Bushcraft Machete 101

Joe Flowers' Past Machete CollectionIntroduction to Machetes
By Joe Flowers

Nowadays, the machete is probably one of the most used edged tools in the world. In this day and age of chainsaws and machines, the machete has held its place in remote countries throughout the globe.

The machete is the working classes tool, the poor man’s tool. In places of thick vegetation and lush growth, people pick up this tool to do household chores all the way to day to day survival.

Like any other tool, there are various shapes of machetes that are more suited to one task, and there are well rounded machetes that exceed well in multitudes of tasks.
Cane and grass cutting are up there as one of the most common uses of machetes, with long sabre like machetes for grass cutting, found in Puerto Rico, where in Costa Rica, a short, wide, stout machete that is bent, is used for cutting similar material. In Miami all the way down to the tip of South America, a certain style machete is used to cut cane.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous style is the Latin machete pattern, common today in many varying lengths and used everywhere in agriculture, building, and day to day use.

So where does that come in handy? In North America, a stance taken by many campers is one of axe use, and splitting wood. While splitting wood is very nice, in some cases, it may not be needed if all that is needed is a small fire to boil water, etc. One can use a baton with a machete, and have great results, or carve a splitting wedge with a machete and have even better results that using an axe, in some cases.

The key to adapting the machete, in the camping kit, is to understand its various uses that stem beyond simple wood processing, from working in the camp kitchen, to trail blazing, to making apparatuses, clearing camp, and processing and dispatching game. The Camp machete can do many chores that both a small knife and a large axe can do, an in the hands of the well trained person, can provide almost everything one needs in a survival situation (of course, situation depending).

This first video hits the tip of the iceberg in machete use, and I hope it inspires you to take a closer look at these wonderful blades.




3 Responses to Bushcraft Machete 101

  1. familytracker October 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Great video I’m really looking forward to part two and kukri use.

  2. jimn October 10, 2012 at 1:33 am #


    Great info on the use of the machete. You touched on just about every use I know of and some I did not know about.

    You mentioned dispatching animals but no mention of using it to dispatch humans. I would guess that it has been used for that quite a bit since the time it was invented.

    It could come in very handy in a survival situation when confronted by an attacker animal or human.

    In fact my uncle Ted a helicopter pilot in Vietnam used one to great advantage when his helicopter was shot down, but that is a story for another time…


  3. GODSPEED October 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Great seeing you here Joe and looking forward to more from you.

    Viva La Machete!


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