We tend to think of hatchets as little axes that can be used to cut small pieces of wood. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons that many people don’t place them high on the list of things to bring along with their bug out bag or survival kit. However, hatchets can be used for a number of practical purposes in the field, and the following examples illustrate why it’s important to consider having one handy during a survival situation.
Trimming and Cutting
In addition to being used to cut wood for fires or shelter, hatchets are ideal for trimming bark and stubs from branches. While you can use your survival knife, particularly those with serrated blades, it will take longer and involve expending more energy as opposed to what you can accomplish with a hatchet. There are a million and one reasons why you’ll find yourself trimming wood in the field, and sometimes a survival knife is just not enough.
Hacking and Pounding
Another use for a hatchet that isn’t considered until the situation arises is to whack and hack at things. Maybe you’re trying to cut through some thick rope or break through a chain. Perhaps you’re trying to crack open a lock or break through a clamp. These are all things that a good hatchet with a sharp blade can accomplish with comparative ease to other alternatives that you may have to scavenge for in the field.
The back of or side of the hatchet, if it is a quality tool, can be used as an improvised hammer. Again, you can improvise by using a rock, butt of a flashlight, piece of wood or other blunt object, but why go through the trouble? You can cut your hands when hammering with rocks. Flashlights and wood can reverberate and send a lot of that force back into your arm instead of on the object that you are pounding. These and a host of other tasks can be accomplished with greater ease and efficiency by using a hatchet instead.
You can also use a hatchet for things such as wedging or prying items apart. It can also be used as a defensive weapon if you come face to face with an attacker. Hatchets can also be thrown as a weapon to strike targets that are farther away as well.
Hatchets vs Axe
A hatchet and axes basically accomplish the same things. However, axes are much heavier, bigger, and intended for larger projects. Hatchets are perfectly-suited for backpacks and bug out bags because they are light, short and very sturdy. You can also attach it to a loop on the outside of your bag in order to avoid having it take up valuable space inside. While an axe is perfect to have in your home or bug-out-location, a hatchet is perfect to carry with you. Not only that, but the vast majority of jobs that you will need to tackle in the field can be accomplished with the hatchet, meaning an axe will most likely be little more than dead weight.
This is one tool that will prove its weight in gold in the field, even if it seems inconspicuous and unimportant now. Take a closer look at the benefits of hatchets, and you’ll quickly realize how they are a very beneficial addition to your basic survival gear.