Gear – Swiss Army Knife

Over the past couple of years of walking I’ve gone through a fair amount of gear, so I thought I would share some feedback for stuff that’s tried and trusted. Hope it helps.

What is it?: Swiss Army Knife. The closest equivalent that I can see is the Tourist Model which has the same blades as mine and also includes a toothpick and tweezers.

How much?: Bought years ago – probably around $20 back then. The current price for the Tourist model is is $40 CAD

Where, when, how do I use it?: My recollection is that I bought this before we were married – so 33+ years anyway. I think I picked it up for my first trip abroad in 1987, and I know I had it for our honeymoon which we spent backpacking around the Greek islands.

Since then it’s been many places – Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Madagascar, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada, and possibly a few others. It travels with me everywhere. In the old days it could come in my carry-on bag, and these days it travels with the checked luggage.

It’s been used many times on picnics, which is probably my favourite use. Somewhere we have a picture of a picnic lunch in France, where the knife is sitting next to some pate, a baguette, and some tomatoes from the market – that’s how I visualize this knife. I’ve also used it countless times to open a bottle of wine, to trim a stray thread off my clothes before a business meeting, to cut open a package, and I think even once or twice to open a can.

It used to live in my briefcase, then it lived in my business suitcase, and now it’s in my everyday daypack. It’s been a small, often hidden, but handy part of my travels and it’s probably as much a good luck charm as it is a tool.

For me, any traveller needs something like this. It’s lightweight, versatile, simple, compact, and effective. It embodies a style and form aesthetic that I love – it does exactly what you would think it would do with simple efficiency and elegant ergonomics. I can’t imagine taking a trip without it, and even if I never travelled I would want one.

Would I buy it again?: Lord, I hope I never lose it. If I did, I’d buy something similar.

Disclaimer: This is not a “review”. I don’t go around sampling things, instead this is a summary of my own experience with a product I have used a lot. All opinions contained in this post are my own. I offer no warranties or assurances for your experiences with the same product. I bought the gear with my own money and have not received any form of compensation from the manufacturer. Take my feedback as given – caveat emptor.