Travel cuts the fat of what you need for day-to-day. Living in Boston, I’d collected some excesses – cheap office clothes for convenience, photographic mementos, prints. I thought that without that surplus, I would be set for life in a Sprinter Van. I packed simply, but I didn’t have one basic item – a pocket knife.
Honestly, I grew up thinking knives were for dads and boy scouts. My own father always had a Swiss Army Knife on his night stand or jingling with the change in his pockets. My older brother received one as a gift when he reached a certain age. As often as I played outside and hiked, it wasn’t on my radar.
But when my boyfriend Jon and I hit the road, I found myself asking for his pocket knife over and over again. Cooking, opening packages, cutting loose threads – on and on. His favorite is The James Brand Chapter in Titanium/Stainless. When all of your gear is hidden away in cupboards, duffels, and overhead compartments – there is something so convenient about having a knife that fits in your pocket or purse.
Needless to say, Jon got tired of me asking for his knife all the time and made sure I got my own. I chose The Chapter in Bone & Black because it’s beautiful, streamlined, and fits inside my small Roots leather purse. All of The James Brand knives are made and designed in Portland, Oregon. They feel good in hand and are simple in the best way. The knife easily swings out and locks for use. The clip is a bit stiff when you first use it, but it breaks in and holds well if you choose to fasten in your pocket.
For all that – my measure of a quality product is as follows: I now know its weight in my pocket and my purse and if it’s missing I feel a little less capable.