This article was published January 6, 2011

Weight: 1.4 ounces

Price: $25

During a stop at Lincoln Canoe & Kayak in Freeport early in December I happened on a small, lightweight mini survival tool that paddlers and hikers will find they must have – the Adventure Medical Kits Core Lite. It became one of my stocking stuffers at Christmas.

At 1.4 ounces, 3 1/2 inches long, 7/8-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick it will stow anywhere (including clipped to the brim of your cap), ready for use in an instant.

The 1 1/2-inch locking AUS-8 steel blade is easily deployed, unlocked and refolded with one hand (easy for us right-handed folks, anyway).

Adventure Medical Kits says “the drop-point hollow-ground blade has been engineered to excel at survival tasks such as whittling, slicing and tasks where blade control is essential. The combination of a long handle and short blade prevents the blade from getting unwieldy when you are making kindling for fire, cutting wet tree bark to expose dry inner wood or notching and grooving branches in order to construct a shelter.”

In addition to the blade there’s a 10-lumen LED light that is switched on and off with a rubber-coated button. The light is on the same end of the tool as the blade and can be used in conjunction with it for cutting in low-light situations. A small Phillips-head screw holds the battery cover in place.

At the opposite end of the tool is a 100-decibel pea-less rescue whistle.

Adventure Medical Kits claims the AUS-8 locking blade is harder, holds an edge longer and sharpens more easily than common steel blades.

In addition to having this tool in your emergency or survival kit, the company suggests hunters and fishermen will find it handy, as will campers, paddlers, scouts and hikers.

I paid $25 for the Core Lite but there is an introductory $20 price on the company’s website at