We recently learned a new technique for how to chop up our wood for kindling. After so many camps of trying to do what we think we’re supposed to do and failing, we thought it was time to learn ourselves what we’re actually supposed to be doing.

We’re happy to report back that we were successful in using this technique at our last camp and will be using it from now on!



SectionHiker has a good description of how it’s done:

We have all seen people split wood with an ax. The process can be used with a hatchet as well. The familiar technique it to place the log on a tree stump and hit it squarely with the hatchet. There are three things that I would recommend with this technique. The first is to chop in the kneeling position. Because the hatchet is very short, if you miss the log while standing, the hatchet can swing into your leg. Kneeling will mean it hits the ground before it hits you. The second is to not do it directly on the ground. If the wood splits, the hatchet will go into the ground and the edge may be damaged. The third is that you should aim for the corner of the log instead of the middle. That way the log is more likely to split instead of the hatchet getting stuck.

Another technique that I find useful is to take a small log and hold it by one of the ends. While holding it, position the blade of the hatchet on the side of the log at the other end. While holding both the log and hatchet in the same respective positions, lift both of them together, and then bring both the log and hatchet together down on another piece of wood. You will find that the hatchet will penetrate the wood. This eliminates any need to aim with the hatchet and is particularly useful for small pieces of wood that can not be balanced on a stump.