Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The smarter types know why already. (Don't get too far ahead of the class, kids.)
1. Kept in a small plastic baggie ($3/100 at WallyWorld) it lasts everywhere, forever.
2. At some point, you may be called upon to make traps* and snares*, or weapons*. You have a tool that will produce, far quicker and easier than your knife or multitool ever could, spikes for traps, snares, spears*, fish- and frog-gigs*, arrow tips*, and all manner of pointy wooden sticks, near endlessly.
3. Most importantly, to get a fire started, you'll need tinder*. So let's imagine a device that can take small and large sticks, and create a highly flammable ribbon-thin strip of combustible tinder, even from wood that's wet on the outside.
4. It also sharpens pencils*.
(You have forever-pencils in your kit, not just pens, right?)
The really indestructible brass and aluminum versions can be found online, at better art stores, and at most chain office supply stores, for around $5.
(Far less for cheaper plastic versions. I bought a round dozen of them, carded, at the local 99¢ Store. At 8.5¢@ for made-in-China goodness, you can give them away.)
You can store them in a plastic baggie for waterproofness.
A Swiss Army Knife* or Multi-tool* will have a file that can sharpen the blades, eventually.
You can (and should) also drill a small hole in the block somewhere out of the way, and put it on your EDC keychain, dummy-cord* it, or add it to a survival necklace*, so you can't lose it without your head coming off (at which point, you won't need the tool anymore anyways).
You will not find this on any military list of survival items, AFAIK.
Requires no instruction manual nor complicated directions.
Can save your life several ways.
Buy a number of them, and squirrel one of them away in every version of your emergency gear.
*The Sergeant Major notes "You will see this material again."
OMFG: Let's all pause and contemplate, for a minute, the fact that there's someone using the internet in Comments to this post who cannot identify the item pictured without having their hand held. Despite point #4, above.