Experts Roundup – The Most Useful Tool For The Outdoors

Hello guys,

roundup..and Welcome to my first roundup.

The question I asked was:

“What was the single most useful tool you’ve ever used while outdoors?”

Some of the best survival experts responded, I am sure that you will get a lot from their answers.

Also, I’ve included the social profiles and the links to the sites so that you can easily follow them and get more from them.

To people that responded I must say this :

“Thank you so much for getting involved and offering your expertise to the community here at”

So, here we go:


Chris CashbaughChris Cashbaugh from


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The most useful tool I’ve ever used in the outdoors has been a knife.

With a knife you can make many other tools that you might not currently have.

Jeremy LinaresJeremy Linares from


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In order for me to better break this down, I would have to know a little more like best tool used for bush craft or every day carry.

In my eyes, the best tool is the one that is designed and built for one single task.

Since this is probably not the answer you’re looking for, hands down the one tool that I could take with me whether it be the concrete jungle of New York City or the dense bush of panama, would be my Leatherman Wave.

Of course if I was in Panama, a machete would be worth its weight in gold but every location that you’re in you’ll have that “man I wish I had …..”

You never have the perfect tool for the job when you need it but a tool that is kind of good at a wide range of functions?

I’d say that’s about as good as it gets. Now some people might criticize the fact that it only has a 3 inch blade and isn’t suited for batoning, which is true.

If we’re talking survival situation, you’re going to be around some sort of vehicle a boat, plane or car.

With a multi-tool like the Leatherman Wave, I could unbolt and unscrew things and fashion tools or even a machete out of.

You can talk about how awesome your four inch bush knife is all you want but a heavy piece of metal that I can unbolt and sharpen (this multi-tool has a file) will be exponentially better.

I’ve had mine now for about seven years and although it has yet to scale Everest, this guy has been in my pack on every trip I’ve been on since.

For me it isn’t the perfect tool but it does what I need it to do and however ill-suited it may be for a certain task, It gets the job done, it’s also important that my tool choice is a good choice for a woman.

Jim CobbJim Cobb from


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The single most useful tool in the outdoors, in my opinion, is a good quality knife.

While it is certainly possible to “make do” without one, a sharp blade just makes so many tasks much easier, from shelter building to food acquisition.

With it, you can make just about any other tool needed.

While my favorite blade tends to change regularly, the one that currently tops my list is the Condor Bushlore, followed closely by the TOPS B.O.B. Fieldcraft knife.


Todd SepulvedaTodd Sepulveda from


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The best tool I’ve ever used outdoors is a well hand pump that will allow me to get water from our deep well in the country.

Many things in the outdoors can be fabricated, bushcraft and survival experts have shown us this.

But out in the country, I always worried about running out of gas or propane for our generators to access the water in our well, we are off-grid. My answer came in the form of the Earthstraw Emergency Hand Pump.

Because I believe that water is the most important prep, the Earthstraw has become the most important tool for me and my family. I believe in it so much that I decided to video myself installing it.


Bernie CBernie C from


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I’m sure there are lots of other tools out there, but I never leave home without my Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Knife.

I keep it in my key ring and it has helped me in lots of situations.

I recommend sharpening the two knives every so often, and they won’t fail when you need them.

Robert RichardsonRobert Richardson from
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I would say that the single most useful thing you can carry with you into the outdoors is your knowledge.

Unlike other pieces of gear, that can fail when you need them the most, your knowledge will always be with you and will never fail when you need it.

As for actual gear, I never go anywhere outdoors without a good knife.

One of my favorite knives to carry is the Sog Seal Pup Elite with the Kydex Sheath.

The Sheath is just large enough to hold either an extra muiltitool or a small survival kit and lighter.


Joe AltonJoe Alton from



The most important single tool anyone can use while outdoors is their mind. All the gear in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how and when to use it.Having said that, a physician’s “tools” are medical supplies.

A versatile medical supply I have used (for an injury my son incurred while we were hiking) and recommend for carry is the Israeli Battle Dressing, known in the U.S. as “The Emergency Bandage”.

A superior pressure dressing that comes in a vacuum packed pouch, the Israeli Battle Dressing can be used for dealing with hemorrhagic wounds or orthopedic injuries, and can be placed almost anywhere on the body.This item, and others like it, has seen extensive use by the military.Nurse Amy and I believe it’s so useful that every single one of our entire line of medical kits has one, including our gunshot wound kit.

Daisy LutherDaisy Luther from


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The tool that I take everywhere…in my backpack, in my purse, and in my vehicle, is not actually a tool in the physical sense.

It is the SAS Survival Manual.

This very small book packs in a ton of information about things like first aid, fire-starting, knot-tying, animal attacks…you name it.

I’ve used it for a quick refresher on first aid when I pulled over to help someone involved in an auto accident.

I’ve used it to put together a rough shelter in the woods, and I’ve double checked things in that book countless times over the years.

All 3 copies are a bit dog-eared. I got them for my daughters as well, because you can never have too much information at your fingertips. Often you know the answer, but it helps you to feel more confident when you can check it.


thehomesteadsurvivalMemphis & Pat from



Well considering there would be many different categories of tools I am going to go with the most useful cooking tool and say the Kelly Kettle.It is perfect for any outdoor adventure and I love it because I can use anything I can find for fuel.No need to be chopping wood or carrying fuel canisters.

Rich Hungerford

Rich Hungerford from




The single most useful tool I’ve ever used while outdoors is my knife.

Reason being, my knife is a stand alone survival kit.

It aids me in the building of a shelter, lights my fire, which makes my water safe to drink, provides me with the ability to hunt and forage for my food and even create emergency signals that allow me to call for help should I require it.

If I have to choose just one tool to go into the wilderness with … a knife is it every time.


Paul Jaminet

Paul Jaminet  from


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Vibram FiveFingers shoes!

I fell in love with these soon after first trying them. They greatly improved my running form and made running a delight. I can’t bear to go back to normal shoes, which feel stiff and uncomfortable.

I spend as much time as I can outdoors, running and hiking are favorite activities, and so shoes are my most important tool.

It’s hard to believe minimalist footwear wasn’t invented earlier!


Todd WalkerTodd Walker from


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The best tool ever is a sharp fixed blade knife, carbon steel, 90 degree spine, and the tool between your ears to use it properly. 🙂

Keep doing the stuff!


Shane WhiteShane White from


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I would have to say a simple swiss army knife because of its compact size and many additional tools.

Just drop it in my pocket and go. It’s also great for every day.


John RourkeJohn Rourke from


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The single most useful tool I have ever used was a knife.

To be more specific – it was a Gerber BMF (Basic Multi-Function). See attached picture.

Unfortunately I no longer own the knife but although it was a beast – it was extremely durable and versatile.

There are lots of jobs a small knife cannot do that a large knife can however there are not many jobs a small knife can that a large cannot.

Back in 1989 I was in the woods scouting for deer with my brother and nephew. We had to jump across a rather large creek. My brother made it, my nephew fell in.

I did not want to get wet so as I leaped in the air I pulled the Gerber BMF from its sheath and thrust the blade into the clay soil as I impacted the opposite side.

I hung there by the blade until I could get some traction. I remained dry.

Knives are wonderful tools.


Jake SepulvedaJake Sepulveda from


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I’m betting that my answer will be similar to most others, but I want to clearly define why a good strong knife has been my most useful tool over the years.

When I think of the word “useful” I think of how many times I’ve used something, for what purposes, and how effective the tool was for the task.

There is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t use a knife at least once. Whether it’s been opening boxes, working in the garden, setting up a shelter, prepping a fire, removing tangled fishing line, or even cutting an old pair of jeans into shorts, and so on.

Whether I’m out in the woods or walking down a city street, I always have my knife on me.


Scott WilliamsScott Williams from


I don’t have specific make or brand of tool I would name, and I know you’re a multitool fan, but if I had to name the single most useful tool I’ve ever used outdoors and the one I would not be without if I could help it, it would have to be a machete, as I have written many times in my various books and blog posts.

Mostly the machetes I favor are Latin American made, in the 20 to 26 inch length.


Anthony Sculimbrene

Anthony Sculimbrene from




This is a tough question. Narrowing it down to one is very hard.

I have three that I think are very useful–the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II, a home made rock maple walking stick, and a small fixed blade (something like the Candiru).

While I used to do a lot of camping before, now that my wife and I have a young kid, its mostly day hikes.

We do 3-10 mile hikes at least once a week and usually twice. Carrying food, something to drink, a change of clothes for a little guy (who will always get in the water) is a must, and for a day hike the PFII is perfect.

A walking stick helps pace the walk, takes pressure off my knees, and helps balance me out when my son is riding on my shoulders.

I like a lot of folders and multitools, but for the tasks I do outdoors, I really prefer a small EDC fixed blade. Something the size of the ESEE Candiru can get a lot done.

Since I don’t think a pack or a walking stick really counts,

I’d say a small, simple fixed blade. Right now I am using a custom fixed blade from a local maker (who happens to be a teenager)–Jonathan Fullen of JMF Knives.

It works quite well and I don’t have to worry about dirt or anything jamming up its inner workings.

It also came with a small kydex sheath and I can easily drop it in a pocket.


MattMatt from



As a knife guy, it should come as no surprise that the most useful tool that I have ever used outdoors is a knife.

Well, two knives actually because I honestly can’t pick a favorite. The first and easier to find of the two is the ESEE 4 by ESEE Knives (

The reason I like this particular knife is because it performs fantastically and doesn’t have any unnecessary “fancy features” associated with it. There is a lot of misconception in the knife industry that you need to spend big bucks on exotic steels to get a quality knife.

ESEE knows better, because they chose a relatively inexpensive carbon steel called 1095 which takes a fine edge and is extremely tough. 1095 has been used to make great knives for many years by many manufacturers because of it is a performance bang for the buck.

There are superior steels of course, but 99% of knife users won’t recognize the difference between 1095 and the higher end exotic steels. In addition, the ergonomics are superior and the build quality is good. I use my ESEE 4 to do everything from cutting steak to splitting wood.

The only maintenance it ever requires is a quick cleanup on the sharpener every once in a while. Last but not least, it’s fairly priced. It has bailed me out of a few sticky situations, so I swear by it.


The other knife is a little bit harder to get your hands on, but it’s the one I have been carrying most often by far.

The Banshee by Ghost Knives ( is an extremely lightweight but very effective minimalist knife. I think when it comes to a lot of tools in general, makers within the industry seem to include unnecessary aspects that don’t really add functionality to the user in attempt to add more points to market.

Ghost Knives operates on the opposite side of the spectrum in that they give you only what you need and absolutely nothing you don’t.

They are a small new company, but one I expect to grow and make a mark on the knife community in the next few years as they are extremely competitive pricewise and their knives are 100% made in the USA. Materials are top quality and they leave their tools a little raw as far as polish goes but pass the savings for doing so on to their customers.

The kydex sheath is awesome too. Because the Banshee’s blade is only a hair north of 2″ long, I occasionally get teased when I go camping with friends.

They usually stop laughing when we need to cut something and I have my Banshee out of the sheath, make my cut, and have it back in my sheath before they can even fumble their unwieldy Kabar into cutting position.

Bigger doesn’t mean better, and the Banshee is extremely easy to maneuver.

Ghost makes awesome knives but you have to email them directly to get one of their knives presently.


AnnieAnnie from


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We always take a Leatherman multitool with us – for the main reason that its pliers are very handy to have – we use them to pick up hot lids off the campfire, pull up stakes and running repairs, stuck zippers.

Plus using the Leatherman for its saw (good for small branches), knife (cut ropes and anything else), screwdriver, and bottle top opener!

It really is a very functional tool for campers. It’s all in 1 capability makes it a stand out tool for us. We also have a lighter version of the Leatherman, more suited to hiking (ie. not as heavy).

On a larger scale, a good tool for any camper to have is a small compact and strong shovel!

Digging holes, small trenches around tents, banging in stakes, and moving coals and sticks in an campfire – makes this a very practical addition (and relatively inexpensive) tool.

Thank you all for your insight and recommendations.

Care to get involved?

Use the comment section below and just offer your answer to the roundup question:

What was the single most useful tool you’ve ever used while outdoors?

Comments (1)
  1. Tony Twidale

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