Batoning: How to Safely Baton With Your Knife (With Video)

May 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Trail Boss Videos

I think batoning is a skill that everyone who goes in the field should learn with a smaller knife. However that being said the proper tool for the job always works best. I have plenty of experience doing this, because in my travels I have been stuck with out the proper tool and had to make do because of the mission or situation.

I use the batoning technique for cutting small logs, poles for shelters etc. Typically I never use it for splitting them.  Unless I need a splint or have a desperate reason to split a log I just do not do it. Why waste energy or risk the only tool I may have. If I need a fire and fuel is available I can gather what I need no problem. At most I made need to shave some tinder or make a feather stick. I have had people tell me they can not always  find dry kindling  and batoning  is the only way to get it.  I always ask where in the heck are you at? I have found all the material I have needed in rain forests, flooded and swampy areas I have never had to baton for fire.

I will contend that if  you were in a situation where it was dark and it may be more dangerous for you to leave your camp, you may need to use batoning to split enough to get a fire going, after that you should be just fine. But again I have never had to do this. My batoning has always been limited to actually cutting a tree or a limb.  If I am in a potential life threatening situation and all I have is my knife I am only using it as necessary I am not taking any chances with it.  The most major concern with all this  is safety. Batoning if done wrong can cause serious injury.   Batoning for me is a last resort,  but a skill that needs to be learned.  Be safe and take your time. Batoning is not a race.  Pay attention to what you are doing. Never ever use anything but a stick to baton, Never use a stone like those morons on TV.

As we always say be safe by being prepared.  Practice before you go.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven L. Doran  All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.




Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.