What is a multi-tool? A lifesaver.
It was about 20 degrees, I was exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park and I was trudging through about three feet of fresh snow. The day was slipping away as Longs Peak hovered above me and the sun was setting behind the majestic mountain-scarred horizon. It was getting colder by the moment.
But, crazy ol’ me…I was still having fun shoeing around as twilight made an appearance in the Park. Dipping into a meadow off the ridge I was traversing, I decided it would be advantageous to sprint down the hill and enjoy the unscathed snow.
While running, I managed to catch the front of my right snowshoe under a tree branch. As physics would have it, I was flipped awkwardly into the snow as my shoe came dislodged from the branch and my other shoe smacked a rock.
After emerging from the snow and the chilly invigoration I experienced, I noticed my snowshoes had been seriously damaged. My heart sank considering I had a few more miles to hike and most of the terrain ahead was covered in powder.
I thought about the situation for a moment, realized how ironic it was and reached for my cell phone to call my wife. Before I requested a search party, I was searching through my backpack and I came across my multi-tool.
This off-brand, Wal-Mart bought tool was about to help me get out of a pretty good pickle. Most multi-tools are equipped with a pair of pliers, a knife, a mini-saw, a can-opener, a ruler, a file and much more. Somewhat like a pocketknife, the multi-tool is a great item for snowshoers to carry at all times.
The most important part of the multi-tool is the pliers. I used the pliers to realign my bent snowshoe frame and to bend my crampon teeth back into place. Good as new…sort of.
Once my snowshoes were back to a somewhat manageable state, I was back in the snow making my way to my vehicle. Although my snowshoes were usable, I had to deal with a new problem: The darkness. A headlamp would’ve worked great, but I managed to forget that important piece of equipment. Nobody’s perfect.
To purchase a good multi-tool, visit your local mountain outfitters and/or sports equipment store. Be prepared to spend between $25 to $125 for a multi-tool ranging in features. Some brands to watch for are Leatherman, Kershaw, Swiss Army, and Gerber (all these companies manufacturer a quality multi-tool).
Snowshoe Magazine has been productively moving forward and preparing for a great season. In the process of maintaining our Web site and introducing new features, we certainly want to hear from our readers. Have any ideas? Let us hear them; we certainly want to know.
To check out some of Snowshoemag’s latest features, visit the following links:
*Snowshoe Clubs: https://www.snowshoemag.com/clubs.cfm – The snowshoe clubs area is a popular feature that we will be fine-tuning as we hear more from existing clubs and their members. If you know or represent a club in your area or region, please send us your contact information so prospective members can find you. We also provide information on how to start your own club. And, we can help you along the way.
*Snowshoer Forums: https://www.snowshoemag.com/forum.cfm – We have managed to establish an area for our snowshoeing readers to congregate and communicate. Visit this page, register to become a member of the forums (you will receive a username and password) and begin posting your opinions and comments. The forums will also feature contests from participating companies such as Clif Bar and others. The contests will feature rather challenging questions that can be answered by forum members to win a prize. Good luck!
*Event Calendar: https://www.snowshoemag.com/calendar.cfm – A detailed and thorough calendar is a stipend to any snowshoer’s resources…and we have one that can be accessed for free. If you notice an event that doesn’t appear on our calendar, let us know and we will post it immediately.
*Product Reviews: https://www.snowshoemag.com/reviews.cfm – Knowing what to buy and how much you will spend is important. For snowshoers, a budget is a common concern. We have a number of product reviews ranging from trailrunning shoes to backpacks and much more. In the future, we will be reviewing snowshoes and providing detailed research on each brand and model for consumers. Stay tuned!
*Marcus the Intern: https://www.snowshoemag.com/intern.cfm – Marcus Wilkins, snowshoeing first-timer and lover of prose, will be providing a monthly column. Although we call him “the intern,” he’s become one of the more important cogs in the Snowshoemag machine. Indulge in Marcus’ banter today, won’t you?
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