The Right Tool Can Make the Difference
It could happen to you! A tale of ordinary survival thanks to an extraordinary tool.
It’s been an amazing day. With all the stresses of work and family, you needed to get away, take some time just for you. No laptops, no phones, no electronic devices at all – just you and nature. And that means a fishing trip.
The sun was shining, the air crisp and refreshing, and the fish practically leaping out of the water to grab your lure. But you misjudged time a little fighting with that last monster trout. It’s easy to do this time of year. You landed him, your biggest catch of the day, but now it’s nearly dark and it’s a long hike back to where you parked.
With some reluctance you gather your gear for the trek through the thick underbrush. Hoisting your pole onto your shoulder and hefting your cooler, you head up the embankment. You barely make it a dozen steps when the cooler, laden down with the day’s catch, slides from your grasp. As you stoop to pick it up, you notice the plastic handle has broken free.
A closer examination reveals one of the screws holding it in place has worked its way free. It’s hanging by a single thread. Careful not to lose it in the dying light, you tighten the screw down with your fingers, but as you grip the handle and lift the cooler, it starts to come loose.
You don’t relish a long journey back to the car cradling the cooler like a 40-pound infant, but it would be a shame to let such a great catch go to wait. Then you remember your Leatherman Tread. The sleek stainless steel bracelet was a present from your company last Christmas and you’ve made it an everyday accessory. Not only does it look great, each of its 10 links features tools for situations just like this, 25 in total.
Sliding the bracelet from your wrist, you find the correct tool and with a few twists, secure the errant screw back into place. A few sharp tugs of the handle ensures that it stays in place, and with some relief, you set off again.
By now it’s full on dark. Stumbling and scratching yourself on bushes, you manage to claw your way through the undergrowth, only getting slightly dirty. You reach the car with a sense of relief. Dropping your cooler and fishing gear by the trunk, you reach into your pocket for the keys.
They’re not there.
Frantically, you check the rest of your pockets. They’re nowhere to be found. Did you drop them in the water? That would be a nightmare. You’ll never find them in the dark.
You think back. Did you even put them in your pocket when you left the car?
You run around to the driver’s side window and peer inside. There they are on the driver’s seat, glistening in the gathering moonlight, your keys, safely locked inside the car.
Well at least you can call someone for help.
At least you could have, if your phone wasn’t sitting right next to your keys on the seat.
You consider your options. By your estimation, the nearest phone is at a service station a good 15 miles away. If you’re lucky you might find a lonely house where an accommodating farmer would let you call a locksmith. Or you could end up walking until sunrise.
Of course there’s a third option, a more expensive one, but desperate situations require drastic solutions. Removing your handy tool bracelet again, you find the link with the carbide glass breaker. Trying not to think about the hefty cost of replacing your window, you grit your teeth and smash the tool into the window. The glass shatters on impact.
Being careful not to cut yourself on the broken glass, you reach inside and unlock the door. A few moments later, after brushing the shards from the seat and stowing your gear in the trunk, you put the key in the ignition and head for home.
But this just isn’t your night. You’ve only gone a few miles when there’s a loud bang and your car jerks violently to the left. Slamming on the brakes, you slide off the road, through a ditch and slam head-first into a tree.
Dazed, you stumble from the wreckage. Thankfully you were wearing your seatbelt, but judging from the smoke billowing from your crumpled hood, the engine suffered serious damage. A shredded front tire fingers a blowout as the culprit.
You’d better call a tow truck. Grabbing your cell phone, you unlock the screen just in time to see the low battery warning flash for the final time. It’s dead.
Here’s where most people would sit down and cry. But you’re not most people. You’re tough.
And besides, it seems like you passed a house somewhere near here on the way in. Determined, you brush yourself off and set out to find it.
Finally some luck! You’ve gone only a few hundred yards when the friendly yellow glow of electric light peeks through the trees. Laughing with joy, you break into a run.
It’s a quaint little cabin, not far from the road, the same one you had seen. Smoothing down your hair to make yourself as presentable as possible, you knock on the door.
The old man who opens the door seems surprised to see you.
“Can I help you?” his eyes register concern at your disheveled appearance.
You explain the situation and ask if you can borrow his phone to call for help.
He readily agrees, bringing you a cell.
It’s then that you remember this is the 21st century and the only numbers you know are your sister and your parents and they both live on the other side of the state.
Not to worry, the Leatherman Tread again to the rescue. Using its SIM card pick, you slide your card from your phone and swap it with his. A short conversation later, a tow truck is en route.
While you wait, the old man offers you a cold one, which you gladly accept. Popping the cap off with the opener on your bracelet, the two of you sit on his porch sipping the cool beverage and swapping fish stories.
It’s been a good day. And you didn’t even have to use your Tread’s cutting tool, wrenches or hex drivers.
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