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This Multi-Tool Is in All My Emergency Go Bags

I'd buy this pocket multi-tool whether it was on sale or not.

Clifford Colby Managing Editor
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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Clifford Colby
2 min read

The Gerber Dime 12-in-1 Mini Multi-Tool fits in the palm of my hand.

Peter Butler/CNET

I live about a mile from the San Francisco Bay Area fault that experts say is probably the region's most dangerous. It's hard to forget I live so close, with small shakers every few days. "Did you feel that?" must be among the phrases I've uttered most frequently in my lifetime. I know I probably won't get much of a warning before a big quake, but I can still prepare for it, which makes living close to the fault doable. 

My family and I are getting ready: We have an emergency plan, keep our car fueled up and know how to shut off our gas. But maybe the most important things we have are our go bags, also called bug-out bags

One item I've included in all our go bags is this multi-tool by Gerber that includes pliers, scissors, screwdrivers, wire cutters and a knife. You can drop a lot of money on a multi-tool -- and some are worth it -- but because both price and weight were important to me, I chose the Gerber Dime 12-in-1 Mini Multi-Tool

In addition to having bug-out bags at the ready, we keep an extensive earthquake kit in a big toy chest. With the big kit, weight isn't really an issue, and we can store enough food, water and whatever else we need to make it through a few days or even weeks. But in a go bag, each item has to be portable and essential, because weight adds up quickly. (This is the mini lantern I'm going with.)

The Gerber Dime 12-in-1 Mini weighs just a few ounces and fits into the palm of my hand when it's folded up. Maybe best of all, it's available for a good price at $26