A Survival Knife For Vehicles

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Pablo Edronkin

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Survival Gear and Equipment

All sorts of problems and even survival situations could unfold while you are travelling inside a car, a boat or an aircraft; a good survival knife could become then your best companion, but it must be of adequate design.

The classical format or shape that the public tends to associate with the notion of a survival knife is that of a tool with a big carbon steel blade, serrated back and hollow handle. This basic design originated during the Vietnam war and was intended for helicopter crewmembers that suddenly could find themselves shot down and in dire need of getting out of a crushed, relatively easy to cut fuselage. Those models were adequate for the scenario that their designers had in mind but have since then been rendered obsolete - in my view - for a variety of reasons. Of course, it would be better than nothing to have one at hand in the event of an emergency, but there are better options now.

emergencies, mechanical problems and general inconveniences can arise during a trip using any sort of vehicle. You don't need to be shot down by the Vietcong to find some sort of use for a tool while in the middle of a road, in high seas or in a dusty airstrip in the middle of who knows where. You could face the need to perform repairs, look out for food, etc.

The concept of a pocket, multipurpose tool for campers, adventurers, and so on was developed and advanced by the Swiss firm Victorinox with their Swiss Army knife. The design is superb but it has some limitations, and attending this, another company, Leatherman, developed a few years ago a kind of spin-off that comes from the Swiss design, that serves more heavy-duty requirements a little bit better.

Their multi-purpose knife and tool has many different functions and there are of course, several different specialised variants, but the basic concept works well almost in any kind of scenario.

For a few years now I have been using this multi purpose tool as my basic survival instrument in a variety of expeditions, climbing escapades, while building cabins, shelters and stone labyrinths, doing some weapons' maintenance and even as a "Bush pilot" and happy owner of a Piper Cub Special, a PA-11 with which I like to fly in places that are not even G airspace (meaning that there is no radar and no rescue service) and with these tools I have performed all sorts of improvised and more serious repairs in the flying machine, including its instruments, engine, fuel system, seats, battery and even its landing gear.

So, based on my experience I can tell you that these are very good tools, a very good concept that is adaptable to general survival needs as well as the kind of scenarios that you could find where and when vehicles could be involved. I guess that these smallish tool are better to handle "big" jobs than the classical Swiss design but more convenient and handy than big blades, which, by the way, are costlier, heavier and less comfortable to carry.

You only need to place yours in your anorak or flight jacket pocket and you will be done: They will not make you remember that you are carrying them, but they will be there when you need them most.

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