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A Swiss Army knife is an invaluable item for anyone thinking of doing any sort of camping or hiking and although I don't do nearly as much outdoor pursuits as I would like I wouldn't dream of going anywhere without one. Unfortunately on a recent camping trip to the Lake District I left my trusty knife behind and I was gutted as it truly was a fantastical little knife that was so useful for so many different things.
For those who may not know a Swiss Army knife is a multi-tool which was invented in the 1880's for the Swiss Army. Victorinox are the makers of the original Swiss Army knives and the one that I had was the Spartan Lite model which I had had for a couple of years and found to be an amazing gadget to have around and was surprisingly handy to have even just around the house before you even take into consideration just how invaluable it was for camping trips.
The Spartan Lite Swiss Amy knife is made from a combination of stainless steel and strong plastic which makes it really rugged and durable. The stainless steel attachments come with a lifetime guarantee and they are incredibly practical as well as being extremely well made. On the knife the different attachments include a blade obviously which is really sharp and comes in handy for a variety of uses. There is also a cork screw and bottle/tin opener which is a necessity for any camping trip, a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver, key ring, tweezers and a couple more attachments that I wasn't sure what they were for but am sure they must be for something practical that I just didn't figure out.
What makes this little knife a little different from other Swiss Army knives is that it also included an LED light built into it. I can't even begin to explain just how useful this was not just for camping but I have used it in the garage, in my car and even in the house before. The light it emits is surprisingly bright and although it isn't going to be as bright as a torch it is more than bright enough to be able to make out what you are doing when it is dark. For example if you need to see in a small hole while using the screw driver the light is more than bright enough to help you see what it is that you are unscrewing or for keyholes etc.
It takes two small watch batteries but in all the time I owned it I only had to replace the batteries once which was an easy job and didn't involve any sort of unscrewing.
When all the tools are folded neatly back into the knife it is nice and compact and doesn't take up much room in your pocket or bag and it isn't really heavy so as to drag down your trousers or shorts when it is in the pockets. The knife also looks the part and is so well made and constructed. It is really heavy duty for being so lightweight and won't crack or smash if you happen to drop it even if you drop it onto concrete from a height. Mine had so many bumps and scrapes and was still looking almost like new even after having owned it for quite some time.
The attachments that you will probably use the most often will be the knives and there are two on this Swiss Army knife one smaller one and one larger one. Because you will use them most often for things they need to be sharp and of a decent enough size to be genuinely useful. Luckily on this Swiss Army knife they are both. The small one is great for using to gouge things and for getting out things that are stuck while the larger one is the most useful one for cutting and although it is not the largest knife it cuts through most things with ease. I only had to sharpen the knives a couple of times as they don't blunt easily and you can be sure that you can take away your knife and it won't let you down just when you need it.
I think I paid around about £25 for this knife which I personally think is really good value for money as it was a genuinely useful product that I used loads of times. There are other Swiss Army knives available which have even more attachments on them but for people who only need the few basic essentials then this knife offers the best of both worlds. It has enough attachments to be completely useful but it is compact enough that you can carry it about without it weighing you down and getting in the way. It is also so well made that I should last you for years if unlike me you don't leave it behind when you leave the campsite. I am gutted I lost mine and plan on buying another one as soon as possible.
Spartan Lite multi-function tool