With my birthday rapidly approaching, I realized it was that sacred time again in which I get to pick out my traditional “gift-to-me item.” This year, I decided I needed more firepower in my pocket. For the last two years, I have carried a Spyderco folding pocket knife as my utility tool of choice. While it served it’s purpose gallantly, it was clearly time for an upgrade. After a bit of research and some quality time with amazon.com, I decided on the Leatherman Skeletool (pictured right). The text that follows is my first impressions and use review after five days of regular carry.
- Size – the skeletool is almost exactly the same size as my folding knife (see picture at bottom), and weighs just a bit more.
- The capabilities – The skeletool includes only the essential tools you will need on a regular basis, unlike the more traditional Leatherman multitools that were the equivalent of McGuyver’s knife on steroids.
- The knife – the knife blade is easily deployed with one hand without opening the rest of the tool. This feature makes the blade just as convenient as a traditional folding knife. As an added bonus, it is RAZOR sharp out of the box.
- The bottle opener – now you have an excuse to carry the single most useful tool in your pocket without feeling like a weathered booze hound.
- Screwdriver bits – Total time it took me to loose my first bit: Three Days. The interchangeable bits are very handy, except that they are a unique size. This means that every time you loose one, you can’t simply run down to the hardware store and spill 25 cents. Leatherman does offer an expanded driver set that is compatible for around $35.00…..I see many of these being purchased in my future.
- No file – The one tool that I found myself using repeatedly on my traditional multitool was the metal file. I used it for sharpening fishing hooks, removing burs, and many random metal-forming tasks all the time. I realize that few people would use this tool consistantly enough to add the required weight to the skeletool, but I will miss it.
The Bottom Line
Whether it’s your birthday, a holiday, or just a day that you feel you should do something nice for you, do yourself a favor and go pick this little hotrod up. You won’t be sorry (You may actually catch yourself searching for an excuse to pull it out of your pocket.
As a fledgling member of the blog community, I can only assume that if you are reading this post, there is a strong possibility that you have watched the movie “Julie and Julia.” However, if this assumption is like a majority of the ones I make, allow me to explain. The 2009 movie, directed by Nora Ephron, features Julie (Amy Adams) who vows to cook and blog her way through Julia Child’s first book “”Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. With each recipe, Julie is challenged to stretch farther, venture deeper, and whisk faster. The end result is a journey that leaves a young woman forever changed. If you haven’t gotten the chance to enjoy this movie, do yourself a favor and check it out. Okay, so now you are asking yourself, “Why is someone who lures me in with talks of guns, survival, zombies, and bush-craft now rambling on about Julia Childs and classic French cuisine?” Well stop thinking so much and let me finish!
For the last eight years, Field and Stream Magazine has been hosting the “Total Outdoorsman Challenge.” People from every crevice of the country compete for $25,000 and the bragging rights of being the baddest outdoorsman (or ourdoorswoman) in the land. Recently, Field and Stream teamed up with outdoor writer T. Edward Nickens to produce a companion guide, titled “The Total Outdoorsman Manual: 374 Skills You Need”. The hardcover gem includes tips for better camping, fishing, hunting, and survival. It covers everything from choosing the right knife to taking the best fish photo, to safely drinking your own peepee. No stone is left unturned in this literary feast for the outdoorsman’s soul. So what does this have to do with Julia Childs, you ask?
This is where my quest begins. The plan is to create my own dirt covered, fishy smelling, fire kindling version of Nora Ephron’s idea. I will complete all 374 “essential skills” that Field and Stream and Ed Nickens tells me I need to know, with some exceptions. Due to the layout of the book and the fact that I am no relation to Michael Waddell, it isn’t feasible for me to hunt bull elk one day and fish for steelheads in Colorado the next. That being said, my goal is to complete each task in a timely manner, and provide you, the reader, with the gory, gritty details. If you are connecting the dots, you are now realizing that at some point, this means I’m going to have to drink my own urine. Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one too.
Well folks, there it is…my plan of action. I encourage you to offer me words of encouragement, advice, and a sense of humor along the way. I will definitely need that last one by the end. Oh yeah, and for those of you who think hunting and fishing is a morally reprehensible act undertaken by barbarians and monsters, let me point you in the right direction. I’m sure if you hit your “back” button a few times and type “classic French cuisine” in the search bar, you will find something more to your liking. For everyone else, buckle up. It’s may be a bumpy ride…
Turn on a television, radio, or computer and a bombardment of crisis will ensue. Europe is on the brink of financial collapse. The middle East is in a constant state of social unrest. Leaders are getting overthrown. Blood runs down the streets like rainwater as protesters are slaughtered by dictators, trying to maintain loyalty the only way they know how. Israel is threatening to attack Iran. The US economy is floundering
like a fish washed up on a rocky shore, gasping for air and barely clinging to life. And if all of that wasn’t enough, soon it will be December 21st, at which time the sky will come crashing down, the sun will cease to shine, and zombies will come to feast on our souls.
With all that is happening around us, it’s no wonder that people are beginning to prepare for the worst. Reminiscent of Cold War days past, Americans are building shelters, hoarding food, and arming themselves for the apocalypse. What was once considered absurdity is now finding its way into mainstream media. Survival shows and preparedness programs such as Doomsday Preppers and Man Vs. Wild are more popular than American Idol. People are preparing for and expecting the worst. That’s not what this site is about.
This site is about doing the things that enrich our lives. It’s about getting up off our butts, going outside, shootings guns, going backpacking, hunting, fishing, practicing bushcraft and enjoying what nature has to offer. It’s about fire-roasted, still steaming hotdogs on a stick. It’s about giving your friends and family an experience greater than all the money in the world could buy, and not spending a penny on it. It’s about doing what we love, and if one day, the information you learn here happens to save your life from a hoard of charging zombies…you’re welcome.