If you’re going to survive the wilderness, you’re going to need a high quality axe or hatchet. There are things you can do with a good axe or hatchet that simply can’t be done with a knife. Just a sampling of the things you can do with a hatchet/axe include:
- Cutting firewood
- Splicing branches that you can use to create a shelter
- Carving tent pegs
- Hacking shrubs and brush so it’s no in your way
- Digging holes
- And more!
Don’t let the fact that axes all have similar appearances fool you! There are some that are better in a survivalist situation than others. Here are the top options that we recommend for serious survivalists.
It’s likely that many people pass this axe over because of its unremarkable appearance. This is a mistake. When you’re looking for a lightweight, economically priced axe, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that provides more bang for your buck than the SOG Base Camp axe. One of the SOG Base Camp axe’s best features is the head. It’s flat on one side and perfectly designed to be used as a hammer. The axe is lightweight, a mere 2 pounds and 1 ounce, making it ideal for taking on backpacking trips. The way the head is forged allows you to chop wood with minimal friction, making it a good choice for women and teens who don’t necessarily have the upper strength needed to handle a different axe.
Don’t let the fact that the Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory-handle axe is manufactured in China fool you into thinking this is a cheap product. The handle is crafted out of American hickory wood, making it lightweight but very strong. The handle combined with the carbon steel head weigh just 2 pounds and 10 ounces. The cutting edge is a handy 5 inches and the handle length, 23 inches, gives you a nice fulcrum point while you chop wood. The Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory-handle axe does quite well in some pretty extreme conditions and can be sued to chop kindling and branches for firewood, even tough hardwood. It also makes a nice machete when you need to clear brush.
Not only is the Estwing E24A Hatchet a product of the USA, but it’s also a fantastic tool. It’s ultra lightweight, a mere 1 pound and 12 ounces, making it perfect for backpackers. The way the head and handle have been forged in a single piece make it durable enough for someone who prefers to live in the wilderness. When you ask life long survivalist what camping axe they prefer, the response will almost always be the Estwing E24A Hatchet.
Although the hickory used to make the handle of the Snow and Nealley Hudson Bay axe is grown in Tennessee, the axe itself is constructed in China. Don’t let its foreign origins mean this is a cheap, unreliable axe. It’s not. Weighing in at 1 pound and 12 ounces it’s a nice axe for any back packer. This axe won’t help you chop down a tree, but survivalists who have used the Snow and Nealley Hudson Bay axe report that it’s a handy axe that they’ve used to do everything from clearing brush, to creating kindling, to skinning large animals
The reliability and low price of each of these camping axes means you can purchase one for your daily use and weekend backpacking trips, while keeping a spare with your bug out bag where it will be ready to go when the SHTF.