It's time for a good ole' sit down with Next Adventure staffer, Aaron. Grab a banjo and pick along while we talk hatchets.

This is Aaron and we're going to talk about some hatchet use. Hatchets can be dangerous, but used properly they can be very useful. You always want to make sure that you are cutting away from your body. Keeping your hands free from any object that is close to the head. Just knowing your limits is important.

I don't want to hold this piece of wood as I start to drop the hatchet down onto it, I could chop my fingers. But if I just get it set, then I have another piece of wood or another tool with me, I can start pounding down into the wood. This will create an opportunity for it to split. You can also to turn it upside down and strike it that way.

There have been a couple of times where I've been out and my hatchet broke its handle. You can still use this as a good working tool. You can use the blade to cut small pieces or even for splitting. It’s still useful and fun.

You also want to make sure that your hatchet is sharp. Having a file with you a good idea, but if you don't have a file, you use a nice flat rock to sharpen your edge. Direct the file away from you and push down towards the metal. Most of the time the inner part of the blade is a different type of metal than the backpiece. It’s usually a harder piece of metal that's wrapped around to maintain a sharp edge. You want to file in towards the blade so you don't create little tiny feathers of metal that will dull a lot faster.

If you don't have a hatchet you can use a knife with a technique called batoning. You place the blade onto the piece of wood and strike the back to cut it all the way through. You can also shave off smaller pieces for fire starting. You may also draw towards you to make smaller bits for fire starter.

So now we've got some different thicknesses of wood that would be used to start our fire and keep us warm or boil our water. This can all be done with an inexpensive hatchet from any hardware store. You could also go to a local gear store and pick yourself up a hatchet or an axe that will last you a lifetime.

So, this is Aaron from next adventure, talking about hatchets. Check out our supply and see what we have by swinging by the store or checking out online at