splitting wood in the woods...

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ledders666

Full Member
Jun 6, 2010
89
5
bath
What methods do people use to split wood when out and about with an axe?

So thinking up to 4-6", or what you would cut by hand
and with no splitting blocks or any pre made aids as you would have at home

cheers
 
What methods do people use to split wood when out and about with an axe?

So thinking up to 4-6", or what you would cut by hand
and with no splitting blocks or any pre made aids as you would have at home

cheers
Ledders, in all the years I have been running the woods, I can not recall one instance when I have needed to split wood or chop wood for a camp fire. I have broken longer limbs over rocks & fallen trees, but never had to cut with an axe. I use my tomahawk for shelter construction & making traps. Preparing firewood fire fires at home is not the same as preparing firewood for a camp fire. If you can't break longer timbers, simply feed then into the fire from one end or burn them in half. You should have no need to carry a saw with you when camping.
Keith.
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,532
453
derbyshire
Ledders, in all the years I have been running the woods, I can not recall one instance when I have needed to split wood or chop wood for a camp fire. I have broken longer limbs over rocks & fallen trees, but never had to cut with an axe. I use my tomahawk for shelter construction & making traps. Preparing firewood fire fires at home is not the same as preparing firewood for a camp fire. If you can't break longer timbers, simply feed then into the fire from one end or burn them in half. You should have no need to carry a saw with you when camping.
Keith.
If YouTube knife and axe reviews have taught me anything it's that branches in a forest actually do not come in all shapes and sizes but must be sawed split and battoned at every turn! Lol

Only time I cut and split stuff really is for feeding stoves or trying to pack as much wood as possible under cover

Those times I will lay a log down and split it with a between the leg swing if there's no block. Making sure to place feet forward of the log
 

ledders666

Full Member
Jun 6, 2010
89
5
bath
Ledders, in all the years I have been running the woods, I can not recall one instance when I have needed to split wood or chop wood for a camp fire. I have broken longer limbs over rocks & fallen trees, but never had to cut with an axe. I use my tomahawk for shelter construction & making traps. Preparing firewood fire fires at home is not the same as preparing firewood for a camp fire. If you can't break longer timbers, simply feed then into the fire from one end or burn them in half. You should have no need to carry a saw with you when camping.
Keith.
Of course, but we don't even need to be in the woods or having fires, its all for fun and fulfilling our time, of which this is one thing I'd like to spend a bit of time looking into and learning. Hence the question. So I was more after a positive input rather than saying it's pointless

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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I was taught to use dry sticks/branches I could break with my hands, and to keep the fire as small as possiblr.
Has a few benefits: no need to carry an axe or saw, takes very little time to get the firewoid needed for a cook or hrew, minimal trace in nature.

Try it, Ledders666, it is worth it!

Instead of the axe/saw, you can bring something very nice to eat, or something even nicer to drink!
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,308
520
Canada
Funnily enough, I was taught to bring down a dead standing tree, at least 18" at hip height and saw the thing up for a bonfire ... after a while I realized that size isn't everything and also that you can find most of the stuff you need just laying about on the floor, .. but not if it has already been snowing for a week :lol: So, it depends, right.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,585
1,568
McBride, BC
Most of our wilderness campsites, the really good ones, have used all the available standing and downed firewood.
You are expected to use the existing stone fire place. It may have been in place for 50+ years.
Add more stone hearth to it if you please.

Why? Because it is likely situated for both daytime and night time smoke drift.
Nobody takes kindly to dirty little hillocks of charcoal scattered all over the site. One single fireplace.

So, somebody has to go for a rip up some side logging track with a power saw,if you want a camp fire at all.
Buck up a bunch of 8'-10'sticks, 6" diameter. A little processing and you're done.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,704
984
63
Florida
When I want to play with my tools I usually use a hatchet to split small logs. I still have the Plumb Boy Scout hatchet I got way back when I was a Scout over a half century ago.
 

ledders666

Full Member
Jun 6, 2010
89
5
bath
I was taught to use dry sticks/branches I could break with my hands, and to keep the fire as small as possiblr.
Has a few benefits: no need to carry an axe or saw, takes very little time to get the firewoid needed for a cook or hrew, minimal trace in nature.

Try it, Ledders666, it is worth it!

Instead of the axe/saw, you can bring something very nice to eat, or something even nicer to drink!
I agree and that s what I usually do. I love making curries in the woods. Just looking to spend some time doing different things atm

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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
When I split wood for my wood burner, I hold the log with my left hand, lay the axe head against the wood firmly, then ’tap’ this down a few timed against the large log I split wood on.
This tapping embeds the edge of the axe in the log ( I want to split) so I then can remove my left hand and strike down the log/axe with force.

I used to stand the log-to-be -split on the large log and just forcefully whack down the axe, buy after a few missed (of my legs) I changed technique.

Tapping the axe edge into the log also gives me pieces exactly of the size I want.
 

Chalkflint

Tenderfoot
Mar 6, 2017
70
33
Oxford
I had not really thought about this but Keith has a valid point.
I do a lot of chopping with an axe in my wood mainly large fallen branches to make them more manageable to move and some will end up on the log pile. But last week when I needed to supply my scouts with some fire wood I just broke branches over my knee etc and filled a couple of sacks.
The last time I really needed to split a log for firewood was when everything was really wet so I split a large log to get to the dry wood inside.

But to answer the original question. The axes I use:-
A small Fiskers X7 or equivalent is a great axe to have on you for general small scale chopping.
My sons Hultafors 800g. 70cm Forest axe is a wonderful tool and one I borrow constantly and will use it over the Fiskers despite it being much bigger. My son will also take down a small 6” diameter tree with this.
For splitting large logs 12” diameter I have a 6lb Gilpin which splits logs with ease.
I have a couple of large tree stumps cut off near ground level which act as a great work bench for chopping and protects my axes from all the flint in the ground.

Chalkflint
 

z_bumbi

Tenderfoot
Apr 22, 2016
60
32
Linköping, Sweden
If i have an axe its a hatchet-size one and then i batton it but i peel the log insteed of trying to split it in even halfes. Around one centimeter thin pieces and working the ridges on either side of a cut for the next one.
I use the same tecnic with a knife.

Outdoor areas with fixed fireplaces here in sweden often have precut logs and as some are in national parks it the only wood one should use.
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,627
589
Berlin
If I am out with a group I use a fiskars X7 and a folding bow saw.
We usually have open fires inside the german boy scout tipee "Kohte" and need hatchet and saw to construct it.
So I use the tools I carried around for fire lighting and processing fire wood.

Wood that's thicker than an arm doesn't interest me, and in Germany the owner of the forest I use without asking him usually is interested in the logs which are thicker than an arm. So if I am alone I just break the stuff I need.
Good hiking boots are as good as hatchet and saw to proceed fire wood.

An axe belongs into the house in my opinion, not in the rucksack. The only reason to take a light one with me would be a camp in deep snow.

I recommend the techniques Janne wrote about. A hatchet is a dangerous tool. The next hospital is far away if you are in the forest.

You should avoid the risk of injuries.

Hacking and sawing as well are noisy jobs. In my opinion it's far better to learn to stay undetected.
It's possible to dry around the fire relatively dry firewood if you managed to light a fire. So you can get a smokeless fire without any noise.
If you do it like that you don't disturb wildlife and will see far more animals. And you will not be seen. In most European areas stealth camping is more or less tolerated. Noise in the woods usually isn't.