Nessmuck Trio, Traditional or Practical ?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Moe M., Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Being a big fan of Vintage anything (mostly because I qualify as vintage myself ;)) I've read a lot of the writings by Mors, Kephart, and Nessmuck among other lesser discussed favorites of traditional woodsmen.
    I doubt that I'm alone in thinking that those men got along quite well with the gear that they carried and wrote about mostly because that's all they had, however, todays outdoorsman has a great deal of much more practical gear such as polymer fabrics that are much warmer and more water resistant than wool, Nylon for packs and tarps that are a lot lighter and easier to care for, And more modern camp cookware like Stainless Steel, Anodized Aluminum, and Titanium has all but replaced heavier steel and cast iron cookware.
    My kit is a mix of Vintage and modern, Traditional and Practical, I still enjoy my waxed cotton and canvas packs, still carry traditional slip joint pocket knives, but use BCO nylon tarps and poncho, and there's usually a flint & steel kit in my pack, and I rarely go into the woods without a good quality folding saw.
    I don't usually carry an axe, when I do it's usually a forged hawk or a hatchet, and that's one of those things that old Nessmuck and I disagree on, personally I don't see any practical advantage to carrying a camp or bag axe with a double bit, I do agree that his "Trio" of pocket knife, fixed blade, and hatchet are a great combination that will fill just about all of a woodsman's cutting tool needs.
    I much prefer a polled hawk or a hatchet of about a pound and a quarter or less head, single bit with a hammer poll, it's a lot more useful and there's a lot less danger accidently cutting ones self than using a small double bit hatchet, while a small Nessmuck styled axe may look cool IMHO they aren't as practical as a traditional single bit. :33:
     
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  2. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    I have a double bit hatchet I bought from Ragweed Forge 15 or so years ago. Never use it.
    What worked for Nessmuk may not work for me or anyone else. Remember he was using the axe as a butchering tool.
    I think I look at the old style stuff and perhaps long for a time when life seemed simpler.
    But in reality if Nessmuk could have had a SAK or multitool maybe he would have.

    I think it was in one of Angier's books where he was extolling the virtues of Visqueen for your emergency kit shelter.
    I thought "I need this Visqueen". Turns out it is just a product name for plastic sheeting like Mors uses for the super-shelter.
    Post WWII it must have seemed really amazing to someone from the heavy canvas era.
    I have a canvas Whelen tent that I also don't use much.
    These guys used what was available and if they could have had lighter and stronger I think they would.
    These days, I think a great trio would be a folding saw, a hatchet and knife.
     
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  3. popedandy

    popedandy Scout

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    I think it is more important to figure out what works for you than to copy what someone did a long time ago. I have learned a lot from the old writings, but it has become increasingly clear over the years that much of what they recommended isn't applicable to my situation. Great reading, though.

    One interesting thing about Nessmuk is that he was a big proponent of ultralight camping. It would be interesting to see what he would recommend if he were alive today.
     
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  4. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    Nessmuk was only like 5'1" and 105#. He had to go light.
    :)
     
  5. MEC003

    MEC003 Scout

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    I think traditional tools look great. I'm drawn to the photos that people post of them. In use, I prefer modern. There's nothing sexy about a fiskers hatchet, but they work damn well and I love mine. Same for a mora companion. And while a traditional knife may look stunning, I prefer a one hand opening modern folder with a pocket clip for convenience. That said, I don't really do the same things that nessmuk would have done. I head to the woods for leisure and most of the time I really don't even need a cutting tool. I still carry them because like most everyone else here, I have a strong affinity for all things sharp and pointy.
     
  6. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    My truck has power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, stereo, air conditioning... a stock, 5 window, vintage Chevy pickup don't...
    You do the math.
    Regards
     
  7. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    The concept is sound... "right tool for the job" is how I interpret it. Nessmuk preferred his hatchet and it's two grinds for reasons. I don't need that, so I carry a Norlund hatchet mostly. I don't like his style of knife for everything, so I usually carry something else. And I don't like his particular pocket knife, again preferring something else... and i usually add a small saw, so let me call it "Seeker's Quadrette" or whatever...
     
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  8. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    And, OH how I would love to have one of the ones I owned over the years. Never anything fancy, but good solid working trucks.
     
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  9. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

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    Funny thing about folk who write books,,, there’s always someone around to agree or disagree with them, and because books last well after the writer is dead, folks can keep on agreeing or disagreeing with them,,, for a while...

    Nessmuk didn’t invent the “trio”, he was just one of countless thousands who carried a similar kit,,, before him, and after him. Nessmuk happened be a writer, and one who enjoyed describing and showing pictures of his “kids”...

    A small folding knife, a skinning or filet knife, and a hatchet, (maybe add a small saw these days), will do just about everything a woodsman, camper, hiker, fisherman might need to do.

    Can’t really measure up what I do with what Nessmuk did. Read what he did, put yourself in his shoes, at his time in history, and given the available packable tools at his time in history. Seems like he did ok for a wee man, with so small an offering of suitable tools...
     
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  10. Ronc

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    According to him, GWS, as a teenager, went to sea for 2 years on a whaling ship (this at the time that Herman Melville did the same). He also "bullwhacked" across the Plains, taught school in Ohio, mined silver in Colorado, was a webfoot in Oregon and was a cowboy in Texas for a while before settling down in Pennsylvania. He also made two multi-month trips to the Amazon, one in 1867 and a return trip in 1870. Of course, we all know about his wanderings in Michigan and the Adirondacks. Along the way, I'm sure he tried all kinds of cutlery before settling on what we now call the "Nessmuk trio" of tools. Guess after all that travel, he found what worked for him...just as all of us do!

    Not everyone uses a Mora, Tracker, or the latest XYZ brand of "bushcraft knife"...whatever that is!!!! Some of us still use slip joints, because we've found they work for us. Same goes for our fixed-blades and hatchets/hawks.

    Just my $0.02 worth.
    Ron
     
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  11. Dillon Finan

    Dillon Finan Scout

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    I enjoy your insight.
    It's funny, because I like the double bit axe - it is important to remember that the Nessmuk double bit was designed with one side for splitting and one side for felling which is not common in modern double bit axe designs.
    That said I am not particularly fond of a folder? I think a good skinner, and a good medium sized fixed blade make for a nice trio.
    The advent of bushcraft has replaced the axe with a machete, and/or saw. It all is about what environment you are in, and what your preferences are.
     
  12. Ronc

    Ronc Tracker

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    I recently purchased one of the Marble's double bit hatchets. Can't say I'm a big fan of it! I like my polled hawk made from a 100 year old hatchet better. To go along with what I was saying earlier, our slip joints today may be SAKs instead of traditional slip joints, and our knives may certainly be made of better materials than was Nessmuk's, but the intent is still the same: to go into the wild places to "smooth it." I certainly choose my cutlery based upon my experiences, not just on the latest fad...and I'm sure that speaks for all of us here! My favorite "chopper" is not an axe or hatchet at all, it's a much-modified Western W49 bowie that's been re-ground into a bolo knife. It is a great wood splitter, shelter builder and all-round heavy duty field knife! I'm sure GWS and Kephart would not approve, but they're not me, and not here in 2019.

    I say use what works for you...if someone else disagrees with your choice, that's their privilege to do so! I've used everything from a Kabar to a Randall, to machete, to folder for doing what we call "bushcraft" and "woodcraft." And that's on 4 different continents. It's more about the skill of the user than the tool itself. That said, the right tool in skilled hands can do amazing things out in the field!

    And you're just down the road from me, Dillon!

    Regards,
    Ron
     
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  13. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Bought one of the Marble saddle axes as well. After a little use, I re-sharpened and put it in the gear cabinet. A polled hawk or hatchet seems much more useful.
    I carry a lock back Benchmade in my pocket, a 4" fixed blade in an outer pocket of my pack and a small GB hatchet and a small Silky saw inside the pack. Right tool for the job and I haven't found myself wanting yet. I keep a SAK tweezer in my med kit.

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  14. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I’m sure a lot of you, including me, go thru phases. Currently I’m liking my stainless steel knives. I guess that’s “practical.”

    I used a carbon steel knife in the kitchen today to cut the pre-cooked grocery store chicken that my wife picked up on the way home from work, and thought darn’it I have to wash that knife right away and dry it right away, what a hassle! Other times I’m admiring the patina while I’m rubbing it dry!

    If Nessmuck could have used a stainless steel blade on a pre-cooked grocery store chicken that he picked up on the way home, I’m bet he’d be thrilled!
     
  15. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker RIP Shane Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My trio (which I use often) is:
    - fixed blade
    - simple hatchet
    - folding saw
    Does pretty much everything I need in the woods.
     
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  16. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Practical is not a trio!
    - Mora knife
    - Victorinox alox pioneer/farmer
    - Fiskars hatchet
    - Silky Saw
     
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  17. SkipJunkie

    SkipJunkie Scout

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    Mine is a Corona folding saw/12" Bow saw , Bushcraft Black and my Jungle Panawal Better Kukri .
     
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  18. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    I can see replicating the classic trio for fun. But for use I think it's always best to find what works for you. After all I'm sure that is how Nessmuk and Kephart landed on the tools that they carried.

    I can tell you that in my own experience the more time I spend out there, the more my toolset changes. I don't go for what someone else used who became famous. And I don't worry about what other folks use, what's popular, or what looks cool. I don't even go for what looks like it would be a good idea or practical. I go for what works for me and my own personal uses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  19. Pinnah

    Pinnah Tracker

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    For my way of thinking, this issue comes down to managing impact on land designated for recreational use.

    All of our land is owned by somebody (even if that somebody is "all of us") and all of our land has some form of a management plan. That management plan might be written down or it may not be. So for me, the question really is how do we move through wild lands in a way that doesn't undercut the management goals and that doesn't destroy the wild nature of the place for the next person.

    In enjoy and practice bushcraft type skills but I rarely use them in wild places. Modern gear such as tarps/tents, stoves, modern clothing allow me to move and camp with minimal visible impact. Obviously, different locations have different ecologies which lead to different best-practices.

    But I've been to too many recreational wild lands that have been overused and hammered by lousy and destructive camp practices.

    One bit of kit that I've come to love is a small folding wood stove (I use an Emberlit but there are many others). This allows us to enjoy the warm charm of a fire with minimal impact either by wood collection or ash production. And even then we limit it's use to lower elevations in the hardwoods and in locations where dead fall is plentiful.

    A 4" to 5" fixed blade and a small folding saw is more than enough to feed a small wood stove.

    On most trips into the woods, I only carry a light folding knife and keychain sized multitool.
     
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  20. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Supporter Supporter

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    I'm definitely in the modern and useful camp. I've tried many combos of things and my machete, multi tool, and very small fixed blade is what works best for me.
     
  21. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    If I recall, Nessmuk paid ten bucks to have his axe made. Ten bucks in 1880 would probably be equal to $250.00 - $300.00 today.
    He had a considerable investment there.
     
  22. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for your reply, I too depending on the plan for the day depend on a small wood stove, in my case it's a Solo Stove Lite, I have others but the Solo Stove works great and suits my needs, I see we are both from New England and so being blessed with no shortage of water or wood fuel is no surprise.
    Also, like yourself I can get by most days in the wild places (woods to me ;)) with a small fixed blade or sturdy pocket knife as a cutting tool, I'm pretty much a minimalist and don't usually carry a lot of gear.
    Unlike yourself (I'm assuming here) so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I don't practice strict LNT polices, I do however carry out my trash, am careful about keeping a clean camp, don't cut any live trees, and usually reasonably clean up my camp when I leave, that doesn't mean I erase every trace of my being there, and if it's a nice camp spot I may choose to leave my fire ring/pit and a bit of processed wood for the next hiker that wanders by.
    I respect the rights of animals to be treated humanely, but I'm a hunter and fisherman, I eat meat, and I don't agree with the radical policies practiced by PITA, I also don't agree with the policies advocated by the LNT crowd, I believe that bush crafters/outdoorsmen/campers can use the forests and it's resources responsibly without doing any lasting damage to the environment.
    I've learned through years of experience that the forests and time have a way of reclaiming itself and whipping away most signs that anyone has been there before providing they don't leave any trash behind.
    I know people who hike or camp in the woods and expect to see no signs that anyone was there before them, they actually get offended at the sight of a previous fire pit or the outline of a tent footprint, that I believe is unreasonable, personally the remnants of a prior well kept camp make me happy, it tells me that someone else has enjoyed the surroundings as much as I do, that's a good thing.
    So, while I can certainly make do with a small woodstove and a SAK Farmer or my Old Timer Buzz Saw model pocket knife, I usually prefer to have a small camp/cook fire, and I usually carry a pocket knife, med. sized bush craft fixed blade, a med, sized folding saw, and sometimes a bag axe or hawk with which to easier process fire wood, clear brush and such from a camp site, or make a temporary piece of camp furniture, all very much in the style of Nessmuck or Kephart.
     
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  23. Todd Allen

    Todd Allen Bushclass basic 11 of 13 lessons Supporter

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    I don't like folders at all.
     
  24. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    down here, machete, knife, small folding saw, axe for spoon blanks ...
     
  25. will62

    will62 Guide

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    Hatchet, folding saw, and fixed blade IMHO is a good modern combination
     
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  26. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch Scout

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    Any of you fellas with the little double bits stick them in a log and baton kindling?About the only advantage i can think of.
     
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  27. Lonewalker

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    Ive evolved currently to packable bucksaw, good fixed blade knife, boys axe. That would be my trio, it could be traditional and practical, but I wont forgo the latter to replicate the former. Its a fluid evolution subject to be modified with no warning.
     
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  28. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    And, apparently his friends were quite cruel to him about that cost too.
     
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  29. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I can’t imagine much felling with that tiny axe.
     
  30. SkipJunkie

    SkipJunkie Scout

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    Yep , after sitting around and calculating travel expenses , wages missed and actual price he was the laughing stock around the ole camp fire and his judgement was questioned .
     
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  31. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    If you ever find yourself questioning the usefulness of a hatchet and a couple knives for camping, you are doing it wrong.
     
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  32. Ronc

    Ronc Tracker

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    Here is the actual quote from GWS's "Woodcraft." It puts it all in perspective:

    "My witty friends, always willing to help me out in figuring the cost of my hunting and fishing gear, made the following business-like estimate, which they placed where I would be certain to see it the first thing in the morning. Premising that of the five who assisted in that little joke, all stronger, bigger fellows than myself, four have gone "where they never see the sun," I will copy the statement as it stands today, on paper yellow with age. For I have kept it over forty years.

    A woodsman,
    To getting up one limber-go-shiftless pocket-axe: Dr.
    Cost of blade. $3.00
    Fare on boat 1.00
    Expenses for 3 days 3.00
    Three days lost time at $1.25 per day 3.75
    Two days making model, handle and sheath, say 2.00
    Total $12.75
    Per contra, by actual value of axe 2.00
    Balance $10.75

    Then they raised a horse laugh, and the cost of that hatchet became a standing joke and a slur on my "business ability." What aggravated me most was, that the rascals were not so far out in their calculation. And was I so far wrong? That hatchet was my favorite for nearly thirty years. It has been "upset" twice by skilled workmen; and, if my friend "Bero" has not lost it, is still in service.

    Would I have gone without it any year for one or two dollars? But I prefer the double blade. I want one thick, stunt edge for knots, deers' bones, etc., and a fine, keen edge for cutting clear timber."

    In this day and age, we spend as much, in 2019 dollars for what are literally fancy copies of Scandinavian work knives and butcher knives ("bushcraft" & "woodcraft" knives).

    Just my $0.02 worth.
    Ron
     
  33. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    $300 plus in today’s dollars. Custom costs ...
     
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  34. Ronc

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    Yep! There are those who spend almost that much for a custom small axe/hatchet today as well! He said he did get 30 years personal use out of it, and his friend Bero was still using it after having it for ten years. I think about the knives, etc. I have that I have owned for 30 years that are still going strong. Money well-spent on quality items is just that: well-spent!
     
  35. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Can’t help but wonder if that axe is somewhere waiting to be found. Same for that piece of paper and his knife. To my knowledge they aren’t on display anywhere. Who’s Bero? I guess we can start looking there.
     
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  36. Barry J

    Barry J Guide

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    I am going to ruffle some feathers here, but that is not my intention. The more I use a hawk that has been properly profiled, not for throwing, but for wood processing, the more I lean towards the duo.
    Seems like I can do most everything I "need" to do, with just my hawk and and a fixed blade about the size of the Mora Eldris or the 2/0.
    This equation would change, if I had to build any sort of lasting shelter from hard woods.
     
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  37. BradGad

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    I’m with you, Barry. I usually have a trio but just because I always carry a pocket knife anyway. A duo of a hawk or hatchet and a small sweet-handling fixed blade does it all... and is enjoyable to use... and is easy to carry.
     
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  38. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    I think there has been a general trend towards doing more work with wood (and dead/hardwood) with a sheath knife. People are cutting fewer trees (green wood) for projects in camp. This partially explains why today’s knives are usually 1/8” or thicker. The Scandinavian or European influence on modern bushcraft has also had a tremendous bearing on what people choose in a knife today.

    Read through some old articles by American outdoorsmen in Nessmuk’s time and on through the early 1900s and you don’t see much spoon carving, kuskas, elaborate notches and carving techniques. You see references to knives regarding cooking, hunting, trapping, skinning etc. Certainly some carving and Woodcraft was being done and Scouting manuals covered that but it wasn’t the dominant focus of a sheath knife by an American Woodsman at the time.

    I think traditionally the American sheath or hunting knife (which is what most all the commercially available sheath knives were called) was more intended towards food and game preparation. Slicing bacon, skinning, cleaning fish, etc.. thinner blades were preferred for this kind of work. A butcher knife or a modification of one was the logical choice for an outdoorsman. Put it into a belt sheath and you are all set to go. He wanted to carry something to do the same things he would use a knife for at home plus hunting, not necessarily a whole different set of wood working related tasks.

    Cutting poles, stakes, building shelters etc.. were tasks for the axe. Whittling a point on a stake or something similar was work for the pocket knife.

    As time passed and “survival” became a hot topic and a big portion of knife sales, the tendency was to beef up and bomb proof everything. Knives, axe handles, packs, sheaths, cookware, almost everything became beefed up and overbuilt. It’s not something you might notice unless you’ve had your hands and eyes on a lot of older gear.

    In order to understand Nessmuk’s choices I think you can’t put them into a modern camping or bushcraft context. As much as we might like to think we are doing the same thing, in many ways we are not. If The trio isn’t working for you today you have to ask if the circumstances of use are even comparable.

    A lot of Nessmuk’s equipment is somewhat unique and stylized compared to what was been sold and used by others at the time. I suspect, like a lot of us, he was looking to set himself apart somewhat with his personal equipment. As a writer and in making a name for himself, that line of thinking and practice is important.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  39. Ronc

    Ronc Tracker

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    Here's one of my favorite trios to use:
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Barry J

    Barry J Guide

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    The idea of Nesmuk using his ax for most, if not all of the wood processing tasks, would explain his desire for a double bit. In this case, a fine edge and a thick edge would make sense.
     
  41. Dillon Finan

    Dillon Finan Scout

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    Ok?
     
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  42. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a double bit Nessy by a Two Hawks brand I believe. Overall it’s a nice piece, the handle leaves a lot to be desired, but I still have not found the motivation to change it for something I’d like better. In terms of practicality the idea of two different grinds in the same tool might sound like a great idea but I’d prefer one edge and a flat to use as a hammer instead. Perhaps if I was breaking down a lot of animals or existing in a very mixed forest two edges might have more value to me. I prefer the Kephart mix of cutting edges, his choices seem more in line with my needs.
     
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  43. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    If I'm camping with a hatchet, saw or other tools it's because I enjoy working a little bush-crafting into my outdoors experience. I often back-pack for days on end with nothing more than a Swiss Army Knife.
     
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  44. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    I suppose it depends on how you hike and what your goals for being out there are, When I was hunting the big woods for deer about the only tools I carried besides my rifle were a traditional pocket knife (always in my pocket), a med size fixed blade hunting knife on my belt, and a deer drag line.
    But I was only out (hopefully) for the day, I packed a lunch, a small first aid/survival kit, and didn't need much more.
    I've known people and read works by people who thru hiked the AT or PCT a couple of thousand miles give of take and carried nothing but a SAK, but, they weren't hunting, fishing, or actually engaging in many forms of bushcraft or traditional camping, their goal was to pile on the miles, making a quick camp, heat a fast meal, and get a good night's sleep are their main concern, they generally have no need for tools or gear that are not absolutely needed and that only add weight and bulk to an already full pack.
    If I had to depend on a stout folding pocket knife to get me through a day of woods bumming or camping I'd be in trouble in no time with a busted knife.
     
  45. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I propose that if one is carrying modern camping gear the Nessmuck trio isn’t needed. I can easily build a fire with nothing more than a bic. Thousands of backpackers hike across the entire country every year without an axe or saw. There’s dozens of videos showing how to make a debris shelter with no tools. I recently saw one where the guy built a fire and survived overnight in sub-zero temps....naked. Two lessons here, the more you know the less you carry and modern camping gear works great. Nothing against bush-crafting tools. I love them, but it’s a hobby. You are intentionally doing camping in a traditional way which is cool but unnecessary.

    Edit- Let me add that my brother lives in Montana and regularly hunts. He's often over 5 miles out, and has been doing it for over 30 years. He doesn't carry a hatchet or saw. Very little gear actually. He tells me it's too heavy and not needed.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  46. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    I couldn't agree with you more, if you consider the first line in my post and the last line in yours above it kind of says it all. :dblthumb:

    Our plans for our outings appear to have different goals, yours seems to be that the hike itself is goal, mine as you quite aptly put it is intentionally enjoying traditional camping, to get far enough off the traveled paths and make a quick camp for the day and spend my time making and tending to a small campfire, cooking a simple but tasty meal, and find something to craft, or sometimes just whittle on a stick and contemplate the wonders of nature.
    I agree with you that you can get by without much more than a pocket knife or no cutting tools at all if you live in an area such as mine, up here in New England there's no shortage of water or usable firewood that can be broken up by hand to a suitable size, so yes, tools are really unnecessary in a utilitarian sense, but they do make camp chores easier and they are fun to use. :4:

    There have been disagreements in threads here over the meaning of backpacking, Bush crafting, and camping, I don't usually like to get into them because there's just enough overlap in the definition of each to make it confusing, but to each his own.
    Personally, the thought of hiking from one place to another just to achieve the goal of getting to the end and going back just as fast as possible is a bit boring to me, hikes like those that traverse the AT either thru hikes or section hiking to me are a bit different, my main objective would not be to get to the end, it would be the adventures in between of meeting new people and seeing new places, making new friends, if all I wanted to do is test myself walking in nature I could save some time and probably some expense by investing in a tread mill equipped with a monitor and some woodsy CD's, plus I could hike in the rain and not get wet. :59:
     
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  47. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Again, I agree with your brother, carrying an axe, saw, and other such gear is really unnecessary when out hunting for the day, especially if from home or a base camp, I hunted some pretty big woods in Maine in my deer hunting days and never carried much more than a small hunting knife, my always carried pocket knife, deer drag line, and a few snacks and a water bottle.
    There was the time however that I got caught in a freak white out snow storm, got twisted in a Cedar swamp and had to spend the night cold, wet, in -32*F. weather, I sure could have used a saw, hatchet, and a bit more gear on that day. ;)
     
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  48. stewey1

    stewey1 Scout

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    I agree with what others have said already, His knife was for cutting/foodprep/game and fish and the axe was his main woodwork tool.

    His tools reflect his environment and the time he was alive.

    For example in that Era there was no freeze dried meals and huge supermarkets so when Nessmuk went bush he actually cooked real food, hunted and sliced meat. An over built survival knife or a SAK is not ideal, his knife was suited to the task.

    He would have cooked mainly on an open fire, most likely a few times a day. No gas cooker to boil water for your freezedried, actual cooking. You need wood for this so his wee axe would have been ideal.

    In my experience with old Deer cullers and bushmen, the key is to make your camp like home, eat well, sleep well and youre not camping your living.

    My own journey started in 2011 when I discovered the forums and started trying different tools. Believe me I have tried $1000's of dollars worth of knives, choppers, axes and machetes. Mainly as I love tools and trying different styles and makers , combinations and doodads.

    Ive settled for the last few years for a 10 inch parang, a thin slicey 4inch belt knife and pocket knife and I'm happy.
     
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  49. Ronc

    Ronc Tracker

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    Well said, stewed! I agree with you wholeheartedly. We all need to find what works for us, with the way we camp and do bush work. The big chopper, whether bolo, parang, hatchet or tomahawk, combined with a thin slicer and a good pocketknife can't be beat.

    Ron
     
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