A good sturdy knife can be useful while out camping but its limited size can make some of the heavier work like collecting enough fire wood to last throughout the night a painful slow process.

Making use of the new bread of camping axes takes all the hard work out of doing the bigger jobs when camping but with so many to choose from what should we be looking for in an axe that not only gets the job done but will last for many years to come.

One or Two Piece?

Even when buying a quality 2 piece axe they are designed to last much longer than the run of the mill budget axe that you can pick up in any hardware store and you can feel confident that you wont be ramming nails into the top of the axe any time soon to keep the blade from flying off.

That said we do prefer the simplicity of a solid one piece axe with zero chance of “slippage” and the added benefit that the majority of one piece models are designed with lightweight handles.

SOG Base Camp Axe

SOG Base Camp Axe with Black Steel Blade
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SOG Base Camp Axe

Built for a long life with the whole once piece design based around making this SOG axe light but durable.

Designed for all weather work the axe has a molded rubber handle to offer that little bit of extra grip when out in the wet, preventing the danger of flinging the axe mid swing. A molded block on the back of the blade gives a hammer like feel for those stubborn tent pegs.

This middle weight axe has a total length of 16 inches and weighs in a just over 2 pounds making it less than ideal for the long distance hiker or backpacker who could possibly do with something a bit lighter to keep overall pack weight down.

Lightweight Design

Having added weight to an axe can certainly make some of the heavier jobs easier but when every ounce of weight on your back is a priority there are some good lightweight compromises when it comes to a functional axe.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

SOG Hiking and Backpacking Tactical Tomahawk
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SOG Tactical Tomahawk

The Tomahawk design does offer a lot of advantages for those looking to conserve space and cut down the weight on their back but this saving does come at a price. Even though the overall length of this SOG Tomahawk is comparable to a standard camping axe the blade length is smaller with less weight behind it while chopping.

Provided the blade is kept sharp this axe will managed almost everything a bigger axe will (splitting large logs could be a problem) but its just going to take a little longer.

The weight is keep down to 1.5 pounds by using a toughen nylon handle instead of metal or wood and a almost square spike on the back end is a good tool for that less delicate work.

Finding the Perfect Fit

The “right” piece of camping equipment is a very subjective thing and differs massively for one person to another. We like to see what our friends are using which not only gives us an unbiased opinion but sometimes if were very lucky a short loan to give the kit a proper try out in the conditions it was meant for.

You can see a good range of SOG camping axes at Amazon

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