Dont batton with your knife

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SJStuart

Settler
Jan 22, 2013
998
0
Suffolk Coast
To be perfectly fair, we're doing this all for fun. If you enjoy the extra work (whether with an axe/hatchet/tommahawk, or by batoning) go ahead and split your wood; using whatever method is fun for you. But it ain't neccessary.
Absolutely! We're doing it for fun, even making unnecessary work for ourselves in the process. How we each choose to overcomplicate our fire prep is up to us ;)
Or just use the knife to "peel" the wet layers off; the same way I've done countless times with wood fished out of the river. Once the fire is going and hot, just put the wet wood near it to dry out before putting it on the hot fire to burn.

I grew up in (and now live in) areas of swamps. I am very well aquainted with "prolonged wet conditions."
That's how I prepared my fire tinder last night. Stripped the outer layer off some fresh-fallen Birch to get to the drier stuff inside (great for catching a spark, and sustaining a flame long enough for the kindling to take).
 

Teepee

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 15, 2010
4,116
3
Northamptonshire
To be perfectly fair, we're doing this all for fun. If you enjoy the extra work (whether with an axe/hatchet/tommahawk, or by batoning) go ahead and split your wood; using whatever method is fun for you. But it ain't neccessary.
OK, please imagine Santaman your camping in a piney wood somewhere(for fun). All the timber is wet. Weeks of rain and melting snow have saturated the woods. It's too far to get home that night and you are a bit cold and tired from walking all day.
All dead standing has been soaked almost to the core, leaving a small rod of dry pine in the middle. (in the trees small enough to process with a knife).

2" to 3" of wet timber need stripping off to get to the 1" of dry to get a fire going reasonably quickly.

Are you going to steadily peel off 2" of wet pine with your knife or split it to get to the dry?
 

mountainm

Full Member
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
7
Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk
OK, please imagine Santaman your camping in a piney wood somewhere(for fun). All the timber is wet. Weeks of rain and melting snow have saturated the woods. It's too far to get home that night and you are a bit cold and tired from walking all day.
All dead standing has been soaked almost to the core, leaving a small rod of dry pine in the middle. (in the trees small enough to process with a knife).

2" to 3" of wet timber need stripping off to get to the 1" of dry to get a fire going reasonably quickly.

Are you going to steadily peel off 2" of wet pine with your knife or split it to get to the dry?

I don't think anyone saying that a froe or an axe isn't better for splitting wood. Just that if we don't have one we'll use a knife.

My axe is heavy to carry and I'll usually carry a saw and a knife instead. This generally covers all my bases.

I'm never camping far from my car. I don't do expeditions. And I haven't broken a knife yet, because I'm careful. I'm never in a rush for firewood either.

This is such a non issue.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
What an entertaining thread. It has filled up a wet and miserable morning well. Is it nearing a record for thread length?

Its longevity seems to be because of a lot contributors are splitting hairs.






......but don't say what cutting tool and technique are they using to do so.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
OK, please imagine Santaman your camping in a piney wood somewhere(for fun). All the timber is wet. Weeks of rain and melting snow have saturated the woods. It's too far to get home that night and you are a bit cold and tired from walking all day.
All dead standing has been soaked almost to the core, leaving a small rod of dry pine in the middle. (in the trees small enough to process with a knife).

2" to 3" of wet timber need stripping off to get to the 1" of dry to get a fire going reasonably quickly.

Are you going to steadily peel off 2" of wet pine with your knife or split it to get to the dry?
Well if it's "dead standing pine" then yes, I'll do just that. After all, dead standing pine peels like paper when wet.

On the other hand, if I need to cut down one of the larger trees, a knife ain't gonna cut it (pun intended)
 

Opal

Native
Dec 26, 2008
1,022
0
Liverpool
What an entertaining thread. It has filled up a wet and miserable morning well. Is it nearing a record for thread length?

Its longevity seems to be because of a lot contributors are splitting hairs.








......but don't say what cutting tool and technique are they using to do so.

For splitting hairs, I use my Fallkniven U2. ;)
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
What an entertaining thread. It has filled up a wet and miserable morning well. Is it nearing a record for thread length?

Its longevity seems to be because of a lot contributors are splitting hairs.







......but don't say what cutting tool and technique are they using to do so.
Not really, just feels like it is.
 

andyn

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 15, 2005
2,392
29
Hampshire
www.naturescraft.co.uk
So who is going to start the thread "don't carve spoons with your bushcraft knife"? After all a sloyd or whittling knife is better suited right?

;)


Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
 

Ecoman

Full Member
Sep 18, 2013
934
2
Isle of Arran
www.HPOC.co.uk
I have an axe and a machete but don't carry them every trip due to space in the pack. I baton my knife if the need arises, which is more often than not. I'm also a very fussy mechanic that believes in a using the proper tool for the job but beating a wooden branch on the back of my knife does not phase me in the slightest. However, I draw the line at using it as a screwdriver!!!:eek:
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,242
1,469
S. Lanarkshire
I don't believe this one is still running.

It's bushcraft folks....the heavy emphasis is on craft, and skill, and ability and learning and practicing those.
Battoning safely and effectively is a skill......of course if you can't do it, or don't feel confident enough to try, you can quibble all you like ;)

Santaman2000K, I use a wee hobo stove or a kelly kettle when out. Right now the burn out our back door is a loch. It's gone from less than 6" deep to over 5metres /c6yards deep and 20 metres wide. It is beyond sodden wet out there, and to make it more so, it's Winter, so heat leaches as fast as you can make it. There is no dry air, drying wind or warm sunshine.
Dry kindling of the small variety is damned hard to find just now. Battoning lets me into the dry inner stuff and it splits that so that I can make feather sticks and splints.....the stuff that will light, of a size I can use in my stove or kettle.
"Peel" a pine tree.....you mean slice bits off it.....like battoning then.

Had it. Honestly; talk about a polarised arguement :rolleyes:

I hate lugging weight around, I had good teachers and I can do it without damaging me or my tools, so the technique works well for me.

Each to their own.

Toddy
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
I don't believe this one is still running.

It's bushcraft folks....the heavy emphasis is on craft, and skill, and ability and learning and practicing those.
Battoning safely and effectively is a skill......of course if you can't do it, or don't feel confident enough to try, you can quibble all you like ;)

Santaman2000K, I use a wee hobo stove or a kelly kettle when out. Right now the burn out our back door is a loch. It's gone from less than 6" deep to over 5metres /c6yards deep and 20 metres wide. It is beyond sodden wet out there, and to make it more so, it's Winter, so heat leaches as fast as you can make it. There is no dry air, drying wind or warm sunshine.
Dry kindling of the small variety is damned hard to find just now. Battoning lets me into the dry inner stuff and it splits that so that I can make feather sticks and splints.....the stuff that will light, of a size I can use in my stove or kettle....
Except from the cold, it sounds an aweful lot like a cyprus swamp to me.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
......"Peel" a pine tree.....you mean slice bits off it.....like battoning then......
Nope. I mean whittling it. Live, healthy pine is soft; standing, dead, soaked pine is beyond soft (more like styrofoam than wood) unless it's turned to litard, in which case it doesn't matter if it's wet. Water can't soak into litard, just onto it, and it'll still light and burn hot easily anyway.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,242
1,469
S. Lanarkshire
Whittle it.
A pine tree.
Must be gie wee totty pine trees out your way.

The ones in the Greeny at the end of the street are Scots pines. There's a crashed down branch that's four metres long and about 40cms thick at the butt end.
There is no way I'm whittlin' that.

I'll batton a bit of it to kindling though :D

We need tutorials folks; How I battoned/baton/battonné :) How to make Feather sticks :)
We know they're on the forum, but it's time for some fresh ones :D

Santaman2000K if your cyprus swamp is as cold and wet and thoroughly unpleasant as my bit of the world is just now, you have my sympathy. 2.3degC, and it's chucking it down again. Eight hours of grey daylight and a bitter cold wind. Firelighting is a dawdle.
;)

M
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
Whittle it.
A pine tree.
Must be gie wee totty pine trees out your way.

The ones in the Greeny at the end of the street are Scots pines. There's a crashed down branch that's four metres long and about 40cms thick at the butt end.
There is no way I'm whittlin' that.....
The smaller ones (up to a foot ot less in diameter) are easily kicked over when dead (unless as I said earlier, they've turned to litard) Then just whittle a small amount from the outer layers. Go only as deep as you need to find dry pith. Dead pines inevitably either rot down to pith or turn to hard, brittle litard.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
.....Santaman2000K if your cyprus swamp is as cold and wet and thoroughly unpleasant as my bit of the world is just now, you have my sympathy. 2.3degC, and it's chucking it down again. Eight hours of grey daylight and a bitter cold wind. Firelighting is a dawdle.
;)

M
It's a bit warmer than that right now. But that does sound like what it was last week (hovering just a bit either side of freezing) I misunderstood your earlier postb though, I thought you meant it was colder there than here. I'd forgotten your earlier posts on other threads about the milder (than usual anyway) weather at the moment. For us, That's actually colder than normal for any extended period.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,242
1,469
S. Lanarkshire
Pine doesn't go to mush all that quickly, birch does, but usually we burn ash, or birch, beech, or sycamore. Always loads of those around, but pine's over too fast and it's spattery stuff. Kind of last resort really. Even alder burns better/longer and it grows half submerged.

We have a temperate maritime climate; it's always damp and it rarely freezes for long. Everything organic decays; that's why our archaeological record looks so poor compared to those places where they have preservation by dessication or by ice.

M
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,190
790
63
Florida
Pine doesn't go to mush all that quickly, birch does, but usually we burn ash, or birch, beech, or sycamore. Always loads of those around, but pine's over too fast and it's spattery stuff. Kind of last resort really. Even alder burns better/longer and it grows half submerged.....
Mostly the same here. Except that here pine does go to mush quiclky. We also prefer just about any other wood (unless of course, said pine has gone to litard instead) But I was focusing on pine because that was the example Teepee gave me.

Given a choice, I'd rather burn oak, hickory, wild cherry, etc. Just about any hardwood.