An important technique to have while out in the woods while either hunting, camping or simply exploring is batoning. This is a technique in where a knife is inserted into a piece of wood by repeatedly striking the wood while waving something at the wood in a baton like motion. This technique is used to split the wood.
This technique is ideal for splitting wood which would then be used as kindling for a fire. The splitting of the wood will allow for the fire to burn hotter, burn longer and require less assistance in keeping it burning.
Why would someone want to baton the wood instead of chopping it, you ask?
Well in many cases, by using the batoning method over the chopping method for smaller pieces of wood, the splitting of the wood is actually far easier to do. It will require less effort on your part as well as take less time. The end result will be something which is much cleaner than what a chopped piece of wood looks like.
If you are new to the wild, new to hiking, hunting and even fishing, batoning will come in handy. It will require far less experience which means that it will also leave you more time to do the things in the wildness that you love. It is even more vital in the case where you might have left your axe at home.
The downside to batoning however is that if you happen to come across a log or some other type of wood and it has not yet dried out, it can be more difficult to baton the wood. The other downside is that if you simply have just one knife with you, you run the risk of ruining the item during a striking session. To help you to avoid this from happening, you should exercise the right technique.
What exactly is Batoning?
When you begin to pound a tool like a knife or machete into a piece of material such as wood, you will use another item to pound the sharp, blunt object into the material, therefore creating a separation between the material. This is what is known as batoning.
To make it easier for you to understand, the knife or machete or sharp object that you are using is going to be struck with an object which will cause an affect much like what a sledgehammer would do to concrete.
Avoid Breakage By Striking Straight on Instead Of An Angle
When it comes to the knife being struck by the item you are using to hit the knife with, you will want to be sure that you are striking it with the right amount of force and without striking it at an angle. If you are using something like another piece of wood to hit the knife with, you might be hitting it improperly which can then cause the knife to break. If you are using something like a rock, your far less likely to hit it at an angle which is ideal.
When you are trying to use a baton knife, you will want to avoid using things which can cause the spine of the knife to break. Items like bricks will damage the knife. You will also want to find something that is considered to be a hardwood to use as the batoning tool.
Finding The Right Batoning Tool
When searching for the right tool to use for batoning, you are able to use any fixed blade knife. You will want to make sure that the blade is strong enough to be able to cut through the wood. Also, knives which have a blade that is longer than the cutting portion and leads into the handle of the knife is what works best for batoning. Because the blade is longer, it will make it a better option for batoning.
Depending on the size of the wood that you are trying to cut will depend on the knife that you are trying to cut. You will want to have the blade of the knife to stick out past the wood that you are attempting to cut by nearly 3 inches. As a general rule of thumb, if you are trying to cut a piece of wood that is shorter than the batoning tool that you are making, it will be easier for you to do. If you have a piece of wood that is longer than your batoning tool, it will be harder to cut.
The thickness of your batoning tool is not going to be as important for you to worry about as the length of the knife. The idea however is that if you are using a tool where there is a wider blade, it will make it easier for you to be able to cut the wood.
When finding the right knife, you will want to avoid the rigid knives. A knife which is rigid is going to cause an uncomfortable feeling upon the vibration caused from the hit. A knife which is encased in rubber is going to be able to handle the shock caused from the baton as well. The proper batoning tool is going to have a synthetic material encasing the handle of the knife. If you do not have a knife which is coated in a synthetic material, it is easy enough for you to be able to make one by cutting an inner tube to a bicycle up and wrapping it around the knife that you will be using as a batoning tool.
Why Do You Want To Know How To Baton Wood?
For many years now, campers, hikers, hunters and more have used the method to cut wood when an axe has been forgotten or when they simply did not want to carry around an item like an axe. Instead of carrying that tool around, they opted to carry a knife instead and to find a way to cut up the wood.
It is important that you know the exact type of material that you are trying to cut as some of the different woods are going to be too hard for you to simply strike an axe with and pray that it will cut it. It is also advised that you try to find a wooden material which is free from any kind of knot as this can and will make it harder for the axe to cause a perfect divide of material. A wood piece that is filled with knots is not going to be easily divided by something like a baton.
Before you begin to work on batoning the wood, you will want to make sure that your grip on the knife is solid yet comfortable. If you are not comfortable or are easily fatigued, you will develop blisters on your hands rather quickly.
Surviving In The Wilderness
When it comes to camping, you are generally prepared to spend a day or two out in the wilderness. You will plan on bringing your tent, your sleeping bag and all of the necessities. What happens though in the case where you forgot something very important at home.
You would be surprised to learn just how many people will actually forget something they need at home, something that is as important as an axe. When it comes to something being easy, the one thing that does not come easy in the wild can be surviving. When you enter into the woods, you can easily get lost if you are not familiar with your surroundings or if you do not notice familiar landmarks. When this happens, it helps to know various important techniques which will help to keep you hydrated, fed and warm. These essential life skills will either make you or break you when in the wild.
Right Wood For Burning
One thing that is ideal for helping any man feel better about himself or to help him get a morale boost is being able to light a fire while in the woods. It is not just something that will help you to stay warm, it is also something that will help others look at you in a different way. Suddenly you will become the man of the wild, a rugged man who knows how to survive. Just thing about all those Survivor contestants and how amazing they feel when they’re the one who is starting the camp fire every day.
The problem with trying to start a fire is that some wood is not going to light as easily as others will. There are some woods that are better for cooking while others are ideal for simply staying warm. If you walk around the woods and find yourself looking for wood to burn, you want to make sure that the wood is dry and will burn easily.
If you are not someone who is experienced in the wild, you might not know what to look for and may not know what types of wood to pick up. The perfect option for starting a fire is cedar. Cedar is going to be one of the easiest woods to use to light the fire.
If you are trying to find a wood that is going to be perfect for kindling or for being able to cook meals, you will want to look for a hardwood like oak. This is the best option for sustaining a fire and will help you to stay warm on cool summer nights.
If you want something that will be perfect for simply being used as a campfire, then you want something that is much more resinous. This type of wood is pine. This is the wood that most find to set off a signal fire when in the woods and lost. If you are going to cook something on your fire, you will not want to use pine. This type of wood is going to leave your mouth having a nasty taste in it as well as leaving your food tasting something much less than edible.
If you are still unsure as to what types of wood to use the batoning method on, then you will use this information as an easy method for determining which wood works best.
A coniferous tree is a tree in which it will loose the needles off from while replacing those needles with a whole new set of needles. The deciduous tree is one that will lose the leaves each year. A hardwood tree is going to be considered a deciduous tree. The conifer tree is going to always be a softwood tree.
A conifer tree is going to be the wood that you want to use in order to simply start the fire initially. Once the fire is lit, then you will be able to switch the type of wood being used to be able to determine what you want the fire to be used for.
If you are still unsure as to what types of wood you are collecting, try using the batoning method to check the wood on the inside of the wood. When you peel the bark back off from the slice that you have cut into, you will want to rub your finger along the wood.
If the wood you have cut into is easily pressed against, if it leaves a mark on the wood, then you know the wood is considered to be a softwood. This helps you to better understand what types of wood you should be loading on to your fire.
A way to tell if the fire that you are using is hot enough is to check and see how long you can keep your hand held above the fire. If you are able to hold your hand there for 5 minutes, the fire is a low heat. If you find that you can barely hold your hand there for 2 minutes, then the fire that you have lit is going to be of high heat. The higher the heat, the less amount of time that you are going to have to cook with. That is why cutting wood with batoning is so important.