In the 1880s, “Nessmuk” was the by-line of stories penned by George Washington Sears for Forest and Stream magazine, according to KnivesShipFree.com. The Massachusetts native wrote of camping and paddling in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. His 1884 landmark book, Woodcraft, has never gone out of print.
Horace Kephart followed Nessmuk chronologically. Also a contributor to Forest and Stream, his articles were gathered into Camping and Woodcraft, first published in 1906. Kephart is best known for his writings of the Smokies of western North Carolina.
Both of these men carried a trio of cutting implements, designed to handle every woodcraft needs, from fine wood carving, to cleaning fish and small game to chopping down small trees. These consisted of a folding pocket knife, rigid blade sheath knife and a small hatchet.
Unlike Kephart, Leon prefers a small folding saw to the hatchet. When I was guiding regularly, I would vary the size of my fixed blade depending on the ammount of limb clearing I anticipated. And I carried a small backup knife, often a necker. But I seldom bother with a hatchet if I am schlepping it myself.