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Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Victorinox One Hand Sentinel

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Regardless of the environmental setting, everyone's survival and first aid kits must contain sharp cutting implements. A sturdy knife that is easy to deploy is essential for cutting fabric, rope, vines, and game, sharpening a wooden point, and even sometimes slicing or trimming human tissue. There are many choices, ranging from single-blade knives to multi-purpose tools in which a knife blade(s) is a component.

I was recently sent a Swiss-made Victorinox One-Hand Sentinel Knife for evaluation. This is a knife only, and carries a single blade for one-handed opening. It is a basic, economical model with the workmanship and quality we have come to expect from Victorinox. Retailing as low as $23 U.S., depending where you purchase it, the knife has a serrated edge on a blade length of 3.25 inches. Closed, the unit is 4.4 inches in length and 1.4 inches in width, and weighs 2.6 ounces. I received a black unit, with the Swiss Army logo. The blade is very sharp. It can indeed be opened with one hand, using reasonable grip and finger strength. Two hands are required to close the unit safely. Near the integrated steel ring loop for attachment to a lanyard or carabiner are a small tweezers and toothpick.

The knife is sturdy and fits the bill for a decent, small rescue knife.

Preview the 17th Annual WMS Winter Meeting, "Wilderness & Mountain Medicine," which will be held at The Canyons in Park City, Utah, February 20-25, 2009.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.

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