PDA

View Full Version : Wood cutting utinsels



dropkick
2005-10-10, 00:50
Just read Turks thread about cutting down on equipment weight, and his comment about trading his tomahawk for a light weight hatchet got me thinking about my wood cutting tools.

I used to carry a small swede saw (plus a hatchet) but it took up to much room and weighed to much so I traded the swede saw for a wire saw. But after having several wire saws break while trying to use them, I got a folding saw (like a pocket knife). Soon after purchasing this I found it to be to wimpy and so traded it for a homemade folding swede saw. I'm still not satisfied.

I have read that you can get by with a bolo or machete eliminating the need for both a saw and a hatchet.... I don't know if I really believe this, but I've always kind of wanted to have a sword (still hanging on to childhood) and it could be useful in other ways beside cutting firewood. So I'm thinking about either making or buying one.

Has anybody has ever tried this? Or do you have any better ideas for wood cutters to carry along?

KLeth
2005-10-10, 01:56
Well, in Northern Sweden where we hiked this summer, the most used wood cutting tool is a small axe/hatchet/tomahawk like this (http://www.naturkompaniet.se/Archive/Images/Resized%20images/400x400/Lillyxa_400x400.jpg) . I have a folding saw (http://www.naturkompaniet.se/Archive/Images/Resized%20images/400x400/JO_sport_VikSag_400x400.jpg) saw but it is tedious to use and since I'm only using it for firewood an axe will probably be much easier but a bit heavier.
Then watching "Ray Mears Extreme Survival" on Discovery, I got the idea to buy a machete instead - Perhabs this from Fiskars (http://www.globetrotter.de/de/shop/detail.php?mod_nr=fb_04009) and it has app. the same weight as one of the small hatchets but as mentioned it doubles as knife. Unfortunately I'll have to get a weapons permit to buy a machete since I live in one of the most restricted countries in Europe. Maybe I should just sharpen my trifold and use it as hatchet.

Verlager
2005-10-10, 10:17
I have a Fiskars pruning saw that cuts on both strokes, has two sets of scary sharp* teeth pointed in opposite directions, cuts nearly 2x as fast. Even though the folding saws listed at Fiskars (http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Product+Listing?contentId=85544) probably have a single row of aggressive teeth, you might find one of the three models (http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Product+Listing?contentId=85544) listed there to be suitable. I couldn't find the Premium Machete at the Fiskars site.

Not to spoil your fun, but these Fiskars products are well engineered to do specific tasks, they are not general purpose tools, like you might want to have around a campsite. YMMV your mileage may vary!

*scary sharp means a blade so sharp that if you look at it and innocently play with it, it'll invariably cut you and draw blood.

Icemanat95
2005-10-10, 14:07
Another option is a khukuri type knife/machete. It's a pretty good hybrid of hatchet and machete.

I have a Himalayan Imports model that is a bit on the pricey side. Cold Steel makes a variety of Khukuri knives, including a machette model, that are fairly to extremely affordable.

I'm not much into cutting up wood when I camp. It leaves too big a footprint. But whatever the tool, you have to be certain not to push it harder and faster than it wants to go.

Sgathak
2005-10-10, 15:04
The HI Khukris are great.... I wouldnt touch a Cold Steel Khukri if you paid me too. And thats nothing against Cold Steel. Im a big cold Steel fan. They just got the Khukri wrong.

Ontario Knives makes a better Khukri, for half the price.

If I were going to carry a sheath knife, it would NOT be double edged.

GregH
2005-10-10, 16:24
I carry a SOG Pentagon which has a 5" blade with tough serrations on one side and straight on the other. It has thumb notches cut into the steel to help control it. Great knife and very useful for cutting everything from sandwiches to braided line.

Sgathak,
Why no double edge?

Sgathak
2005-10-10, 17:21
They are designed primarily to thrust and are relatively weak, especially at the tip. They are not very functional or practical in the field and can easily cause injury due to the second sharp edge.

GregH
2005-10-10, 17:36
Good point :rolleyes:

I looked at Ontario Knife and some of their survival pieces look very nice. I especially like the USN-3 and the FF2 Freedom Fighter Survival.

...I'd better not let my wife find out I'm looking at more knives! :bawling:

Sgathak
2005-10-10, 17:50
why the rolled eyes?

A double edged knife is, by definition, is a dagger. A dagger was an offshoot of the sword and was developed for close quarters battle. Its designed to penetrate (thin sharp point) and to cut in both directions when swung.

As a tool, a double edged knife breaks far easier due to its thin profile, and while it can be used for basic cutting chores, it cant be used for anything heavier than you can do with one hand (cutting cord, and sandwichs are about it). A flat backed knife can be used to cut materials much larger than a double knife of the same size, as you can safely push on the back of the blade to get more leverage. You can also use something like a branch to drive the sharp edge through small logs by lightly strikeing the flat back. You can also use the single edged blade as a drawknife in a survival situation. Being able to use it as a drawknife has HUGE advantages for trap making as well as the crafting of other food gathering tools - especially archery equipment.

GregH
2005-10-10, 18:19
No offense intended. I used the rolled eyes because of my clever pun.

I see your point (!) about the flat-backed blade as a more versatile tool. That must be the thinking behind the design of Ontario's RAT blades.

What knife blade style do you carry? Is it along the lines of the RAT-7 or a survival-style blade?

Sgathak
2005-10-10, 18:36
Oh! Ive been Pun-ished! ;)

Actually, after playing around with lots of knives, my favorite knife in the world is the Rat-7, followed closely by the Rat-3 and TAK. And as a matter of fact, the Model-1 folder will most likely replace my Benchmade and Emerson folders.

http://www.ontariorat.com/

Mutinousdoug
2005-10-10, 18:39
I have read that you can get by with a bolo or machete eliminating the need for both a saw and a hatchet.... I don't know if I really believe this, but I've always kind of wanted to have a sword (still hanging on to childhood) and it could be useful in other ways beside cutting firewood. So I'm thinking about either making or buying one.

Has anybody has ever tried this? Or do you have any better ideas for wood cutters to carry along?

This is the mini-Machete I carry wherever I backpack. OAL is just over 19" and it weighs 13oz. I got it from a mail order outfit so far back I can't remember which one. It's a Collins (Not a Blackie Collins) made in Central America where every campesino carries a 36-40" one. I use it as much for a shovel as a knife, and for it's weight it's a passable chopper. It's not useful for chopping anything bigger than about 3" unless you are a masochist. Not as effective for a hachet as I'd like but I feel that hachet usefullness is directly proportional to weight and handle length. A bolo style machete is better balanced for chopping but again, that is via more weight out over the blade. I used to carry a small file with me to sharpen mine with but found it easily stayed usably sharp for the 3-5day hikes I mostly limit myself to.
Below the machete are the three camp knives I'll chose between depending on the trip. Upper left is an old Remington PAL knife that is showing it's age but the leather handle disks are still tight and the old carbon steel blade holds an edge really well. The knife opposite is a DH Russell Belt Knife that is a better skinning and boning knife that I take when I'm big game hunting. The little knife at the bottom is a Gerber "Pixie" that is my trout knife.
My oak bow saw and Hudson bay cruiser axe stay in the vehicle unless I'm planning a building.
Since I am armed otherwise, I don't have much need for a throwing knife or 'hawk. Wished I was competant with one or the other when I camped in Algonquin Park last year though.
Lets see if I can remember how to post a picture.

SGT Rock
2005-10-10, 19:28
I used to carry a hatchet at Knox and loved it. I saw that Gerber and thought about picking one up since it is light and seems sharp. I don't plan on throwing one, but would like a good camp hatchet. What would be a good choice?

Spice1
2005-10-10, 23:50
It's funny, O just got the chance to use my Gerber for the first time last week out at China Camp, and loved it. I bought it a few weeks ago, but haven;t been camping anywhere with fires for a while. After buying it, I went striaght to the grinder with it, and spent about half an hour putting a good blade on it. It fits perfectly behind the outer pocket of my alice pack, with the holster tied to the clip strap with some 550.

The model I got was the Gator Combo Axe, with the gimmick blade in the handle. One version also comes with a saw, but that's kind of redundant. The Knife is held in place by a magnet in the handle, and seems very secure, even when trying to split logs. The blade is razor sharp, and very nice for shaving kindling, but I've always just used the hatchet, so the knife tends to stay at home.

For camp knives, I alternate between a CRKT K.I.S.S. lockblade, which I use as a keychain clip and a Leatherman Charge TI, which my girlfriend bought me for my birthday, and weighs more than my fishing gear. I tend to do alot of primitive experiments, and the Charge has tons of stuff to carve soapstone, cut bone, etc, so I tend to take it out for basecamping, since I will usually have the time to fidget at the picnic table. It's also amazing for making can stoves, and much fun at slow nights at work.

-Spice

Seeker
2005-10-11, 01:41
I used to carry a hatchet at Knox and loved it. I saw that Gerber and thought about picking one up since it is light and seems sharp. I don't plan on throwing one, but would like a good camp hatchet. What would be a good choice?

that mini hatchet by gerber is $40. gerber is owned by fiskars. fiskars makes a full sized hatchet, same blade, same handle (only longer) for $20 in the garden tool aisle at lowe's. also makes a pruning saw that folds into it's handle that has a decent blade.

blackdog
2005-10-11, 03:20
I like the smallest Fiskars axe, the 500. ...but it seems hard to find in north america.

The short, hollow handle is wrapped around the blade and made from nyglass, a fiberglass reinforced polyamide. The blade is heavy enough, easy to sharpen and stays sharp quite well.

View a picture of it here (http://www.fiskars.com/digitalAssets/143792_13051.jpg).


Update Didn't know that Fiskars owns Gerber... The 500 seems to be similar to the Gerber Back Paxe (http://www.gerber-tools.com/images/Back-Paxe-large-5912.gif).

Personally i like the Fiskars colour scheme better as the bright orange would be easier to spot than the solid black of the Gerber.

SGT Rock
2005-10-11, 08:03
I actually have a Fiskars Axe I bought for trail maintenance. I figured that an ax that light would be a nice one to carry in my pack without being a burden since I also carry a saw, bucket, pry bar, file, shovel, machete, and mattock in addition to my backpacking gear. Well some of that is in my hands, but anyway.

dropkick
2005-10-12, 21:15
I actually have a Fiskars Axe I bought for trail maintenance. I figured that an ax that light would be a nice one to carry in my pack without being a burden since I also carry a saw, bucket, pry bar, file, shovel, machete, and mattock in addition to my backpacking gear. Well some of that is in my hands, but anyway.

Jeez!! I thought you were one of those ultralight hikers who cut firewood with their teeth.


I was raised in wildfire country and so I never go into the woods without at least a saw, a bucket, and a shovel.

Kea
2005-10-13, 03:07
I've been very fond of my reproduction 10th Century Norwegian rigging knife, but the carbon steel blade doesn't like ti when the sheath gets wet. Bother. I was going to carry my Sears knockoff of a Leatherman, but wound up buying a Leatherman Micra. Put it on a long shoelace and can pack it anywhere on my person.

Hubby got me the Fiskars Axe from Lowes and I'm fairly impressed with it, apart from the blade needs a proper edge on it. I like the longer handle and don't consider the extra weight an issue if the tool is adequate.

Hubby also bought me the Gerber folding saw, complete with the spare bone sawing blade in case I ever have to saw off someone's leg or something. ;) It's nice and lightwieght, and seems to cut adequately enough for my purposes. I'm going to have to try it out and see if this is a long-term item for my pack or not.

I almost bought myself a machete a while back, but I'm kinda glad I didn't.

Redleg
2005-10-16, 19:09
Another option is a khukuri type knife/machete. It's a pretty good hybrid of hatchet and machete.

I have a Himalayan Imports model that is a bit on the pricey side. Cold Steel makes a variety of Khukuri knives, including a machette model, that are fairly to extremely affordable.

I'm not much into cutting up wood when I camp. It leaves too big a footprint. But whatever the tool, you have to be certain not to push it harder and faster than it wants to go.

My khukuri was presented to me about 1983, by a verry short, dark haired gentleman with scrambled eggs on his BDU's (To my shame I cannot remember his name or rank.) You can use it for about any chopping or cutting task. A good palm stone or "hocky puck" stone is needed for a finished edge, but you can do good work with a small "knife" file.

Mine is some old (kalli point, monkey wood grips, the blade face has been pollished out or thinned. It is made of a mild steel.
acts as a draw knife (large curles of wood for fire starters) and once you get used to the "snap grip" style of chopping, cuts as well as any hatchet I've ever used. And I grew up on wood heat.
jaf

Lanthar
2005-10-18, 20:47
I like the smallest Fiskars axe, the 500. ...but it seems hard to find in north america.

The short, hollow handle is wrapped around the blade and made from nyglass, a fiberglass reinforced polyamide. The blade is heavy enough, easy to sharpen and stays sharp quite well.

View a picture of it here (http://www.fiskars.com/digitalAssets/143792_13051.jpg).


Update Didn't know that Fiskars owns Gerber... The 500 seems to be similar to the Gerber Back Paxe (http://www.gerber-tools.com/images/Back-Paxe-large-5912.gif).

Personally i like the Fiskars colour scheme better as the bright orange would be easier to spot than the solid black of the Gerber.

Yup, they are the exact same (blade at least). You can't tell by looking at that picture, but if you look close at that Back Paxe blade, it says fiskars on it somewhere... btw, I've seen that tiny axe at home depot, I believe... thanks for reminding me, I've been meaning to pick one up.

dropkick
2005-10-21, 07:41
Finally got to town today and while I was there I purchased the Fiskars 14" hatchet at Lowes for 20 dollars.

According to a website I looked at it weighs a little under 23 ounces.
-As my scales are packed away somewhere I can't verify this weight.
But I can say that it weighs quite a bit less than my old wood handled camping hatchet and a lot less than my metal handled hunting hatchet.

The camping hatchet may retire to beside the wood stove, for the easy life of making quick kindling.
Kind of sad though, as my camping hatchet used to be my Dad's before I "borrowed" it and I have been using it for at least 30 odd years.

Actually I think my Dad may have inherited it from my Grandad or his Guardian, I'll have to ask ...might be a bonified antique.
(though lately I've discoved that some people think almost everything I own is antique.)

Kind of got off the subject, but one of the things I was originally going to Lowes for was to look at their folding wood saws. Bought the hatchet and forgot about it. Dang it... now it'll probably take my another month and a half to get back to town.

Seeker
2005-10-21, 14:20
i think mine comes in at 18oz, but that's a cheap spring scale, not postal... not sure i could walk into the post office and weigh it! but that might be without the sheath/cover/lid thingy it comes with... when i carry it, i just shove it down between the foam padding in my pack.

Oneriver
2005-10-21, 17:43
I have tried a number of wood cutting tools and have dropped them all except for a Ontario Knife machete...they make a 12 inch blade machete that for me is more versatile than a hatchet or saw..I have been using it now for about 6 years, works for me...

Mutinousdoug
2005-10-21, 23:42
Looks pretty darn similar to the Mexican one I posted on page one of this thread. Good for clearing a fireplace, tent site, gathering kindling, or digging a cathole.
The top 1.5" of the handle sticks out of the rightside top of my external frame pack for possible access on the trail (haven't actually practiced this yet,for fear of slicing up the pack, but the move should look good for the movies). What does the Ontario one weigh?

Oneriver
2005-10-24, 10:01
I'm not sure what it weighs, if I were to guess I wood say just over a pound..the blade is thick at .080 the model number is the LC12...I would recommend it to anyone....

Mutinousdoug
2005-10-24, 13:17
Sounds just like mine, 14" blade which is .085" at the hilt and tapers to .065" at the tip. I bet yours weighs less than a pound. It's a worthwhile tool.

Hollowdweller
2005-10-28, 11:10
I love khukuris too. I have a Himalayan Imports with a kydex sheath I use a lot but this is my favorite wood chopper. Weighs just about a pound, but I justify carrying it cause I use a wood burning cook stove :rolleyes:

dropkick
2005-10-29, 01:49
I love khukuris too. I have a Himalayan Imports with a kydex sheath I use a lot but this is my favorite wood chopper. Weighs just about a pound, but I justify carrying it cause I use a wood burning cook stove :rolleyes:

Where did you get the small double bit ax?
I have always liked using a large double for splitting wood, never really felt happy doing it with a single bit ax - even though that is what it is for, and the double is actually a chopper.
Don't know how I would like it in hatchet size, but would sure like to try one out.

Mutinousdoug
2005-10-29, 20:01
Hey?
I like the way the little hachet looks: all Berserker and all, but is there any utility in the double bit other than two edges to dull before re-sharpening? Seems like a pounding surface on the back of one bit would be handy for splitting little bitty pieces of kindling. What am I missing?
And don't tell me it's for throwing. If I've got to use something sharp to defend myself with, I'm keeping ahold of it.

dropkick
2005-10-30, 01:59
Hey?
I like the way the little hachet looks: all Berserker and all, but is there any utility in the double bit other than two edges to dull before re-sharpening? Seems like a pounding surface on the back of one bit would be handy for splitting little bitty pieces of kindling. What am I missing?
And don't tell me it's for throwing. If I've got to use something sharp to defend myself with, I'm keeping ahold of it.

I can't really speak for the double bit hatchet as I haven't tried one, but off the top of my head the reasons I like a double bit ax for splitting are:
1 - balance - I feel it has a better balance and that leads to better aim when splitting
2 - weight - weighs less than a single bit splitting ax, leading to less fatigue when using and better control
3 - sticking - for some reason I don't get a double bit stuck in the blocks I'm splitting as often (I have learned over the years to give a slight twist at the end of the stroke, which also helps)
4 - smaller profile - goes into the wood easier
5 - chopping - it is designed for chopping so if I need to limb a tree or cut up some branches it works better than a splitting ax


Pounding flat back surface on a single bit is available, but if you use it as a wedge very often you'll mushroom the metal and destroy the ax.

The more you use an ax the better you'll get with it, I normally make kindling (at home) with the double bit the same way I split the wood, with a full swing of the ax, I just make smaller peices.

Iceman
2005-12-23, 23:34
10 oz. titanium axe, check it out....

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/product-description/B00079R1UQ/ref=dp_nav_0/102-8896905-6176113?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=228013&s=hi

j.johnson
2005-12-25, 02:49
I have the pack ax and love it, new out of the box you could shave with it. my kids got it for me for my birthday a few years back. It's great for making kindling and even wittling (sp) my money's on the gerber.

Turk
2005-12-26, 14:58
Hey guys, I am looking to strip some weight from my "camp tools"
department. What I am hoping for is a single item that will replace
the work of my hatchet/tomahawk and camp knife.
With perhaps even the ability to replace my multitool. I haven't found
any item that can really do everything I want. But I am hoping to get
as close as possible, and then make some mods if necessary with access
to a fully equipped machine shop. Can you guys help me out
on some blade choices?

This is what I have now:
Fiskars / Gerber Back Paxe.
http://www.gerber-tools.com/Gerber-Back-Paxe-5912.htm
Specs: 9" overall length. 5/8" thick, forged steel.
Weight: 17.5 - 19.3 oz depending on production year purchased.
Mine is 19.1 oz.
Pros: good edge retention, compact, light, unbreakable.
Cons: too short, poor for swinging, bad blade design, needs to be
reground when purchased. Doesn't replace a good camp knife, for chores.


My personal minimum requirements, in my own order of importance:

1. Needs to serve as both a chopping tool and a camp knife.
Chopping being my primary need. In an ideal world it would be able
to Chop, cut, do 'light hammering', and maybe have a saw.
That would further replace my need for a hatchet, knife,
mini-multitool combo completely.

2. Weight needs to be less than my current combo of knife and hatchet
or knife and tomahawk. So my target weight is sub 28 oz. But my
"ideal" weight, perhaps a little unrealistic is sub 20 oz.

3. Decent Quality. Needs to stand up to heavy use. Cost never
overrides quality and performance. I'll spend anything to get
exactly what I want, with high quality construction.

4. Compact. I cannot carry a full sized machette, and don't have room in
my kayak. I don't want really much over a 12" blade. Perhaps
maximum length around 16", if all other requirements are fulfilled.

These are some of the candidates I have been looking at:


Blade: 12" Ang Khola Khukuri - by Himalayan Imports
http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-7333098713883/12inchak.html

Specs: 12" Overall length, 3/8" thick, forged spring steel, Insane
lifetime guarantee
Weight: aprox 16 oz. +/- couple oz. including sheath and sharpening tool.
Pros: Excellent chopping, edge retention, multifunction
Cons: handle shape, handle too short, some sacrifice to cutting ability


Blade: 15" Ang Khola Khukuri - by Himalayan Imports
http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-7333098713883/15inchangkhola.html

Specs: 15" Overall length, 3/8"+ thick, " same as above"
Weight: aprox 24 oz. +/-
Pros: Huge. Efficient chopping, edge retention, overall quality
Cons: Full tang handle causes vibration, handle shape, handle size too small.

Could anyone else offer me up any other candidates for a blade that is

a) primarily good for chopping and splitting wood
b) of good quality
c) light and reasonably compact

Much thanks to sgathak, mutinous, Redleg, etc for your comments
in this thread. I wouldn't have considered a Khukuri before because they
looked unwieldy. But I trust your feedback, and it appears to be the
tool best suited for my needs. Unless something radical comes up I
think I will take your advice and go with the HI Khukuri. I just don't
know if I should go with the tried, tested and true 15" model or take
a bit of a gamble with the 12" version. That extra 1/2 lb weight savings
is sort of hanging over me. But if you recommend the longer, heavier
khukuri, i'll take your word for it.

Hog On Ice
2005-12-26, 15:13
since chopping is a main concern have you considered Cold Steel's Kukri ? link : http://www.coldsteel.com/fixed-blades-gurkhas.html

Mutinousdoug
2005-12-26, 21:14
Turk,
Although I think they look pretty neat, I have no experience with such tools.
I have trouble sharpening a concave curve to a really sharp edge so I lean toward a machete shaped blade. You can't sharpen a concave with a wheel or a flat stone or a flat file. I think you'd need a crock stick or one of those old curved surface whetstones with a handle on one end used for sythes and sickles. A regular stone or file will sharpen the chopping part of the edge and I agree that with the weight out on the end there, it would be a better chopper than my short machete. You are still going to need a sharp knife to julianne your string beans and do surgery on your hiking partners.

Sgathak
2005-12-26, 22:46
The 12" Ang Khola, considering your reqs, sounds like a good choice.

Sharpening the blade CAN be a touch difficult, but HI offers some solid advise on sharpeing the blade. http://www.himalayan-imports.com/faq/Sharp.htm

The Karda (small knife in sheath) is probably factored into the weight given by HI, and if not, they still dont weigh much at all... and itll give you the ability to do the light cutting the khukuri mght balk at.

put a small X-acto knife in your FAK for fish hooks to the eyeball.

Gramps
2005-12-27, 00:19
Hey, Dropkick-Funny, how differently people see things; I was raised in wildfire country too, and once even served on the Oregon State Forestry Overhead Team (2) back in the early 80's; When camping, I never carry a bucket, a saw or an ax. I quit carrying a hatchet in 1948 when I realized I could break my firewood by stepping on it. Which tool to carry? Define the task, and the tool list becomes obvious. I go to the woods more often to be than to do; don't need much. If you WANT to carry a sawmill, then do so; but not because you need it.

dropkick
2005-12-27, 07:33
Hey, Dropkick-Funny, how differently people see things; I was raised in wildfire country too, and once even served on the Oregon State Forestry Overhead Team (2) back in the early 80's; When camping, I never carry a bucket, a saw or an ax. I quit carrying a hatchet in 1948 when I realized I could break my firewood by stepping on it. Which tool to carry? Define the task, and the tool list becomes obvious. I go to the woods more often to be than to do; don't need much. If you WANT to carry a sawmill, then do so; but not because you need it.

Well Gramps,
To me it doesn't seem that long ago that you were required by law to carry an axe, shovel, and water bucket whenever you were using federal or state lands. -As far as I know it may actually still be on the books.
I am aware that many people either didn't know this or ignored the regulation, as it was seldom enforced. (As you obviously did - having stopped doing so in 1948)

Also you have obviously never had to fight a fire or you wouldn't think that the tools were unneeded.

I find your sawmill statement to be both slightly insulting and stupidily naive.


- I have several close family members currently in or retired from the Forest Service, a brother working for the B.L.M. and I worked fire crews in the early 80's.

I was also trapped by a grass fire around 1990.
I had no time to move to a better area because I was unaware of the fire until it was almost apon me and moving too quickly. I slowed the fire with the water and was able to build a fire break around myself, shoveling the turf and burning grass away from me.
If I hadn't had a shovel and a bucket of water with me, the very least I would have sustained was 3rd degree burns on my lower body. As it was I came close to suffocating and had several minor burns.

I have no problem with those who don't wish to carry these tools, as long as they don't make camp fires - as that is endangering others.

Gramps
2005-12-29, 01:40
Dropkick...didn't mean to rile you up; The laws in Oregon require carrying an ax, a shovel and a water bucket in your vehicle if you are driving on public lands during fire season, but have never required these for hikers. I agree, those items are useful to fight fire, even though most of my work was from a helicopter. I also agree that a carelessly handled fire is a danger to others, but would point out that fire safety is the first consideration here, and that a lone hiker has to be a cautious fellow! I'm glad you were able to escape serious injury, and earnestly wish you all the best in the future. And I still won't carry an ax, a shovel or a bucket.

dropkick
2005-12-29, 03:16
Thanks for the good wishes, and sorry I got riled up.
But I still think that if you are camping in an area that doesn't have fire rings set up (and I'm not talking about a rock ring either) you shouldn't have a fire without some form of bucket and shovel along.

You can't completely put out a fire without these tools.
A fire can lie dormant for hours or even days and then spring to life if it isn't quenched.
And the second leading cause of forest fires is untended fires (lightning is #1).

A garbage bag and a trowel are limited but acceptable substitutes.

-I use a nylon ditty bag and a garbage bag combo for a bucket myself.
But I still carry that heavy danged folding shovel and will continue too do so until I can find a lighter alternative that works for me. -I use it for many things besides fires.


Question-
How do you dispose of your excrement, if you don't carry a shovel?

Sgathak
2005-12-29, 04:49
Question-
How do you dispose of your excrement, if you don't carry a shovel?

Never heard of a digging stick?

Mutinousdoug
2005-12-29, 12:10
I use my machete more for a shovel than say a hatchet

Turk
2005-12-30, 00:32
Ordered a HI Khukuri today. The 15" Ang Khola. After spending nearly
2 hrs just soaking up all the information on the site and what Bill Martino
was trying to do with that company ... wow ... what can I say. I was
really ... really moved. The price was, almost an embarassment. If the
quality is anywhere near what the reviews claim, I will be most humbled.

Really feel like I am taking something unfairly from these craftsmen in Nepal.
Am thinking of ways I might show proper gratitude. Will definately try and
draw some immediate support sales from everyone I think might be interested
in owning / using one. But thats a pretty short list, limited to my close
hiking chums. Feel like I could do better. Was thinking about sending a
package directly to their production facility. Some tools maybe ... hope they
don't find that insulting. Or perhaps just some frivilous luxuries we take for
granted. Will put some more thought on it...

dropkick
2005-12-30, 17:57
Never heard of a digging stick?
Your not going to dig a very big or deep cat hole with a stick unless you really work at it, and you also better be in a sandy/loamy soil area, or you'll just scratch the surface.

I'm not accusing you, but I find toilet paper that has been either not covered or badly covered every so often, and my feeling is that the people who do this should be forced to pick up their leavings and pack them out in their pants pocket.

I usually end up burying, burning, or packing out the paper and I REALLY don't enjoy it.
And why do they almost always do it right beside the trail, or camp area?

dropkick
2005-12-30, 18:07
Turk,
I'm very interested to hear how your Khukuri works out.
Good luck with it.

Sgathak
2005-12-30, 20:41
Your not going to dig a very big or deep cat hole with a stick unless you really work at it, and you also better be in a sandy/loamy soil area, or you'll just scratch the surface.

Ive used a chunk of not-so-durable sagebrush to cut a hole big enough to do the deed in some pretty hard dirt... and it didnt take THAT long.

Remember, its a cat hole, not a latrine pit.


I'm not accusing you,

Thanks


but I find toilet paper that has been either not covered or badly covered every so often, and my feeling is that the people who do this should be forced to pick up their leavings and pack them out in their pants pocket.

We agree.


And why do they almost always do it right beside the trail, or camp area?

Because they are, from wince it came.

I dont even let my dogs off that easy.

200 yards from the trail is optimal, 100 in a pinch, 50 in an emergency, if you cant get 50 yards off trail.... take your soiled underwear at least 50 yards away and wash them.

Mutinousdoug
2005-12-30, 23:09
"Your (sic) not going to dig a very big or deep cat hole with a stick unless you really work at it, and you also better be in a sandy/loamy soil area, or you'll just scratch the surface."

The vast majority of compostable bacteria is within 6-8" of the surface of undisturbed soil. Digging deeper in dry soil serves mainly to preserve the artifact.
In much of the Colorado back country the only place you will find soil deeper than 6" is in stream bottoms or pastures. Otherwise you're going to be digging scree or gravel at best where there is little bacterial action in the few warm months where that is possible.
A burial mound that adequately covers your mess is more enviornmentally sound than a pit dug to bedrock that looks undisturbed.
Agreed: asswipe left exposed is neither enviornmental nor esthetic...maybe the best excuse for a fire in the back country.

Iceman
2005-12-31, 11:24
... if you cant get 50 yards off trail.... take your soiled underwear at least 50 yards away and wash them.
:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

How about waddle home in them?

I think many hunters are scared of the dark, since I find that many of them will drop the chalupa' in the middle of the road, or next to their vehicle before sunrise (I sure hope they aren't doing this in daylight...).

GregH
2005-12-31, 18:44
...Agreed: asswipe left exposed is neither enviornmental nor esthetic...maybe the best excuse for a fire in the back country.

I vote for setting the fire on the back of their pants!

Turk
2006-01-05, 23:08
Well, my Kukuri arrived today!
I will quickly give an out of the box review and in the following days give
a full out performance review.
Kukuri Model: 15" Ang Khola
made by: Himalayan Imports - BirGorka Nepal

The purchasing process:
I purchased the blade at the online store:
http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-7333098713883/index.html
Made purchase with credit card at like 1:AM on Dec. 29th/05 Received my
package miraculously with international shipping and the usual "song-and-dance" with Canadian Customs extra tax, on January 5th!!!!
That's just insane service. Item was well boxed, and very well wrapped
and protected for shipping. Written lifetime guarantee against any possible kind of failure right in the box.

Purchase price: 165.00 USD. + 40.00 International shipping
(Required for outside U.S. Orders)

Out of the box:
http://www.geocities.com/ontariohiking/DSC00128.JPG
Very first impression was Wow! I am glad I didn't get the 12" model
I couldn't believe how short it was. Because of the way that
khukuri's are measured, I was genuinely worried that I had
chosen a blade that was far too long for what I needed. The
size is immediately perfect for what I had in mind. Considerably
longer than my Gerber backpaxe, and notably shorter than my tomahawk.
This is the blade complete with scabbard and sharpening tools
http://www.geocities.com/ontariohiking/DSC00129.JPG
Second and most apparent characteristic. This baby is HEAVY!
Real .. heavy. But wow ... is it beautiful.


Advertised Weight:
"Aprox 1.5 lbs" - including scabbard and accessories

Actual Weight: 2 lbs 6oz. (postal scale)

The source of this additional weight is also immediately apparent:

Advertised blade thickness: 3/8"
Actual blade thickness: 9/16"!!!
I have absolutely no doubts left in my mind from the stories
on blade forums of people doing serious prybar work with
their khukuri. This is one beastly hunk of steel.

These things are all custom "one-offs" hand forged in
Nepal. I wasn't expecting the advertised weight to
be incredibly accurate, but I was hoping that.. like
most people posting in bladeforums.com, that mine would
be on the "light-side" of advertised weight. Well.. I
got the exact opposite, but the below information
explains why.
http://www.geocities.com/ontariohiking/DSC00132.JPG
Up close and personal with the blade, there is a good
bit of evidence that this is a hand-crafted item. The
water buffalo horn handle is absolutely exquisite.
Esthetically the blade is not a show-piece. There
are definate tell tale signs of hammer forging, nicks,
scratches and little deformations from hammer blows.
There is some inconsistancy in the thickness of
the blade when looking down the spine. The brasswork
hand guard leaves some to be desired. Small crack
and some buffing scratches, fair bit of dirt and
grit. ... but I like dirt and grit on a blade. No
points taken off there (personal opinion).

The scabbard is an interesting mix of really really
good leatherwork, with really really bad general
craftsmanship. Mixed feeling on it. But it looks
very durable. Will see how it stands up to my
fairly anal personal reqs. in a sheath. Testing
will tell the tale soon enough.

Markings on the blade tell all:


Made from a leaf spring of a Mercedes Benz truck.
The Kami that forged my particular khukuri was
Kami Sher Bahadur. A man with 20 years experience,
and reputed to make the "biggest, beefiest, strongest
khukuris of any kami in the shop" - this a direct
quote from Himalayan Imports founder, Bill Martino.
More info on this Kami can be found on the biography
pages of the HI website.
This would readily explain why mine is on the
very heavy side of "average weight".
http://www.geocities.com/ontariohiking/DSC00130.JPG
The half sun marking on the blade indicates that
mine was forged after 2002. I am unsure what
that really means, in terms of quality etc.
Worth noting, is the symbol of Bura's handiwork
directly beneath the chole. This indicates that
Bura - Lal Bahadur Bishwakarma the master Kami
of Birgorka himself put his hand to my particular
khukuri. Most likely he did a 'modification'
or what he felt was a 'correction' to kami
Sher's work. Seeing this... I am overjoyed.
Really. I actually own, and have in my hand now..
not only the much proclaimed worlds "best khukuri".
But now one that has also been crafted (in some part)
by the master himself. The man who once exclusively
made khukuri's for the royal family.

Lastly displayed about halfway down the spine of
the blade, are the markings of kami Sher's personal
version of the Bir Gorka logo, confirming further that
this is a blade of his personal handiwork.


So .. that is my very quick "Out of the Box" review.
I will post a performance review in a week or so.
Mixed overall feelings. Extremely proud of it.
I am wondering very much if the particular khukuri
I received had much to do with the personal letter
I wrote to the late Bill Martino's wife Yangdu.
I feel even more indebted to her now ...
Very impressive blade.. some concerns for
overall use in my grand scheme of gear loadout.
But testings .. will be the ultimate judge and jury.

SGT Rock
2006-01-05, 23:34
Sounds like you are happy so far. That actually sounds like a cool purchase even for just a nice showpiece, not many manufactured items these days can have that much "real" history to them.

Seeker
2006-01-06, 14:02
turk,

just a guess, but i think the discrepancies in weight and blade thickness are the result of the US to Canadian exchange rate... :biggrin:

seriously, sounds like you found a nice tool.