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Photo: Claire Lower

My grandfather knew what he was doing when he told me to “always carry a pocket knife”. Spending the last few weeks of summer on the beach? You should use a knife. Hike to a cabin in the mountains? Take a knife. Are you spending some time in a luxury hotel in the middle of a busy city? To take. A knife.

Knives are technically weapons, but they’re also an important tool to use when preparing and / or eating something. Hotel rooms are not equipped with knives, and vacation rentals and secluded huts sometimes “have” them, but the knives in these temporary domiciles are never sharp. (Your knife should be sharp, of course. If not, make sure you sharpen it before you set off on your journey.)

Even if you plan on “not cooking” during your vacation, you are sure you want to eat, and I’m sure you want to eat some in the privacy of your room, cabin, or beach house, away from the prying eyes of the people Publicity. Do you want some nice, local, seasonal fruit? I bet you would really enjoy it if it was cut into pleasant slices (with a knife). Did you buy a fancy cheese or salami earlier in the day? You will need a knife to cut it up. Sharing a festive cake with a loved one? It is knife time.

Aside from eating – which is always my main concern – a sharp knife can help you open stubborn packaging, cut a tangled knot, or Turn an empty Pringles can into a powerful phone speaker. (I did the last maneuver in a field after picking berries and everyone was very impressed.)

You don’t have to limit yourself to one knife, either. I usually take at least two – mine Opinel picnic knife (which has a built-in corkscrew) and a tactical blade that looks very serious (I forget the brand name and don’t feel like pulling it out of my backpack to check). I’m going moose this weekend and I’m taking a third knife – my grandfather’s hunting knife, which is much larger than the other two.

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No matter how many knives you take with you, make sure you package them securely and legally. For example, do not put a knife in your hand luggage and enter “Is it legal to carry a knife in it” [whatever state or country you are traveling to]“Into your favorite search engine before you hide it in your pocket. And don’t try to take a knife with you to Disney World or any other theme park. (Personally, I’ve never stabbed anyone, but knives are considered a type of weapon, so treat them accordingly.)