Friday, January 11, 2013

Had an awesome day in the woods trying out my GB Hatchet and Sven Saw

I made it out to the woods today to enjoy some outdoors time and try out my Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet and Sven Saw.  Other than trying out the tools the other thing on the agenda was trying to find some fatwood.  My supply was getting low and I find it's fun to have a goal for the outing.  I headed out to a little mini pine tree forest that's kind of pinned in by the typical oak thickets we have here.  Here's the field crossing leading to the pine trees.

 First shot of the featured tool of the day

Well I scouted around a bit and got hungry and was in need of coffee so I found a suitable camp spot.  Here's the pack and rifle for the day, pack is the Frost River Summit and rifle is a Glenfield model 25 .22.  They look good together.

Well first up is about a 20-25ft. dead pine tree that was around 3-4in diameter.  The GB hatchet handled easily

With that tree down and it was time for the 15in. Sven Saw.  This thing was truly a pleasure to use.  It handled everything flawlessly all day.  Great little pack saw.

I didn't need this much wood since I was using a wood stove.  But sometimes it's good to get a feel for the tool.  We've had some rain the last couple days so everything was pretty damp.  I picked out the dry pieces and began to break them down to size for the woodstove.

Now we're getting somewhere

This Littlbug Jr. stove works very well.

camp shot with my pine bench for the morning

Here's the duo of the day

Water is heated so time for some cowboy coffee.  

Coffee and oatmeal always makes an easy woods meal that hits the spot

The stove also would work well with a canteen cup
the ground was so moist I had to use a base to keep the coals going

I decided to limb the pine bench as one end had quite a few.  

Hatchet did a fine job

Well after that it was the mission at hand to find some fatwood.  Further into the pines we go

I read on RockyMountainBushcraft that you can find fatwood on living pine trees by looking for dead branches towards the bottom.  So I tried a few with no success and then I found some.

This branch was dead but still felt very solid where it connected to the tree.  About an inch into sawing and I could smell the pine resin filling the air.  And sure enough we had some

I sawed it down to about a 7in. piece and put it on the pack.  That's the good thing about rucksacks is you can pin stuff under the top flap that you don't necessarily want in the pack

well not far down I came across this lower jawbone of a deer.  

then this scrape

Here's a view in the pines

well I found a downed tree that seemed like a good spot to process the fatwood.  This hatchet was great with this finer chopping and splitting as I separated out the fatwood from the log.

that's the good stuff

into the fire kit pouch it goes

After that harvest was complete I just enjoyed a woods stroll and explored the area a bit.  One thing that never gets old is the green pine trees against a blue sky backdrop

Well I made my way to another area I'd been wanting to scout for awhile.  It's more the thick woods I'm used to

Well I had just got down to the dried up creek bed and heard a rustle in the leaves.  I  instantly thought "Rabbit" and got the gun ready, only to realize the noise was still in the same place.  At this point I don't know what it is, but I know it's not a rabbit.  Sure enough it was a clumsy armadillo trying to flee at incredibly slow speed.  Good thing these guys have armor plating.  This guy was about 5 feet from and thinking I couldn't see him or something.

A neat encounter nonetheless.  Well I walked the creek bed for awhile then found a good spot for lunch.  This was a over hang from the creek that made a perfect windbreak and provided a tabletop bench for my setup.

Frost River and Gransfors Bruks is probably the best gear combination I can think of

Well more fire prep chores and we're back to heating the pot

Stove prep and we're burning

camp shots

these stoves can really get going well

lunch of Ramen and apply cider

view from the table rock ledge of the thick bottoms

Well all too soon is was time to pack up and head back.  And wouldn't you know I didn't see a squirrel or rabbit the whole time.  When I'm deer and duck hunting this area I see plenty squirrels and rabbits of course.  You how that goes...

And the last push up the hill to the vehicle.  It was a very enjoyable day and the hatchet and saw combo is a mean little package for packing on day hikes and when you don't need heavy wood needs.  I'll be using these quite a bit.

Thanks for looking


  1. Brandon, that's awesome that you were able to find that nice chunk of fatwood. Nice photos of the trip and your new GB Wildlife too.

    1. Thanks Jason. I'm glad you did that post on looking for it there. Glad you enjoyed the report.

  2. Looks like a great day out.
    It is best when your goal is not to harvest any game- it is always a nice bonus though!

    1. Thanks Peter. I agree. If it was my goal I would fall short more times than I care to admit.