Knife & Hatchet

 

 

 

Search  Inquiry Net

Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]

Activities
Archery
Axe, Boy Scout
Axe, Saw, Forestry
Axe, Saw,  Knife
Axe Use: Beard
Axe Use: Seton
Axe Use: Traditional
Axe Throwing
Beds, Woodcraft
Bedding Materials
Bicycle Maintenance
Birch-Bark Torch
Birds
Bird Houses
Blocks Tackles Purchase
Blood Red Cross
Broom: Camp or Witch's
Buttons
Campcraft
Camp Hygiene
Camp Planning
Campfire Programs
Catapult
Chainsaws
Checklists
Chuck Box Riddance!
City-Craft
Compass Bear Song
Compass, Home-Made
Cooking
Cotton Kills Bear Song
Deduction in Tracking
Deduction & Detective
Drum
Dyes
Edible Plants
Equipment, Leader
Equipment, Personal
Equipment Maintenance
Equipment, Lightweight
Equip, Pickle Bucket Camp
Estimation
Field Signals
Fire-Building
Fire Building
Fire Laying
Fire Lighting
Fire Starters
Fire: Rubbing-Stick
Fire Types, Wood Types
Fire Council Ring
Fires: Woodcraft
First Aid
First Class Journey
Flint & Steel
Flowers
Forest
Gesture Signals
Ground to Air Signals
Handicraft Stunts
High Adventure
Hiking
Hike Planning
Indian Sundial Clock
Insect Collecting
Insect Preserve
Indian Well
Knife & Hatchet
Knots, Bends, Hitches
Knots: Diamond Hitch
Knots: Lashings
Knots: Rope Work
Knots: Seton
Knots: Traditional
Knots & Whipping
Lashings
Lashing Practice Box
Lace or Thong
Learn by Doing
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace
Lights
Local Knowledge
Log Ladders, Notched
Log-Rolling
Logs: Cut Notch
Logs Split with Axe
Loom and Grass Mats
Lost in the Woods
Manners
Maps
Map & Compass
Maps: Without Compass
Measurement
Measurement Estimation
Menu Worksheet
Menu (Adult IOLS)
Mosquitoes
Mushrooms
Night Tracking
Observation
Old Trails
Paints
Pioneering, Basic
Pioneering Models
Plaster Casts
Preparations
Proverbs
Rake
Rope Care
Rope Making
Rope Spinning
Scout Reports
Signal & Sign
Sign Language
Silent Scout Signals
Smoke Prints
Snakes
Spanish Windlass
Spoons
Staff/Stave Making
Stalking Skills
Stalking & Observation
Stars
Stools
Story Telling
Stoves & Lanterns
Summoning Help
Sun Dial: Scientific
Survival Kit
Tarp Poles
Teepee (4 Pole)
Tent Care
Tent Pitching
Tom-Tom
Tomahawk Throwing
Tomahawk Targets
Totem Making
Totem Animals
Totem Poles
Training in Tracking
Tracks, Ground, Weather
Tracking & Trailing
Trail Following
Trail Signs & Blazes
Trail Signs of Direction
Trail Signs: Traditional
Trail Signs for Help
Trees of the NE
Wall Hangings
Watch Compass
Weather Wisdom
Wild Things

Scout Books

Site Contents

by Ernest Thompson Seton 

bbrg215.gif (18071 bytes)

If I were marooned on an island or left alone in the wilderness, and had the choice of but one weapon to take along, I should take a good knife. If I were allowed two, the second would be a hatchet.

With these two one can make most of the things needed for securing food or building shelters.

The Northern Indians are probably the best whittlers in the world. They use a curious curved knife called the crooked knife. It is made of an old file curled up at the point so it can cut a narrow groove. With such a knife a Chipewyan Indian can make bow, arrows, traps, snowshoes, canoe, and wigwam--as well as clothing, his whole outfit complete; a good crooked knife, therefore, is a fair start in life for an industrious Indian.

Rules for Using a Knife

 In whittling, always assume that the knife is going to slip, therefore, arrange so it can do no damage when it does slip.

For this reason, it is usual to make a beginner whittle away from himself, but that is not always safe. Indeed, all the best whittlers in the world, including Northern Indians, Farriers, Wagon-makers, etc., whittle toward themselves, with the hand held palm up, the knife blade at the little finger side, using the pull of the arm instead of the push, thereby getting more power and better control. But this is sure, you should never whittle toward the hand that is holding the wood.

Always keep your knife sharp. It is a sign of a tenderfoot to have a dull knife, and of a trained Woodcrafter to have a keen one.

To keep a knife sharp, it must be a good piece of steel and you must know how to sharpen it. The only way to get a good blade is to go to a good maker and pay a good price. The fancy knives that are corkscrew, tool chest, bootjack, and whistle all combined, are seldom of good steel.

Old-timers prefer a white-handled knife as it is more readily found if dropped on the ground or in the water.

The blade cannot be kept in good condition if used for anything but a wood cutter. Therefore, do not cut nails, metal, or softwood knots (especially hemlock knots) with it.

Never stick the blade in the fire. That would draw the temper and spoil the knife.

Do not abuse your knife by using it for a hammer, wedge, screwdriver, or pry.

Carry a little whetstone or else a small file to keep your knife in good shape.

A pocket or shut-up knife is the only style worth carrying. The hunting knife or dagger has not enough use to-day to make it worth while.

It is a proof of a good whittler if one can make half a dozen firefighters in succession. A firefighter or fuzz-stick (see above illustration) is a stick of soft wood about an inch thick or six or eight inches through, shaved into thin slivers which are still on the stick; that is, are one solid piece at one end and all thin slivers at the other. This can only be done if you have a sharp, strong knife, a well-selected piece of soft wood without knots in it, and a steady hand. Provided the wood is good, the firefighter is perfect if not a sliver is loose or drops off.

Use of  Hatchet

A good camper is known by his hatchet; if it is always sharp, and kept muzzled when traveling, the owner knows his business.

Most of the knife rules apply equally to the hatchet.

Never try to break a stone with a hatchet or let the hatchet be driven into a log by striking its back with another hatchet or anything of metal; use a wooden maul if it is necessary to drive the hatchet, as in splitting a stick.

If you are going to hew a piece of timber with a hatchet, ways draw a line first to guide you.

If you are going to point a stake, make it a four-sided point, fitting sides No. 1 and No. 3, No. 2 and No. 4; so that finally ay any cross-section of the point it will be square.

It is a sure sign of inexperience when a camper throws his hatchet at trees, etc., to see if he can make it stick. Broken blades, broken handles, and injured trees are the inevitable result, with the large possibility of serious accident.

See Also:

Use of the Axe

Traditional Axe, Saw, Forestry for Leaders

The Birch Bark Roll 

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Activities ] Archery ] Axe, Boy Scout ] Axe, Saw, Forestry ] Axe, Saw,  Knife ] Axe Use: Beard ] Axe Use: Seton ] Axe Use: Traditional ] Axe Throwing ] Beds, Woodcraft ] Bedding Materials ] Bicycle Maintenance ] Birch-Bark Torch ] Birds ] Bird Houses ] Blocks Tackles Purchase ] Blood Red Cross ] Broom: Camp or Witch's ] Buttons ] Campcraft ] Camp Hygiene ] Camp Planning ] Campfire Programs ] Catapult ] Chainsaws ] Checklists ] Chuck Box Riddance! ] City-Craft ] Compass Bear Song ] Compass, Home-Made ] Cooking ] Cotton Kills Bear Song ] Deduction in Tracking ] Deduction & Detective ] Drum ] Dyes ] Edible Plants ] Equipment, Leader ] Equipment, Personal ] Equipment Maintenance ] Equipment, Lightweight ] Equip, Pickle Bucket Camp ] Estimation ] Field Signals ] Fire-Building ] Fire Building ] Fire Laying ] Fire Lighting ] Fire Starters ] Fire: Rubbing-Stick ] Fire Types, Wood Types ] Fire Council Ring ] Fires: Woodcraft ] First Aid ] First Class Journey ] Flint & Steel ] Flowers ] Forest ] Gesture Signals ] Ground to Air Signals ] Handicraft Stunts ] High Adventure ] Hiking ] Hike Planning ] Indian Sundial Clock ] Insect Collecting ] Insect Preserve ] Indian Well ] [ Knife & Hatchet ] Knots, Bends, Hitches ] Knots: Diamond Hitch ] Knots: Lashings ] Knots: Rope Work ] Knots: Seton ] Knots: Traditional ] Knots & Whipping ] Lashings ] Lashing Practice Box ] Lace or Thong ] Learn by Doing ] Leave No Trace ] Leave No Trace ] Lights ] Local Knowledge ] Log Ladders, Notched ] Log-Rolling ] Logs: Cut Notch ] Logs Split with Axe ] Loom and Grass Mats ] Lost in the Woods ] Manners ] Maps ] Map & Compass ] Maps: Without Compass ] Measurement ] Measurement Estimation ] Menu Worksheet ] Menu (Adult IOLS) ] Mosquitoes ] Mushrooms ] Night Tracking ] Observation ] Old Trails ] Paints ] Pioneering, Basic ] Pioneering Models ] Plaster Casts ] Preparations ] Proverbs ] Rake ] Rope Care ] Rope Making ] Rope Spinning ] Scout Reports ] Signal & Sign ] Sign Language ] Silent Scout Signals ] Smoke Prints ] Snakes ] Spanish Windlass ] Spoons ] Staff/Stave Making ] Stalking Skills ] Stalking & Observation ] Stars ] Stools ] Story Telling ] Stoves & Lanterns ] Summoning Help ] Sun Dial: Scientific ] Survival Kit ] Tarp Poles ] Teepee (4 Pole) ] Tent Care ] Tent Pitching ] Tom-Tom ] Tomahawk Throwing ] Tomahawk Targets ] Totem Making ] Totem Animals ] Totem Poles ] Training in Tracking ] Tracks, Ground, Weather ] Tracking & Trailing ] Trail Following ] Trail Signs & Blazes ] Trail Signs of Direction ] Trail Signs: Traditional ] Trail Signs for Help ] Trees of the NE ] Wall Hangings ] Watch Compass ] Weather Wisdom ] Wild Things ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Scuba ] Skills ] Games ] Shelter ] Fire ] Night ] B-P's Camping ] Hikes ] Indian ] Spring ] Summer ] Autumn ] Winter ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!

Search:

Keywords:

Amazon Logo

 

 

Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"
Rick(at)Kudu.Net

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net, http://inquiry.net  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  

 

Last modified: October 15, 2016.