Camping Equipment p-2

Multi Purpose Knife

Multi purpose camping knife

What one veteran considers to be essential, someone else might consider useless. Because we all live our lives in a different way, the tools we use for survival will also be different. Most veterans are fortunate enough to only use a campsite when we’re on vacation. We can carry everything we need to the campsite in our comfortable trucks, cars or SUV’s. We might setup our spacious 2 bedroom tent, electric inflatable full size air mattress, ice chest and our very own BBQ pit.

That scenario isn’t likely to be the reality for most homeless Veterans with a pet. While some are living in a vehicle, others have already slipped even lower and now walk the streets. With that in mind, traveling light is essential but you must also be equipped with necessary tools. One tool that serves and defines that goal is a multi purpose knife. Never forget that unsheltered encampments are extremely dangerous places even with your eyes wide open. When you close your eyes to sleep at night, the security risk you face at least doubles. For that reason, essential items must be kept in your pocket, even when you’re asleep. Your dog is now on guard duty.

Cork Screw: When you and I prepare for bed, the majority of us sleep during the night when it’s nice and dark. You might be surprised to learn that many of the homeless sleep during the daylight hours. For security purposes, it’s safer to sleep during the day because large percentages of the mentally ill are awake and roam at night. Thieves use the cover of darkness to steal as well. That’s one reason why unsheltered veterans often get ripped off while sleeping. A multi purpose knife fits easily in your pocket until you need it. These knives come with a variety of available compact tools such as a cork screw. Survival in the wilderness or on the city streets often call for ways to grab, drill or secure something. A cork screw can be a wonderful thing.

Forks: Some of these multi purpose knives have tools for eating such as a fork. Using a fork that’s contained with a folding knife isn’t my first choice for an eating utensil. In a pinch, it might be better than using your fingers when your hands aren’t clean. The reason why it’s not my first choice for eating is because they’re impossible to keep clean. The basic design that requires the folding of the blades for storage in crevasses make keeping it sanitary virtually impossible. Some multi purpose knives have a little fork and others have a spoon. Forks can be useful for other purposes too. A fork can be used as a personal protection weapon or a hunting tool as well. You could one day utilize that fork to stab something crawling in your tent or for stopping an intruding snake. I know it sounds harsh but this is survival.

Spoon: A small spoon is another useful tool contained within a multi purpose knife. Sipping hot tea or using a spoon for eating your soup isn’t the only reason to carry a spoon. When a person gets hungry, I mean seriously hungry after going days without food, we’ll eat anything to survive. There might be a food source jammed inside an area too small for your hand to grab. There could be a source of dripping water in a tight area too small for you to get a drink. Now that spoon just helped to quench your thirst so you can survive.

Sometimes survival boils down to giving up your pride. It might mean eating things that under normal conditions you’d probably throw away. It means not being too proud or indignant to do what’s necessary to survive just one more day. Using that spoon to scoop drinking water off the ground is better than licking it up with your tongue. Everyday you wake up to can provide another opportunity to improve your situation.

Can Openers: These tools are not only useful in every kitchen and campsite for meal preparation but also for many other applications. Automobile Mechanics, Plumbers and Construction Workers to name a few usually have a can opener laying around in their tool box. While many of our soldiers learned their skills in the military, they learned to improvise. That means not just relying of the tools you want to complete the mission but making due with the tool you’ve got. An old fashioned can opener is another essential tool that can be used to get you out of a jam. Having a hard tip tool that can pierce through metal, plastic and chip wood is a must have item for camping. 

When a soldier doesn’t have the luxury of sleeping in a nice cozy house or apartment, they’ll crash anywhere that provides shelter. That shelter could be an abandoned warehouse, plastic storage containers, wood sheds and other various places. If you’ve slept outdoors a few times, you’ve undoubtedly experienced a changing scene. You can probably relate to falling asleep under one condition and waking up to another. Someone moved something or stacked things nearby while you were asleep. Objects can fall or accidents just occur. Having an old fashioned can opener in your pocket can come in handy for survival. Being able to cut a breathing hole in something if needed can save your life. Can openers are a great tool for leverage as well.  

Bottle Openers: Then we have the old tried and true bottle opener. The magic tool that never fails to open your favorite bottle of beer or soft drink. An old style bottle opener is also good when you need some force. When you need leverage to influence a cable, wire or thin section of metal to go where it doesn’t want to go. That bottle opener might just make the difference. You’ll figure it out when or if the situation arises.