All Replies on Hatchet or Knife?

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View Mike's profile

Hatchet or Knife?

by Mike
posted 04-22-2013 09:31 PM

21 replies so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2054 days

#1 posted 04-22-2013 09:40 PM

I would take both, they are not that big.

-- Joel

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4932 posts in 3961 days

#2 posted 04-22-2013 09:47 PM

And sharpen everything well. Wassamater with the multi-tool?


View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2971 days

#3 posted 04-22-2013 09:49 PM

Going to be stealth camping?
A small bow saw, spare blade, knife and hatchet would all be very useful.
Nylon cord and duct tape are also very handy to have.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2437 days

#4 posted 04-22-2013 10:00 PM

If by “camping in the backwoods” you mean you’ll be packing in to your campsite then leave the hatchet. Extra weight you don’t need, a lot of national parks restrict campfires, where there is adequate fuel for a backcountry fire dead branches are easily broken by hand and make a satisfactory fire. Even a small hatchet is too much weight given it’s usefulness in national park backcountry. I’ve gotten by for 40 years with just a 3” folding knife.

If car camping, take an ax.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2687 days

#5 posted 04-22-2013 10:02 PM

I’ll be packing in and out for the most part. I’ll be most likely driving to the trail heads. Yellowstone will be the first stop.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2118 days

#6 posted 04-22-2013 10:24 PM

if you’re packing skip the hatchet. muleskinner said it best.
a 3” locking folder with a smooth blade or a good multi-tool are much better options.
don’t forget something to sharpen with.

-- - Terry

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2007 days

#7 posted 04-22-2013 10:35 PM

Hmmmm, a small camper’s hatchet will lay flat on the rear floorboard of your car and take up very little room. Why not just throw one back there… “Just in case”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#8 posted 04-22-2013 11:17 PM

A Mora fixed blade knife will set you back about $20. It
is a superior little laminated carbon steel knife from Sweden
which takes and holds a superior edge and is very
tough to break.

While you can split kindling with a Mora or a robust
folding knife, a hatchet is the right tool for the job.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2437 days

#9 posted 04-23-2013 12:10 AM

Mike, considering your #5, a hatchet is dead weight.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2286 days

#10 posted 04-23-2013 12:37 AM

I’d personally have a fixed blade knife and a small axe.

-- John, BC, Canada

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2681 days

#11 posted 04-23-2013 01:36 AM

You might also need a .357 in case you are bothered by a grizzly bear , and… ,even more important ,

plenty of t.p. and a good latrine shovel .


View BigYin's profile


416 posts in 2416 days

#12 posted 04-23-2013 05:17 AM

-a good quality 4 or 5 inch knife (loren is right about the Mora brand)
-a sharpener for knife & hatchet
-a good 1 pound hatchet with steel shank one piece forging
-a good pair of side cutting pliers
-water purification tablets
If your only going to take a knife take a Ka-Bar and get a Kydex molded sheeth ($15-$18) for it to protect the blade and you from the blade

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3085 days

#13 posted 04-23-2013 02:50 PM

If you are asking these questions, it sounds as though you have not been camping very much, if at all. There
should be some area near you that allows camping. I would do some practice camping before you set off into
the wild blue yonder. A backpack stove will give you enough heat to cook meals. Primus is an old standby. I
have an old small Coleman (discontinued) that burns unleaded gas-readily available now- and this will eliminate
the need for a cookfire. It is and will continue to be cold in Yellowstone and other parks for a while. We
can get mountain storms in July, so you will need good clothing that can handle temps from -10 to 70 or more.
this will add some weight, REI and other scources can give you some info on camping. If you are going to
build a fire in the backcountry, you will need a shovel to clear the duff-burnable leaves, etc- from the fire pit
area or find a rocky area for your fire. A good folding steel camp shovel with a sharpened edge is a wonderful
tool and can substitute as a hatchet. You will need a good tent or a tarp with good grommets and rope.
plus a good sleeping bag. Once again do some practice camping. Being in the backcounty with no experience
and the wrong weather can be fatal. The wrong type of campfire can be trouble. The is an old saying,
The white man builds a big fire and stands far away, the Indian builds a small fire and sets close. I have done
lots of camping with my boys and others, done right it is wonderful, done wrong as McManus says it is “A
fine and pleasant misery.”

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View JohnChung's profile


408 posts in 2075 days

#14 posted 04-23-2013 04:22 PM

I am not sure to what extend do you want to live outdoors. But hiking will weigh you down with an axe. If you just need to cut branches I would suggest you bring a foldable saw instead.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2437 days

#15 posted 04-24-2013 02:52 AM

Mount Ferry and Ferry Basin

Picture for Mike

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2687 days

#16 posted 04-25-2013 02:23 AM

Thanks all. I’ve been off trail several times around the world but not out in Western US. Camping in the US is way different than Australia and other countries. I figure the hatchet would be out for the most part due to weight. I feel it is always a good idea to see what other people’s experiences have taught them. Two or maybe three of us are planning to go so were are figuring out the best way to divide the loads in the packs. Any other recommendations other than the standard fire starting kits, TP, tent, compass and maps (no GPS on this trip), sleeping bags, cook stove, basic cookware (tin foil goes a LONG way)... ect.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2286 days

#17 posted 04-25-2013 02:40 AM

Maybe an LED lantern and headlamp.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3085 days

#18 posted 04-25-2013 01:14 PM

Happy to hear you will be with friends and have some experience, I suppose we could start a conversation
about external frame or internal frame backpacks, but lets not be picky. Hope you and your friends have a
wonderful time. While in Yellowstone, you might try to stop at Beartooth Lake, there are sometimes moose
at the end of the lake and the butte has lots of fossils proving that this high point was once at the bottom
of an inland sea, and the highway to it has some great views, if you get here late enough in the year for it
to be open.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View 489tad's profile


3366 posts in 3012 days

#19 posted 04-25-2013 01:36 PM

I’d get that shovel!!!!! Its only 37.00 U.S.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View markswoodcraft's profile


175 posts in 2121 days

#20 posted 04-26-2013 01:49 AM

a big bowie knife can baton through logs just as good as a hatchet can, and its also a bit more versatile,
and paired with a mora camp knife is a great combo

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3433 days

#21 posted 04-26-2013 02:08 AM

One more thing…a good map that shows locations of local Motel 6…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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