Sosakonline Archive

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Being Prepared, the Right Way

Well it may not have been life threatening or even life saving, but the SwissTool sure came in handy a couple of days ago.  It started off with a slow leak in one of my tires, and as usual, I kept putting off doing something about it.  I just put air in here and there and figured I'd do somethign sooner or later.  "Next time I'm at the auto parts store I'll get stuff for it."  Well I'd been there a few times and it always slipped my mind.

Finally I'd had enough, I went to my local Canadian Tire, and got some tire sealant and went out to the parking lot to fix myself up.  Canadian Tire is one of those great places where there's always someone fixing their cars in the parking lot, mostly with tools or parts they just bought inside, so I started reading the directions, which consisted of using the small wrench built into the bottle cap to remove the valve stem so I could get this sickeningly bright yellow gunk into the tire.  No problem, right?  Wrong.  The tiny wrench got so gummed up while removing the valve stem that there was no way it was going to put it back in, but of course I can't go anywhere without it, so what to do?

As you can see from Today's SAKtivity it was a simple matter to cut the top off the bottle with the blade of my handy SwissTool, but the pliers were far too large to get at the tiny valve stem, or even inside the valve itself.  Someone who thought themselves prepared with a tactical knife or traditional slip joint featuring nothing but blades probably would have ended up goign back into the store and getting a valve stem wrench, which admittedly would be a good thing to have overall, but this to me is where a SAK of any kind really proves it's worth.

While the SwissTool may not have a built in valve stem wrench, it does have a small screwdriver, which I was able to use as half a wrench, which was enough to chase the little bugger back into the stem and seat it properly.  Then I plugged in my little compressor to the cigarrette lighter, pumped up the tire and I was on my way again, and the tire has held up wonderfully ever since.

Last month I wrote a "What's the best SAK" article in which I pointed out that the best thing a SAK does for you is teach you to improvize with the good tools you had the good sense to bring with you.  Well, once again it's been proven in my mind that while you may not always have the right tool for the job, sometimes the tools you do have with you can be more than right enough with a little imagination.