Leatherman handles being under (well, in) fire
So...I have had the dream of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail for about the past 5 or 6 years and this past spring I decided to take the plunge. After taking a couple of years amassing gear (including a Leatherman Wave multi-tool), doing research on what to expect on the trail and saving a small fortune that would have to last 6 months I had had enough of dreaming and made my way to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain, Georgia. Most people who start the A.T. have little to no experience living the lifestyle of being in the woods, but, fortunately for me, I have been on a number of week-long backpacking trips along with the benefit of being a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, so I felt that I was pretty well prepared.
The first couple of days were physically painful but mentally exhilarating! The comical points, though, were those in camp in the evening when all of the green hikers would congregate at the shelters, rummage through our morbidly heavy packs, haphazardly throw together alcohol stoves and attempt to cook what, on the trail, would be called supper without burning the shelter down.
On the second night of my trek one of my fellow hikers, who had had too little experience with her alcohol stove attempted, unintelligently, to cook her supper on a platform in the shelter in which about 15 peoples' gear was strewn about in preparation for the coming nights sleep. Lacking the proper experience she filled the aluminum cup with too much alcohol and lit it. Immediately there was a large flash and a clank of metal as she shot up and dropped her pan on top of the hot alcohol. She attempted to grab the pot with her hands only to mildly burn herself. She looked around in a frantic attempt to find something which she could use to remove the stove from the shelter. I, with the grippy metal of my Leatherman Wave, reached into the flames, pulled the pot of burning fuel from amongst everybody's sleeping gear and tossed it to the ground outside of the shelter.
Everybody thanked me and, if I remember correctly, I even got a free packet of peanut butter out of the deal! All had been saved by the Leatherman Wave. Many people began the trail with a multi-tool, but due to the weight most people sent them home along the way since they didn't use them enough to justify carrying the weight.
As for me, about 6 and a half months after this incident I had walked 2,178.3 miles, completing the Appalachian Trail and my Leatherman Wave went with me over every mountain, across every river all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine. By the time I made it to the end of the trail the stainless steel had begun to rust from the salt in my sweat and one of the blades had broken off at the tip but it still works great. On whatever journey I find myself, I will always go with a Leatherman!