Monday, March 1, 2010

Tools For Your Emergency Kit

How much ‘stuff’ should you include in your emergency kit? 
We are all tempted to include too much into our kits, yet leave out a few essentials. 
Weight must be carefully considered for any emergency kit.  An ideal adult kit should weigh approximately thirty pounds, which doesn’t seem like a lot until you have to carry it for any length of time or distance.
When water and shelter items are added to the weight of your pack, there is very little left of the weight allowance for other items. 
Two tools should be considered for in your weight table; the VersaTool and the Pocket Survival Tool.  Combined they weigh 8.5 oz.  In an emergency, we may well need a small basic set of tools.  I carry them in addition to my Leatherman tool:

1. Doc Allen’s Versa Tool   
Wallet Tool

The tool comes with a stainless steel handle and magnetic extension along with a selection of flat, Phillips and hex bits.  Also included is a zippered carrying pouch with a belt loop.

I’ve added three sockets to my kit a 3/8”, 5/16” and 1/4” – the most common sizes associated with the items I encounter regularly.
The total weight of the tool pouch including the sockets is 7.5 oz.

The VersaTool’s handle design creates three different torque configurations: screwdriver, control and high torque.

The extension includes a strong magnet which keeps the bits and sockets securely in place in any orientation of the tool.

The handle has three dimples that establish the three positions.  A spring loaded bearing in the handle socket locks it into place in each of the positions.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of force that can be applied using the tool.

Recently, we used the tool kit to fix the diesel injectors on a stranded vehicle.  The owner didn’t have any other tools with them but had a VersaTool in their glove box. 

Within ten minutes, the problem was resolved and they were back on the road.

The loaded tool pouch is approximately 4” x 3” x 3/8”

If you have a bicycle, motorcycle or 4-wheeler, the VersaTool should be included in their tool kits.

2. Multipurpose Pocket Survival Tool

The pocket survival tool is advertised as being small enough to fit in your wallet.  In my experience, the 1 oz stainless steel tool can fit in a wallet, but it is too thick and stiff to be comfortably carried.
It would certainly be confiscated if you forgot to remove it before checking in for a flight.

The tool includes 11 functions:
  • Can opener
  • Knife edge
  • Screwdriver
  • Ruler
  • Cap opener
  • 4 position wrench
  • Butterfly wrench
  • Saw blade
  • Direction ancillary indication
  • 2 position wrench
  • Lanyard hole (key ring)

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