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Posted: 3/19/2014 4:35:04 AM EDT
Do you guys use machetes as part of your gear?
If what kind is a good one?
Link Posted: 3/19/2014 4:48:36 AM EDT
Not really relevant in this area. I have taken one to the woods before and it serves almost no purpose in conifer and hardwood forests.

I do want to try out a kukri sometime, as a utility item. I have a feeling it would be the same result though, not really ideal for this area.
Link Posted: 3/19/2014 5:01:26 AM EDT
I've found them useless for camping. You go camping with a bunch of people and the first day everybody busts out the machetes and Rambo knives and what not but they wear you out quick trying to get firewood. Before it's over everybody is asking to borrow your Sven saw :).
Link Posted: 3/19/2014 9:29:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 3:14:07 AM EDT
I prefer a small tomahawk.
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 4:12:23 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By VaFish:
I prefer a small tomahawk.
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For the weight you will probably get a lot more use out of a tomahawk over a machete.

If you already carry a hatchet or axe though neither will preform better than what you have.
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 5:59:51 AM EDT
Condor Lochness Muk.
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 12:28:11 PM EDT
I've done a lot of on and off-trail hiking here in WA and have never carried or needed one. I've hiked into the Wonder Mountain Wilderness where there are no trails into or within the wilderness and prefer to enjoy nature the way it grew. They're dead weight unless you're in a serious jungle.
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 2:39:46 PM EDT
I am trying to slowly add to my outdoors stuff and my SHTF stuff.
Just trying to figure what I need to start gathering up.
Funny I watch a few of the Naked and Afraid shows. Most of the time someone bring a machete.
I see how a tomahawk would be better.
I have some knives. I have a kabar and some folder knives.
Anyway thinks for the help
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 2:46:50 PM EDT
what size of tomahawk and what brand should I look at?
Link Posted: 3/20/2014 4:49:28 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By win:
what size of tomahawk and what brand should I look at?
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I have a cold Steel Norse Hawk that is pretty neat. If I buy another one it will be the trail hawk.

You won't be chopping down a forest with them, but if you need an axe just take an axe. Without the handle I keep the head right in my pack and if I feel like I need to get choppy I can just whip up a handle for it quick.

I leave it at home when I carry an axe though. Its an extra 3 lbs though so I am trying to transition from an axe to a hawk more.
Link Posted: 3/21/2014 2:36:04 AM EDT
I have a Cold Steel Rifleman.

You can save yourself about 10 ounces if you go with the Frontier or Trailhawk.

Get one with a flat head that you can use for pounding if need be, not one of the silly ones with a spike on the back.
Link Posted: 3/21/2014 5:04:31 AM EDT
I think I am going to get either the Rifleman or the trail hawk
Link Posted: 3/21/2014 5:36:10 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By win:
what size of tomahawk and what brand should I look at?
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Estwing Camp Axe.
Link Posted: 3/21/2014 5:38:06 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Rudison:

Estwing Camp Axe.
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Originally Posted By Rudison:
Originally Posted By win:
what size of tomahawk and what brand should I look at?

Estwing Camp Axe.


I love mine, but its about 2.5 lbs heavier than my tomahawk.
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 5:32:41 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:


I love mine, but its about 2.5 lbs heavier than my tomahawk.
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Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By Rudison:
Originally Posted By win:
what size of tomahawk and what brand should I look at?

Estwing Camp Axe.


I love mine, but its about 2.5 lbs heavier than my tomahawk.


My SOG Fast Hawk is lighter but offers no hammer feature, there is one in each vehicle.

In reality a Bahco folding saw and a Becker BK9 sized camp knife give you more options for nearly the same weight as a good hatchet.
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 5:36:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 5:48:14 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Rudison:


My SOG Fast Hawk is lighter but offers no hammer feature, there is one in each vehicle.

In reality a Bahco folding saw and a Becker BK9 sized camp knife give you more options for nearly the same weight as a good hatchet.
View Quote


Pretty much for 99% of trips.

If I was going into the woods long term though I would lug an axe with me. My Esting campers axe has been through hell, I'm pretty sure it's nearly impossible to break.

But for regular old camping there is really no need for an axe or a hatchet.
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 7:54:37 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:


Pretty much for 99% of trips.

If I was going into the woods long term though I would lug an axe with me. My Esting campers axe has been through hell, I'm pretty sure it's nearly impossible to break.

But for regular old camping there is really no need for an axe or a hatchet.
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Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By Rudison:


My SOG Fast Hawk is lighter but offers no hammer feature, there is one in each vehicle.

In reality a Bahco folding saw and a Becker BK9 sized camp knife give you more options for nearly the same weight as a good hatchet.


Pretty much for 99% of trips.

If I was going into the woods long term though I would lug an axe with me. My Esting campers axe has been through hell, I'm pretty sure it's nearly impossible to break.

But for regular old camping there is really no need for an axe or a hatchet.


For any long term stay in the woods a Pulaski axe would be my choice.
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 10:45:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2014 10:46:24 AM EDT by HUNTER223]
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 8:26:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By win:
I am trying to slowly add to my outdoors stuff and my SHTF stuff.
Just trying to figure what I need to start gathering up.
Funny I watch a few of the Naked and Afraid shows. Most of the time someone bring a machete.
I see how a tomahawk would be better.
I have some knives. I have a kabar and some folder knives.
Anyway thinks for the help
View Quote


First and foremost use for a machete is transportation. If you can move thru your AO without having to slash thru palmetto bush or armpit tall marsh grass, then you don't really need one.

People on that tv show choose them because, the second thing a machete is great for is cutting the smallish stuff needed to make improvised survival shelters.

If you decide to use a machete be sure to use proper technique. They can be dangerous to both yourself and those around/following you. There are some clips on youtube of Lofty Wiseman giving some instruction in the use of the parang.
Link Posted: 3/23/2014 4:24:13 AM EDT
I would only add that bladed/chopping tools were designed around their regions for use. I have several chopping tools and have lived in various parts around the country. I do like the versatility of the machete and the shorter ones maximize utility and weight; however they are not perfect for every environment.

Chopping tools are best suited to larger amount of wood processing, be they construction or for firewood. Don’t discount a small pack saw as it’s often just as efficient and safer for numerous tasks.

The machete is handy for me about 5-6 months of the year here in GA. Mostly used to clear areas and practice my skill with a large blade. After spending six months in Ecuador, I’ll never reach the skill of even the 10-year old kids who ran around with a machete as an extension of their body. The heavier kukris and parangs are designed for heavier hard wood and vines.

Big blades add efficiency with some tasks, but the disadvantages are weight, size and safety (when swinging large sharp objects). Additionally, those that mention big blades probably don’t use them enough to maximize their size and versatility. Inexperienced people swinging a small axe or machete are scary scenarios. If you do plan to pack one, spend the time to learn proper technique and use; especially how to safely and efficiently use them. I really struggle to consider tools for the pack due to weight concerns, but I would plan to keep a machete, decent axe and large bow saw in the bug-out cabin, cached or in the vehicle.

On-person or in the pack, I would most likely stick to a sold belt knife, folding saw in the pack and maybe a large knife (Hoodlum II) or a tomahawk head in the pack as well.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 3/29/2014 7:35:01 PM EDT
I use a machete to clear light branches, newly sprouted woody stems, etc., from a regularly-used campsite where the brush is constantly encroaching, but it's not the right tool for any sort of "serious" cutting of substantial wood. An axe such as the Gransfors Brooks Small Forest Axe or equivalent is a more versatile general-purpose camp tool, and ideally accompanied by a small saw --- the right tool for bucking small firewood, etc. As has been pointed out, a machete is the most dangerous among the hand cutting tools. Unless you deal with some special circumstances, you'll be better served by a light axe (not a toy hatchet...) and even a very small saw, like a Silky folding saw.
Link Posted: 4/3/2014 10:01:28 PM EDT
Machete, axe, saw. Each has serious pro and serious con.

My usual combo is a thin bladed machete and a bow saw; for the weight there is no equal in softwoods. I have done the tomahawk, but it is a fail for most serious use, even after I put a decently long handle on it. An axe is great, but comes with a weight penalty, and often does not split wood well if it is light enough to pack. The machete cuts poorly compared to an axe, but limbs far better and weighs 1/2 as much.

If only taking one tool, I take a machete when above freezing. If down close to zero an axe and a saw. A big knife weighs the same as a thin machete, but only does 1/3 as much work with the same effort, though it does baton split wood easier. I am only in softwoods, which can make a difference.

Also, you need to spell out the weight you can pack, and what you are trying to accomplish. A 3lb axe can do much, but you won't want it on a backpacking trip for making a tiny fire for coffee. Likewise, a small folding saw can be 6 oz, but would be almost useless for a wintertime bugout bag.

If you come up with any answer other than a thin-bladed machete and a bow saw, it is wrong...

Link Posted: 4/4/2014 10:53:52 AM EDT
I do and use an old school USGI machete for camping. 1095 carbon steel I believe, I could be wrong though. It holds an edge, relatively light weight and I have used it to cut through everything from brush to small trees, split smaller pieces of wood and even stir the campfire on occasion. It has held up for years approximately (13 or so) and has never failed me. It is one of my most used and valued piece of kit I use when camping not to mention the sheath it comes with is also of good quality construction. Also the cost didn't break the bank either.
Link Posted: 4/15/2014 2:50:30 PM EDT
Kukris and machetes are useful for alerting others that you are "mentally unstable" and they should be ready to cure you if the need arise…
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 6:51:24 AM EDT
Good video by Ray Mears on choosing an Axe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5W6r5U7yBE&feature=youtu.be
The Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is a real popular Axe.

I plan to add one to my kit.

I think another important piece a gear is a Buck Saw or Bow Saw.
A Buck Saw has longer cutting reach over a Bow Saw. The longer blade and higher frame allows you to saw bigger logs with less effort.

Something you should be able to do is make a Buck Saw in the field yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cotj4qxyX4U

Otherwise check out the Bob Dustrude's Quick Folding Buck Saw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I3gaNwiVxQ
Price is double the REI Sven saw but offers the fore mentioned benefits.
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 7:43:24 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By win:
I think I am going to get either the Rifleman or the trail hawk
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I have both and like them. Another option for a little more money is HB forge. They have an outstanding reputation in the muzzleloading/re-enacting community.

I would also add realistically being in KS (depending on where exactly) how much do you really need either? You might be better served with a compact saw from a weight and how often are you going to use it perspective.
Link Posted: 4/28/2014 9:34:42 PM EDT
Tramontina 18" is my favorite machete. I did a lot of growing up in Mexico though so I've been using them all my life... I'm much better with that than an axe.

I do have a Fasthawk though. It's pretty decent for splitting firewood when camping, but in my experience all the firewood I've bought would have been just as easy to split with a machete.

I wish I still had my old Collins collection

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Originally Posted By psdavi01:
Kukris and machetes are useful for alerting others that you are "mentally unstable" and they should be ready to cure you if the need arise…
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