American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bigger or Smaller

Which makes the best kit? Larger firesteels, knives, axes, etc. or smaller, more portable tools?

I'm a big fan of the Light My Fire Army Firesteel but I also have been known to tote a Boy Scout Hotspark around. Both throw excellent sparks but one is a fraction of the size of the other. Weight savings or robustness? The Army Firesteel (left) is good for 12,000 strikes, the Scout for 3,000 (center,) and the Hotspark (right) for some fraction of that.

Knives too. Larger ones may chop better but they are heavier to carry and may be much harder to use for longer durations. Both knives pictured, the Aurora on the left and the Mini Canadian on the right are small enough to carry and large enough for most bushcraft purposes. I am a huge fan of the Mini Canadian as it cuts like a much larger knife. I can't split wood the same diameter as I can with the Aurora but it's more than enough to get some fuzz sticks, tinder, and kindling to get a fire going.

Plus, I can carry the Mini Canadian on my belt every day around town, to the grocery, out to dinner, and elsewhere without raising an eyebrow. Get much bigger and a belt knife is going to attract some unwanted attention.

It seems that everything comes in a variety of sizes these days. Tarps, backpacks, flashlights, sleeping bags, ground pads, etc. At some point you need to strike a balance between utility and weight; portability and robustness.

I'm not sure I'm fully committed one way or the other just yet...

Thanks for reading,



At 9:43 AM, Blogger Eduardo said...

I carry the hotspark exclusively. Add a little lint from my pocket and some birchbark and it throws all the spark I need.


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