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16 Fixes: Leatherman Multi-Tool In The Field

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We’ve been carrying multi-tools for years, and damn they’re useful. But how many applications do they have? Here are just a few of the countless ways our staff has employed multi-tools in the outdoors and beyond.

1) Light Broken Match

Broken match? No problem; Photos by Sean McCoy

If you snapped that last wooden match, or just don’t want to burn your fingers, simply hold it in the pliers!

2) Fix Zipper

Zipper pulls break. Leatherman to the rescue. Just grab the remaining nub of zipper and pull to open and close until you can fix it properly.

3) Campfire Cooking

Campfires get HOT! Use a multi-tool to move around pots and pans, or even flip your bacon and sausages as they simmer over the coals.

4) Make A Fishhook

Lost in the woods, you find some barbed wire (or really any stiff wire). Bust out that trusty Leatherman, and get to work bending, cutting, and filing a sharp point. Attach some monofilament or other light cord and bait it up. Catching not guaranteed.

A paperclip becomes a fishhook easily in a few minutes with the Leatherman Wave

5) Ice Scraper

We’ve used a multi-tool more than a few times on icy car windows when a plastic scraper wouldn’t do the job. Careful not to scratch the glass!

6) Remove AAA Batteries

No need to break those fingernails.

7) Drive Tent Stakes

Hammer or push, the choice is yours. Most Leathermans have plenty of surface area to give you a good surface to shove tent stakes even into hard soil.

8) And… Pull Tent Stakes

Just hook them under the edge of the closed multi-tool and pull!

9) Hang Bear Rope

Open the multi-tool, wrap rope around center of the tool, and tie a knot. Close the tool. Throw over the highest branch you can, about 6 feet from the trunk of the tree. Hoist food bag and sleep tight.

Just be sure to tie a good knot, and don’t shut the wire cutters too hard on the rope

10) Make A Splint

This one happened recently. A buddy badly rolled his ankle far from the trailhead. We had to get him out of the mountains, more than four miles. So we built a splint by cutting the top and bottom off a water bottle, then cutting it in half. Lashed to his leg, it provided significant support as he hobbled to the truck.

11) Sight A Rifle

Many gun sights require a screwdriver for adjustment. Just so happens most Leathermans have one of these handy tools.

12) Remove Splinters/Quills From People/Dogs

This one goes in the “medical” file. There are tons of uses for a Leatherman in first aid, from cutting cloth strips as bandages to cleaning wounds. But one of the most obvious is pulling splinters or porcupine quills, from humans, dogs, or basically anything.

13) Quick Measure

Is that fish legal to keep for dinner? Your Leatherman has a ruler so you can find out. In a pinch, this ruler can give you an accurate measurement.

14) Open Your Can Of Beans

Any bottle opener worth its weight can also open a can with a sharp edge. Fortunately, Leathermans work great for this task, and of course, will easily pop open your beer.

15) Blade Work

The knife is the original “multi-tool,” and almost all Leathermans have a highly useful blade (other than those where it’s left out for airline travel). For example, the Leatherman Wave has a 2.9″ fine-edge knife, as well as a serrated edge great for cutting rope. In combination with an included saw, you can do just about anything you can think of with a knife.

16) Auto Repairs

When driving through the middle of nowhere during the middle of the night, the plastic underside of one editor’s car detached and started dragging against the road. He smelled burning plastic, stopped the car, and checked it out, then proceeded to cut it off. Leatherman’s saw and blade made quick work of the sturdy hard plastic.

In what creative ways have you used a multi-tool? We’d love to hear. Please share your stories in the comments below.

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