Seven common uses for a machete

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A ubiquitous sidearm in Latin America and many developing countries, the machete is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and America as well.

A ubiquitous sidearm in Latin America and many developing countries, the machete is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and America as well.  Lighter than an ax or hatchet, it not only has a wide variety of agricultural uses, but is also a great camping accessory.  Here are a few common uses for a machete.

machete knife
Latin-Style Machete

Cleaning brush, foraging a path

This is where the machete truly outperforms almost all other blades.  With its broad cutting service and light weight, the machete is the ultimate bushwhacking tool.  If you're traveling through dense woods, a machete is the best way to expedite your journey by removing vines, bushes and thorns that are obstructing your path.  It is also a great tool to use to clear a campsite.

Splitting firewood

Why opt for lugging around a hatchet or an ax when a machete can do more?  A properly sharpened machete can easily split logs and, if need be, even fell small trees.

Chopping food

If you've brought vegetables or other provisions that need to be cut into smaller pieces, a machete is capable of doing the job. A machete can slice up pretty much anything you can eat, so you can forget about needing to lug around a large knife for cooking.  It's also great for splitting coconuts and other fruits.

Fending off wild animals, killing venomous snakes

In an ideal world, you'd never encounter an angry rattle snake or a hungry mountain lion.  But the bottom line is that no matter how cautious you are, the great outdoors are full of uncertainties.  With a machete, you can not only slice through snakes, but fight off a larger predator if need be.

Fishing

The machete is a great tool for fishing as well.  Not only can you blaze a trail to an undiscovered fishing hole, but you can also clear out any branches that will potentially snag your line.  Additionally, you can use your machete to cut lines and gut fish.

Slaughtering Wild Game

If you're a trapper, a machete is an excellent tool to slaughter wild game.  It also comes in handy for breaking the carcasses of large livestock into smaller pieces for processing.

Shaving

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but many people do shave with machetes.  Just make sure you have plenty of shaving cream and a steady hand before you try it.