I love reading Geekdad. I'm fairly certain that were I ever to meet him, I might well see my twin! And today, he has a pretty good post about Camping Gadgets, a topic I have about as much difficulty reigning myself in on as Politics, or what makes for a good resume.
One of the age-old questions around the campfire is, "Which knife should one carry into the woods?" It's actually a very complex question, combining variables such as how you intend to cook your meals, what you intend to use for shelter, how long you'll be out, etc, etc. I have to say that I've probably considered this question for more time and with more intensity than some other weightier topics in life, like Batman v. Superman, or How many Angels can dance on the Head of Pin, or why Classical Musicians have to wear Tuxes, or How to achieve Peace in the Middle East.
The biggest question of late is Leatherman v. Swiss Army Knife. Many, many people now go w/the a Leatherman tool when they go into the woods. And, there's a lot to commend about them, especially when you have mechanical devices around that may need attention. But when you're hiking in the woods, there just aren't that many things around that need the attention of your pliers. And, they weigh a LOT more than a Swiss Army Knife, which is a big deal when you're hiking more than a mile or so, and they cost 2x or 3x more than a Swiss Army knife. I keep a Leatherman in my car at the trailhead, and I carry the Swiss Army knife on the trail.
Of all the Swiss Army Knives out there, the one that makes the most sense to me is the Huntsman model by Victorinox. It has all of the tools that you really need on the trail these days,including two that I've really come to value in utility: A hook so you can use the knife as a carrying handle for heavy loads; A saw.
A saw? On a Swiss Army knife? What would one use this for? To cut smallish branches.
Why would one want to cut smallish branches? First, you might need them for building a fire. Second, you might need to create stakes, say for an emergency shelter, or to kill vampires (you never know in the woods; Be Prepared!). In both cases, the saw is MUCH faster than using the main blade, and it saves your main blade for other uses, like making dinner.
In the end, it's very important to carefully consider what you will be doing so you understand fully the requirements before you buy your tool(s).