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Is using a sword as a camping tool a good idea?
Yes
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
No
97%
 97%  [ 75 ]
Total Votes : 77

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Dustin Schulten




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Jul 2013

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Hi, my name is Dustin. I'm a n00b with a strange question.         Reply with quote

I am a passionate and regular backpacker, hiker, camper, and all around outdoor enthusiast.

Through the years of trial and error with tools for my recreational activities I have found that there is good pack weight, and bad pack weight.

Good pack weight is often an item that covers several different uses, but really does all things well.

A typical backpacker may need one of each of the following for everything they'll do in the woods;

1.) An axe. For splitting wood, getting to dry timber for fire, etc.
2.) A hammer. For pounding in tent stakes
3.) A solid knife. For dealing with smaller fire starting wood, defense against wildlife, splitting wood, clearing brush, shoveling.
4.) A firearm. For defense against wildlife, signaling, and defense against (queue banjo/fiddle) deliverance type disturbances.

These items can add up to an extremely substantial amount of weight in a backpack which is disadvantageous to long backpacking trips.

Now, I myself do not carry a firearm. A hammer is just bad weight because you can often source a rock for pounding in tent stakes. Axes are to cumbersome as the are balanced poorly and do not offer many ways to be carried. They're fine for Jeep camping but you can forget about lugging one into the woods with you, however they are nice as they multi-task as a hammer too.

I do carry a large knife. A Kabar BK-7. I prefer this knife to any others I've ever used in the back country. It has a reasonable price point, full tang construction, a 3/16" spine that makes it durable enough to use the batoning technique to split logs, you can also take the handles off if you needed to attach it to a branch as a makeshift spear for defense or fishing/hunting, it's also just barely heavy enough most of the time to pound in tent stakes with the pommel.

The knife is obviously good weight in my pack.

But would a sword be better?

I am not versed on swords, I lurked around for a few hours, and I'd imagine I know more than most sword n00bs considering my knowledge of knives, and metal in general.

Could a sword be used to cut branches from a tree? Cut through a 3-5" dead tree? Split logs?

I know the pommel would make a great hammer with the weight of a blade behind it, it would obviously work for defense, much better than a knife. Brush clearing would be a breeze, I could use it as a fire tending stick and a skewer too.

I understand that no one here is very fond of Badger Blades, but for the price and the durability it seems like a no brainer.

Can I trust a lighter, thinner, more balanced blade to do the dirty work I speak of? Or should I pull the trigger on a BB next weekend and take her out for a test run in the back country. I can't even seem to google people using a sword to camp and backpack with. I think it would work great, but maybe it's just a pipe dream.

-Dustin

P.S. Thanks in advance for any and all criticisms, thoughts, or advice.
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 321

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even in the days when swords were actually carried, and used in military battles. they weren't used for campside chores. If you want to chop/cut firewood - use an axe or a saw. If you want to dig a hole - use a shovel. About the only use for a sword around camp is either to use as a big tent-peg, or as a toasting/roasting fork to hold food over a fire Big Grin
Use a sword for anything other than it's intended purpose, and it'll soon be ruined to the point it's useless for what it's really intended for..
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
Even in the days when swords were actually carried, and used in military battles. they weren't used for campside chores. If you want to chop/cut firewood - use an axe or a saw. If you want to dig a hole - use a shovel. About the only use for a sword around camp is either to use as a big tent-peg, or as a toasting/roasting fork to hold food over a fire Big Grin

That would be a wonderful way to ruin any heat treat on a sword.

OP, you're looking for a machete, not a sword... I have several great swords, and if I ever had to bug-out due to apocalypse, I'm packing a machete and leaving my swords behind.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Tanner Sheltry




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 08 Apr 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Swords were never designed to take that kind of abuse. Most sword will end up twisting and take a set.

Japanese swords are thicker than most European swords but they are only held together by two bamboo pegs making it not very strong. If the Ito it removed the handle becomes extremely weak and has a good chance of cracking.

European swords have thinner blades than Japanese swords but have a much stronger handle constructions. I've hit my swords on my cutting stand lots of times and they are fine but I couldn't imagine cutting down a tree with them.If you really want a sword for camping you'd probably be best of with a falchion or a seax. They usually served double service as a weapon and a farm tool.

My best suggestion is to just by your self a good machete.

the more skill a man has with his weapon the more gentle and courteous should he behave, for in truth this is rightly the honour of a brave Gentleman, and so much more is he to be esteemed: he must not be a bragger, or lier, and without truth in his word, because there is nothing more to be required of a man than to know himself" - Vincentio Saviolo
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cold steel makes pretty good Machetes I heard. Perhaps you want something that would last?
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Dustin Schulten




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Jul 2013

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cold Steel is like the Badger Blades of the knife world. Overall kind of a joke, but they do have freaking ridiculous durability qualities. Ugly and brutish tools that get the job done at an economic price.

My BK-7 teeters on machete territory.

Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to actually use a sword for something. As I have found no practical use for one yet, in my life that is.

Maybe I'll just pick up Badger's new model (should have taken a picture) they've got a new (to them) tapered blade that is lighter (less material) and has a really nice balance (maybe 1.5 inches from the cross guard). Although they're $100 dollars more than they're typical Bastard sword, they seem much more usable and just as insanely durable.

anyway, if I pick one up I'll do a completely and obviously redundant write up about the pros and cons of using a sword as a backpacking tool. It'll at least be fun and I'll get to try it. I'm far too curious about this. All things considered a wondering warrior in the 14th century wouldn't have bothered to carry around a shovel, an axe, and a maul for all his camp sight needs. For the exact same reason I don't; weight. I would have to think that swords were used for much more than just a combat weapon to some ancient peoples. As one of you mentioned with the falchion and a seax, the marriage of form and function, weapon and tool, in a blade. Obviously incarnated today as a machete. It's just over done in my eyes, too conventional. I'm an unconventional dude I guess.

Like I said, I'm not versed in swords, but also; the heat issue; I couldn't imagine a campfire's flames being hot enough to ruin the heat treatment of a blade. maybe on a really windy day if you left it in the coals of a campfire for an extended period of time I could see long term permanent damage being done. But using it to poke at logs to move them around in the fire and as a skewer, do you really think you could damage the integrity of the blade that easily? I can't imagine.. but maybe I'm wrong and someone will pipe up with some facts.

-Dustin

P.S. Thank you all very much for your replies.
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Tanner Sheltry




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 08 Apr 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go check out windlasses cobra steel line they are supposed to be "practical modern swords".
the more skill a man has with his weapon the more gentle and courteous should he behave, for in truth this is rightly the honour of a brave Gentleman, and so much more is he to be esteemed: he must not be a bragger, or lier, and without truth in his word, because there is nothing more to be required of a man than to know himself" - Vincentio Saviolo
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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As someone who has been camping and back-packing for 40+ years all over the world (from alligator infested swamps to arctic glaciers to the Serengeti plains of Africa), I can say that you need neither an axe nor a hammer for camping or back-packing. A tiny pocket knife is more than adequate. There is never a justification for large knife.

There is never any need for splitting wood while backpacking. If you need to split wood, then you're doing it wrong.

A rock is a fine substitute for a hammer and you don't have to carry it around with you.

You don't need a knife for defense. The only time you need something for defense against animals is when you're in lion or grizzly country, and then you need a good firearm not a knife. "Deliverance"-type encounters are fantasy.

There is no need for shoveling, and you shouldn't be clearing brush. You should also not be sawing or cutting branches.

If you are truly a "passionate" outdoor enthusiast, then I suggest that you abandon all of your antiquated and grossly outdated ideas about back-packing and the outdoors, and learn about modern practices, like Leave No Trace, that have been the modern standard now for more than a decade.

Here is the link:
http://lnt.org/

And here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ

And Dustin, here's a video just for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRbRtcS1_Yw

Leave your axes and hammers and saws and giant knifes - and swords - at home, please. The outdoors thanks you.


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sun 21 Jul, 2013 10:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Hi, my name is Dustin. I'm a n00b with a strange questi         Reply with quote

Dustin Schulten wrote:
I am a passionate and regular backpacker, hiker, camper, and all around outdoor enthusiast.

Through the years of trial and error with tools for my recreational activities I have found that there is good pack weight, and bad pack weight.

Good pack weight is often an item that covers several different uses, but really does all things well.

A typical backpacker may need one of each of the following for everything they'll do in the woods;

1.) An axe. For splitting wood, getting to dry timber for fire, etc.
2.) A hammer. For pounding in tent stakes
3.) A solid knife. For dealing with smaller fire starting wood, defense against wildlife, splitting wood, clearing brush, shoveling.
4.) A firearm. For defense against wildlife, signaling, and defense against (queue banjo/fiddle) deliverance type disturbances.

These items can add up to an extremely substantial amount of weight in a backpack which is disadvantageous to long backpacking trips.

Now, I myself do not carry a firearm. A hammer is just bad weight because you can often source a rock for pounding in tent stakes. Axes are to cumbersome as the are balanced poorly and do not offer many ways to be carried. They're fine for Jeep camping but you can forget about lugging one into the woods with you, however they are nice as they multi-task as a hammer too.

I do carry a large knife. A Kabar BK-7. I prefer this knife to any others I've ever used in the back country. It has a reasonable price point, full tang construction, a 3/16" spine that makes it durable enough to use the batoning technique to split logs, you can also take the handles off if you needed to attach it to a branch as a makeshift spear for defense or fishing/hunting, it's also just barely heavy enough most of the time to pound in tent stakes with the pommel.

The knife is obviously good weight in my pack.

But would a sword be better?

I am not versed on swords, I lurked around for a few hours, and I'd imagine I know more than most sword n00bs considering my knowledge of knives, and metal in general.

Could a sword be used to cut branches from a tree? Cut through a 3-5" dead tree? Split logs?

I know the pommel would make a great hammer with the weight of a blade behind it, it would obviously work for defense, much better than a knife. Brush clearing would be a breeze, I could use it as a fire tending stick and a skewer too.

I understand that no one here is very fond of Badger Blades, but for the price and the durability it seems like a no brainer.

Can I trust a lighter, thinner, more balanced blade to do the dirty work I speak of? Or should I pull the trigger on a BB next weekend and take her out for a test run in the back country. I can't even seem to google people using a sword to camp and backpack with. I think it would work great, but maybe it's just a pipe dream.

-Dustin

P.S. Thanks in advance for any and all criticisms, thoughts, or advice.


I say no only because a sword is a very large bladed weapon and you might attract some unwanted attention with a sword hanging off your hip.

That's the only reason. In the right hands, a sword is absolutely deadly to anything. You can cut a bears neck so wide open it will never get up again but do you want to get that close to a bear?No you don't.
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Dustin Schulten




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Jul 2013

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jul, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Hi, my name is Dustin. I'm a n00b with a strange questi         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
As someone who has been camping and back-packing for 40+ years all over the world (from alligator infested swamps to arctic glaciers to the Serengeti plains of Africa), I can say that you need neither an axe nor a hammer for camping or back-packing. A tiny pocket knife is more than adequate. There is never a justification for large knife.

I didn't say you needed a hammer or an axe for camping, I said that a backpacker may need these items, you'd be surprised how many people bring both along camping. Also, a justification for a large knife? How about splitting timber to get to dry wood? I camp between 8,500 and 12,500 feet on a regular basis, it's wet up there.

There is never any need for splitting wood while backpacking. If you need to split wood, then you're doing it wrong.

I'm going to reiterate the need to get to dry wood, you need to be able to split a log. Plain and simple.

A rock is a fine substitute for a hammer and you don't have to carry it around with you.

I pointed that out, had you read my OP

You don't need a knife for defense. The only time you need something for defense against animals is when you're in lion or grizzly country, and then you need a good firearm not a knife. "Deliverance"-type encounters are fantasy.

A fantasy, but a terrifying one that can keep you up at night when you're alone in the bush never the less, also. Tell me again how I don't need a knife for defense after you've heard my story about a confused adolescent black bear that got too curious too many times one night for my comfort, who I detoured quite effectively with my BK-7 at the end of a stick

There is no need for shoveling, and you shouldn't be clearing brush. You should also not be sawing or cutting branches.

If you truly remember to your 40 years of backpacking experience shoveling is indeed a priority, burying your fecal matter is important to your low impact camping you're preaching about. Also, I snowshoe the single track motorcycling trails in the early spring that I like to ride come summertime and do what we call trail clearing. cutting and removing dead fall from the trails so that we can all use them later in the season. I carry a hand chain saw to do that. I will also get a GPS coordinate of the location of trees that I need to come back to with an actual chain saw when the snow melts enough to get in there on the enduro. I do have a need to saw and cut branches.

If you are truly a "passionate" outdoor enthusiast, then I suggest that you abandon all of your antiquated and grossly outdated ideas about back-packing and the outdoors, and learn about modern practices, like Leave No Trace, that have been the modern standard now for more than a decade.

Thanks, I'm aware. That might work fine for you "trail guys" but that's not how I roll. I cruise BLM land, I'm no where near civilization, trails, roads, power lines, or any other traces of civilization. Thanks for the crudely condescending remarks about my antiquated and grossly outdated (which by the way mean roughly the same exact thing, I don't know why you felt the need to repeat yourself)ideas about backpacking. I'm attempting to be that way. I understand all your granola eating Californian low impact types that do the big multi state trail systems have to camp like you do because people are there all the time. Been there, done that brother. I'm over it. I go to places where no one has been for at least decades if not hundreds of years, and that people don't bother to go to, or have any interest in going any time soon. I am fully aware of my impact and I never take anything alive. All dead fall. Which is basically fire management and gives opportunities for new growth. I also do my best to cover my tracks from sites I have been to so they can be used again in the future. You'll never be able to tell I was at a camp site. Ever.

Here is the link:
http://lnt.org/

And here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ

And Dustin, here's a video just for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRbRtcS1_Yw

Leave your axes and hammers and saws and giant knifes - and swords - at home, please. The outdoors thanks you.


Please, read the OP before you reply. Your post had nothing to do with any of the questions I've asked. Thanks.

Respectfully,

-Dustin



Christopher B Lellis wrote:


I say no only because a sword is a very large bladed weapon and you might attract some unwanted attention with a sword hanging off your hip.

That's the only reason. In the right hands, a sword is absolutely deadly to anything. You can cut a bears neck so wide open it will never get up again but do you want to get that close to a bear?No you don't.


Not as unwanted as the attention you receive from carrying a firearm, or the dangers of carrying one in a backpack, or the troubles and confusedly policed laws regarding carrying a concealed weapon.

At least a sword is out in the open, clearly visible, much safer, and not as threatening to anyone who may see you as a firearm would be. Firearms make me uncomfortable.

Oh, and I was definitely thinking across the back attached to the backpack. Not at the hip, too cumbersome. Wink

-Dustin
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Steven Lussenburg





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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
Even in the days when swords were actually carried, and used in military battles. they weren't used for campside chores. If you want to chop/cut firewood - use an axe or a saw. If you want to dig a hole - use a shovel. About the only use for a sword around camp is either to use as a big tent-peg, or as a toasting/roasting fork to hold food over a fire Big Grin
Use a sword for anything other than it's intended purpose, and it'll soon be ruined to the point it's useless for what it's really intended for..
I actually recall reading somewhere (I think Zamoyski's book 1812) how Napoleon's grenadiers abused their fancy new sabres to cut wood, making them useless for combat.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin Schulten wrote
Quote:
The knife is obviously good weight in my pack.

But would a sword be better?

I am not versed on swords, I lurked around for a few hours, and I'd imagine I know more than most sword n00bs considering my knowledge of knives, and metal in general.

Could a sword be used to cut branches from a tree? Cut through a 3-5" dead tree? Split logs?

I know the pommel would make a great hammer with the weight of a blade behind it, it would obviously work for defense, much better than a knife. Brush clearing would be a breeze, I could use it as a fire tending stick and a skewer too.


HI Dustin,

You introduce yourself as a newbie, but clearly you are not green behind the ears, so please note that this is not a 'teaching grandma to suck eggs' post, it is also for those who don't know.

One of the things I love about myArmoury is the knowledge and the clarity with which it is presented and indeed on the high level of weapon understanding held by its average user, so the thought of using a falchion as a machete is anathema to most of us and as a concept would get thrown out pretty much before it got in.

However it does bring up many aspects that are worth looking at; back to the age old debate of what makes a sword.

A falchion made to medieval specifications would be something similar to the following. A blade say 6mm thick at the hilt tapering down rapidly to around 4 with a steady distal taper to near the tip and then a rapid drop again to the point, with the blade thickness behind the cutting edge at around 3.5-2mm thick. The grind would be a flat grind with a very small appleseed or flat secondary bevel. The tang would be a whittle tang with a thickness of say 18mm x 6mm with a nice sloping blade/tang intersection and a wheel pommel. The blade would be around 26-28" long.

This would be unsuitable for what you want for a number of reasons, but I think primarily the blade geometry is wrong. Such a flat grind would leave a great deal of lightly supported metal doing a damn tough job and it would get bent and possibly chip out in quite large chunks. It would get continually stuck in anything you are trying to cut (think using a felling axe or a splitting maul for logs) and it is longer than a machete by quite a bit and so would be far more prone to tangle. The level of stress caused to this sword by cutting up logs would also seriously overstress the blade/tang junction and of course that historic failure point of the pommel fracturing off.

Modern factory made and local indigenous machetes tend to be around 20-22", have a thin but well supported blade of 2.5 to 3mm thick with no distal taper, no flat grind and a single short, flat bevel or a short appleseed bevel. The tang is a scale tang and there is no pommel.

This creates a blade that is short enough to be free to move, long enough to hit hard, have enough weight in the blade to cut, have a grind that allows it to not jam too much in trees and logs, a grind that is well supported for the hard work it will endure, no tang/blade junction or pommel inertia tang snapping problems. In a nutshell, a tool suited to the job; a job a falchion is simply not suited to.

But heres the thing. A nice falchion from a good custom maker or the better production makers will be utterly unsuited to what you want, because they are falchions. A 'Falchion' from a low end source is likely to have a thick blade with no distal taper, a short appleseed grind and be quite short to keep the weight down. Possibly with a blade pretty much as you need. You can bet though that the tang will be weak and ultimately you will end up with a breakage and what I heard recently described as a 'whirling helicopter of death'

That all said, a messer is constructed like a machete (though its blade on a good one would be totally unsuitable) and so will be far tougher in your application and a cheap one may give you exactly what you want. A blade that cuts, survives the tasks and has a historical flair.

Personally I would go and buy a great machete from Gerber or whoever credible for $100 or some such. Failing that I would buy a machete and have it converted into a conyers falchion with a scale tang by a custom maker if that is your thing.

Personally the thought of the many ways in which you could hurt yourself using a sword pommel as a hammer in the back of beyond worries me. 2 foot of razor edge is a scary thing and one worthy of a great deal of respect. I also don't believe that the dynamics would work well. A hammer works because of the lever the handle allowing a head speed that imparts a great deal of energy in a fairly light steel head. A rock in the fist of the same weight would be useless, you need a much heavier rock in your fist to emulate the impact energy of a light head on a stick. Your sword would be relatively light and so not give that great an impact doubled with the fact that you are justifiably worried about it going wrong, so are holding back a little. Pick up that rock instead.

Any temperature about around 220 degrees C will start to mess the temper up and if this happens near the tip it won't matter much to you, anywhere else on the blade and it is scrap. if you are 3 weeks out and toasting that rabbit leg has wrecked your blade you will be wishing you had grilled it on a green stick. The blade edges are thinner and will heat up faster than the core so in fact this could happen quickly and easily.

Summary.

A falchion in the true sense would be useless for you.
A cheap 'falchion' will be OK in many ways but will almost certainly break quite quickly
A Messer in the true sense would be useless for you.
a cheap messer may work for you and survive.
A stock machete will work best
a stock machete blade with a custom hilt fitted as a messer or falchion will give you all you need and make a you several hundred dollars poorer

I hope that helps

Tod

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For a blade that can take the place of a large knife and an axe I would go for a Kukri.

A sword I agree with others is not practical as a working tool, is sort of long and I think the Kukri is of a good size.

Well, there is also the Smatchet if you can find one currently made by a good maker: Very much a good cutting blade with the qualities of a short sword Roman Gladius and somewhat machete like.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=smatchet+cold+s...p;bih=1000

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kXlSKNWuus

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

for something historic and functional, consider one of hawk models from Cold Steel. light, compact, cheap, can certainly double as a weapon or hammer, etc.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Swords are designed for the very specific purpose of killing things and they have blade profiles that reflect that (and not for use as tools). They will quickly chip, nick, and bend. They may even suffer a catastrophic failure, i.e. break. On top of that, you won't be saving much weight bringing one sword versus a set of specialized tools.

Dustin, I see you are already familiar with Becker knives. If I were you, I would stick with them. They make a durable and good quality product. One option would be to choose a heavier duty / more versatile model. I have been very happy with my BK-2. It can handle all the batoning I feel like doing, and is not so big as to be clumsy.

For heavy duty / specialized work, use specialized tools. For clearing, the Becker machete might be good. For dealing with wood the Machax (machete-axe hybrid) might work. I have no experience with it. Personally, I would just stick to the gransfors bruks small forest axe. As far as carrying it, you could always rig a sling or use some kind of 'holster'. Perhaps more comfortable, and simpler still, would be to simply secure it to/in your ruck frame/pack. There are many ways to make a small axe portable and it would be a far more useful addition than a sword. Just remember, a sword also requires a long cumbersome sheath, you would probably feel like ditching it after only a few miles. These heavier tools would be besy supplemented by a handier knife such as a puukko.

I would stay away from super large batoning knives like the Ontario RTAK II or ESEE Junglas. While well made, I don't think they fill any particular role well. I think you would be best served with a small forest axe and a bushcraft knife. The machete might be something you plan to bring on a trip by trip basis. It has specialized uses which won't be needed in every (most) environments. If you feel like carrying a little more weight, you might also consider a heavy duty knife (a la the BK-2) in addition to these.




TLDR; Small forest axe, bushcraft knife, and maybe a heavier camp knife. This would be a much better load out than a sword. It would probably be lighter than taking a sword (1.75lbs for the axe + knife vs 2+lbs for the sword), but would be able to accomplish most jobs you will encounter far better, and I wouldn't feel helpless with a small axe or a BK-2.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Tue 23 Jul, 2013 10:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, since you're asking, I have to say my position comes down somewhere between my friend Jean and Harry. If it makes you happy you can carry a double bitted axe with you although you might get in trouble for using it depending on where you are and who you run into.

I think a good Kukri would be a good choice for you inasmuch as it would feel right to you and have the capability to do the things you seem to want to do. The question about what you should or shouldn't do isn't really up to me.

Myself, I carry a small Scandinavian style belt knife or a sturdy pocket knife most of the time and a multi tool.

Of course, if you're clearing hiking trails or something like that then you need the tools to do the job.

I really don't worry much about having to defend myself from anything or anyone in the woods but if I did need to do that my choice would be my sturdy home made hiking staff. I can honestly say that I've never had to use the staff to drive off an attacker, animal or human.

I did take a friend hiking once, who I discovered has the unfortunate trait of NEEDING something to worry about and he brought up the Deliverance scenario even though we'd been hiking for hours and had seen no one. At first I thought it was funny but after more than an hour of such idiocy I have to confess I was wondering if I could use my staff on him and claim he'd had a fatal accident. Fantasizing about that helped me ignore his prattle and made the rest of the hike almost fun.
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I apologize in advance for not reading all the responses, but I have limited time and just noticed this thread.

I would recommend a Condor or Imacasa (parent company) machete. They are well known for being durable high performance products.

The crowd over at www.bushcraftusa.com is a good bunch and will help you find a tool you like that does the jobs you're looking for.

I would also recommend contacting Ben at http://www.baryonyxknife.com/ He's a stand-up guy and is fairly knowledgeable about both bushcraft and historic blades.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I go woodswalking, I only carry my ColdSteel riflemans hawk, a multi-tool pocketknife, and a fair sized fixed-blade knife. That's all anyone needs. If I only plan on a short outing, I only carry the hawk. It does it all.....axe, knife, hammer, and weapon, if need be. A sword has no place in the woods. If you feel you must have one, get a ColdSteel machete-sword. I like the gladius and the kopis......lightweight and near indestructible. Just my two coppers........McM
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Tanner Sheltry




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 08 Apr 2013

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin I'm sorry for giving you false information on the falchion idea I had heard they were used as tool in peacetime, but Leo knows a lot more than me about these kind of things.
the more skill a man has with his weapon the more gentle and courteous should he behave, for in truth this is rightly the honour of a brave Gentleman, and so much more is he to be esteemed: he must not be a bragger, or lier, and without truth in his word, because there is nothing more to be required of a man than to know himself" - Vincentio Saviolo
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jul, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Dustin Schulten"]

All things considered a wondering warrior in the 14th century wouldn't have bothered to carry around a shovel, an axe, and a maul for all his camp sight needs.

you'd be surprised at what a knights equipment would be. Charlemagne outline all the necessary tools he required for his knights/soldiers to bring to battle. he includes all 3 of these things and more. truth is a knight had to be expected to do a number of things. set up his camp, dig entrenchments, rebuild fortifications, build temporary fortifications. it wasn't just get your sword armor and horse and go.

to use a sword in the bush - its just not going to work out well, Leo hit the point best, its all about blade geometry. they are just not made for that purpose.
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