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bmatt returns with yeat another entertaining article. Thanks for all of your effort and posts, bmatt. We all appreciate them!
A Modern-day Nessmuk Trio, by bmatt
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with George Washington „Nessmuk“ Sears (1821 - 1890), an American woodsman, sports writer, ultralight pioneer and conservationist. His book “Woodcraft and Camping” has entertained and informed woodsmen and campers for decades. It’s a must-read for bushcrafters etc. and is available for free in PDF format on the Internet.
In “Woodcraft and Camping”, Sears describes his favorite “trinity” of woods tools, which evolved over the years until he was able to either make or have made exactly what he wanted. His trio consisted of:
1) A double-bit “pocket hatchet”, which he used for felling, bucking and splitting wood for fires, felling tent poles etc.
2) A fixed-blade knife similar to a butcher knife, which he used for dressing out game, preparing food and eating.
3) A small thin folding knife with two blades, which he used for whittling and other fine tasks.
Over the past few years, I have slowly been collecting various knives, axes and hatchets to aid in my enjoyment of the outdoors (I say “collecting”, but I’m definitely not a collector. I use my tools to the fullest.). I decided it would be fun to put together a more modern version of this classic trio using tools in my possession.
My hatchet is the Mini Axe from Wetterlings (not to be confused with their Small Axe). My fixed blade is a smaller version of the style used by Nessmuk himself, and was hand made by a knifemaker, extraordinaire, friend of mine in England. My folder is of unknown origin, but appears to be some sort of military knife. It sports a carbon steel blade and can/bottle opener.
In the winter, I like to take a larger axe and saw for processing firewood for those long, cold days and nights, but for most of the rest of the year, this trio will do just fine. I’d encourage all of you to go out and try a combo like this. I think you’ll find it covers a broad range of wilderness tasks.
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Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.