The Way of the Knife…

by Dorothea

Swiss Army Knife: with this tool you will be able to get out of (nearly) every hairy situation

SAChampSwiss Army Knife “SwissChamp”

Since the discovery the oldest tools recently in Kenya, dating back 3.3 million years, it is not surprising to find that the tools were very sharp flint knives:

flint-knifeFlint knife

No human being should be without a basic traveling toolkit, regardless if you’re handy or not. So the question is: Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman?

10-waveLeatherman “Wave”

I have had many heated debates about this existential question and the world divides into roughly two catagories: many of my friends who are in the film business, choose Leatherman, because of its sturdy tools. The others choose SAK (Swiss Army Knife), because of its versatility; it is so much more than just DIY tools! Of course the French only need the following version:


I am not impartial, having grown up with Victorinox pocket knives all my life, my vote goes to SAK. From my mother and father using it frequently on safaris in my adventurous childhood in Kenya, to me having to unhinge a chateau door in the midst of a winter night in Normandy, SAK is all you need.

SafariOn safari with my mother and little sister in Kenya

Little sewing jobs, broken nails, small field surgery, picnics, minor repairs, tooth picking, opening up a bottle of wine or beer, you name it, it has a tool for everything! It is also irresistibly smooth when closed and its red color is handy too!

SCClosedOf course, the most exciting tool is one I dream of using one day, when I am lost in the bush or perhaps just in the Normandy countryside: the magnifying glass! Not because I am losing my eyesight, but because you can use it for making fire! (I guess that won’t work every day in the Normandy countryside, as it frequently rains…)

FireDying to do this!

My guilty pleasure is Ray Meers, the BBC survival guru, who will teach you all the tricks of “surviving” in extreme circumstances! Stranded in the jungle? Build a shelter! Stranded on the North Pole? Build an igloo! (Although I am not sure the knife on your SAK will be big enough for cutting big blocks of ice…)

RayMearsIglooRay Mears building an igloo in his “Northern Wilderness” series for the BBC

I never travel without my big red knife (in my suitcase) but in my handbag I always carry the elegant very small silver Tiffany’s version:

TiffanyThis is one of the most wonderful presents you can give someone, and Tiffany’s can also engrave it!