Throughout my years in the knife industry, I’ve had the honor of working with some of the best bushmen and survivalists in the world. Most of these experts don’t have a mailing address, choosing instead to survive through a nomadic lifestyle in some remote Third World environment. When it comes to jungle life, in almost every instance, their tool of choice is a simple cutting edge, many times a well-worn machete, sometimes an axe, and almost always a piece of cheap kitchen cutlery in the mix. And while I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to work with these experts, modern conveniences mean a lot to me, and all you have to do is look at what I carry in my pockets to see that.
I’m a fan of machetes when it comes to wilderness survivalcraft, but in the real, everyday world my Carhartt pants carry a flashlight, a Blackberry smartphone, a Bic lighter, a small folding knife and a multi-tool. Over the years, this combination of survival tools has served me well just about anywhere I land. The pocket folder changes depending on the knife I’m testing at the moment, but the multi-tool has pretty much stayed the same for the last 10 years: a SOG PowerLock EOD. Why the EOD model? Well, even though I’ve helped crimp a few caps with some Sappers in South America, most of my crimping work revolves around our farm. When it comes to working on tractors, machinery and electric fences, there’s always a wire to cut and a terminal to crimp. Not to mention a bolt or screw that needs to be tightened or an adjustment made on a piece of farm equipment.
The PowerLock has also served me well during both our jungle and stateside survival courses. The saw makes it a breeze when it comes to teaching trap triggers to survival students, and the quarter-inch drive adapter is just plain genius since I carry a small array of quarter-inch drive tools in my backpack. I’ve used this tool kit several times to repair outboard and “pecky-pecky” motors on the Amazon River. The awl also stands out as a must-have for me. I’m constantly using it to punch new holes in gear or drilling a hole through a piece of wood for some reason.
The SOG Spec-Elite Mini served the author well during an Amazon jungle survival course.…
by Dennis Adler / Jan 1, 2012