Author Tackles 63 Survival Tasks Using Swiss Army Knife

Who would think that a Swiss Army knife (SAK) could make an ideal survival tool? Victorinox aficionado and knife safety educator Felix Immler proved its mettle after spending three months building a campsite with just a SAK at his side. He documented the experience in The Swiss Army Knife Book, recently released in English.

Over the course of his expedition, Immler built an entire campsite that includes a bed, ladder, cooking area, and a table with chairs.  Using just a SAK may seem limiting, but Immler reckons it as one of the ultimate survival knives. “In my opinion, your survival knife has to be in your EDC,” he says. “With a Swiss Army knife as an EDC, I have everything I need.” Fixed blades may be more durable, but he still favors the compact approach of carrying a SAK. The emphasis on these tools is his preference as an outdoorsman, not a gimmick. “With a few techniques, tricks and imagination, you can do so many things with a little, portable pocket knife. That’s what I want to express with my books.”

Immler's Campsite

Immler says this writing project was an attempt to condense all he knew about bushcraft into a single volume. The first five sections detail 63 campsite projects, while the last three address topics related to outdoor essentials: gathering materials, knife use and safety, and the legal aspects of long-term camping. The cover of the book features the Victorinox Camper, which contains the three tools Immler considers essential: a blade, saw, and reamer. Personally, he favors the Rangergrip 79 because of its larger form factor.

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In 2010 Immler was working in a children’s home and spent a lot of time outdoors with his pupils. “I found out that many children are interested in knives and carving.” He devised a “pocket knife driver’s license” workshop to certify their competence with a blade. This work did not go unnoticed by Victorinox, who helped him develop it into a full-time career educating kids in the use of knives. Immler’s first book taught kids carving with a Swiss Army knife, and he’s working on a sequel for his next effort. “The locations and the projects are more urban and a little bit more challenging.”

Felix Immler

In other Victorinox news, the company just released a new version of their Spartan model, the Spartan PS. It features the same tool complement as the original, but with a new, dark Polispectral coating on all the tools. It comes in either white or black scales and retails for $84.99.

Knife featured in image: Victorinox Camper