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Trail tools and Machetes

Just wondering what trail tools if any anybody takes with them while hiking. I went up to San Gabriel Peak this past Friday and noticed that the trail could use some trimming, especially the Poodle Dog brush. So just wondering if anyone takes anything?

Mike P

I frequently hike with these short Fiskars loppers: Fiskars Loppers

Lightweight, fit easily in pack... I don't take them on backpacks, only day hikes.

I have also hiked with foldable pruning saws. Now those are very handy to have!

My big old backpack leaning on an ancient cedar tree in Commanche Camp (Middle Fork of Lytle Creek).

These lopper are light to carry and have good leverage.  
They will cut branches up an inch or so in diameter.  
I have also fit these into my daypack.

But I'm not sure that I would use them on Poison Oak or Poodle Dog for fear of contamination.
You'd have to be very careful where/how you stored them once you got the bad sap on them.

edit: just saw Mike's post.  SOME of us take them on backpacks! Smile
Mike P

jfr wrote:

edit: just saw Mike's post.  SOME of us take them on backpacks! Smile

Confession: I bought those Fiskars after seeing them on this board. Maybe it was your post jfr! Thanks to you or whoever posted about them. They are good loppers.

(I'm a minimalist for weight, hence no-go on backpacks for me Smile  )

I have 2 tools with me at all times... My feet

Step on it, grind it, kick it

Machetes I feel are of limited usefulness and potentially more dangerous than loppers and folding saws

Fiskars are a good lightweight dependable brand

Their collapsing saw is a nice compact design though are hard to find.

My go to saw is a Samurai Saw. This is a super sharp saw with a nice handle and hard plastic scabbard

mattmaxon wrote:
I have 2 tools with me at all times... My feet

Step on it, grind it, kick it

Right on, Matt. I can do a lot with only my feet and hands. A small folding saw comes in handy for more substantial branches. Also I sometimes bring a short-handled shovel.

I used to carry loppers but not so much anymore.

Last weekend I hiked for several miles behind some badass older gentleman who had a big pick ax over his shoulder. It was kind of awesome.

For some unknown reason I had to reset my username to a new one. Oh well since I just joined recently bo biggiy Good point on not using the fiskars on the Poodle Dog brush, never thought about that and this is what I was going to use it on. I do know I have to put a pair of gloves on the pack also.


I remember back when I met Hiker Bob on the Bailey Canyon trail (in Sierra Madre; 750'/mile trail). He said he often carried a weed whacker (and I suppose a battery or two) when he did routine maintenance on the trail. This was when he was in his 70's or 80's and hiked the trail daily to keep it in immaculate shape. I can imagine a weed whacker would do a great job on poodle dog.

Yeah a consumer grade weed whacker is all but useless IMEO

Those darn Poodle Dog stalks are tough. A brush cutter or clearing saw with a metal blade is the way to go.

Brush Cutter

Clearing saw


I normally just use my Bandit 5000 Forestry Mower. Its much more powerful than the fiskars, and you don't get your hands dirty.  Very Happy

Very cute. Reminds me of Avatar. Hope you're well.



That will make short work of those friggin Poodle Dog Bushes!

In air conditioned comfort no less

Tim Taylor eat your heart out!

Machete Brothers

For canyoneering or new paths through thick terrible things. Hands and feet for established trails for me.

Love the Bandit!  Taco, I just have to get a Machete, one day. I remember having one back in the late 70's kept it in the trunk for a long time. Got pulled over and the PD saw it, looked at it and told me to get rid of that rusty old thing before I hurt myself with it. Trunk leaked, bad. Probably will pick up a Fiskar and a folding saw.

I don't think it's right to have a non-rusty machete. Adds to the threat level of the person wielding it. Wink Forum Index -> Gear & Fitness
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