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Backpacker's Multi-Pliers

Provided your backpacking takes place mainly in the woods.
  [vote for,

There are also two things I would like to add to camping/backpacking multitool.

The first is a sparking device. A ferrocerium bar, preferably flat like the other tool blades, would sit in a channel in one handle. On the other handle, one of the blades would have a coarse file on its edge. The blade would be passed through a hole in front of the ferrocerium, throwing out sparks. This device could be engaged when the handle were fully open, and would benefit from sprung pliers.

The second is the clamp end of an X-Acto woodcarving handle. It would be a bit bulky, but would make a nice extra. The woodcarving handle take an amazing assortment of bits, including various chisels and gouges, a mini keyhole saw, even a 6.5” mitre saw blade.

That’s the idea. The rest is a rant.

Most of the campers and backpackers I know have owned at least one multi tool. Enough, it seems, that companies like Leatherman and Gerber are targeting them, making smaller and lighter tools with outdoorsy bits in them. As nice as these are, it’s hard to find a saw, file, awl, and scissors for under a pound, but you still invariably end up with at least four screwdrivers… and a corkscrew, and two knife blades, and a can and bottle opener. I have never packed canned food, but if I did I doubt the extra weight of a real can opener would put me off.

I would like to see a pair of backpacking pliers which contains only things of reasonable utility: The aforementioned saw, file, scissors, and awl – preferably an awl with more than a passing resemblance to a marlinspike. Fisherman’s style needle nose pliers. Wire cutters and crimp. A reamer. Possibly some sort of chisel or gouge. Even a pick; Gerber made a tool with a hoof pick, which looked fairly versatile.

While we’re here, I’ll mention the usual niceties; locking tool, removable tools, one-handed opening, a ruler, a lanyard hole, sprung handles, tools that open out when the handles are closed, and handles that are smooth when using the pliers. I think Gerber also had a device that accepted jigsaw blades, but I’m sure it’s patented. I’m pretty comfortable with what I’m asking here; none of it is out of the ordinary, except perhaps for the marlinspike.

tiromancer, Jan 18 2005

Gerber fisherman multi-pliers http://www.gerberbl...view.php?model=7572
I like these a lot [tiromancer, Jan 19 2005]


       As a fellowette backpacker: Why would you need a tool that has all that?   

       As an Airforce employee: got you're tooly thinge megee right here. (standard deluxe issue swiss army/airforce knife) we might want to reconsider a chissel though, since, it being made to equip a handheld tool, it would outweigh the benifit of macroness.   

       p.s what are:Fisherman’s style needle nose pliers?
Susan, Jan 19 2005

       Fisherman's pliers are longer and thinner, mostly. They may have a proper name, but if so I don't know it. (link)   

       While you could probably get through most backpacking trips comfortably with a paring knife and a bic lighter, the not-so-hip camper might want some woodworking tools for peace of mind.
tiromancer, Jan 19 2005

       I always use the standard issue (airforce) knife that comes with a very sharp awl. Ideal for chipping the wood for you're wannabe selfmade fire.   

       Note: trying to find the knife but it's probably upstairs, so from memory: Awl, blade, screwdriver, canopener, siccorss, ...(it needs an organizer for my bad memory)...   

       Afterthought: The SAK also has pliers; and could the A ferrocerium bar be replaced by a magnesium stick?
Susan, Jan 19 2005

       Also... I don't want the can opener or the screwdriver.   

       I missed the bit about the magnesium rod. Magnesium still need a spark; so, it would be possible to add magnesium, but not to replace the flint. However, I think this could be dangerouse to both the tool and the user. Magnesium is usually scraped off before it is light.   

       Anyway, I think magnesium is more fun than practical. It's not too dificult to learn to improvise tinder; it is much harder to find, and use a natural flint. Especially with one hand.
tiromancer, Jan 19 2005

       If you could incorporate a detachable magnesium stick, such as is used for survival, you could create a spark by rubbing it against the other tools.
Susan, Jan 20 2005


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