Living in the bush for months at a time comes with plenty of risk and dangerous situations.
Gear breakdowns, motors die, bears charge—anything that can go wrong likely will go wrong at some point. While working a season in remote Alaska as a fishing guide, every day seemed to bring a new situation. In one instance, a bear actually chomped a fuel line. There was no motive or reason, they just take random bites out of gas cans, seat cushions, and anything that is appealing at that moment. And when you are 100 miles from anywhere, patching that line has to happen or you are in big trouble.
It’s amazing the repair jobs you can accomplish with a Leatherman and Duct Tape. Here are a few ways a Leatherman can literally save your butt in the Alaskan bush.
First Aid in the Field
If you really have your act together, your first aid kit will have a Raptor for cutting bandages and performing medical specific tasks. If not, your favorite multi-tool can get the job done. Just sanitize it before making any contact with open wounds. Alcohol pads and a lighter work well and can sanitize most metal surfaces in a pinch. The knives cut bandages while pliers hold pressure on gauze and can even cut sticks for an emergency splint, just to name a few bush survival tips when you need first aid.
Vehicle and Boat Repairs
You can do a surprising amount of work on vehicles and boats with a multi-tool. If it doesn’t require a socket or specialty tool, your Leatherman is up to the job. Screwdriver and hex bits always come in handy, and the Crunch has a great wrench built in. The pliers can grip and twist on nuts, bolts, hoses, and wires. The cutters can even punch through rubberized hoses and lines. If they are large hoses, the knife can get it started and the cutters will handle the rest. Combine the tool with a hefty roll of Duct Tape and you can hold parts together until you reach a safe place for full repairs.
Processing Fish and Game
Hunting and fishing are a part of living in the Alaska bush but you aren’t always ready to vacuum pack your catch and put it on ice. Spending endless hours in the field means you are not always prepared with fillet knives and all of your processing tools. Keeping a Leatherman on your hip solves that problem by ensuring you always have a sharp blade and pliers to grip and process just about anything. You can gut a fish easily with the knife, cut tendons while field dressing big game, and skin through a rabbit or squirrel with ease. Using effective tools is essential to learning how to live in the Alaska bush.
I just dressed a limit of grouse with my Leatherman on a mountain slope because it was hot and I wanted to cool down the meat immediately. My full processing kit was at camp, so I used the Leatherman in my pocket: the knife handled the cleaning and the cutters knocked off the wings and legs without a hitch.
Lastly, your Leatherman can bail you out of trouble in a serious bush emergency. If you are lost or stranded, knowing a multitool is always on your belt is comforting. You can hack down limbs for shelter, shred cordage for rope and improvise any number of tasks in the field. When sh** goes wrong in the bush, it’s rare that you are prepared carrying one tool at all times serves as a last resource for protection and utility applications.