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Five Best Camping Axes for Your Camp Survival Needs

Updated on November 11, 2010

When camping, you have to take tools you can use in a variety of ways. These tools should keep you out of danger and do what you want them to do in the event of an emergency. If you have most of your camping gear and equipment but have forgotten certain key tools, then your camping experience will not be a fun one. One of the tools that is most important to take when going into the wilderness or anywhere outdoor is the camping axe.

Camping axes are very similar to standard axes, only they tend to be smaller and more mobile. They can be slung on your waist or kept in your backpack. They are very usable indeed. You can use it as a wood splitter or for chopping up kindling for your firewood when making a bonfire, or you can use it as a hammer. You can even use it for your protection if the need arises.

Choosing the Right Axe

Most serious campers do not camp without a camping ax. It is important that you choose the right size so that using it will not require too much energy. It must not be too big or too small and it should not too heavy on the arm. It should also have safety and ergonomic features. Camping axes go by many names: compact axes, hatchets or Tomahawks.

Consider these four important factors when choosing your camping axe:

· The size of your camping axe must be appropriate for your size and frame; if you are a large person consider buying a camping axe with a longer handle.

· Your arm strength will determine what type of axe you should buy. If you have strong arm then choose heavy a duty axe so that you can be sure of quality cutting and durability.

· You must have the skill to use it. Axes especially when new or are newly sharpened are definitely dangerous so get familiar with its weight, strength, power and capability.

· Choose the right brand. There are now hundreds of brands of axes which you can buy online but not all of them meet customer expectations.

The range is broad. However, these are my top 5 favorites among all axes. I chose them because of their durability, strength, reliability and efficiency.

Gerber 22-41420 Gator Combo Axe II
Gerber 22-41420 Gator Combo Axe II

Gerber 22-41420 Gator Combo Axe II

This is the improved version of the Gator I and I can say it is really an ax for all-conditions. Now that it has a longer rigid handle for maximum handling, it also has more powerful striking force. It is also a dual purpose camping axe because it comes with a small camping saw kept inside the axe's hollow handle, held securely by an internal magnet. The saw is very sharp and can be used for your small sawing needs such as cutting small branches of woods for your firewood.

I like the head of the Gator II because it is made up of forged steel so it does not rust, does not chip, and does not easily dull. It also comes with a head scabbard. Even Boy Scouts can use it because it is lightweight. This all makes it convenient to use for camping, mountain climbing, hiking and hunting.

Coleman Camp Axe
Coleman Camp Axe

Coleman Camp Axe

If you want to be as impressed as I am by this handy hand axe then just read some of its reviews online. You will understand why this camp axe is loved by campers, hikers, hunters and almost all men (!), basically. It is excellent for cutting medium-sized trees that are as thick as a man’s thigh. It's a great ax, but you'll need to buy a scabbard or leather sheath for it (available at any quality local tool store).

Sturdy for cutting and chopping things all kinds of things up in the woods, there is no danger it will slip out of your hand because the rubber handle makes for a secure and comfortable grip. Running out of stove fuel during your camping could be critical but this axe will get you chopping up wood in no time so you can cook your food and get a campfire going.

Tomahawk Full Tang Camp Combat Axe with Nylon Sheath
Tomahawk Full Tang Camp Combat Axe with Nylon Sheath

Tomahawk Full Tang Camp Combat Axe with Nylon Sheath

A tiny and affordable axe that packs a punch. You'll be surprised that in spite of it size it's a quality axe that can get simple chopping jobs done. Just a note - if you intend to use it for a heavy chopping then this is not the right axe for you. It's great as a camping axe for chopping medium sized wood for your fire. Referred to as a combat axe for it's easy portability, this one can meet many survival needs. It is lightweight, has a handle that provides a good grip and it has a durable steel-forge head.

Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet Metal Handle
Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet Metal Handle

Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet Metal Handle

This sportsman's hatchet provides good value for money: it can carry a very sharp edge; it's durable; the head is a forged one piece of fine metal; and it's rather handsome. It also has a great handle design of leather washers so it is very comfortable to use due to the cushioned handle. Just right for its size when it comes to weight, it's very well-balanced. The best feature of this axe is the blade which is thinner than most ordinary hatchets while its head is tapered which makes it quick to sharpen. Great for camping, hunting, hiking and other outdoor excursions.

 Timberline 6013 4" Ss Compact Survival Hatchet
Timberline 6013 4" Ss Compact Survival Hatchet

Timberline 6013 4" Ss Compact Survival Hatchet

Because of its compactness, heavy duty features and sharp blade, mountaineers, campers, hunters and hikers gravitate to this camping tool. Some say this hatchet is a perfect combination of a knife and a compact ax. Although it's small enough to be handled by a regular sized guy, it has the durability and strength of a bigger axe. When camping, you can wear it around your belt and it interfere with your movement because it's not too heavy and not much bigger than a large knife. This one usually comes with scabbard when buying it from Amazon.


Submit a Comment

  • Camping with Kids profile image

    GA Andereson (Gus) 

    7 years ago from Maryland, USA

    Good camp axe info. I swear by my Gerber camp axe - but it's not the Gator model. It's an older Gerber that still does the job the way a camping axe should. Dependably and safely.


  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I'd have recommended the regular Gerber hatchet rather than the Gator, because the Gator is made in either China or Taiwan by/for Gerber by who-knows-who and the regular one is made for Gerber by Fiskars. In fact, scrap the Gerber version altogether and get the Fiskars; it costs less. Get a separate saw if one's needed. Saw a picture on a blog just yesterday of a shattered Gator saw--it broke inside the handle during use.

    I've got the Fiskars hatchet and love it so far.

  • dragonjimm profile image


    7 years ago from Alabama

    Great article. However I'm going to disagree with you on the Coleman Camp Axe, while the rubber handle does provide an excellent grip. The glue holding the handle to the metal haft will start to turn loose. Eventually sending everything but the rubber handle, over you're shoulder or across the camp.


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