Summer season is coming soon and bushcraft beginners might consider this the best time for their first adventure. However, the next thought that might come to your mind is, what tools shall I take with me? Is it better to have as lightweight rucksack as possible or to take everything I have in case .... you know...? The answer lies, of course, somewhere inbetween and is unique for each bushcrafter.
If your wish is to carry just one versatile tool, then a knife is the right choice for you:
it should be middle sized so that it can be used also as a machete
with thicker back so that you can split wood using batoning technique
a knife with a point, because this part of a knife is very useful
If you don't mind carrying some extra weight, it is much better to have several different tools with you. With a versatile knife you can never do your work as fast and effectively as with specialized tools. For example, it is at least uncomfortable to cut down a tree with a middle sized knife.
Of course, the choice is not easy again. You can't just grab everything you have at home and carry with you. Everything depends on the activities that you do or plan to do most often.
It is good to have a small knife for common activities and preparing food.
Then you will probably need a working knife that you can use harder or as a hunting knife.
Of course, there are many special tools, like for example bowl knife – ideal for making bowls, spoons or hollows in the wood. It is up to you, whether you plan to use such special tools on a particular trip.
„ Take your time and think about your trip in advance.“
Choice of your main tool
Choosing your main tool depends on the activities that you do most often and on the environment in which you plan to use it.
Machete is a great tool, its weight is evenly distributed through the whole length, usually it is a bit heavier at the end. If it is thick enough, it can even cut a middle thick tree quickly and easily. Machete is ideal for making your way through thick forest or vegetation.
Small or middle size axe – style and shape of an axe depends mostly on your taste. I make my axes in tomahawk or Viking style. Axes are heaviest at their ends, as the only steel part is the axe head. Full tang axes are an exception, where the metal goes through the whole handle. It is not as easy to make your way through the thick forest with an axe as with a machete. However, axes have several pros – they are better for cutting down the trees and splitting wood. They usually have a hammer part on the back side of the axe head, that can be used as a hammer, for breaking things or hammering nails, wedges, sticks...
There are many different tools useful for bushcraft trips. I talked about those used at most and their pros and cons. Whether your choice was right, you will see during your bushcraft adventure :)
I will talk about other tools in my next blogs. Good luck!