How to Gear Up Like MacGyver
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MacDriver
Posted: 26 December 2008 - 01:26 AM                                    
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I've tried to observe the sort of things MacGyver carried and how he carried them so I can be equally prepared, and I'll share it as food for thought. If you are ust a fan, this probably won't seem as interesting as if you are a Mac-wannabe who is fixing something with your SAK every day of the week.
It seems Mac was a minimalist- despite the image he has of being the guy who carries a hardware store in his pocket. The first step to thinking like Mac when loading up is keep it to a minimum. He never used the largest Swiss Army Knife (SAK) you can buy, or a fanny pack full of goodies. So, step one is to keep it light and basic.
A second principle was always having a SAK, duct tape, and a watch. The watch anyone needs, the duct tape is infinitely versatile, and likewise for SAKs. As he could plan ahead he would take more, so it's obvious he was adaptable. If you seem to need string a lot, or lock picks (let's hope not tongue.gif) or anything else, you could incorporate it into what you carry around. Just be real with yourself about whether you ever would need 1 sq. ft. of aluminum foil folded up in your wallet.
A third principle was each item had multiple uses. The watch became a magnifier, the knife became a lock pick, and the matches could become a timer. So if you add things, especially bulky things, to what you carry around, then make sure the items are worth their space in gold. He always wore a belt, too, and it came in handy more than once.

All that being said, I don't think it's un-MacGyver-like to carry a cell phone (calculator/phone/etc.) or a notepad, but it surprises me when people think they are MacGyver for weighing them down with a ton of worthless gear. I guess the big no-nos would be wearing stuff on your belt and having so much in your pockets you can't quickly get to any particular thing you might need.

I personally just go with a SAK, some flattened-out duct tape, a watch, cell phone, and an LED pinch light on my keychain. My wallet is a thin ID type that just has cards and cash in it. Other ideas I've had in the past included paper clips on the keychain, a rolled up 25 ft. + piece of string, jumper leads with alligator clips on both ends, matches, lock picks (or a compact lockpick tool), a hankerchief (from flame's end) and folded aluminum foil. I could see a USB drive being useful as well, it just all boils down to your daily needs. Oh, and only carry high quality products, Victorinox, 3M, Diamond, Photon, etc. The last thing you want is a knock-off SAK breaking off in a screwhead!

MacGyver also had extensive knowledge that backed up the use of everything he had. A basic understanding of metals, chemistry (not my strong point), automotive systems, basic electrical info, and skills like lockpicking all complemented his gear well. And, for me, being hands-on was always the best way to learn. With most things, you can usually acquire cheaply things to practice building skills on. Hammering, welding, and bending metal, lockpicking, practicing electrical wiring with low current DC, etc. all are easy to do and cost little more than your time. This knowledge contributes to having the right mental mindset and approach: "Odds are, I can use what I have and the things around me to improve this situation. Every physical thing can change state and might be useful." MacGyver never had to think about that- it was just his M.O. Think outside the box, look beyond the obvious purpose of an object and break it down to its properties.

So, if you call yourself more than a fan and seem to actually live out the life of Mac, being equipped mentally and physically both are crucial. Try to get the most out of the least amount of pocket junk. And if you really want to be extra prepared, you can expand to a bag of "sometimes items" and keep it in your car. Hopefully it will be close enough most of the time you won't ever be left out to dry. Mac obviously had a crew standing by with what he needed for the next scene- wouldn't that be nice?

So remember, keep it light, try to carry items with multiple uses, and adapt to what you do and don't need.

Any input from other everyday Macs would be valuable too- I'd love to hear what others are doing! I also would love to read those books in our bookstore!



"It's a real ugly thing to see in a dog. It's even worse in a human being." --The Golden Triangle

"I'd like a 16-inch pizza, run it through the garden, hold the chovies." -- The Eraser

 
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Posted: 26 December 2008 - 02:25 AM                                    
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Great article!

I've actually recently started carrying a couple of paper clips on the key ring of my SAK.

It seemed more practical to have them on there than loose in my pocket to get lost when I change pants or whatever.

Being light is the key, but also as you touched on, finding what works best for you. For example I find a small lighter is much better than matches. I've even added a lighter into the survival pack I carry with me when hiking, although there are still some matches in there as well (they make good fire starters)


sak.gif + duct.gif + clip.JPG + matchs.JPG = MacG.gif





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nojj
Posted: 26 December 2008 - 06:41 PM                                    
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"What has it got in it's pocketses?"

I'm probably one of the few here that isn't a habitual SAK carrier (I'm so ashamed)
I have a Gerber or Shrade pocket tool on my belt,
a well-used gerber flip knife w/ pocket clip, matches and a sm lighter
flattened Dtape,a USB pocket drive, an LED light, small tape measure,and since I smoke a pipe, a pipe cleaning tool.

When hiking (which I do frequently:any season, any weather)
I will add a regular compass, a map, water bottle,peanuts and a chocolate bar.

Oh yeah, there's a neat kit in my wallet,
about as thick and large as a credit card,
it has a decent knife, compass, mag lens,screwdriver/can&bottleopener thingy, tweezers and a toothpick.

I won't EVEN get into what goes in my camera bag when out on a shoot.
Suffice it to say it's pretty high tech.



 
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MacBeth
Posted: 1 January 2009 - 10:34 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacDriver)
This knowledge contributes to having the right mental mindset and approach: "Odds are, I can use what I have and the things around me to improve this situation. Every physical thing can change state and might be useful." MacGyver never had to think about that- it was just his M.O.

When I wrote my first MacFic, there were two particular mental passages that I wanted to tackle, just for the fascination of the challenge: climbing inside Mac's head during an acrophobia attack, and during the actual process of MacGyvering. This is what I came up with for the latter:

It never really felt different, this special way of thinking. It wasn’t even thinking at all. It was perception: objects acquired an abstract dimension, something that was always there but not always noticed. Everything was a resource: shapes, sizes, materials and properties, potential combinations . . . it had been like that since before MacGyver could remember, and the years on the bomb squad in Vietnam had sharpened the unconscious inclination to a razor edge that never grew dull, just as the fascination never faded. Underneath every potential solution churned a barely-recognised excitement: what happens next? Will it work? If it doesn’t, what else is there to try?



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Astra
Posted: 2 January 2009 - 09:18 AM                                    
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I don't carry anything in my pockets all the time. When I know I will go somewhere I take what I need.

But I'm good at looking at ordinary things and using them in different ways. When I built my K.I.T.T. model, I used the yellowish inside of a suprise egg for the front lights, which can be moved in and out.

Or once we had a new game, and before we could start we had to prepare the cards by popping out some holes. The things that had been in the holes everbody else would have thrown away as junk - I created a picture with them.

There are more examples, would anybody be interested in seeing some pictures in a new thread?



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Posted: 2 January 2009 - 12:27 PM                                    
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Yeah post em up. smile.gif




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Magget
Posted: 7 January 2009 - 01:42 PM                                    
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I don't carry very much with me, I work with what I can find in the situations I get in to. But there are still a few things I carry with me every day, and that is...

Watch
Cellphone
Credit Card + ID
SAK Spartan
Small lighter on my keyring along with a couple of paper clips

user posted image

Other things I bring occationaly if I feel I might need it, like...
Duct Tape
Paracord
Compass
and that sort of things



 
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MacDriver
Posted: 16 January 2009 - 12:07 AM                                    
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Nice. Being a lock buff (thanks to Mac tongue.gif ) I noticed you have some pretty high security keys. And that is a very nice SAK choice, you are a man after Rocky's own heart tongue.gif I personally favor the Sportsman, it is your knife with a nail file instead of the second blade. That size is just so compact yet so functional biggrin.gif
But excellent selection, especially the paperclips on the keyring. I keep forgetting to do that myself tongue.gif



"It's a real ugly thing to see in a dog. It's even worse in a human being." --The Golden Triangle

"I'd like a 16-inch pizza, run it through the garden, hold the chovies." -- The Eraser

 
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Posted: 16 January 2009 - 02:09 AM                                    
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Yep I like the Spartan. smile.gif

My paper clips are on the keyring of the SAK.

I carry different keys depending on where I am and what I'm doing, so the SAK is the one constant thing I carry, so it makes sense for the paper clips to be with it.



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AlanP
Posted: 29 January 2009 - 10:23 AM                                    
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I carry my minichamp SAK everywhere I go. I don't hook my SAK with my keychains 1., it scratches the plastic on my SAK 2., I can sit all day with my SAK without knowing but not with my bunch of keys.

When I go out other than office or supermarket, I wear my watch + digital camera (thin Nikon model pocket size). I'm that kind of guy just wear an tshirt/jeans then go out. I travel light tongue.gif I'm very primitive in a way. I do not own a cellphone and prefer not to own one (I really think that the less I have one around, the longer i'd live), plus I don't want to pay $40-50 a month as an expense. I have Skype installed in my MacBook, I registered for a number too..so people can still call me and stuff..

I think it's a great way to hook a few paper clips on the key chain I've not thought of that. I have it in my messenger bag the whole time though.

So I guess you'd most like me see me with:
- Watch
- SAK minichamp
- Digital Camera
- Few paper napkins (in case I or someone sneezes doh.gif )



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Astra
Posted: 29 January 2009 - 12:21 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 2 January 2009 - 10:27 PM)
Yeah post em up. smile.gif

Oh sorry, totally forgot to upload the pictures.

Since the theme of this thread is about gearing up like MacGyver, I posted them in the Artsy Fartsy Gallery, hope that's okay.

You can find them here:

http://www.macgyveronline.com/forums/index...=30&#entry51824



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MacDriver
Posted: 4 May 2009 - 05:05 AM                                    
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I read years ago and then again today that military duct tape is just spectacular compared to anything you can go buy at the hardware store. Makes me wonder if Mac's Special Forces years would have been where he acquired his fondness of it. But that would bade the question of why he used the civilian version.
Another oddity to me is the fact that he had so many different knives, yet in the pilot he acted as if the Tinker was his "trusty old friend" and he kept good track of it. Or, maybe he already had trouble keeping track of them and he was trying to save himself $15 roller.gif But still I cannot imagine having that much trouble keeping track of knives.
Then there's sort of some incontinuity with what he has in his pockets. Anyone with a faster internet connection than me want to sort out what was in his pockets in "Flame's End," "Nightmares," and any other episode you think of where he empties them or pulls something out in a daily setting (not a situation he prepared for)?
Then of course the times he knew he was facing something serious he came slightly more prepared- the pilot he had binoculars (underground? Wow, lucky guess before he left home! tongue.gif), then in Pirates he had that bag, and it seems like there were other times he "geared up" and grabbed a few things before he went to face the unknown.
Any help would be great, my entertainment budget has a zero balance at the moment, but when it hits $120 I'm getting the DVD set, and you all won't hear from me for a month! Er, more likely you'll hear from me every hour whistle.gif



"It's a real ugly thing to see in a dog. It's even worse in a human being." --The Golden Triangle

"I'd like a 16-inch pizza, run it through the garden, hold the chovies." -- The Eraser

 
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Posted: 4 May 2009 - 05:53 AM                                    
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In Flame's End he pulled out
3 Wire one black, one blue and one silver
SAK
Paper clip
Money
Clothing pen
handkerchief



 
                                                                     
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MacDriver
Posted: 6 May 2009 - 08:01 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Beachbead @ 5 May 2009 - 01:53 AM)
Clothing pen

For real?!! roller.gif I remembered it was a lot, but I somehow missed that, aw that's great! roller.gif



"It's a real ugly thing to see in a dog. It's even worse in a human being." --The Golden Triangle

"I'd like a 16-inch pizza, run it through the garden, hold the chovies." -- The Eraser

 
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Beachbead
Posted: 6 May 2009 - 09:12 AM                                    
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lol true i wonder what he used it for.

This post has been edited by MacNymph on 2 June 2009 - 01:49 PM



 
                                                                     
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Posted: 6 May 2009 - 01:28 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacDriver @ 5 May 2009 - 01:05 AM)
I read years ago and then again today that military duct tape is just spectacular compared to anything you can go buy at the hardware store. Makes me wonder if Mac's Special Forces years would have been where he acquired his fondness of it. But that would bade the question of why he used the civilian version.

He probably used up his supply of "acquired" military supply. So had to resort to the normal duct tape.

Or maybe his high morals just didn't allow him to "acquire" any at all.




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Keyan
Posted: 10 July 2009 - 05:06 AM                                    
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I got my first pocket knife about two years ago (not a SAK) sad.gif And just like MacGyver, I decided to carry it everywhere. After all that's why I bought it. I carried it to school (never intending to use there), which in my school ( it's a private school) if you leave it in your bookbag, purse, or car and don't take it out it will usually go unnoticed. It went well for a few days until my Mom found out and almost took my head off!
I haven't really carried it except for camping since. But now I've graduated from highschool so I'm going to attempt it again (if I can find it), and maybe eventually get a SAK.
macsak.gif

Also does anyone know where or if they sell strike-anywhere matches?



Duct Tape: it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the world together.

 
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Posted: 10 July 2009 - 02:46 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Keyan @ 11 July 2009 - 01:06 AM)
does anyone know where or if they sell strike-anywhere matches?

I understand in most states they are now considered a safety hazard and are illegal.

Having said that though.. I just found this in amazon.com.



edit: I've just added this item to our store.




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Keyan
Posted: 10 July 2009 - 03:33 PM                                    
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Sweet! Thanks Rock. I just hope if I get some they're not illegal in FL! biggrin.gif



Duct Tape: it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the world together.

 
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Posted: 10 July 2009 - 03:51 PM                                    
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I think it might only be illegal to sell them, but I really don't know. You could check in some local sports stores about it.




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Posted: 11 July 2009 - 10:42 AM                                    
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Hey, guys. I found this item really cool. It's a mini first-aide kit. I got it for .50 at a craft fair, but I'm sure they're not hard to make. The kit includes:

1 treatment guide
1 adhesive pad (big band-aide?)
2 anti-septic towlettes
4 reg. band-aides
1 after-bite wipe
1 aloe-vera gel pack
1 neosporin (or equivilent) gel pack
2 mini band-aides

and they're all in a little zipper baggie with a clip



Duct Tape: it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the world together.

 
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Posted: 11 July 2009 - 03:17 PM                                    
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Would be useful as a personal first-aid kit for hiking wink.gif Clip it on your belt or something.




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Posted: 7 August 2009 - 12:32 AM                                    
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I must agree with the traveling light sentiment. Having been in the military, I've learned that humping around an extra 20 lbs or more isn't worth it. I'm a bit unconventional and swore for years that I would never carry a purse. I finally broke down and bought one since there is only so much that one can stuff in their pockets. I carry very little on everyday excursions, just keys, cell phone, credit card, license. I have a couple gerber multi-tools which I carry on occasion, but have lots of gear for more planned excursions.

Yes, military duct tape is far superior to the average store brand. I confiscated a few rolls years ago and am still using them.

I absolutely love all the crank powered flashlights, lanterns, and radios on the market now. They have lifetime bulbs (whatever that is) and the lantern has ports to charge cell phones. Best of all, no need for batteries!

I also reccommend magnesium fire starters. I added a few to my emergency pack last year.



 
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Issus
Posted: 22 November 2009 - 05:12 AM                                    
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I don't carry my SAK, don't know if it's considered a weapon(What is the world coming to??!!). So I carry a small pack with 1 srewdriver, toothpicks, paperclips and chewgums. Ducktape won't fit in my pocket



In my oppinion, Graham Bell has a lot to answer for. It gets harder and harder to escape from the world, the news and worst of all, people.

 
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MacGyver and Magnum, pi
Posted: 23 November 2009 - 12:34 PM                                    
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If you really don't want to spend money on a SAK you could use a knockoff but they are not the best. But they can fulfill your most basic needs.



 
                                                                     
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Issus
Posted: 26 November 2009 - 11:25 AM                                    
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But I do have a SAK, the problem is the blade. Although I've decided to carry it around. As long as it's in my pocket, no problem.



In my oppinion, Graham Bell has a lot to answer for. It gets harder and harder to escape from the world, the news and worst of all, people.

 
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Flyboy16
Posted: 21 January 2010 - 09:31 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Issus @ 23 November 2009 - 01:12 AM)
I don't carry my SAK, don't know if it's considered a weapon(What is the world coming to??!!). So I carry a small pack with 1 srewdriver, toothpicks, paperclips and chewgums. Ducktape won't fit in my pocket

na you can carry a sak its very sheeple friendly
i have a whole bunch of saks and other knives. my favorite sak is probably the cadet, but the champion plus is cool as well. but i am going to get the executive and see how that is



 
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MacDriver
Posted: 27 January 2010 - 01:58 AM                                    
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Yeah, I've found the thicker Swiss Army Knives are less intimidating- while the Trekker is a great knife:

user posted image

And so is the soldier:

user posted image

Something about the Champ just screams "harmless stack of gadgets":

user posted image

Not that you have to carry one that large around, but something like the Ranger over a Recruit might be a good choice:

user posted image

Or if you really want to put people's mind at ease:

user posted image

roller.gif



"It's a real ugly thing to see in a dog. It's even worse in a human being." --The Golden Triangle

"I'd like a 16-inch pizza, run it through the garden, hold the chovies." -- The Eraser

 
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zero40484
Posted: 31 January 2010 - 07:03 AM                                    
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My edc is a leatherman surge with pocket clip. Spyderco endura wave
iPhone, maratack aaa flashlight ( IMO it's the best flashlight on the market)
car keychain, utility keychain, 1sharpie, 1 sharpie pen. Oh and my wallet.

All my othe goodies are in my go bag. It is on my back or the car


Countycomm.com has some premo gear. It's what I use and it's what I give my friends



 
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MacBeth
Posted: 31 January 2010 - 05:15 PM                                    
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My EDC is a Swiss Memory -- and most people are too busy noticing the flash drive and the pen to register the fact that there's also a knife blade. (And it's a very small blade, anyway. Even though it's almost scalpel-sharp.)



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