A tri-stick is a stick that creates notches (cuts) and cuts used in bushcraft and survival on a single branch.
The purpose is to determine the performance of the knife, how to handle the knife, and to practice notch creation, and it will not be used for anything after creation.
It was popularized by Mors Kochanski, a bushcraft/survival instructor in Canada, and since it spread while being improved, the order, the type of notch, the number of notches, etc. are different depending on the literature.
The description of the notch is explained at the bottom of the page.
See the notch list
As mentioned above, it is used for trial cutting and practice of knife handling.
Basically, it is often used to grasp notches that are easy to cut with a purchased knife and to check the sharpness of sharpened knives.
There are many overseas bushcraft associations that use tri-sticks as skill tests.
In addition, you can make notches in various ways, such as shallow, deep, gouging, cutting, and stabbing, so it is suitable for practicing knife handling.
It is also a practice to cut notches, but there are many notches that are not used in camping and bushcraft, so if you practice notches, it is faster to cut only the notches that you use.
branches suitable for tristicks
Tri-sticks use tree branches, so pick them up in the mountains and have them ready.
If you are not used to it, try to pick up the ideal branch for the tri-stick, lower the difficulty level, and practice.
thickness of branches
1.5cm ~ 2.5cm.
If it is too thin, it will break easily, and if it is too thick, it will be difficult to cut.
Personally, I use a knife that is thick enough to just barely be able to hold the branch in order to make one turn with the blade of the knife.
30cm ~ 40cm.
The length of the branch depends on the number of notches, but prepare a branch of 30 cm or more.
But don't worry about the length until you get used to it.
In the first place, there are 5 types of cuts for the tip of the branch, and it is impossible to cut all the notches with one branch, so collect more than long branches.
Tri-sticks are basically cut by avoiding knots, so if there are many knots, the area that can be used will be less and it will be difficult to use, so choose branches with few knots.
straight and rounded branches
It's okay if the branches are slightly crooked, but choose branches that are as straight as possible. And make it a round branch.
Do not use branches that are bent, sharp, or broken.
Cracked branches can be difficult to cut, but the cracks can spread from where you cut them, which is dangerous, so avoid them.
Some branches may be rotten or eaten by worms, but be aware that such branches can quickly soften and cut through quickly with a knife.
Coniferous trees tend to be softer and easier to cut, but I personally think it's important to use branches that are actually used for camping and bushcraft (branches that have fallen on campsites).
It is also used to practice knife handling and test sharpness, so basically any knife is fine, but try to avoid unstable knives such as folding knives such as Opinel.
Let's do it with a knife used for wood craft as much as possible.
Since there is a lot of detailed work, a knife with a thick blade or a large knife with a long blade will be more difficult, so be careful when handling it if you are not used to it.
The tri-stick was invented in the Nordic bushcraft, so I recommend the Finnish traditional puukko for the knife.
Bushcraft is explained on the page "About Bushcraft".