Multi-Tools for Camping and Hiking


All kinds of different safety tools and camping gear accessories are available on the market today. Swiss Army Knives is famous for their high quality and relatively expensive items, while many other companies make lower-cost outdoor utensils, sometimes of questionable quality. Multitools are great for camping, as they are based on the basic Swiss Army Knife premise (lots of little attachments on a single tool with many different functions). One mutli-tool I recently picked up was a 7-In-1 safety tool from HighGear, Inc. It’s not anywhere as fancy as a Swiss Army Knife-type item, but it is still pretty decent! For your backpack, I recommend  The PNW Packable Backpack. I have been using it for years now!

The HighGear 7-In-1 Safety Tool is a useful basic survival tool for old and young alike. I received the the 7-In-1 as a Christmas present and eagerly opened it, wondering if it would be just another outdoors gimmick or something actually useful. There are far too many cheap, trashy outdoors products that wouldn’t help much (if at all) in an emergency or survival situation. For instance, last year I received a hand crank portable radio and flashlight combo. A good idea on paper, maybe, but the hand crank was the weak point and snapped off after the second turn of the handle-definitely not a good purchase from my point of view. However, the 7-In-1 does not rely on such gimmicky devices for its functionality, so I was less apprehensive upon receiving it.

The 7-In-1 is made of durable plastic, upon which is fitted a compass, LED light, magnifying class, mirror, and LCD display with temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit) and a whistle. A neck lanyard is also included so the tool may be worn like a necklace. Unfortunately, a battery is required for the LCD display-it would be more useful if it ran just off of solar, like the small solar powered calculators. The device is fairly ergonomic and well-designed, it feels sturdy and easy to use. The mirror and magnifying glass are attached on little arms that swing out of the tool when pulled, remaining secreted away in the tool when not being used. HigGear has added little button on the side of the LCD display to allow the user to adjust the time or temperature degrees (Celsius or Farenheit). The LED is quite bright, supposedly it is not for sustained use (like a flashlight) but it certainly lights up the night. There is a little metal ‘button-like’ nob on the tool, near the LED button, that is the thermometer sensor-obviously it will display a considerably higher temperature if one keeps their finger over it by accident. The battery is kept in a twist-top/screwtop holder on the back of the 7-In-1 tool and seems to be snugly fit in, thus lowering the chance of it being lost on a bumpy bike ride or rapid mountain descent.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the 7-In-1 survival tool from HighGear. It’s more of a general purpose, safety tool than a true survival tool, but it is quite useful nonetheless. A great present for seasoned outdoors enthusiasts or the budding Boy Scout alike!

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