• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review: Gerber Impromptu tactical pen best choice for extreme conditions

400 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Your survival tools should include some way of communication.

Electronics are wonderful, but consider a reliable pen and notebook. The Gerber Impromptu tactical pen may be what you need in your survival gear, and here is why.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: Gerber supplied the product for this review. I was not paid to write it, and nobody had any input in this post. At the time of publications there was no sponsorship relationship between Gerber and survivalcommonsense.com. The following is my  opinion. All I ever promise on any product review is a fair shake.

You need a reliable pen or pencil and a notebook. Don’t leave home without them.

For me, old habits die hard. For some 40+ years I was a working journalist, and always carried a pen and notebook. I never knew when something might need to be quickly written down that might later be used in a story or video.

Even though I’m retired from the media, I still carry those tools every day. For quick draw response, a pen and notebook has it over any electronic device. You don’t have to power a pen up, you don’t have to worry about cell phone coverage and a notebook doesn’t break if dropped. And you don’t have to worry about batteries or being able to see the screen in bright sunlight.

The Gerber Impromptu tactical pen is designed for hard use in extreme conditions.


Most recently, I used my pen and notebook in the Kroger parking lot to write down the car tag number of a hit-and-run driver who scraped another car. This was after I called my wife from inside the store and wrote down the updated grocery list.

There is also an intimidation factor. Whip out a notebook from your hip pocket and start taking notes, and see how people suddenly start thinking about what they’re saying. (Here are eight reasons to carry a notebook and writing implement in the wilderness.) I still can’t go to public meetings without feeling that I should be taking notes.


These inexpensive writing implements will work well in typical urban situations. But more extreme conditions require better gear.

So who needs a tactical pen that costs about $70? After all, you can get a pack of 12 Bic pens for about a buck at Walmart. The higher end pens can go for hundreds of dollars. But we’re looking for reliability here, a pen that can function under the most extreme conditions during emergencies.

Here are the Impromptu specs, according to the Gerber website.

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