hatchets guide


A hatchet is a hand tool used as a striking tool. Hatchets are a combination tool, part hammer and part axe. These versatile tools have many uses other than for camping such as the flooring hatchets, lath hatchets and shingling hatchets are used for special tasks like working with hardwood floors of installing drywall of gypsum board. Our intent is to discuss how the hatchet is a very popular camping tool.

Hatchets have a head and handle. The head of the hatchet is metal with a sharp blade on one side resembling an axe and a flat side on the opposite end resembling the surface head of a hammer. The handle of hatchet can be one of many types such as wood, solid steel or fiberglass and sometimes may be covered with a rubber grip.

Hatchets are commonly used for chopping, trimming, splitting and driving small nails or stakes such as those used when setting up a tent of canopy type of shelter. This tool should be used and handled carefully because it can be a very dangerous instrument if used improperly or carelessly.

The hatchet is one of the first tools you use as you start setting up camp. It can be used as a hammer to drive in tent stakes while setting up your tent. Be sure to exercise caution when used in this manner as it can easily cut through your tent material.

Another common use of hatchets when camping is that of chopping or splitting firewood and kindling. While the chopping may be better done with as axe or a saw there is nothing better for splitting the small logs for firewood. Be careful especially when splitting small logs for firewood. The natural tendency will be to lay the log down and swing the hatchet at it. This can be extremely dangerous and should not be done. Do not hold a piece of wood and swing the hatchet as it can easily cut a deep gash or cut a finger or thumb off.

Here is a safe method to split small logs that will keep your fingers and toes safe. Lay a small log across in front of you and then lay the log you intend to split on that log like a ramp. Set the hatchet on the ramp log where you want to split it holding it with one hand. Using your free hand get another log and use it as a club to hit the hammer side of the hatchet head. Striking the hatchet head in this manner will safely drive the sharp edge of the hatchet into the log and split it exactly where you want it to split. The log laying cross ways will protect the sharp edge of the hatchet and keep it from hitting dirt or rocks dulling or damaging the sharp edge.

Hatchets can be purchased at your favorite camping supply store. These are relatively inexpensive and very handy tools. Many of the common camping type hatchets are one piece construction with a rubber cover over the handle to provide a good grip. With proper care hatchets will last a long time and provide many years of service.

Enjoy your camping trip.

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