Saturday, June 12, 2010

what a tool- Leatherman

Now this is something similar to what I got my husband over 10 years ago. He has it on him all the time and it gets used almost daily. It is made in the U.S.A. and it is of good, durable construction. It folds up into a handy size and the sheath has belt loops, but it lays well so it isn't obtrusive. It is like the Swiss army knife of tools.. but in my opinion it is better.
You have to realize that was a tad hard for me to admit.. as I had an odd fascination with Swiss army knives. They are just so handy. I had a small one as a kid which I used all of the time at the stables and when we would go mucking about in the woods all day on our horses. I also was prone to losing them and more than a few went through the wash!
The first time I went to Venezuela.. many many years ago, I had 3 with me. My sister lived there for a few years and anyhow she had an older gentleman that tended the yard and a housekeeper who had a teenage son. 1 was for me and the other 2 were for them. They loved 'em.
The second time I went down to visit my sister, she had gotten a message from her friend Iglee who was down in the southern area of Venezuela. Iglee had gotten a grant to document how indigenous peoples used various medicinal plants, and to document plants there in general. The place is now an Eco-camp.. but when I was there it was little more than a native village. No pools.. everyone slept in hammocks (and at night rats that ran down the hammock strings.. I got very little sleep whenever I was in that country) .. no actual running water except a bit of creativity that harnessed a bit of the river.. meals were what you caught in the river or collected in the jungle. It was AWESOME! I'm quite devastated they warped it into what it is now.
Back to the point... the message she sent was that they were low on medical supplies and some of the babies were sick with chicken pox. So the weeks before heading down there I rounded up medical supplies, kids clothes, fabric, threads, buttons, clasps, fishing hooks and lures, nylon threads of various thicknesses, mosquito netting, etc .. and several dozen Swiss Army knives. I had 10 suitcases stuffed like mad.
Getting there was quite the adventure.. but in short I gave the knives to several people in several villages. If you ever go to a 3rd world country in an area that is off the grid... these are very appreciated tools I discovered. During my stay there, while we helped fish, helped bring medications for the little ones, basically chipped in wherever we could... the people were very very kind and often would bring us extra fish or fruits they collected. The avacado there were the size of footballs... ok not quite that big, but 1 avacado was massive compared to the puny things at the store.
They asked me to stay, (even offered to make me my own hut!) and I had planned on returning to spend a few months there.. but my youngest sister had several health crises followed by Venezuela becoming unstable. It wasn't to be... but that is ok because I will remember the place forever as a terrifying, beautiful, unspoiled, magical place on the planet.

Utilitarian tools are a wonderful thing... doesn't matter if you are in the jungle or in the city. If you don't have a Leatherman... I seriously suggest you consider one. They are something built so well that even after a decade plus of almost daily use (aside from having to sharpen the knife a few times) it is still as good as new.


  1. All the men folk as well as the women have Leathermen in my family. Did you know if one ever breaks it is guaranteed for life and the plant is close to Portland, OR. Tim the Toolman got one that was broken at a yardsale and for the heck of it went to the factory. Sure enough he got a new one!! Now that is good customer service.

  2. They have a 25 year guarantee and that's pretty nifty. If they ever break that is... his has dropped off a roof onto concrete and has been run over by a van and it is fine.

    Actually... you just inspired me. I'll go check to see if you can mail it in to have the knife sharpened.

    If so..I'll mail it the Saturday before Father's Day.. and give him a new one for Father's Day! I don't think he could function without it even for a few days.

    I got one for his Dad and his Uncle for their birthdays... but let's just say his family is divided.. either they are the ultimate Mr. Fix It... or the are Mr. Magoo and shouldn't be allowed to handle anything sharper than cheese.