Mike Horn is a South African explorer known for his solo sailing expeditions and extreme feats like circumnavigating a route along the Arctic Circle by kayak, ski, and on foot. It was a solo trek that took more than two years to complete.
Back in civilization, Horn took time to consult with Wenger on some gear design. Wenger, which makes the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knives, wanted to create a high-end, multifunctional tool that was “the only knife that outdoor adventurers will need.”
The result is an 8.8-ounce knife that bears Mike Horn’s namesake and retails for a lofty $175. It has nine tools hidden in its big handle and is less a Leatherman than it is a Swiss Army Knife on steroids.
Indeed, the knife’s big locking blades, which open with one hand and are almost four inches long, are the heart of this tool. The pliers, a stout needle-nose with a wire cutter, folds out of the Mike Horn’s handle alongside the blades.
In all, there are nine implements in the handle, including a nut wrench, a metal file, and a can opener. The removable Phillips and flat-head driver bits are a unique touch. They click into the handle and face out for leverage.
The handle, made of recyclable materials and wood, has a nice feel and good grip. Wenger North America (www.wengerna.com) wanted to make an eco statement with the handle and thus used wood from a certified sustainable forest.
In use, the Mike Horn does indeed have most everything a camper or outdoors-person will need. It is big and bulky. I would not take it backpacking if I was trying to shave weight.
But as a tool for cutting, prying, tightening, and performing common camp and outdoors tasks, the Mike Horn, if you can afford it, will not leave you short.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.