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Topic: Hatchet Anyone?, Anyone carry a small hatchet< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 31
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2012, 4:15 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For anyone with a bleeding problem I'd suggest a saw is FAR easier to control than a hatchet. Though I'd agree that a simple stove would eliminate the issue anyway. Bears being irrelevant.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2012, 8:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(UlightBandit @ Oct. 19 2012, 4:04 pm)
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I know cutting down dead trees might not be kosher, but if one is dead right beside a campsite, I don't see the harm.

A dead tree can stand for many years that can provide habitat for a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, plants, etc that rely on dead trees to survive. Just here in my home in suburbia we get chimney swifts every year because their natural habitat, hollowed out dead trees, has been completely cleared from what used to be woodlands. Without my chimney they would be SOL.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2012, 10:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on the Kabar Cutlass Machete as a woods tool.  Kabar Cutlass Machete

It is a helluva lot more practical than a hatchet, and a lot safer too.

But it's worthless against bears.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2012, 11:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I might have to make a trip to Smoky Mtn Knife Works and look at the Kukri Machetes.  I used a Silky Saw back when I had sufficient platelets and was always nikking my hands.  Have yet to get cut with a knife or axe in the outdoors.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2012, 11:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Poor motor control? ;-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 12:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a cold steel kukri and much prefer the KaBar Cutlas.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 9:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(UlightBandit @ Oct. 19 2012, 4:04 pm)
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I know cutting down dead trees might not be kosher, but if one is dead right beside a campsite, I don't see the harm.  Widowmakers are known to end lives or break bones. . . . I collect branches & limbs that can easily be broken.

This is really the opposite of "leave no trace" backpacking. You're saying that people have a right to reshape the wilderness according to their liking or convenience. I strongly disagree with that. Let nature take care of itself. Trees and branches will fall when they're ready. If you freel threatened by them, don't camp under them. Personally I don't enjoy a campsite where every single dead branch has been broken off the trees to a height of 7 feet. Convenient yes, but ugly and an unwanted reminder of human presence.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 10:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's a kind of disconnect here.

You only haven't had a problem with axes or knives til now.

Nothing says you won't have a problem tomorrow - and the problems you have after hitting yourself with a sharp thing you're swinging with force are going to make those nicks on the hands (even with the clotting problem) seem positively trivial. And swinging it around 10 miles from the car...

A large part of safety while backpacking is in mitigating risk and prevention. I'd really strongly encourage you to think about this a little more than you appear to be.

Does the need really truly outweigh the risks and the extra weight penalty in the pack?

Is the wood honestly so hard to break up that there MUST ABSOLUTELY be a sharp object at all?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plan B? Get some Kevlar butchers gloves and use that saw. Lighter than any hatchet in combination with a small saw and useful for grabbing most anything with relative impunity.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ecatalog/N-1z0dxlx
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If in bear country, always carry bear spray, anything else will just be silly. If a bear is charging after you, I doubt you will be able to take that machete out and get a good swing at the bear before he is all over you.  

I always carry a Frontiersman 9.2oz bear spray on one side of my hip, a multitool, and a Sog Fasthawk tomahawk on the other side, or hang it from my backpack.  That tomahawk has awesome balance, weighs only 19oz, and I've used it to cut 8-9inch logs with it, took longer than I would've liked, but with a few hours of prepping I had enough firewood for a 5 days camp with spare.  

That tomahawk makes it extremely easy to split smaller logs, cut kindling wood to the exact size you want, cut the bulkier 3-5 inch logs in minutes, and will still be sharp enough to shave marshmallow sticks.  The other side has a spike that you can use for many things too. Hand saws are harder to maintain, easier to break, and good ones like the sven saws weigh about as much as the tomahawk.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ Oct. 20 2012, 9:50 am)
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(UlightBandit @ Oct. 19 2012, 4:04 pm)
QUOTE
I know cutting down dead trees might not be kosher, but if one is dead right beside a campsite, I don't see the harm.  Widowmakers are known to end lives or break bones. . . . I collect branches & limbs that can easily be broken.

This is really the opposite of "leave no trace" backpacking. You're saying that people have a right to reshape the wilderness according to their liking or convenience. I strongly disagree with that. Let nature take care of itself. Trees and branches will fall when they're ready. If you freel threatened by them, don't camp under them. Personally I don't enjoy a campsite where every single dead branch has been broken off the trees to a height of 7 feet. Convenient yes, but ugly and an unwanted reminder of human presence.

The only way to truly LNT is to stay at home.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 4:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a correction, I never cut myself while actually cutting with a silky saw; always when handling it or trying to clean debris from the irregular shaped pointy teeth.  

The kukri seems to be the ultimate survival blade.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hatchets?
Machetes?
Kukris?


Okay, I know I use the word 'stupid' far too often, but...
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 6:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

by the way, to answer the campfire question, they are only good when large enough to be viewed via satellite from space.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 11:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bigredd @ Oct. 20 2012, 4:23 pm)
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The kukri seems to be the ultimate survival blade.

I would not agree with this. A good survival knife should have a blade less than 6 inches. Even as a chopper there are better designs than a kukri IMO. Based on my experience the KaBar Cutlass is much more useful than a kukri, shorter, easier to carry, thicker blade (dependent on model), and most importantly it chops better than my kukri. The Warlok from Condor has a very nice blade design if you want something a little longer.
I think you might also want to know I used to be a die hard kukri fan. I still really like them, but they are not my first choice for any kind of camping. For backpacking a 6 inch blade is probably overkill.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2012, 10:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been known to take along my Estwing No 1 from time to time. I've never used it for anything other than driving stakes though...

I doubt the OP was intending on attacking bears with a hatchet. Quite frankly I'd want to do something were I attacked.

Bear spray or a firearm would be much better. If/when we get the opportunity to do a month long backpacking trip down either the AT or CDT we will be getting some bear spray, and I will bring my .45 if the law allows. I would also take my hatchet, though I doubt I'd need it.

I've read of black bears attacking campers along the AT up north. I've heard that they realize backpackers carry food and will target your pack. I've heard many have lost their fear of man. And I've heard their population has exploded.

I don't want to be bear pooh, and would do whatever I could to prevent it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2012, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Never carry one.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2012, 10:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like my Fiskars X7, X27, and my K-Bar Becker BK-9 Bowie, and take them into the woods with me every time I go logging. Can't say that I'd ever bring them backpacking. I have brought a gerber folding saw before, and yeah tons of tiny sharp pointy teeth. Lots of way to clean the blade without touching it with your hands though, but if your that concerned you dont really need to clean it, next time you start sawing it should clean itself. But I rarely have fires, unless I am with someone who wants one just for the sake of camping. I'll carry a stove and thats good enough for me for food. If I were to head out into the woods to survive after an apocalypse or something like that, then perhaps I'd take it. But it would be a toss up between the hatchet or my K-Bar Bowie, and the Bowie probably would have more uses, but I give a slight edge of woodsplitting power to the hatchet. (But here is my K-Bar splitting a red oak round bigger around than my fist http://i903.photobucket.com/albums/ac235/kc2ebm/cpf/IMG_1133.jpg that was for a different discussion on a different forum though). For making kindling, the Becker is better (I heat with wood so I make a few 5 gallon pailfuls of kindling with the Becker each year). You could use the Bowie as a spearhead on a long stick, or as a drawshave, or probably even butcher an animal with it. But I doubt anyone on these forums will ever do any of these things in their entire life.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2012, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

to revisit this...

My favorite fires have been squaw fires.  Fires so small i almost sat on them.  Literally, I had a pile of sticks and a fire only a foot away.  Anything going in the fire was breakable by hand.

The minimum fire you need is the best.  You don't need a hatchet, axe, or saw for that.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 7:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will throw my 2 cents in here, if its worth that much. I have had a hatchet along on a trip with us, not mine and I didn't carry it, one of the other guys did. It was pretty much a waste to take.

That having been said, on another trip another guy had a fixed blade knife with him. He was able to split wood with it by beating the back of the knife and the tang to drive the blade through. With the right wood getting it to split a little at the top will let you pry it apart along the grain - and a fixed blade knife can be surprisingly effective.

I have a couple of Silky saws. I bought my first one after a recommendation here a couple years ago. I went with a Pocket Boy 170 at the time. It has been a very useful saw.

I know a lot of people don't like big wood being cut for camp fires, but my thought is the bigger the logs the longer the fire burns. One of the limitations with the Pocket Boy 170 saw is that it quickly runs out of room to cut. Anything bigger than about 2" is a challenge because you don't have room to run the blade back and forth. After about a year with the Pocket Boy 170 I bought a Gomboy 240 (I believe that is the size, I'll have to look at it again). This provides the room needed to get in to the 3-4" range logs and still experience effective cutting by having the room to run the saw back and forth through the log.

If you combine the versatility of a strong fixed blade knife with the cutting capacity of a saw you will have a nice camp set up.


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ROAR!!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 8:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Oct. 19 2012, 8:47 pm)
QUOTE

(UlightBandit @ Oct. 19 2012, 4:04 pm)
QUOTE
I know cutting down dead trees might not be kosher, but if one is dead right beside a campsite, I don't see the harm.

A dead tree can stand for many years that can provide habitat for a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, plants, etc that rely on dead trees to survive. Just here in my home in suburbia we get chimney swifts every year because their natural habitat, hollowed out dead trees, has been completely cleared from what used to be woodlands. Without my chimney they would be SOL.


QUOTE
This is really the opposite of "leave no trace" backpacking. You're saying that people have a right to reshape the wilderness according to their liking or convenience. I strongly disagree with that. Let nature take care of itself. Trees and branches will fall when they're ready. If you freel threatened by them,don't camp under them. Personally I don't enjoy a campsite where every single dead branch has been broken off the trees to a height of 7 feet. Convenient yes, but ugly and an unwanted reminder of human presence.



Horrible how often things are taken out of context or important details in a quote are left out just for the purpose of silly argument.

My Original quote:

QUOTE
I agree, but that is neither here nor there.  I know cutting down dead trees might not be kosher, but if one is dead right beside a campsite, I don't see the harm.  Widowmakers are known to end lives or break bones.  I personally don't carry a hatchet, or chop down trees in the wilderness.  I collect branches & limbs that can easily be broken.


Please note where I mention my personal practices.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 8:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TDale @ Nov. 14 2012, 11:21 pm)
QUOTE
to revisit this...

My favorite fires have been squaw fires.  Fires so small i almost sat on them.  Literally, I had a pile of sticks and a fire only a foot away.  Anything going in the fire was breakable by hand.

The minimum fire you need is the best.  You don't need a hatchet, axe, or saw for that.

This ^^^

Whether the temp is -5 or 75, this is the kind of fire I make in the backcountry. And, for cold hikes, I've found it's one of the warmest.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 12:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you're dead set on having something to cut wood with, why not try something like the "Chain mate"
http://www.amazon.com/Chainma....2EDAUO2

 It's pretty lightweight, pretty effective, and safer than a hatchet and a saw.  It does need to be cleaned, but you could probably use some stiff brush to do so.  I suggest reading all the reviews if you are interested in getting one, there are some good tips on there.

 I have one, but don't bring it with me on hiking/camping trips, but have it for the SHTF gear bag-- if i ever have to live in the wilderness for an extended period of time.   However, it's light and compact enough that unless you're an ultra lighter type, you could bring it and still sort of be "light".  

 Personally though, i recommend the small fire methods others have mentioned previously.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bigredd
If you really want to go the hatchet way, please also buy a GoPro camera because there are no YouTube clips (so far) of a bear vs hatchet fight.
On the other hand a workable and safe option is something like this :

(no it does not work with bears but it is only 6.7oz)

I have used the "chain saw" type, don't bother...
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 20 2012, 9:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would opt for a small folding saw such as a bahco laplander. You can process fire wood quickly with it and if you carry a full tang knife, you can use the knife to 'batton' the fire wood into smaller kindling.

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