The Axe (or Ax)…
For long-distance backpacking trips, you’re probably better off leaving your hatchet at home but when it’s time to go camping, especially at a campsite, it can be really useful to carry an ax or hatchet. A good hatchet can be a reliable tool for completing many tasks in camp.
What is an ax good for?
Of course, they’re designed to chop wood. But they can also double as a hammer, as a tool for butchering large game, and for building a shelter.
You can use an ax to:
- Chop down trees or saplings.
- Split wood and make kindling.
- Craft makeshift tent stakes.
- Craft a spear or other tools.
- Hammer tent stakes or pull them out.
Curious about what to choose? Well, that’s why I made this list. As with knives, full-tang should always take priority. They’re just far more durable.
Top 10 Camping and Survival Axes
Gerber Gator II
Gerber 31-002070 Bear Grylls
Kershaw Camp Ax
Estwing E24A Hatchet
SOG F09N-CP Camp Ax
Buckshot Knives Camp Axe
CRKT Kangee T-Hawk
Gerber 30-000792 Downrange
Ontario SP16 SPAX
Last Minute Tips
If you’ll be in an area with thick vegetation, you’d be better off with a machete. An ax is best in areas that are more open and wooded.
Get a good whetstone or file to keep the blade sharpened. Avoid using the blade to dig or plow through soil, you might hit a rock and that can dull or chip the blade.
For survival only uses, go for a smaller ax. You don’t need to go over 14″ because then you’re just adding weight needlessly.