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