Create a Carving Kit for Your Pack

April 30, 2013


Woodcarving or whittling is one of my personal favorite “down time” activities while outside enjoying nature. Using your natural surroundings to create something useful is ingrained in us as human beings and I personally feel a great amount of satisfaction and pride when I finish a carving project. One of the best things about woodcarving is that it’s fairly cheap to start learning to carve, especially when you’re in the woods and limited by what you can carry. A start up packable carving kit is easy to put together and I bet half the things you need are in your shop or junk drawer. Now, if you’re looking to build large pieces such as a log cabin, canoe, etc., I suggest carrying some more robust tools like an adz, hand drill, and a drawknife. For a simple, packable carving kit, gather up these materials:

Tools for your kit

  • A small <4” blade knife (carving)
  • A large >4” blade knife (chopping)
  • Gouge or crook/spoon knife
  • Sharpening supplies (may vary)
  • A hand axe (optional)
  • Small Saw or Bow Saw (optional)
  • A pencil


Material for making your kit

  • Sewing kit/machine
  • An old pair of jeans (a sizeable piece of leather, canvas or heavy nylon fabric will also work)


The first thing that you want to do is create a tool roll for your small tools. I keep my larger knives and axes separate from my tool roll. A tool roll simply helps you stay organized and especially helps with not losing or forgetting a tool in the field. Each tool has its place!



Take your pair of old jeans and cut a leg off.


Then along one side of the seam cut the leg in half length wise.


Open up the piece of fabric length wise, trim the center seem and trim it to your dimensions.


Now, fold the bottom half of the fabric to the center seem line of the fabric.and place your tools on the folded fabric (my knives stay on my belt or pack personally) and estimate the width of pockets that will hold each tool.   


Pin and sew each end of your tool roll (flip your fold inside out if you want to be fancy like me) 


  Mark your pockets and secure each pocket with pins (Make sure your tools fit before sewing!)


Start sewing!  


Attach a tie to the outside of your tool roll on one outside edge, so you can secure the roll when all rolled up. Now you should have a tool roll that should look like the one pictured above (mine has a little extra).


Place tools in pockets, fold the top over, roll it up, tie it and throw it in your pack with your other gear.


This should be all you need to start carving. I personally like to carve bowls, spoons, trinkets and some cooking/camp tools. If you’re worried about the water proofing your tool roll, I suggest using waxed cotton or waxing your own cotton by melting down a ratio of 9 to 1 of paraffin wax and beeswax, letting it cool overnight, then work/rub the solid wax into the outer surface of your tool roll and then use heat to melt the wax right into the fabric (I use a hairdryer, but I’ve heard of people using old clothing irons). Repeat a few more time until you’re satisfied. Not completely water proof, but pretty darn water resistant. Enjoy : ) Be Smart, Be Safe and Stay an Edge Above the Rest!



Category: How To


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