One of the most useful items I carry on backpacking trips is a small pair of scissors. They’re great for trimming leukotape if I feel a blister coming on or for shaping a piece of tenacious tape if I rip a hole in a piece of gear. I also occasionally use them to open a bag of freeze-dried food that resists my entry.
While you can carry separate medical shears, my preference is to carry a lightweight multi-tool that has a pair of scissors and other essentials like a bottle opener and a nail file. In winter, having a small set of pliers or a screwdriver can also be handy for adjusting or repairing snowshoes and crampons. But I really can’t remember the last time I needed a knife!
Here are a few of my favorite multi-tools with scissors:
1. Leatherman Micra Multi-Tool
The Leatherman Micra
has a knife
, tweezers, file, spring-action scissors, screwdrivers, a bottle opener, and even a ruler packed into a 1.8 oz multi-tool. It is small enough to clip to your key chain for everyday use and has a great toolset great for hiking, fishing, or even tailgating. The Micra is available in multiple colors making it easier to find if you accidentally drop it in the dirt at camp. It also makes a great gift for family members, any time of the year.
Leatherman | Amazon
2. Swiss Army Classic
The Swiss Army Classic
multi-tool is a longtime hiker favorite because it’s super lightweight but packs many of the tools that hikers need on a daily basis, ranging from a small pair of sharp scissors and a knife to a nail file, toothpick, and tweezers. Weighing just 0.7 ounces, it’s easy to clip to the outside of your backpack with a mini-biner for easy access. Replacement toothpicks and tweezers are also available since they’re usually the first thing you lose.
REI | Amazon
3. Leatherman Squirt PS4
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While the Leatherman Squirt PS4
is a fully-featured multi-tool, it folds down keychain small. This 2 oz wonder includes regular and needle-nose pliers, a pair of scissors, knife blade, file, flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. Made with stainless steel and anodized aluminum, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
Leatherman | Amazon
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About the author
has hiked and backpacked over 8500 miles in the United States and the UK and written over 3000 articles as the founder of SectionHiker.com, noted for its backpacking gear reviews and hiking FAQs. A devotee of New Hampshire and Maine hiking and backpacking, Philip has hiked all 650+ trails in the White Mountains twice and has completed 10 rounds of the 48 peaks on the White Mountains 4000 footer list with over 550 summits in all four seasons. He is also the author of Backpacking the White Mountain 4000 Footers,
a free online guidebook of the best backpacking trips in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine. He lives in New Hampshire. Click here to subscribe to the SectionHiker newsletter.