It’s funny how often you find yourself sawing, cutting, hacking, screwing (mind out of the gutter) and hammering while in the wild.  Weather it’s pitching a tent or trying to get that damn package of hot-dogs open… I’ve been able to narrow my entire outdoors tool-set down to two absolutely necessary items.

#1 – Gerber’s Flik Fish ($90) one-handed multi-tool.  Designed specifically to help you out on the water with one-handed fishing assistance (clipping lines, removing hooks from your face, etc.), I’ve found this tool extremely helpful both on the water and off.  Gerber describes the Flik as:

When you’ve landed the big one, fumbling for tools isn’t easy. Enter the new Flik Fishing Tool. With a flik-of-the-wrist the long needle-nose pliers deploy quickly, keeping one hand free for more important tasks. Remove hooks in a snap, or sharpen them with the included file. This tool is packed with implements like flip-out scissors able to cut 150# line, which means you can leave all those other toys back in that clunky tackle-box.

… but as I mentioned, this goes way beyond the boat.  It has a groove for sharpening hooks and other items (I’ve even used it to sharpen ground stakes) and scissors heavy duty enough to cut a 150lb fishing line, which makes hamburger packaging tremble under it’s strength.  Great for slicing into just about anything you’ll find out-and-about, the swing out (and very securely locking) stainless steal blade and saw have been a tremendous help in a pinch.  All encompassed with a nice ballistic nylon sheath, the Flik is probably my best all around tool.

#2 – Gerber’s Back Paxe ($54) may be slightly more fun to wield than actually necessary… but hot damn I love this little guy!  Yes, this is definitely my most useful tool when it comes to the much coveted roaring campfire.  Chopping effortlessly into whatever wood I find, this forged steel axe is perfectly balanced for absolute precision and less effort on your part to look like a real man in front of your camping buddies.  Plus (and this is not part of the Gerber pitch)… this thing is a freakin blast to throw!  It has amazing balance and weighted just right to toss at any, preferably inanimate, object with perfect aim.  I can guarantee that if these were in the hands of our nations ancestors back in the day… those freakin pale-faced land stealers would have thought twice.  I digress… these are, of course, not made for scalping or hunting!!!!  They are made for cutting wood or flipping around and hammering in those hard to nail tent/pop-up stakes.  This bad-ass little axe also comes with a ballistic nylon sheath which easily attached to any belt.  Gerber describes their Back Paxe as:

There’s just something kind of satisfying about swinging a simple, no-nonsense axe. One that’s balanced, and weighted for efficient impacts. That pretty much describes Gerber Axes.

Each one sports a forged stainless steel head. And edge retention that’ll have people talking. And glass-filled nylon handles that are all but impossible to damage. Let alone break.

There you have it… my 2 essential camping tools.  Light, easy to carry and store, and all I ever need!