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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      Splitting Wood     

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NotLight
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08/09/2016 08:30AM
Follow up from another thread.... If I have a sled, and I want to rely on wood for heat or cooking, then would one put away the little stuff and get something like a katanaboy saw and a small Gransfors splitting axe? I assume that would make life easier, but is it overkill? Right now I have a small forest axe and a Silky big boy saw - which seems to me to be sufficient for a modest fire. Seems like people tend to load up on stuff that they "need" for winter, and then can't pull the sled as far or as fast as they want.
 
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Soledad
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08/09/2016 09:49AM
When it comes to winter and wood, I like to be as efficient as possible. On our group trips we bring a 2-man cross cut saw. It takes 3 of us to use it, one on each end and another to hold/sit on the log, but we can process some serious wood in a short amount of time.

On smaller trips I use a Silky Katana Boy, but that saw can get tricky on the short pieces with only guy to hold the saw and the wood.

Small forest axe/boys axe/hudson bay 2.5# or right around there. Finger tips to arm pit in length.

Minnesotian
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08/10/2016 08:28AM

I usually bring two saws, a big bow saw and my Irwin Saw. Also bring a hatchet and an ax. And a diamond sharpening stone for the edges.

Wood processing in winter is and can be the hardest work out there, therefore I am bringing all the tools needed to make it easy and simple.
NotLight
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08/10/2016 03:18PM

Question on technique... How best to tell how green/wet the downed wood is in winter? Do you just assume brown needles and off the ground must be dry? How do you best select wood that is LNT if you are camping on the ice, without trapsing through the underbrush? Is there just so much downed wood that all my questions are not a real issue? Thanks.
08/10/2016 06:08PM
quote NotLight: "
Question on technique... How best to tell how green/wet the downed wood is in winter? Do you just assume brown needles and off the ground must be dry? How do you best select wood that is LNT if you are camping on the ice, without trapsing through the underbrush? Is there just so much downed wood that all my questions are not a real issue? Thanks.
"


Couple of ways to tell how dry and/or seasoned your wood may be.

1. Thump a piece with the back of your axe. It will make a distinct hollow "thunk" sound.

2. Cut a piece and put the fresh cut up to your lips. If it feels wet to your lips, it is.

The more vertical a piece of dead wood is, the more likely it is to be dry.

Papinator
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08/11/2016 12:14AM
Def need a big boy axe or big saw! We have burnt through a lot of wood on some of our trips, depending on the weather. If you've got any blizzard in your forecast, you'll want lots of wood. Most of our winter camping activities revolve around wood cutting/processing, haha!
NotLight
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08/11/2016 07:59AM

Ok. I am now the proud owner of a gransfors small splitting axe. My little bit of research tells me that a budget 12lb splitting maul with a metal handle is the best splitting tool, but for me that gransfors seems about right.

Now the saw... I don't want one of those collapsible bucksaws. I don't want to be fiddling with any little wingnuts in the cold other than myself. So there's that Irwin saw, a hardware store bowsaw, my ~19" corona pruning saw, or I could splurge on a katanaboy. I want a one person saw. Ideas?
Minnesotian
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08/11/2016 08:24AM
quote NotLight: "
Ok. I am now the proud owner of a gransfors small splitting axe. My little bit of research tells me that a budget 12lb splitting maul with a metal handle is the best splitting tool, but for me that gransfors seems about right.


Now the saw... I don't want one of those collapsible bucksaws. I don't want to be fiddling with any little wingnuts in the cold other than myself. So there's that Irwin saw, a hardware store bowsaw, my ~19" corona pruning saw, or I could splurge on a katanaboy. I want a one person saw. Ideas?
"


Yep, I agree on the collapsible bucksaws, I find they are just not robust enough for the winter.
My bow saw is a standard, fixed, hardware bow saw. Something like this. Whatever bow saw you get, make sure you get a backup blade. Super lightweight and a really good thing to have.
Minnesotian
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08/11/2016 08:31AM
quote awbrown:"

2. Cut a piece and put the fresh cut up to your lips. If it feels wet to your lips, it is.


The more vertical a piece of dead wood is, the more likely it is to be dry.


"


Yep, I do this all the time.
08/11/2016 03:45PM
Silky Kitana Boy is the Cadillac of winter wood cutting saws. I know several guys that love them for winter camping. You can process one gigantic amount of firewood with one of those bad boys.

However, they are expensive. But, as with most things, you get what you pay for.
NotLight
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08/13/2016 03:59AM

I ordered the katana boy. I started watching the videos on youtube, and quickly realized how much easier the trimming would be just in my backyard jungle. Can't wait!

Gadfly
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08/16/2016 12:27PM
Having used a number of saws I haven't found one that cuts faster than the katana boy. If you didn't want to spend the money the Bob Dustrude bucksaw is also a great choice. Although it won't cut as fast as the katana boy, it is very lightweight with no small loose parts and seems to cut better than most other bucksaws I have used.
 
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