What I carry and recommend for general hiking and backpacking... 1) Leatherman PS4 Squirt for bandage prep and zipper/gear repair 2) Opinel #9 Inox in RFP. Handles food prep and the ocassional wood working task. Ocassionally I replace this with a Mora Companion. But I prefer a pocket knife. 3) The Backpackers Handbook by Chris Townsend. On the bed side stand and well worn. Of these, the book is probably the most important. You can get all 3 for under $100.