- Nov 20, 2005
I never saw much into carrying a knife for chopping wood. I camp sometimes in very remote country in Alberta in a wall tent with a space heater burning spruce and recently replaced my Coleman naphtha stove with a Coleman propane burning the small bottles. I usually get dropped off for a week with an Argo or Quad with a little trailer for my gear. For firewood I bring along an ax and a hatchet and a small Stihl chainsaw. The Stihl to cut a dead tree and sawing it in sections the ax for splitting and the hatchet for various and sundry rough cutting I do not want to dull my hunting knife on, the back of the hatchet is used as a hammer. I do not feather stick, I spray fly dope on wood, birchbark and lichen and then lighten it. It then burns even when wet
For eating and cooking in camp, I usually carry a few kitchen knives.
The Barkriver drop point Hunter or Puukko with an approximate 4 inch blade is what I carry on my belt, for field dressing deer or moose, cutting sausage, bread, peeling fruit etc while out hunting or fine cutting chores in camp. I carry a small loaded strop with me for sharpening touch ups.
my hunting knife would double as a survival knife if needed to be, In case I get lost. I could build a leanto with it, spruce boughs for a bed and a variety of cutting chores. For firewood we always use dead spruce branches most of it lying around or ready to break of from the tree. Never saw need or desire for batonning a knife as it is called. Birchbark and dry tree lichens to lighten the fire. O well, I just do as the Stoney and Slave Indians do here.
As you guess I Do not do wood crafting for the sake of it. Camping must be comfortable,efficient and easy for me, so I can after a comfortable nights sleep and a hearty breakfast spend the better part of the day out hunting.
I like your form of camping. Sounds really fun. The Stihl comment fits my general approach although I still often camp in state parks and cranking up a chain saw is a bit of a problem due to the general disturbance and appearances primarily. This is for the most part car camping and I often carry a cross cut saw for the big cutting tasks and frankly it is mostly for fun and having a nice pile of wood for my use and often for the next camper who finds my wood after I leave.
I used a Case jack knife for many years for everything.... hunting, hiking, camping, and "survival". It always worked. It wasn't until I watched the Rambo movies that the concept of a survival knife ever came up. My survival knife was the one usually in my pocket and later both in my pocket and on my belt (fixed blade). Frankly I seldom use a fixed blade in the woods for anything but since about 1980-1985, I usually had one with me. The point is that for most of us, we aren't chopping trees down with our knives to build shelters, cutting our way out of an aircraft, needing to do any chopping with a knife what so ever, fighting off bears and mountain lions, or people with knives. But we do stuff because we like to do stuff in the woods camping, "surviving", hunting, cutting branches or trees, cutting a stake and so forth. It is mostly for the fun of it, but you DO NEED a knife if you want to efficiently cut anything. Yeah, I know... hatchets, axes etc.
I think survival knives pretty much were developed from diving knives which need to be pointy for "attacking sharks", prying open an oyster, prying anything at depth, cleaning large fish, and general cutting. One of my early "survival knives" was in fact a Randall Model 15 (Air crewman I believe in stainless) which to this day find to be a really cool. After I got it, it was the knife I would head for the woods in a SHTF situation that in most cases will never happen for me. But I like the knife and that is what's important for me. There have been many large knives since, but the Randall still makes me wow at it when I handle it.
A hunting knife is just a sharp knife to me that is fairly nimble in the hand for cutting flesh or hide. Big knives (like 7" blades) will work but are not nimble. A 5" blade is pretty much my limit for hunting and only would carry that large of a knife to straddle the multiple use category in the woods/field.
Camp knives..... I think of the classic Hudson Bay design. But if you are back packing (carrying everything), I question whether or not I want to actually carry such a knife for such limited use. But if you are camping out of a boat (canoe or whatever) or from a jeep or ATV, by all means carry the thing. Take a chainsaw, large saw, axe, hatchet or machete too. But always have the folder in your pocket in case you find yourself separated from your "supplies" or other resources.