5 Top Backpacking Axes
Anyone who’s been in the wild knows by now that it’s good to know …how to survive. This means that you do need to know how to get water, how to protect yourself from the wild animals, how to make a fire…
So, one of the things you need to know is how to chop wood for fuel as you might never know what nature gives to you. Even if you’re not an expert in handling an axe, it’s likely you still get the job done.
Chopping some wood once with your camp axe is one thing, doing regularly things around your farm with it is another.
What’s the story with the camping axe?
A camp axe is longer than a hatchet and, thanks to the longer handle, is more powerful when chopping wood. As it’s bigger, a camp axe needs more space when storing also and is more heavy weight.
If you don’t go often camping and your car isn’t that big, a hatchet serves your needs. But if you’re an avid camper and you always chop some wood around your house, a camping axe is fundamental.
There are several things to take a closer look when getting your camping axe. The handle of your camp axe used to be made of a straight-grained piece of hickory.
Nowadays, most of the axe handles are made of metal or fiberglass. Best camp axe comes with a handle designed to direct the force on the axe head.
The part of your camp axe that bites into wood is the head. A good camp axe is designed out of forged steel and securely attaches to the handle. Some axes are even made out of a single piece of metal and with a nice rubber grip attached to the metal handle.
How to choose your camp axe?
Unless you’re a professional lumberjack, take a look at the mid-sized, single bit axe. This means that your axe has a blade only on one side. The double bit axes address to the professionals that are only using it for logging.
A thirty inches long and three pounds’ weight is the best camping axe for any regular man. This axe is heavy enough to chop some woods and light so that the axe doesn’t becomes dangerous if mishandled.
A two-and-a-half-pound axe with a shorter handle will do the job for a woman.
Get a single bit axe of the right size as it’s more versatile and may be used in all kinds of situations.
Keep in mind that even the dull side of the axe’s head may become a useful tool when attacked by a snake in your tent or cracking an ice hole for fishing.
How to use the camp axe?
Before chopping all the woods around you, it’s good to know something about wood also, as different woods is good for different things.
A dry and dead wood is the best wood when you want to make a fire. Place the branch on the ground lengthwise once you found it and use both hands for holding your camp axe. Get the axe above your shoulder and slide the top hand closer to the axe’s head. As your top hand slides back down to the handle’s base, get the axe back down. This kind of movement gives you accuracy and not the heavy chopping.
It’s also a good thing to “play” with the angles when you stroke so that you get a V shape in the wood. Once you get through the halfway point in the wood’s thickness, you’re able to turn it over and put it in half with a quick stomp.
This is no news, but the best way to keep your camp axe safe is to keep its blade sharp. Go to the local hardware store from time to time and sharpen your camp axe.
It’s not bad to get a high quality sheath to protect the blade of the camp axe when not in use.
You just need some constant maintenance and care to have a safe and useful camp axe all the time.
The Best 5 Camping Axe reviews
One of the most popular camp axes out there is the Estwing E44A 16-Inch Camper’s Axe-All Steel with Shock Reduction Grip.
As it’s made in the USA, this camp axe manages to meet the highest expectations from a camping axe. Here are the pros:
- It has a steel blade that goes through the handles, which makes a great design
- The camp axe gets to you with a leather sheath to protect the axe when not in use
- This is a great axe for trimming trees, splitting wood, driving wooden or plastic stakes
- The cutting edge is 4”
- The overall length is around 16”
- It’s heavyweight and it’s between a hatchet and an axe
- The steel is flawless
- This addresses to the logger
- It gives a great, sturdy grip
- It looks great
- It’s well balanced and is a one-piece camping axe
- The head and the handle neck are fully polished
- The shock absorption is good
There are some little things that need to be improved, so here are the cons:
- The head is kind of narrow so it’s a bit difficult to use this for splitting wood
- Some customers got a plastic sheath instead of a leather one, but this is easily solved.
As you can see, these are minor things and you won’t be buying a lemon when getting this great US made camping axe.
For those of you who have nothing against the European brands, a good and sturdy option is the New Husqvarna 26″ Curved Wooden Handle Multipurpose Logger Forest Axe.
This multi-purpose forest axe comes with many good features, along some downsides. But let’s start with the pros:
- This helps you when felling small tress and lambing logs
- The blade is hand forged and made so high quality Swedish steel
- The handle is curved and features the Husqvarna logo
- The handle is made of hickory
- All Husqvarna axes and this one also come with full grain leather protective sheath
- The quality of the material is raw and amazing
- The axe is light enough and is great when camping
- You can take this when spending long time into the wilderness
- The handle is ergonomic and is great on shock absorbency
- The heft is left unfinished for the user’s choice
- There is great shape and weight for the head
- The camping axe cuts very well
- The sheath leather is high quality and very efficient
Despite these great features, there are also some downsides that we need to mention. Here are the cons:
- The lack of finish on the handle is a tricky part. You need to sand it down and linseed oil it for a good finish. This is an extra effort
- The poll seems a bit uneven on some axes
But, all in all, for the high quality of materials and good price, you get a long lasting, reliable and amazing camping axe.
A reliable and great camping axe is the Gerber Gator Combo Axe II.
There are many useful features for this axe so here are the pros:
- The axe has a rugged forged steel head that retains blade edge
- There is a long gator grip handle which gives you good striking force and amazing grip
- The handle is made of glass-filled nylon
- The camp axe is lightweight, yet rugged
- The axe is 15.16 inches’ overall long
- It comes with a ballistic nylon sheath
- This is a good camp axe when hunting, camping or spending time outdoor
- The internal magnet of the handle holds a detachable razor-sharp saw inside
- You get two “cut-ups” in one handy unit
- This is a versatile and long lasting camping axe
- The price is great
Along with the good side, comes the “bad” side. So here are the cons:
- The axe attaching to the handle is a weak point of design
- It’s a bit difficult to find this in the dark
- The handle is hollow so the axe is too light for some heavy duty jobs
- Sometimes, some chips are forced between the head and the handle
All in all, though, this is a pretty good camping axe that gives you a useful saw also.
For a very good price you can get a small and yet highly efficient camping axe with this Schrade Axe with Fire Starter and Rubber Handle.
With a fire starter built-into the handle, this camping axe gives you plenty of good things to consider. Here are our pros:
- There is a flat striking/hammering surface on back of axe head
- The axe gets with a Thermoplastic, long lasting sheath
- The handle has a comfortable design
- There is a good, sturdy grip with the axe
- The axe has Titanium Nitride coating for an expanded life span
- This camping axe is great when hiking, camping or spending time outdoor
- The included fire-starter striker is very useful and can be stored in the end of the handle
- The handle is strong and the axe is good looking also
- You get a good grip with the rubber handle
- The head is thick
- The blade is made of stainless steel and gets to you slightly sharpened
- The axe is well balanced and lightweight, yet strong
There are only few things to improve on this camping axe:
- The sheath needs more quality
- The snap is a bit difficult to open and close in the beginning
- The lanyard on the fero rod looks cheap, but you can easily fix it with Para cord lanyard.
All in all, this camping axe is a good choice, when you’re not on a mission of becoming a professional lumberman.
When your budget is not over the roof top but still want to get a good quality camp axe, get the MTech USA Camping Axe, Two-Tone Blade, Black Rubberized Handle.
Apart the great price, this camping axe has many good features, as follow:
- This camp gets to you really sharpen
- It’s a one-piece camp axe, great for camping or any other rugged outdoor activities
- It has a 3-inch satin finished 440 stainless steel blade
- The long lasting rubber handle gives a nice and sturdy grip
- The camping axe comes with a black nylon sheath to protect the blade when axe is not in use
- The camp axe is 11-inch overall long
- It’s lightweight, solid and well balances
- It’s compact and easy to carry around
- It’s made in our USA
- The price is amazing
- It’s very useful and easy to store as it’s small
Along with the good things, come the downsides. There are our cons:
- The sheath needs better quality as it’s badly design and lacks a good quality of material
- The handle is a bit too thin
- The cover doesn’t stay on
- As much as we like the camping axe for being lightweight, this turns against us when in need for good, heavy duty jobs.
But, price and quality, this camping axe is a good choice anytime.