What do you use to cut firewood?

I packed a hatchet on my trips last year, but it is heavy and bulky. I also found that it wasn’t the most ideal way to cut firewood. I met others who take along a small saw instead.

I recently ran across this cable-type of saw searching the internet:


Looks neat, but I have no experience with it.

What do you find the most helpful?

i break dead wood, mostly branches
over my knee or hit it on a rock or tree trunk. i use pieces about the thickness of my wrist or smaller.i keep my fires small and cook on a gas stove

Bow saw and Gerber Backpacking Axe.

My theory
is that when in the woods you don’t need to be dealing with any woos that is so large in diameter that splitting is required. I used to use a Sven Saw, but it got old and weak, so I replaced it with a folding Sawvivor. Great saw! The cable saw you mentioned will wear you out.


Northman or Coffee’s machete
I’m too, um, frugal to fork over the cash for one of my own, not to mention one of my compadres always has one at the ready. I’m with the other Jim on thickness. If you need waffer thin kindling, drop the machete on the top and tap it through with another piece of wood. If it’s too thick to do that, call it a seat and sit down.


Find a fork in a tree…
or a multiple trunk tree, stick your log in there(probably 3" max) and pry away. I can break big enough pieces of wood this way to have a nice fire that doesn’t need constant tending; although I pretty much mess with the fire the whole time anyways!

this works for me

Sawvivor. Sharp ax for splitting.

I did away with axes and saws and

– Last Updated: May-06-05 9:06 AM EST –

have been using a 12 inch bladed machete ...works for me...althought I don't duct tape it to my pfd..I have never had the need for an ax to split wood..the machete can be used in several ways and all my cook fires are small ranger fires...

old habits die hard
I don’t like to carry a bunch of extra stuff around, and I don’t like to NEED to be careful due to the expense of an item. I use a $7 roofing hatchet from Big Lots. it is rather light, has a hammer for tent stakes and a hatchet for small fire wood. It is cheap and I don’t have to worry if I screw it up…there is always another cheap roofing hatchet somewhere.

I don’t like to take two pounds when I can take one. Hatchet and hammer in one…that is the way to go. I do however have the rope/string style saw in my survival knife (also cheap, chipped and OLD). “Knife” is a rather generous term really, it is a sharp shovel for me.


Regular Hand Saw
After many years camping, I got rid of the hachets, Kugka knives, monster Bowies, machetes, and fancy folding saws.

I just use a regular handsaw I bought at home depot. It has a nylon case.

I love this saw…

– Last Updated: May-23-05 10:05 AM EST –


It has self stores a course wood blade, a fine wood blade, and a hack saw blade. It has always worked great for me. I do carry a hachet or axe (or usually a wedge and hammer) when I car camp.

I use everything
When I go camping, I am a back to the basics kind of guy. I take a bow saw, hachet, machete and a pocket knife; I leave the chainsaw at home (it’s a little too noisy). If you want a lazy man’s campfire, simply find a small fallen tree or limb and place one end of the tree or limb in your stone circle, then once you get your fire going you just move the tree/limb into the stone circle as it burns down.


what i use/pack:
I carry one of these:


and one of these:


and of course a knife on my PFD and a multitool in the kit…

The Trail Hawk is light enough to actually carry when backpacking at 19oz. but i’ve only hiked with it when i knew i had the time to build a fire…

Small Saw
It’s the el cheapo Coughlin folding saw, infrequently used. I prefer a small fire and can usually find enough dead sticks for my needs. I’ll use the saw when I find the occasional dead branch.

Folders are great
I carry a small Gerber folder when mtn biking, and it would work well for backpacking where I expected to have a small fire.


I said SMALL fire.

I use a machete
it helps to clear a paddling path at times too, with new downed trees or that all imortant portage trhu the swamp.

Glad to hear …
… so many paddlers here appreciate the pleasures of a SMALL fire, or none at all. We usually have a small campfire only once or twice on a four-night trip, and would rather enjoy a beer than scrounge for scarce firewood. Some sections of the popular lower Wisconsin River banks have been practically clearcut by overconsumptive paddlers and their bonfires.

Like the old Indian guide told the pioneer: “White man build big fire, sit far away. Red man build small fire, sit close.”

or Kuntakintae…".white man smell
like chicken…make fire to big".

that’s easy…Gerber Sports Saw…
I had one of these which I used for 2 years both on backpacking and kayaking trips…lost it this winter at Pictured Rocks and replaced it thru these guys…this is a great, small saw…and, you can’t beat the price…in winter, when I desire bigger wood for fires, I bring my sven saw…