Knife , Ax and Saw
A cutting tool is perhaps the hardest implement to reproduce in nature . Although crude cutting tools can be constructed from bone and stone in nature , they cannot be manufactured to the level of the modern knife , ax and saw .
Today’s cutting tools , for wilderness use , in the Northern Temperate Zone include the knife , the ax and the saw . These tools are very useful in wilderness settings and have many uses and functions .
They are used to manufacture other tools , shelters , traps , weapons and furniture . Spoons and drinking cups can also be carved from wood with cutting tools . The items that they can create are limited only by your imagination .
Building A Shelter
The importance of cutting tools in shelter construction cannot be fully appreciated until you are faced with the need to build an emergency shelter . Geography , the weather conditions , your location on the planet and the time of year all add to the type and purpose of these tools .
Climates are classified into five major groups . In short ; Tropical , Arid , Temperate , Continental and Polar/Alpine . Constructing shelters in any one of these areas , and the season while doing so , quickly defines the type of cutting tool required .
Wilderness construction in Temperate , Continental and Polar/Alpine zones require very different cutting tools than those used in Arid or Tropical climates .
Machetes , Kukris and Parangs have a long history in Tropical climates , however they are less common in Temperate , Continental and Polar or Alpine zones .
In the Temperate Zone , three-season building and survival tools can be be fairly small and light-weight , however , winter season tools must be more robust and durable .
Building Your Own Tools
Cutting tools can be used to build other tools . Wedges can be made to split trees into planks and other forms of timber . Levers can be constructed to lift heavy objects .
Wooden mallets , work tables , pinching devices and digging implements can also be carved , cut and assembled with cutting tools .
Building Traps and Weapons
Traps for fish and game will be very useful if you are lost in the wild . Lost or not , extended periods in the wilderness require constant hunting and fishing to stay properly nourished .
Land and water traps can be easily fashioned with cutting tools . Digging tools are a necessary item when searching beaches and river bottoms .
Bows and arrows , spears , sling shots and clubs can all be manufactured with knives , axes and saws .
Maintaining Your Tools
There can be no argument against the proper maintenance of your cutting tools . At a minimum , with only a knife as part of your kit , you must be able to keep it sharp at all times .
If you did not bring a whet stone , file or sharpener , you can always find one in nature . A smooth-grained stone will keep a good edge on your knife or ax , however , any extended stay in a wilderness setting requires whet-stones and files .
Whet-stones come in a variety of grades from fine to courser grades and files come in many shapes and sizes . Be sure to carry sharpening tools that are appropriate to the cutting tools you have with you .
Dull cutting tools serve no real purpose . LEARN to maintain your knives , axes and saws . Keep them SHARP and use them safely !