Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tiny Knives

I'm always open to finding new things I can use while backpacking.

Knives are near the bottom of the list, but, being a guy, I'm still fascinated by them. I have one that I convinced my mother to buy for me when I was 10. It cost 50 cents and though it isn't the best knife ever made I carried it for decades because it is small and because you never know when a knife might be handy, and it has been.

If you carry a knife you find lots of uses for it. If you don't carry one you wish you did.

Surprisingly for many, backpacking is a pursuit that doesn't demand having a knife, not if you do it right.

A sharp edge can be handy for cutting string, lopping off stray threads, trimming the loose edge off a stick-on bandage, or other incidental tasks, but generally a person shouldn't have a use for one on the trail.

You carry it for the time when something to cut with can be critical, but it doesn't take much to cut small things.

So even a single-edge razor blade could to the trick.

Anyway, back to the point.

For several years I've carrying something that Carol "Brawny" Wellman once posted about, a little thing made by Stanley, the tool people. It's a miniature plastic utility knife. Takes replaceable blades, though I've never found any. Anyway, it came with a spare, and I can sharpen the two of them as needed. The blade slides in and out, and locks.

The knife is light. I don't know if they still make it. I found mine at Office Depot.

It's fine, but a couple of days back I was looking for sewing machine needles and saw a package of cutters sold by Singer. You get four for under $3 and they're cute.

The blades are the snap-off kind, so you don't need to sharpen them, but I bet you could. Normally, you'd use the tip of the blade until it dulls, and then snap off that part and begin using the next segment.

I don't need another backpacking blade solution but I bought a package anyway.

Because you never know when a sharp edge will be handy.


Slice and Dice

A Dedicated Ultralighter

Now Some Practical Stuff



  1. Tiny knives, micro dropper bottles and mini Bic lighters. It seems the best way to judge UL backpacking equipment is on 'cuteness'. That'll save me having to carry my postal scales to the store.

  2. Oh, Man...I bet you'd make some unfortunate comment about my new Hello Kitty backpack with built-in night light and tickly whiskers. But it's wicked light. And cute, so poop on you. And I like pink.

    For those who weigh their things by counting how many newtrons they contain there may be an answer, the "Matchbox Tiny Digital Gram Scale Postal 300 Mini Pocket"

    Product Features: Capacity: 300 grams. Resolution: 0.1 g. Units: g, oz, ozt, dwt. Power: CR2032. Color: Black.

    "This is a matchbox scale. Has a blue backlit LCD display so measurements can be easily be read. Comes with a hard cover to protect the weighing surface. Has a stainless steel weighing tray that has a dimension of 1.4 x 1.8". The dimension of the scale is 1.4 x 2.9 x 0.5". This scale has an auto-off of 30 seconds. Comes with one CR2032 battery." I'll leave the dimensional conversions from inches to metronomes to all of you living in MeterLand. And no, I don't know what an "ozt" or an "dwt" is either. Sounds like more conversions are in order.

    Oh, wait. "dwt" is deadweight tonnage, so maybe this scale is more capable than advertised.