This seems a pretty tall order for a mere back to school supply piece of plastic, but the humble pencil sharpener really can save your life in an emergency situation.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the million ways you can use a Tic Tac box to create mini survival kits. But that’s not a great multi-tasking piece of equipment. Sure, it’s a little plastic box that can hold things….but what else can it do? A pencil sharpener seems like a unitasker, sharepening the writing and drawing utensils of the elementary school set, but it can also sharpen small sticks, too.
It All Starts with a Fire
And why would you want to do that? Tinder, my friends, tinder. You can take small twigs, run them through the sharpener and have tinder. Tinder begats fire. Fire begats warmth. Warmth saves your life. It’s that simple. Well, not quite that simple, but the idea is that if you run out of tinder that you carry in your survival gear, and you are in a place where tinder isn’t necessarily easy to find, you can simply take a pencil sharpener and make same wood shavings that can serve as tinder to help start your fire.
But the bonus is that same little pencil sharpener box can also store things that you might need in an emergency situation. Granted, those pencil sharpeners might not be as small as a Tic Tac box, but that’s okay. They are still compact and can hold a lot. The only drawback is that they aren’t waterproof or spill proof, you still can lose product, so don’t store items that are so tiny or liquid that can leak, or anything that needs to be protected from moisture.
Even without making a kit, a pencil sharpener on it’s own is a great investment in your kit. make sure it’s not a super-cheap version and can hold up to the elements and your bag. Here’s a nice brass pencil sharpener that isn’t cheap, but definitely will hold up.
Survival Kits for a Pencil Sharpener
In each of these samples, you could use the pencil sharpener box to store the mini-kits in, then empty them if you need to use the pencil sharpener, and then put the product back in. It’s not as uniform as having little tic tac boxes dedicated to just one thing, but it can save a little space for you if you’re trying to pack a lot into your EDC bag or BOB. Just be careful not to lose things.
Tinder – Stuff it full of cotton soaked in petroleum jelly. You have a tinder case, plus a way to make tinder if needed. Or, just keep it packed with pencil shavings!
Fishing Kit – a few hooks, a couple of sinkers, some fishing line, and you’re set for an emergency fishing kit.
Sewing Kit – a few wads of thread (dental floss or fishing line can work as well), a few needles, safety pins, buttons, bobby pins, paper clips.
Matches – While you’d still want to keep the matches stored in a waterproof zip top bag, this is a great place to tuck a few so they aren’t floating around the bottom of your EDC. This is not a high priority item for your bag, but it is a slick little trick to make a multi-tasker out of an item that can be useful, thus giving yourself another layer of protection.
Your Thoughts: What else can you imagine using a pencil sharpener for?