How to Carry a Saw

A 31 gram 6″ hiking/hunting saw sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Complete with handle and sheath it cost me less then $A9. The Diablo saw blades are A$17.47 per pair in the Tools section of Bunnings. I will try to find an even better blade next time. Holding it in the vice I carefully cut just enough of the teeth off with the angle grinder so I could hold it comfortably. A pruning saw cuts on the ‘pull’ stroke so it should be fairly safe to use.

Of course I will have to be careful using, it but it will cut me dead stick for a tent pole (like this for my 385 gram DIY tent) which would otherwise weigh much much more than the saw does – and enable me to take the antlers off a stag too! If I had had it with me on our Bartle Frere walk (below) I would have trimmed off half a dozen small saplings at most to make a similar number of tent sites on the summit saddle we camped on (recommended). Perhaps next time. I think it is a worthwhile carry.

The same situation occurred on the South Coast Walk (Tasmania). There just weren’t enough clearings you could stop and make a camp – often only a handful of small branches/shrubs needed to be removed to make for a much increased amenity. Such situations are no doubt more often encountered by track walkers. Most of my walking is ‘bushwhacking’ so that I will rarely need such a saw for that purpose (but maybe to trim a stag with!). I have a much wider choice of campsites than a track walker would. I usually carry a wonderful machete actually with which I can do much more mayhem and destruction – or perhaps you might consider it track clearing?

I know it might be against some law somewhere to break a single twig. This ‘butterfly effect’ thinking is just wrong and silly, and equates such behaviour to wholesale destruction, which it is not. Besides, for at least the last 40 years wilderness and forest cover has been increasing world-wide, but particularly in the First World. Two whole areas the size of Australia or the USA have been added: There is no sense in ‘saving’ this wilderness for the next generation if it cannot be enjoyed by the current one.

A <1″ strip of aluminium flashing works well to protect my pack from the blade when I am carrying it. Some duct tape on the handle will be enough to protect my hand. I realise I could have contoured the handle to better fit my fingers (and this might also have saved a gram or two). I had been having difficulty acquiring the Darlac folding pruning saw (35 grams) that I recommended here and here at a reasonable price and freight out of the UK, so I thought I would try this. It works a treat!

They may have missed out on some sales now! I imagine other things could be used to make a sheath. You can buy pieces of Kydex for example which can be heat-shaped to fit any knife/saw. It is widely available eg here. I’m not sure that Kydex would work well with a saw blade though. I will get some and try it.

You can see that it is a handy little saw. Surely you can afford an ounce in your pack for such a useful thing? Whoops – my nails need a bit of a scrub; you can see I have been crutching sheep today. Awkward work with my back the way it is at present. A laminectomy next week should improve the situation though. Hopefully it all goes well, unlike Della’s. And I will yet be up the Wonnangatta camping before it gets too hot.

PS: Three weeks out it has not. I will keep you posted). I will not be going to the Wonnangatta after all – it will be too hot by the time it has healed – if it heals. Perhaps another trip to Mt Darling where it will be cooler?

It occurs to me you could sharpen the back of this saw blade so it also doubled as a knife! It would be suitable for filleting fish etc, though not for splitting firewood, as it is too thin (I will look around for another) the main reason you would carry a fixed blade knife. It is obviously good steel. You would have to go easy with the angle grinder when you were shaping it or you would ruin its temper. Regular cooling necessary. A knife and saw for 30 grams though…sounds good!

PS 2: Well, a little bit of trimming and it has finger holds and comes in at under an ounce at 28 grams – as you can see!

As I have explained before the most important reason for carrying some implements is survival ie to save your worthless life! The fixed blade knife may be necessary for splitting wood to get dry kindling (See How to Light a Fire in the Wet). The saw and trowel may be needed to obtain water so you do not die (See Hatchet for instructions). I really recommend you read The Complete Survival Guide as well. It has links to many other posts about important wilderness skills.

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4 thoughts on “How to Carry a Saw”

    1. Thanks for the praise Tim. It is much appreciated. I will also try buying a piece of Kydex and trying that – just so I know. It works very well with knives – and you can definitely use saw blades to make them too. Cheers, Steve.

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