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Favorite Axe for Winter Camping

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  • Favorite Axe for Winter Camping

    I recently picked up a Council Tool Boy’s Axe with a 28” handle, I think it should be a good balance between weight/size and usability. What does everybody else like to use on a trip? What specific features do you look for when selecting an axe for winter camping?

  • #2
    I use an older Fiskars 28" splitting axe (actual splitting axe). It isn't too heavy, works great at splitting up firewood. I got it on a clearance discount at a local Home Depot years ago. For my winter camping wood processing needs, I use a combination of tools. I am a believer of using the tool for a given task. So I use a splitting axe to split wood. I use a saw to cross cut wood. I also use a set of gear driven loppers for processing the small diameter stuff (1.5" down to about 1/2"). The stuff you can't easily break over your knee. It's pretty quick and quite safe.

    As for specific axe features, I look for one that is specifically designed to split. I don't use my axe to chop. You want one with a handle long enough to be comfortable to use and an axe head weight light enough to get the job done, but not so heavy that it is cumbersome to use. So no 6 or 8 pound splitting mauls for my trips.

    As with everything, it is a matter a preference and what you are comfortable using.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    • #3
      The axe I have is a replica 17th/18th century French axe that I use in my living history programs. It was made by a blacksmith friend of mine who has worked in major museums on the east coast so I know his work is historically accurate in construction and style. Honestly, it doesn't look all that different than what most folks carry but I like the backstory to it and enjoy using it. The only thing I had to learn was to warm the blade a bit before using it in cold temperatures. My friend suggested burning a small piece of birch bark on the blade to warm it up. If it's cold, a good blow will chip the metal; one of the drawbacks to traditional & historically accurate construction I guess.

      That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

      snapper

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      • #4
        The axe I have is a replica 17th/18th century French axe that I use in my living history programs. It was made by a blacksmith friend of mine who has worked in major museums on the east coast so I know his work is historically accurate in construction and style. Honestly, it doesn't look all that different than what most folks carry but I like the backstory to it and enjoy using it. The only thing I had to learn was to warm the blade a bit before using it in cold temperatures. My friend suggested burning a small piece of birch bark on the blade to warm it up. If it's cold, a good blow will chip the metal; one of the drawbacks to traditional & historically accurate construction I guess.
        That's awesome snapper! A big part of my life (and something that largely informs my philosophy on winter camping) is late 18th/early 19th century living history... PM sent

        As for axes I'll second using reproductions (or originals if brave enough!) of time-tested designs from past centuries. Always something to learn when exploring older tool designs, I find.

        My go-to these days is an old (but restored and sharp) Jersey pattern head on a ~36" handle.

        Specific features I look for are: 1) razor sharp edge, 2) head weight to handle length ratio (balance in use), 3) Good fit between head and handle (not loose...). Other details too, but maybe those are the main things.
        Last edited by Azettek; 09-17-2020, 11:33 PM.

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        • #5
          For splitting wood. I have not found a better tool than a 36" fiskars splitting axe. for all other tasks, it's up to the user and how you like to camp. For me a big knife > a small axe.

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          • #6
            I went years only using a hatchet and a few years ago I decided to upgrade to a smaller axe. After reading a lot of reviews I decided to go with the Hults Bruk Akka Axe and I feel it has preformed very well. It was a bit expensive but I'm hoping if I take care of it I won't have to purchase another in my lifetime.

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