Backpacking axe/hammer

Thor0331

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Jun 20, 2017
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Looking for recommendations for a lightweight, but solid axe/hammer for chopping up wood and nailing in stakes on a backcountry Elk hunt. I have the Gerber Tomahawk and I'm not impressed. The idea is better than it actually performs
 

Desk Jockey

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I like the Gerber gator 2 or the fiskars hatchet. Fiskars makes both but the Gerber has a saw in the handle that will cut bone. Relative light Andy cheap as well at about $35.
 

desertcj

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Jul 21, 2013
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I have a SOG tomahawk that my wife got me. Its k8nda cool, but I don't backpack with it. SOG makes a version called the Camp Axe that may fit your needs? 16oz...
 

Hall256

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Nov 12, 2016
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Virginia
Looking for recommendations for a lightweight, but solid axe/hammer for chopping up wood and nailing in stakes on a backcountry Elk hunt. I have the Gerber Tomahawk and I'm not impressed. The idea is better than it actually performs
Woudlnt have guessed I guy with the handle Thor would need advice on a hammer...LOL.

On a serious note, are you dead set on a hatchet or hammer? I have found a good full tang knife and a collapsible buck saw to be an effective combo.

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WoodBow

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I'm sure you are looking for one that you can go buy but I took an old hatchet head and modded it into a tomahawk head using an angle grinder with cutoff wheels and sanding discs. I made a thin lightweight handle for it as well. The entire thing weighs 1 pound exactly. Sometimes I wonder how i ever got by without it.
 

oldgoat

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Arvada, CO
I use a rock for a hammer and break wood by stomping it on a big rock. I bought an axe couple years ago with same thing in mind, decided the weight wasn't worth the reward. But, if I was going to buy one now if things changed it would be the one from Knives of Alaska.
 

Felix40

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Jul 27, 2015
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New Mexico
I have a cold steel tomahawk. Its 21 oz but way superior at chopping to a hatchet of the same weight. Its come in handy for driving tent stakes in some pretty aweful ground too.
 
OP
T

Thor0331

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Jun 20, 2017
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Woudlnt have guessed I guy with the handle Thor would need advice on a hammer...LOL.

On a serious note, are you dead set on a hatchet or hammer? I have found a good full tang knife and a collapsible buck saw to be an effective combo.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Kind of ironic right. No honestly I do have a ton of options already at home that I could take, just need something lightweight and compact. Thinking I might just bring a cheap bahco folding saw and use a rock to hammer in stakes to save on weight
 

mcseal2

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May 8, 2014
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Best hawks I've tried are made by H&B forge. I like Wetterlings or Gransfers Bruks for axes. My little kit I like is a GB small forest axe and Bob Dustrude folding saw in a canvas sheath. It's to heavy for backpacking but nice when a horse, canoe, raft, or something with tires can carry it.
 

austinphps

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Colorado
I'm sure you are looking for one that you can go buy but I took an old hatchet head and modded it into a tomahawk head using an angle grinder with cutoff wheels and sanding discs. I made a thin lightweight handle for it as well. The entire thing weighs 1 pound exactly. Sometimes I wonder how i ever got by without it.

Can you post a picture of this? sounds cool
 

Hall256

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Nov 12, 2016
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359
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Virginia
Looking for recommendations for a lightweight, but solid axe/hammer for chopping up wood and nailing in stakes on a backcountry Elk hunt. I have the Gerber Tomahawk and I'm not impressed. The idea is better than it actually performs
Thor, are you a Marine?

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FlyGuy

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The Woodlands, TX
Best hawks I've tried are made by H&B forge. I like Wetterlings or Gransfers Bruks for axes. My little kit I like is a GB small forest axe and Bob Dustrude folding saw in a canvas sheath. It's to heavy for backpacking but nice when a horse, canoe, raft, or something with tires can carry it.
Those are two great options for axed. My other love is all things woodworking, especially hand tools, and there is nothing cooler than a well made axe...

BUT, I sort of feel like introducing a hawk or hatchet into a backpacking hunt is just asking for trouble that you don't need. I don't think an axe brings anything to the table that a decent fixed blade knife and a plastic handled Gerber folding limb saw can't do - while also being much lighter to pack and much safer to use.

Any kind of axe is dangerous, but the risk of injury seems to increase as the length of the handle decreases. If used carelessly for even a second (think "Alone" season 2!) your hunt might be over. Throw in physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and frustration or just plain rushing and you've got all the elements needed to get your story printed in "Outdoor Life".

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MontanaMarine

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Oct 30, 2014
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Canyon Ferry, MT
The Gerber Back Paxe II is a solid little tool. Made by Fiskars. It has the same head as the Fiskars X7, with a shorter handle. Yes, I have both. The short hatchet isn't a great tool for splitting via swinging like an axe, but it batons very well, like a splitting wedge with a handle attached.

The Gransfors Bruks mini hatchet looks like a sweet tool too, I don't have that one. Supposedly about 12 oz.
 

mcseal2

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May 8, 2014
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Those are two great options for axed. My other love is all things woodworking, especially hand tools, and there is nothing cooler than a well made axe...

BUT, I sort of feel like introducing a hawk or hatchet into a backpacking hunt is just asking for trouble that you don't need. I don't think an axe brings anything to the table that a decent fixed blade knife and a plastic handled Gerber folding limb saw can't do - while also being much lighter to pack and much safer to use.

Any kind of axe is dangerous, but the risk of injury seems to increase as the length of the handle decreases. If used carelessly for even a second (think "Alone" season 2!) your hunt might be over. Throw in physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and frustration or just plain rushing and you've got all the elements needed to get your story printed in "Outdoor Life".

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I wouldn't argue, I wouldn't pack either backpacking. I just pack a lighter weight fixed blade knife and a ceramic steel to touch it up. I don't pack a saw if I have to carry it on my back unless it's the little Gerber one, seldom pack that.

You are right about the danger, a person has to be very careful with them. I grew up using an axe around the ranch when it was needed, still do use one. Have to be careful though. I'd rather have a 19" handle I can use 2 handed than a shorter one. If I'm planning to use the axe a lot though I want 26" or preferably more. In Canada on our last canoe trip I packed the GB small forest axe, Bob Dustrude takedown saw, and my Camillus Bushcrafter knife. Everything was wet so I cut some rounds with the saw, quartered them with the axe, and batoned kindling off the center of the quarters with the knife. I was glad to have all of them in the really wet environment but most places they aren't necessary. I had a canoe to pack them that trip too.
 

Akicita

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Aug 3, 2016
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Colorado
Thinking I might just bring a cheap bahco folding saw and use a rock to hammer in stakes to save on weight

^^^That's what I do.^^^ I do carry my Silky BigBoy in colder weather because it will process much more wood than the Bahco and much faster.
 

fort fireman

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Aug 3, 2015
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I bought a fiskars axe /saw combo pack that I really like. It had a folding saw and camp axe with a hollow handle that is really sharp.
 

COlineman78

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Apr 29, 2015
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Littleton, CO
A couple years ago I was dead set on finding the best hatchet for backpacking and what I ended up realizing is that there isn't one. They all suck and don't perform well enough to make up for the weight penalty. What I ended up realizing was that I could process a lot more wood using only a Bob Destrude Quick Buck Saw 24" and selecting only diameters of wood that burn without splitting. If you would like to split wood to get a faster burn or get the fire started batoning with a full tang knife isn't such a bad idea. I recently picked up the Gerber Strongarm Fine Edge which is a good starter knife to see if it's going to work for you. It's not a huge bushcraft knife, but the 4.8" blade is big enough for some light batoning.

As far as stakes go, I am rarely in a place where I can't just push them in with my boot but on the rare occasion it is necessary there probably is a rock to be found.
 
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