Essential Backpacking Equipment: Can Opener
Miami Beach, United States
Much like the reasoning behind carrying a mosquito net that you might only use once a year, when you really need a can opener, you really need it.
I learned this lesson the hard way in Latin America, and when I passed through the United States in the spring of 2007, I picked up this little number at an army surplus store:
It's small—about the size of a house key—and collapses down on itself. Dad tells me this is the same type of tool that he used to open his rations when he served in the U.S. Army, before I was born. I believe they're called P-38 or P-51 can openers.
Best of all, airport security doesn't seem to notice it or care, as I've taken it in my backpack on more than two dozen flights, and only once has a U.S. TSA officer inspected it, and returned it to me—rather silly, seeing how you can't even take nail clippers onto planes these days for fear of cutting something… like the pilot's hangnail, perhaps.