- Trail Building Tools?
Folding trenching tool FTW. Small folding saw thing.
More important than all of these and the other tools mentioned above is an understanding of water flow and basic trailbuilding, however. One of the worst sights for most experienced trail builders is a whole loot of work put intosomething that won't last, or that creates erosion. IMBA's Trail Solutions manual is a good basic grounding, although it doesn't always take into account the amount of rain we get hereabouts. 😉 Basically, though, look at where water will flow to on a trail, and where it will flow (or not flow) after you've dug or built something.Posted 8 years ago
bent_udder – I have had a good read of the IMBA guide and it has some really useful info in there. I've built two trails already and now just looking for some lighter wieght tool that will deal with maintenance rather than just building.
I will have a look in army surplus and see what I can find.
and drac – most of the trails I ride are natural, but over here in Austria, fallen trees can really ruin the flow of a trail and its handy to be able to do something about it.Posted 8 years agolyonsMember
if you are clearing trails, with brambles, small ish bracnhes, stinging nettles etc, then you'll be wanting one of these…
Just dont forget to take it of your belt when you pop into tesco's…Posted 8 years ago
Why do everyone have this thing about hacking trees ??
All you need most of the time:
Folding Pruning Saw
Folding spade if yourbuilding berms and filling holes etc. But mostly a waste of time and heavy.
Best trail tool I've used and hide out on the trail is a RAKE 🙂Posted 8 years ago
Mr Agreeable – I agree a rake would be handy. anyone know of any lightweight options?
Trouble is, most of our trails are lift accessed and the Lifties dont take too well to me climbing on board with shovels/saws/rakes and Machetes!
Drac – I normally try and build around fallen trees but a small saw is useful for cutting off the smaller branches allowing some kind of ramp to be built.Posted 8 years ago
what do people use for looking after their local trails? I'm in need on some lightweight stuff that I can easily carry in a rucksack. all I was thinking was a shovel, a saw and maybe a small axe-type device for clearing away trees and re-shaping berms etc.
Any suggestions?Posted 8 years agoahwilesSubscriber
christ, aren't we an 'industrious' bunch? we'll all go to hell i'm sure…
folding saw, secatueurres, army surplus folding spade.
and a hand-made-ray-mears-nettle-whip is never more than a minute away, it's easier than carrying a golf club.
as long as i carry home some litter my conscience is clear.Posted 8 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Army surplus folding spade
Some sort of bypass cutters for trimming back bushes and light branches without major surgery (mine are a wilkinsons multi-tool thing with a knife blade and small saw in the handle, fiddly but tiny)
Some sort of compact tree saw, something like this:
And if I'm clearing grown-over ground, this:
I've been tempted to get one of those hand chainsaw things, for bigger branches etc, but not needed it yet.
But it really depends on what you want to do… At glentress it's all mattock shovel and wheelbarrow but then we're basically building roman roads 🙂 When I'm doing my own thing it's usually just ground clearing, reopening overgrown paths, etc- working with what's there rather than changing the ground. I might take a decent rake up to where I usually mess about and hide it somewhere, some time.Posted 8 years agolyonsMember
thats what i wanted to find… I use one of them myself. THey are very handy, and to be honest, alot less dangerous than the other one i posted. Ive cleared about 100m of trail though nettles, brambles and ferns in the last couple of nights… May go and rake some of it out now.
Anyone who rides in ashridge, feel free to send me an email and i'll tell you where it is as the more people who ride it…Posted 8 years agoGNARGNARMember
Folding spades? Waste of time and money, they are more annoying than useful. Stash a spade in the forest. For proper trail building you will want – a spade, a hand axe, a mattock or pulaski and a bow saw. Never used one but a McLeod looks like a great bit of kit too.Posted 8 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Yeah, I've got 2 folding shovels, a cheapy one from Blacks which isn't very good at all, and a Gerber/Fiskars one which is pretty ace. You wouldn't want to do serious earthworks with either but the gerber does the job it's supposed to. It's worth paying the little extra for a good one.Posted 8 years agodoug_basqueMTB.comSubscriber
I've got a folding saw and a machette and that's all that I think I need for out here. I'm really keeping trails clear of growth rather than actually building though. I'd love to carry a rake to sweep up after the machette but there's no way that's fitting in my backpack. I've also got a set of industrial strength secateers (spelling!) but they're very obvious when I carry them and I don't really want to draw attention to myself.
In the UK when we were building trails from scratch we used the above plus an axe and a adz (spelling) which is like a mattock but different I think!
I'd love to get some sort of petrol tool for cutting bushes and thorns which is light enough to strap to my pack but I'm not sure about the legality of it and would probably only cut my leg off or something. I'm bad enough with my machette!Posted 8 years agoVan HalenMember
1969 ex german army trenching tool. its the daddy. the pic axe bit is most useful in chalk/rock where a spade will give up. small enough to stash in your pack. but heavy enough to keep you fit on the climbs.
have a saw and sometimes hammer and nails. gonna get me some secat..(twig trimmy things) for next ride although i recon shears might be more useful but less practical to transport.Posted 8 years ago
I find the folding shovels handy for sorting drainage – you don't normally need to move a lot of earth to do that on quick repairs. We have a big bunch of proper tools that are landrovered on site for build days.
Having tried Mcleods in the past (I did a *tiny* bit of volunteer work at Cwmcarn when that was being built – a morning, I think) I've been looking for somewhere that sells them over here ever since – fantastic trail building tool!
+1 for the rake comments as well – very good point.
Gerber shovel here is good, but I use a cheapo one: here which is fine for light deberming, which is pretty much all we do in between build sessions. Anything more robust weighs or costs more, and frankly the cheap one has lasted me fine since I found it in the woods. 😀Posted 8 years agoscruffMember
I've built alot using folding spades but Eff me its hard work. I stash a cheap spade now and move it from trail to trail when needs be.
Mcleods are the best compromise 'single' tool IMO, not easy to get hold of though. With a shortened handle it can be strapped to a camelback. ST on here is still trying to get some new better ones made for local official trailbuilding. However, 'crocodile' tools have been used for recent building and are finding much favour with the beardy trailbuilders.
As for folding saws- expensive one are unbelievably good, STs expensive Silky will cutthrough an 8 inch log piece of p155. My normal folding Silky is good though, cost about £20 and worthy upgrade over a B&Q.
Posted 8 years agoConorMember
The current trail I'm building is so steep the tool I need most at the minute is a harness and climbing rope!!
I have proper tools stashed, but can somebody give me a link to an Ebayer that sells proper folding spades? As in the toughened steel jobbies with the serrated edges. I know there are some crap ones about so wont something that will last. Cheers.Posted 8 years agoCheeky MonkeyMember
I've used most of the aforementioned tools (except a folding shovel, thank god 😉
Those bush hooks are ace and I've cut through small trees with them. Got two in a sale for £15.
A pulaski is (IIRC) an axe headed tool with a adze on it's reverse face (set at 90 degrees to the blade).
A (grubbing) mattock is like a pick axe but with a large adze on one face and at 90 degrees on the reverse a bladed pick.
A Mcleod is what you see in the pics and as rare as rocking horsesh1t in this country. We got one from the States years ago and it's been brilliant, except it eventually broke and the welded repair has made it a bit heavier than ideal (but it'll never break again). A guy got some made for us but the heads were in mild steel and the teeth bent to all buggery. If anyone wants to go halves on making them I'm always up for it.
A good shovel makes an amazing difference and my personal favourite is a round nosed, swan neck with 48" (or long 😉 fibre glass handle (no padding like the ones in B&Q, it just slips). The other revelation has been Chillington Hoes or azasdas.
I spent an awful lot of time with a swan neck and chillington building a pump track and used well, in the right conditions they are excellent, back saving, efficient tools.
Oh a barrow is great as well.
Best of luck fitting all or any of that in your pack 😉Posted 8 years agoCheeky MonkeyMember
Expensive, but when you've broken or had the heads slip on a few of the cheap Chillingtons you come to really appreciate their "quality" feel:
Cheap ones are made by Silverline and are pretty good, I've just got tool upgradeitis.
[edit: I suspect these might be the crocodile tools scruff is referring to]
The daddy of shovels (IMO):
Catalogue number p89 on this page:Posted 8 years ago
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