if you need a small hand tool to get you out of a tricky situation, you’ve got it.
Escape a Drowning Vehicle
One of the worst places you can find yourself is in a car that is rapidly sinking in water. By keeping a Leatherman Z-Rex, in your car, you’ll be prepared to handle this situation. Use the strap cutter to remove your seat belt. Firmly grasp your tool, lean back, and smash your side window (hydraulic pressure makes it almost impossible to open your door), hold your breath and swim to the surface.
Make a Shelter
Survival instructors preach that the biggest priorities in a survival situation are shelter, water, fire, and food, in that order. Packing a saw, a knife, and a pair of pliers at all times will keep you prepared to build an impromptu shelter, no matter where you find yourself stranded.
Start a Fire
Your multi-tool is the perfect striking surface for a ferrocerium fire starter and the knife and saw can help you collect dry wood and make shavings for tinder, even when the woods are wet. The Leatherman Signal comes with a built in ferrocerium rod/whistle.
Signal for Help
The Leatherman Signal includes a signal whistle, which can help rescuers find you even if you are unable to move and are in thick screening cover. You can also use your Leatherman to start a signal fire, or carve messages into tree bark that will let rescuers know where you are.
Blaze a Trail
Speaking of carving messages in bark, your knife and saw can be used to blaze a trail as you set out, in case you return after dark or just get turned around, by walking the opposite way you did when you entered the woods. The best way to stay alive in a survival situation is not to get into one, and staying found is one way to do that.
Make a Fish Hook
With the pliers and file on your multi-tool, you can make a fishing hook out of the tab from a soda can, a piece of stout wire, or almost any other piece of soft metal. Fish fry anyone?
Opening a Can
Say you’re lost in the Alaskan wilderness and you come across a trapper’s cabin stocked with several cans of beans. Which would you rather use to open the can, your Leatherman or a rock? And we all know about the backcountry heroes who break out their multi-tool to open a bottle of wine.
Perform First Aid
Small medical problems can become big problems if you’re not prepared. Knowledge of basic first aid skills goes a long way. And combined with your multi-tool, there are a number of uses that can help you bridge the gap between field care and definitive care. Common first aid measures include pulling splinters, porcupine quills, removing a fish hook from a hand, cutting off clothing to to assess wounds and make bandages, and cutting tape and gauze for first aid applications.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, and make it back to your loved ones in one piece.