THE MACGYVER FACTOR
WHAT’S HIS CHOICE FOR A SURVIVAL TOOL?
OK, he is fictitious. Still, he makes me wonder, and he makes me think. You know Macgyver, right? He is the title character from the TV show of the same name. He is a scientist who works as a troubleshooter.
I often wonder what a guy like this would carry as a survival tool. Sure, it’s just TV, but he can fix or make just about anything out of simple chewing gum. He is the guy, who within seconds, fastens together a bomb-defusing device using an old rusty butter knife, a rubber band and a bobby pin from his pocket … and saves the day with only a mere second to spare.
Again, just what kind of a survival tool would he carry?
Options 1 & 2
I think he would carry one of two sorts of tools. I know many survivalists, including myself, who have used these in the past, so it made perfect sense.
The first option that came to mind is the good old-fashioned Swiss Army knife. Why? A regular old pocket knife can be limited. The second option would be a multi-tool, whether it be a Leatherman, a Gerber tool or some other version out there.
Both survival tool options bring a lot to the table, a lot to consider, and are both being used out there by many people to aid in their survival tasks. So, let’s examine what these survival tools bring to the situation.
Swiss Army Knife
The Swiss Army knife is a classic choice for a lot of folks, from Boy Scouts to soldiers. The original Swiss Army knife dates back to 1884, so it has been around.
This knife is basically a hardware store that can fit in one’s pockets. The standard Swiss Army model comes with a knife blade, nail file, bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew and an awl. The largest, the Wenger Giant, is the world’s largest Swiss Army knife, packing 141 functions into 87 implements. And it weighs just 1 pound, 6 ounces.
Soldiers in World War II were big fans of the functionality of the Swiss Army knife for all it could do for them on the battlefield, from fixing their broken down Jeep to opening up their rations to even trimming their nails. The Swiss Army knife, with its ability to fix things, makes life all around better.
Here’s how I see it. If there’s a better tool for the job, the Swiss Army knife will have it as one of its tools. It clearly has served as a proven survival tool over a couple centuries now.
During my Army career, I saw many soldiers with the multi-tool. I remember being in a motor pool, looking over our vehicles, and needing to do just some basic maintenance. What comes out? The multi-tool pliers to tighten up a loose bolt. In other instances, maybe it was the wire cutters to cut away some tangled barbed wire caught up around an axle while out in the field. I remember using the saw blade to cut down limbs to camouflage a vehicle.
Multi-tools hit the scene around 1983. Tim Leatherman made the first as a “pocket survival tool,” but it was too big for the pocket, so it became a belt carry. Some multi-tools are also designed for specific jobs, such as electrical work.
Based on my research, most multi-tools come with at least a dozen tools minimum, and I saw several with twice that many. I know it’s a go-to for a lot of folks these days as it fits easily on the belt and has just the necessary number of items needed for the job. It was designed that way. It was designed to make things less complicated. It is definitely very new to the scene and still proving itself. And if you ask me? It is doing rather well.
And the Answer
I think it’s safe to say that each of these tools has its place and use in the survival world and in everyday carry (EDC). For sure, many people are using them in that capacity. I can see the multi-tool being less confusing or complicated to use than a mega Swiss Army knife, but then again that mega hardware store may have that one very unique tool for the job.
I see both tools having a lot of functionality in and out of the field and in an emergency or survival situation. I see them both as handy everyday carries (EDC).
So, what would Macgyver carry? I am honestly not sure which of these two he would choose to carry, but it is a good question I am sure many people ask themselves when trying to select a survival tool to carry when on the edge of survival. KI
Like the Swiss Army knife, the multi-tool has enough tools to fulfill many varied tasks.
With its multiple tools, the Swiss Army Knife can perform many tasks, including minor vehicle maintenance.
The multi-tool is comfortable in any environment from specified jobs to field tasks.