Other Essential Tools to Carry With You in the Backcountry

Other Essential Tools to Carry With You in the Backcountry


Knives and tools are pretty common amongst us outdoorsy folks. Whether you carry them with you every day or just when you head out on your adventures, it’s a practice that has been handed down through the centuries for both survival and utility.  For the most part a good knife and multitool will get you through almost anything, but as useful as they are, they aren’t designed to do everything. In this article we’re going to take a look at a couple of other tools that are gaining ground in the outdoor world, some of which you may find handy as well depending on where your adventures take you.

The Marlin Spike
The marlin spike is a tool that is very popular with sailors for rope work. Shaped like a spike with a rounded head, the marlin spike is designed to do a multitude of tasks, but is most commonly used to undo stubborn or frozen knots. In recent years, climbers have adopted marlin spikes because they can work out a knot without damaging the rope; usually with a high success rate.


Spyderco Tusk
The Spyderco Tusk is a folding knife and marlin spike combo made from both L200 and L300 stainless steels and titanium which makes it both super durable and impervious to corrosion. Having both the knife blade and spike really makes this a climber’s dream, as it is hard to find all of this functionality elsewhere. The included pocket clip keeps it handy for easy access when you’re “hanging out”.

Atwood Dreadknot
The Atwood Dreadknot is a modern take on the classic marlin spike. It features a cutout in the middle to act as a shackle key, but has the addition of the always-useful bottle opener too. Made from 5/32” 316 stainless steel, the Dreadknot is not only highly resistant to corrosion, but built to last.


The Pry Bar
A lot of folks think that they can whip out their pocket knife and use it to pry something apart, only to end up snapping the blade in half. Though some knives – more commonly fixed blades – are designed to pry, the sure bet is to go with a pry bar. Pry bars are generally flat metal stock with a tapered end that is either solid or forked to allow you to get under nails heads and the like. These buggers come in really handy when trying to free up a frozen binding or gate, and almost anything else you want to take apart.

Les George Ti-Pry
Made from 8” of ¼” titanium, the Les George Ti-Pry comes in handy out in the outdoor world or when demolishing a house. Because of its size, it has considerable leverage and can be used to pop wood boards, turn over large rocks, or reach down to flip an ascent-assist gate on your snowshoes.


Lynch NW All Access Pass 1.2
The titanium All Access Pass 1.2 from Lynch NW is just as beautiful as it is durable. At 4”, it features a forked end which allows you to get in under a nail or bolt and really give it hell. Additionally, the 1.2 comes with a pocket clip which allows for easy carry and access. Give Casey Lynch a call, and if he has one in stock he’ll even anodize it for you. I don’t leave home without mine.

From boating, to skiing, to hiking, and climbing – it’s pretty easy to see how both of these types of tools could give you an edge in functionality when you’re out on an adventure – or even in day to day life. Along with a small flashlight, I have been carrying around a marlin spike and pry bar with me for the past couple of years and feel that my tool kit is complete. With them in my quiver I am always prepared for anything.

These are just four examples of what’s available in the marketplace today, and as both of these tools types are gaining ground, expect to see more to come.