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Got space in that pack for some essential hiking gear?

You may not think an axe is an essential item - until you try to hack your way through a thicket without the right tools. When you are in the wild, you can't always predict what challenges will come across your path. Clearly, you can't take a large axe with you, and won't be cutting through tree trunks, but a compact lightweight axe can be invaluable on a trek into the wild. We have found some great backpacking axes for you.

How We Uncover The Best For You

We understand how much preparation goes into a backpacking trip. Who has the time to read through review after review to find the best product? As it happens, we do. We read 1000s of reviews so you don't have to. Spend your time planning, we'll do the hard work.

Best Survival Hatchet

Schrade Stainless Steel Survival Hatchet

A Cracking Choice For Survival Out In The Wild


We Chose This Because

  • Innovative Features
  • Easy to Carry
  • Weather Resistance

Things We Love

The Schrade Stainless Steel Survival Hatchet is the perfect backpacking tool. Light enough to easily carry, but with enough heft to get the job done, this backpacking hatchet is ideal for clearing a campsite or preparing firewood.

The Ferro rod shaft construction is also ideal for making kindling, and the belt loop and belt sheath make it easy to keep the hatchet within reach. Whether you're an experienced backwoodsman or just getting started, the Schrade Stainless Steel Survival Hatchet is an essential piece of gear.

Things To Know

The Schrade Stainless Steel Survival Hatchet is a great tool to have when backpacking. The cold-resistant handle means you can use it in all kinds of weather, and the firestarter is a great way to start a fire if you need to.

The sheath protects the blade and makes it safe to carry on your belt. This hatchet is a great choice for backpacking because it is lightweight and easy to carry, but still has all the features you need to be prepared for your backpacking adventure.

Best Compact Axe

Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe

A Cracking Choice For A Compact Axe


We Chose This Because

  • Compact Size
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Robust

Things We Love

The Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe is a great choice for backpacking trips. It's compact, which is great when you are short of space in your backpack. It is lightweight but surprisingly powerful for its small size. This makes it perfect for life on the trail when you need to set up camp every night.

The finger grooves provide great edge control, so you will find making kindling a breeze. Soon you will be sitting in front of that campfire reliving the day's adventures.

Things To Know

The Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe is the perfect backpacking tool. Its easy-to-use design and full tang construction make it reliable and strong, while the rubber grip and comfortable handle provide a controlled swing.

The sleek design makes it easy to carry, and the backpacking hatchet head is ideal for chopping wood or clearing brush. Whether you're backpacking in the wilderness or simply enjoying a weekend in the woods, the Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe is a must-have tool.

Best For Durability

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

A Cracking Choice For A Durable Backpackers Axe


We Chose This Because

  • Durable Construction
  • Balanced
  • Ergonomic Design

Things We Love

One of the most important tools for backpacking is a hatchet. The best backpacking hatchet can be used for everything from chopping wood to building a shelter to preparing food.

When choosing a hatchet, it is important to find one that is durable and strong. The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is made with durable FiberComp construction, and the axe head is made from a single piece of steel for strength. The FiberComp handle is virtually indestructible, making it ideal for backpacking.

The Fiskars X7 Hatchet also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident in its durability.

Things To Know

When you're backpacking, you need to be able to rely on your gear. You need gear that's tough, lightweight, and efficient. The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is all of those things. It's perfect for preparing kindling and chopping smaller logs.

The handle fits into your hand comfortably and the power is perfectly balanced, so you can swing it with ease. Plus, it's incredibly lightweight, so it won't weigh you down on the trail. When you're looking for the best backpacking hatchet that can handle anything, the Fiskars X7 is a perfect choice.

Best Lightweight Axe

SOG Camp Axe

A Cracking Choice For Versatility


We Chose This Because

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy Carrying

Things We Love

If you're an avid backpacker, you know that every ounce counts when you're out on the trail. That's why you'll appreciate the SOG Camp Axe. This compact axe is only 11.5 inches long, but it packs a punch thanks to its 3.1-inch blade. The blade is made of tough stainless steel, and the textured GRN handle provides a comfortable grip.

Best of all, the SOG Axe comes with a sheath for easy carrying. So whether you're chopping wood for a campfire or clearing a trail, this axe is up to the task.

Things To Know

For backpacking enthusiasts, the SOG Camp Axe is the perfect choice for a lightweight, portable axe. The sheath is made of glass-reinforced nylon to safely protect the blade, and the axe head is securely attached to the handle to prevent accidental injury.  

SOG offers repair and replacement services for properly maintained axes, so you can be confident that your axe will last for many years of backpacking adventures.

Best Backpacking Axes For You?

With so many different axes on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Here is a Buyer's Guide to help you choose the best option.

How Do I Choose A Hatchet For Backpacking?

When selecting the best axe for your needs, there are a few key features to keep in mind:


When choosing the best backpacking hatchet, it's important to consider what you'll be using it for. You will want to choose an axe that is comfortable for you to carry and use. If you're planning on felling trees, then a heavier camping axe is an obvious choice. However, a large axe will be heavy.

So, when you are backpacking, you may need to sacrifice heft for weight. If you just need something for light tasks like splitting wood and making kindling or clearing bush, then a lighter backpacking hatchet is a better option.


If you are taking your backpacking axe on a backpacking trip, the axe should be lightweight and easy to carry. You want something that's lightweight as every ounce counts. This is, however, something that depends on your own personal preferences and needs.

A heavier axe can be more difficult to carry, but it may be able to handle more tough jobs.

A lighter axe may be easier to carry but may not be as efficient.


The axe should include easy-to-use safety mechanisms. Make sure your axe comes with a sheath for safety as well as being portable and easy to carry. The sheath will ensure safe storage and transport


The blade is one of the most important parts of the axe. You will want to choose an axe with a blade that is made of high-quality steel. This will ensure that it stays sharp and can handle any job you need it to do.


The handle of the axe. The handle is also very important. You will want to choose an axe with a comfortable grip that is easy for you to hold onto. The handle should provide a good grip even when wet.

It should have a durable head that can withstand repeated use.

The Best Axes For Backpacking - Your Questions Answered

By now you'll have an idea why backpacking axes are a good idea to include in your pack. I'm sure you still have some questions though.

When we read all the reviews to prepare this article, we uncovered some of the common problems other backpackers face when choosing an axe. We like to answer some of these for you to make your choice a bit easier.

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!

Is A Hatchet A Good Survival Tool?

If you're backpacking in the wilderness, a backpacking hatchet can be a helpful tool to have on hand. Not only can it be used for chopping wood for a campfire, but it can also be used to clear a path or make a shelter. 

In addition, a hatchet can be used as a weapon if you need to defend yourself from an animal. 

However, it's important to remember that a hatchet is only useful if you know how to use it properly. If you're not careful, you could easily hurt yourself or damage your equipment. 

As such, it's important to read the instructions carefully and practice using the hatchet before you head out into the wilderness. 

With proper care and usage, a hatchet can be a helpful tool for survival in the backcountry.

What Should I Pack For Backpacking?

There's nothing quite like a backpacking trip into the wilderness. But before you set off on your adventure, it's important to make sure you have everything you need in your backpack.

When backpacking, there are a few key things you will need in order to camp overnight.

Tent: First, you will need some sort of shelter. A tent is ideal, but a tarp can work in a pinch.

Bed: You will also need something to sleep on, like a sleeping pad or camp cot. Don't forget a pillow! And of course, you will need a sleeping bag to keep you warm at night. Or if hot weather is predicted, a warm weather sleeping bag would be very useful.

Water and food: Be sure to pack enough water and food to last you for the entire trip. A gallon water bottle that keeps track of your water intake is a brilliant choice.

A map of the area: This will help you stay on track and find your way back if you get lost.

A compass: A compass can be a lifesaver if you lose your way.

A first-aid kit: This is essential for treating any bumps, bruises, or injuries you may suffer along the way.

A flashlight: A flashlight can be handy for exploring caves or finding your way in the dark.

A fire starter: A fire starter is essential for starting a campfire or signaling for help if you get lost. There are some multitools, hatchets and knives that include this functionality for ease of use.

Campsite: Mosquito repellent is optional but highly recommended. If you are wild camping, you will need a compact shovel. A portable camping shower is also a nice way to add a luxurious touch. Some are surprisingly compact

By packing these items, you'll be prepared for anything the wilderness throws at you. So get out there and explore!

How Do You Carry A Backpack Axe?

Whether you're backpacking in the woods or in the snow, having an axe can be a lifesaver. But how do you attach an axe to a backpack so that it's both safe and convenient to carry? Well, it really depends on the backpack and the axe.

Some backpacks have special loops or attachment points for axes, while others may not have any specific provision for attaching an axe.

The best way is to use the ice-pick loop, which is typically located near the top of the back panel. Simply slide the handle of the axe through the loop until the head touches the pack, then let the handle hang down below. This will help keep it more balanced and closer to your center of gravity.

For extra security, you can also thread a belt through the handle and clip it closed. By following these simple steps, you can rest assured that your axe will be within easy reach when you need it most.

How Heavy Should My Backpack Be?

Figuring out how much weight your backpack should carry is important for a successful and pain-free backpacking trip.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the total weight of your backpack and gear below 20% of your body weight. However, if you are backpacking for more than a few days or carrying particularly bulky or heavy items, you may need to carry a bit more.

Never exceed 35 pounds or you risk causing pain. You know it's too heavy if you hurt or get tingling in your limbs, you develop poor posture and you have difficulty putting on and taking off your backpack.

When packing your backpack, it is also important to keep the heaviest items near your back and to distribute the weight evenly, with the light items being near the top.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your backpack is not too heavy and that you have a comfortable and enjoyable backpacking experience.

Is An Axe Or A Hatchet Better For Backpacking?

When backpacking, it is important to choose the right tool for the job. If you need to chop down trees or split logs, then an axe is the better option.

However, if you only need to split kindling or cut back bushes, then a backpacking hatchet is the better choice.

A hatchet is smaller and more agile, making it easier to carry around than a full-sized axe. Additionally, a hatchet can be used for more delicate tasks, such as carving wood or preparing food. For most backpacking trips, a hatchet will be the better option.

Is A Knife Good For Backpacking?

When backpacking, bringing a camping knife along is a good plan. After all, you never know when you might need it for things like shaving wood to start a fire or preparing food.

But not just any knife will do - for outdoor survival, you need a knife that is durable, lightweight, and easy to use.

First and foremost, the blade needs to be made of high-quality steel that can withstand repeated use.

It should also be fairly lightweight, so it doesn't weigh you down on long hikes.

And finally, it should have a comfortable grip that is easy to hold onto, even when your hands are sweating.

Additionally, you should consider a lightweight backpacking hatchet or axe. When you are out on a wilderness adventure an axe or hatchet can be invaluable.

Can You Use A Hatchet To Start A Fire?

If you're out in the backwoods and find yourself in need of a fire, can you use a hatchet to get the job done? The answer is yes!

While it may take a bit of time and effort, it is possible to start a fire using nothing more than a backpacking hatchet. Here's what you'll need to do:

First, find a suitable piece of wood. You'll want something that's dry or infested with bugs (bugs love old wood).

Next, use your backpacking hatchet to carve a small depression in the center of the wood.

Then, gather some tinder and place it in the depression. This can be anything from dry leaves to cotton balls.

Now, use your hatchet to strike the back of your knife blade. Doing this will create a spark that will ignite tinder.

Once the tinder is lit, slowly add larger pieces of wood to the fire until you have a roaring blaze going.

With this method, you should be able to start a fire using nothing but your backpacking hatchet. So next time you're out camping or hiking, make sure you bring one along!

What Can I Use A Hatchet For When Backpacking?

A backpacking hatchet is a small but versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks while backpacking.

In addition to providing protection, a backpacking hatchet can also be used to clear a campsite, chop wood and kindling, start a fire, cut ice, and climb up a tree fleeing from wildlife.

It is also useful for hammering in tent stakes or nails. With so many uses, it is no wonder that the best backpacking hatchet is an essential tool for any backpacking trip.

If you're an avid backpacker, you know that every ounce counts when you're packing for a hike. That's why it's important to choose an axe that's light enough to easily carry without adding too much weight to your pack. So, we did the research and found some for you that we think will do nicely.

Our Choice For Survival Out In The Wild

Schrade Stainless Steel Survival Hatchet

Our Choice For A Compact Axe

Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe

Our Choice For Durability

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Our Choice For A Lightweight Axe


I hope you enjoyed this article and you found it useful. Every time I write about backpacking I get wanderlust. I am happy for you though and I hope by us making your choices clearer, you have more time for fun. Soon you will be out there on the trail, enjoying the great outdoors safe in the knowledge you can face the path ahead. So: Chop Chop... it's decision time!

Keep Asking Questions And We Will Keep Finding Answers For You.

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

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