Knife Reviewers: Enough with the Fuzz Sticks and Batoning
Jon Stokes 09.19.17
I recently had the chance to hang out with Terrill Hoffman, outdoors/knives/survival legend and generally awesome guy. We talked knives well into the night one evening, and it turns out that he and I both have the same rant: despite the fact that we’ve spent significant portions of our lives outdoors, neither of us have ever encountered batoning or fuzz sticks outside of YouTube knife reviews.
Hoffman is an Eagle Scout, and I’m a Life Scout, and we’ve both spent serious time in the woods doing things with knives, saws, and hatchets. I, for one, lived my whole life without knowing what “batoning” was until I got into checking out knife reviews online. The same with fuzz sticks.
(Actually, now that I think really hard I might have encountered the fuzz stick in an issue of Boys’ Life or in one of the scouting manuals I used to study obsessively, but when we actually went into the woods we used nature’s fuzz sticks, and by this I mean “pine cones.”)
To be honest, ninety percent of the wood processing I’ve ever done, whether it be for shelter building or fire making, I’ve done with either a folding saw or a hatchet. I’ve used my knife to cut cordage, skin game, peel sticks, prepare food, open packaging, do light prying, kill boars, and various other general-purpose tasks to which a knife is well-suited. But all this stuff I see in knife reviews and on YouTube leaves me wondering why these people are either a) wasting calories on some cutting exercise that looks pointless, or b) so under-equipped that they have to use their knife to do the job of a hatchet or saw.
Does anybody else feel this way, or are Hoffman and I crazy?