The E-Tool Debate

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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An E-Tool is good for:

Living in my BOB, it's useful
28
34%
It stays in the vehicle
38
46%
Screw you E-Tool carrying Commies
17
20%
 
Total votes: 83

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Murph
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The E-Tool Debate

Post by Murph » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Put your flame retardant undies on, because it's going to get hot in here!

I've seen a couple threads since I've started posting where a discussion of gear turns into a debate over the usefulness/uselessness of your standard E-Tool. Although I don't think that this debate is as classic as AR vs. AK and Cake vs. Pie, it seems like neither side is willing to agree.

I do believe that a single concise debate about it would be worth having for the benefit of people who are unsure about the notorious E-Tool.

So, LETS GET READY TO RUBBLE!!!

Edit for Poll
Last edited by Murph on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Chris@MTCT
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Chris@MTCT » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:10 pm

Mine comes in handy diggin a hole for my poo..
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Ruderpinne » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:12 pm

whats a e-tool cell phone?
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by TDW586 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:14 pm

Weelll....if you need a shovel, it's nice to have one, and the E-tool does a good job at "being a shovel" while still being small and light enough to pack easily. That's about it for my thoughts on the subject.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:15 pm

I've seen these get heated....I think this very well could be the next cake/pie.

I'll throw my hat firmly in the anti-e-tool camp. as an ARFCOMer pointed out, the time and energy spent digging a hole or defendable fighting position is better severed just hoofing it another mile and finding natural terrain that serves your purpose, or if all else fails, dig with a stick.

e-tools are great for camping but seem to work against the mobility goal of a BOB situation. In an "end of the world" scenario I'd probably get a good shovel and hold on to it, but getting the hell out of Dodge and hoofing it to grandmas house doesn't call for building a homestead every night.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Arch » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:16 pm

Assuming we're talking about e-tools for a Bug-Out-Bag.....I'd rather spend the weight on: food; water; ammo.

I don't plan on spending energy and risking injury to bury my poo or dig a fire pit. I'll poo in the woods (next to that proverbial bear) and (if necessary) hide my fire with a debris shield...that will also serve to reflect heat back into my hidey-hole.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by TDW586 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:20 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:I'll throw my hat firmly in the anti-e-tool camp. as an ARFCOMer pointed out, the time and energy spent digging a hole or defendable fighting position is better severed just hoofing it another mile and finding natural terrain that serves your purpose, or if all else fails, dig with a stick.
If we're talking about a full combat situation, that makes no sense bro. If you can find terrain that serves to provide a position as good for defense as entrenched positions, then obviously you would use it. However, if you are defending a position, it's kind of likely you don't have an unlimited choice of where to defend. In that case, it's nice to be able to dig your ass in.

That being said, if we're talking about a bug out bag, I agree it's probably not necessary to carry an E-tool and the weight would be better spent on something else.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by johnwiseman » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:24 pm

I don't know that there is much of a debate. Some people carry em and some don't. I don't carry one. They weight is a bit on the annoying side. I am working on a pull behind cart for my next BOB setup. This should solve most of my weight issues, so there might be room then. They do come in handy during weekend life for a myriad of taskes. Diging, chopping, last ditch snake defence, poop'n holes. I keep one in my truck all the time. It has proven usefull a time or two. If nothing else it certinly entertains my freinds kids while we are fishing. They have claimed it as their own because of its size.

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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Murph » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:32 pm

I've had an E-Tool in my car trunk for years now. I've found it completely indespensible. You can dig yourself out of a snowed in parking spot like nobody's business.

I often think that it'll be useful for back packing, but to be honest this past season I haven't gone much farther than 50 feet from the car. While camping I've used it to clean out firepits, cut roots, slash down brush, and probably a few other things that aren't coming to mind right now.

I personally think they're pretty useful, but then again I haven't had to hump one around either. I'd probably pick a full size axe over an e-tool though if I could only have one.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Arch » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Murph,

I've carried an e-tool in my vehicles since 1997, and have never used it. We don't get tremendous amounts of snow and I seldom try to take my 4WD places it shouldn't go. However, because I have room in my SUV and already own the e-tool I keep it in there. I also have a USGI Machete in my SUV, but haven't used it either.

For the past year, I've been parring down my kits (you remember my 68.9 pound INCH, right :lol: ). The more time I spend in the field testing gear, the more I realize how minimal your gear can really be.

Improvisation can be used for a lot of "rare tasks". If I'm going to carry a heavy tool, its going to be a long fixed blade knife or camp axe.

Everyone has opinions, but my opinion is MORE FOOD.

If you watch shows like Survivorman (Les Stroud is the real deal), you'll see most of the time hunger and poor shelter are the major issue people face. Again: MORE FOOD; WATER; SHELTER.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Ruderpinne » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:39 pm

<--- just figured out what an e-tool is :lol:
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by JollyRoger762 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:41 pm

It depends on the context.

If it's a simple bug out, particularly an urban bug out, the e-tool isn't really needed.

However, for camping, INCHing, or a bug out in an area where you might want to be able to move dirt fast (like making a trench for water to run around your bivy site in a rain heavy area, then they can be essential.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:43 pm

If we're talking about a full combat situation, that makes no sense bro.
entirely agreed. I'm not a soldier so I try very hard to avoid arguing combat situations since I realize the extent of my experience (Jack shit).
but since we aren't having this debate on lightfighter, I think its safe to assume our bug-out gang doesn't have an entire squad of well-trained, well outfitted cohesive team fighters.
personally I'm a college student with a backpack. If priority one of a bugout is point A to point B Quickly, Quietly, and Safely, digging in for a firefight isn't on the menu.

quite simply if "they" (chi-com paratroopers, government agents, pillaging hillbillies, choose your survivalist fantasy) see me first and open fire I'm not sparing one second to dig the e-tool out of my pack and dig in. If I see "them" first, running the hell away is defiantly my best option.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by phil_in_cs » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:43 pm

I have a massively sturdy and heavy wood handled German etool in each vehicle, for digging out if I get stuck or something. I also have a Cold Steel Spetznaz shovel, because, well, they are cool. Works has a poor axe, too.

I have a plastic garden trowel for digging cat holes, though. If I have to hump it any serious distance, the etools are getting left in the truck.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by AKFTW » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:44 pm

I think they would definitely have a place in a winter kit, for digging snow caves, etc. Any other season though, and I agree with the more consumables for the weight.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:46 pm

this post needs a poll!
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by bigmattdaddywack » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:46 pm

How are they as weapons? You know against zombies who can't shoot you? I know spades are devastating in CQB, but has anybody use one in recent memory.
I would carry one, cause you never know.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by 11binf » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:52 pm

when i go camping and its more than likely i'll be going in my Jeep, i carry a full size shovel and not a E-tool....if i do'nt have to hump it on my old back i can afford to take a full size shovel, it's good on the knee's and the back and moves more earth than the small E-tool spade ...but if your bugging out or in a E&E situation then you want to travel light and fast and really do'nt want the extra weight or bulk of the E-tool....i think it really depends on what you want to do like dig/build a hide site or dig a Dakota fire hole, if this is part of your E&E or bug out plan then yes you just might need a small spade/E-tool....vince g. 11b inf..
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by nacho » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:58 pm

I'm all for E-tools many a camping trip they come in handy, however I keep a medium size shovel in my Jeep, and I never hike with an E-tool.
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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by johnwiseman » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:05 pm

bigmattdaddywack wrote:How are they as weapons? You know against zombies who can't shoot you? I know spades are devastating in CQB, but has anybody use one in recent memory.
I would carry one, cause you never know.

As CQB weapons they can be utterly devistating, but not more then any short handled axe might be. Next time you string up a pig give it a whack or two, you'll see. The only real problem with the folding ones is getting the thing out and unfolding it in time to defend ones self. They wouldn't be my first choice, but far from the last choice. I just dont think they are worth humpin on most BOB rigs. Great to throw in back of a truck. Great in a BOV. But my Machettee can do almost every thing a E tool can and its not nearly as heavy.

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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Murph » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:05 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:this post needs a poll!
Added. Good thinking.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by dragon rouge » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:15 pm

In the never ending queste for the"better mousetrap" I substituted my german etool and military issue machete for a 22in machete and a Gerber Gorge shovel for a week long kayak trip last year. For the trip at hand it proved to be probably wiser choice because of the very limited storage space. The shovel was used a good bit for cat holes fire pits and digging for bait for a bit of survival fishing. The extra 4 inches on the machete was nice when a cotton mouth came calling. I personally like something along to dig holes with and I have a strong aversion to using a nicely sharpened cutting tool for digging in rocks and dirt. For normal car camping the long machete and full sized etool will both come along. In the bob the shorter and lighter machete and mini etool are stashed .

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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by RatDrall » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:19 pm

I keep a Cold Steel shovel (small one with sharpened edges) in the duffel with our tent that goes with our bugout gear. If we lost the duffel, we could survive, but it's nice to have a full sized tent.

I can make do without the little shovel, but I've used numerous times while out and about to dig fire pits and waste pits and wouldn't want to be without it.

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Re: The E-Tool Debate

Post by Towanda » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:21 pm

I have a short shovel that I keep in my car and use for digging out of snowbanks and fire duty in camp at DFH festivals.

If I have to get away from the zombocalypse on foot by myself with a BOB, then all I'm bringing is a U-Dig-It or an iPood! to bury my poo and any other small digging chores. Since I will be solo, I will be hiding or running away from parties of raiders.
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