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.


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