Mike Horn is a South African explorer known for his solo sailing expeditions and extreme feats, such as circumnavigating a route along the Arctic Circle via kayak, ski, and on foot. It was a solo trek that took more than two years to complete.
Back in civilization, Horn took time to consult with Wenger on some gear design. Wenger, maker of the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knives, wanted to create a high-end, multifunctional tool that would be "the only
knife that outdoor adventurers will need."
The result is an 8.8-oz. knife that bears Mike Horn's namesake and retails for a lofty $175. It has nine tools hidden in its big handle and is less a Leatherman than a Swiss Army Knife on steroids.
Indeed, the knife's big locking blades, which open with one hand and are almost four inches long, are the heart of this tool. The pliers, a stout needle-nose with a wire cutter, fold out of the handle alongside the blades. The other tools include a nut wrench, metal file, and can opener. The removable Phillips and flat-head driver bits are a unique touch. They click into the handle and face out for leverage.
The handle, made of recyclable materials and wood, has a nice feel and good grip. Wenger North America (wengerna.com) wanted to make an eco statement with the handle and thus used wood from a certified sustainable forest.
In use, the Mike Horn does indeed have most everything a camper or outdoors-person will need. But it is big and bulky, so I would not take it backpacking if I were trying to shave weight.
But as a tool for cutting, prying, tightening, and performing common camp and outdoor tasks, the Mike Horn, if you can afford it, will not leave you short.
--Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.