does anyone carry an ax?

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AZ_Hiker
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does anyone carry an ax?

Post by AZ_Hiker » Oct 23 2003 5:03 pm

I have never but am wondering if for over nighters and those that build fires.. do you carry one.


like I said I have never. I have never built a fire in arizona tho I reserve the right to if I choose:) So I have never carried an ax. if I were to, what should I get or to save the weight should I just look for wood that is easly handled ?

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tonyp
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by tonyp » Jul 02 2008 2:36 pm

None of the Arizona NF's have such requirements (nor do they have the staff to enforce it - I have never been checked out by a ranger outside of an established campground)
(Because who would be left to lounge in the Ranger station and sell Tonto Passes?).
When they get nervous about fire, they will simply prohibit fires.

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PS: I have never felt like I needed an axe while backpacking. I have, though, many times wished for a machete.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 02 2008 9:36 pm

I always have a hatchet while car camping. I used to carry a hatchet while backpacking, but I've gotten rid of that weight at least...
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Re: Another axe to grind

Post by Jeffshadows » Jul 02 2008 10:15 pm

montezumawell wrote:Well, this long-running topic is certainly a worthy one. It is interesting that the focus of discussion seems to be on the merits of carrying an axe or some other cutting/chopping device in one's pack.

We would like to chime in from the last four years of our personal experience in nearly 50 National Forests in 19 states. A significant number of National Forests REQUIRE you to have an axe AND a bucket in order to disperse camp on their Forest. No, it's not a "recommendation." It's A RULE for some of the Forests. Strange, but true.

We learned this the hard way up in Utah. We were peacefully camped WITH NO FIRE and some Forest Service dude comes up and wants to see our axe and bucket. Huh? So he says, "Didn't you see the sign?"

Well, duh, no. We got off with a really stern and annoying warning. After that, I learned to recognize "the sign." Now, when we travel, we ALWAYS tuck an axe (that NEVER gets used) into our camp rig. And a bucket. Although sometimes the bucket gets used for dish washing.

Since that Bad Day at Black Rock, Utah, we have been checked twice. One Ranger even held our old, useless axe in his hand and said, "Well, at least it's an axe."

Yeah.

j

PS--I forgot to note that in some Forests it is a SHOVEL and a bucket. So better take an axe, shovel and a bucket. Smokie will be happy.
Coronado still requires a shovel and axe in your truck when in back country touring areas or FSRs. That same goes for BLM when wheeling on state trust land under permit. Will you get locked up for not having them? -not likely; but it is still, technically, required.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 02 2008 10:54 pm

That axe/shovel and bucket sign is up every now and again on the Kaibab too (its up right now, in fact).
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Jeffshadows » Jul 03 2008 2:12 pm

PageRob wrote:That axe/shovel and bucket sign is up every now and again on the Kaibab too (its up right now, in fact).
It's a good idea, IMHO
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 03 2008 9:35 pm

I agree. And I'd rather see that sign than "Forest Closed" signs...
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Mattrgrs12 » Sep 29 2010 11:14 pm

ive carried one a few times and never really used it. easier just to find wood small enough for a fire pit

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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 30 2010 8:34 am

You have to be kidding me. All this talk of super-ultralight, base weights of less than 8 pounds, and leave-no-trace ethics, don't chop trees, don't build fires, and let's get rid of all that heavy-ass 70's and 80's backpacking gear, and now we have to have a thread about carrying an AX?

Oh, I forgot. Not everyone on here is a backpacker. Well, if you think you need to carry an ax in your backpack, you had better stick to dayhiking. Or take up ATVing. Or bowling. Sheesh.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Jim_H » Sep 30 2010 8:50 am

Had, since 2003. My guess is the extremists on the light is right side would not carry an axe, so this isn't really relevant to them. However, an axe can make a nice walking stick and then there are the other practical applications, so it isn't all dead wait. Remember a time when you weren't so out of shape that weight didn't destroy a backpacking trip and a valuable tool was an asset? Not that I brought one on my Gila trip or any of the overnights I've done into mountains, but then I never had a fire either.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 30 2010 9:43 am

I have never needed one for a fire. There is almost always enough dead wood down. I am lousy at using hatchet or ax, anyway, since I do not have the upper body strength or coordination necessary to use it. Where I live it becomes necessary to split wood from time to time in order to keep the house warm. I have my sons do all my woodcutting and splitting for me when they visit, since I am not able to do it. I have tried many times. The ax gets stuck or bounces off or doesn't go in very far. I know a lot of women who split wood all the time. None of them grew up in San Diego, though! :)

I am also surprised we are talking about axes, instead of hatchets. When we used to go family car camping my husband would bring along a hatchet.

Ok, anyone for bowling?
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by BobP » Sep 30 2010 9:53 am

AZ_Hiker wrote:ok just wondering.. I was not going to carry one, I just wanted to know if anyone else did. and when I said ax I meant hatchet. sorry for the confusion.
From the OP of this thread from 2003.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Jim_H » Sep 30 2010 9:54 am

Hatchets are too small to be for much more than de-branching. An axe is better for splitting and crude cutting, and then saws are the best for bucking.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by skatchkins » Sep 30 2010 10:06 am

I keep an axe in my vehicle for car camping. I enjoy splitting downed wood.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by BobP » Sep 30 2010 10:30 am

@skatchkins
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You didn't need your own horseshoes for this hike......which I saw you also did ;)
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by PaleoRob » Sep 30 2010 10:31 am

Hatchet was always along on my earlier backpacks. Got a nice Gerber with a hollow, lightweight poly handle that's bonded to the head. I've cut Christmas trees and downed firewood into manageable chunks with it. If I go backpacking into a place that allows a fire now (fewer and fewer places, it seems), I wouldn't hesitate to strap it back to the rig again. Plus it can be a useful hammer and weapon (wait, should that be in the other thread?).
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by chumley » Sep 30 2010 11:46 am

Car-camping I carry both. Hatchet is nice for making a nice fire poker or cutting up some of the smaller kindling to get things going if the small wood and pine needles are too wet to burn. I have a 20-lb axe (splitter) that I use to split logs. I like the exercise, and if its cold out, it warms you up really fast if you split 2-3 logs every 15 minutes.

You'll know I've camped somewhere because there's usually a nice 2-3 night supply of cut and split wood neatly stacked up for the next folks. I always find it to be a nice treat to arrive at a campsite late and not have to worry about gathering wood right away. Its good karma.

But that's car camping. When backpacking, I don't carry either. I've never not been able to find adequate dead and down for a fire. And my handy multi-tool features just enough of a knife and saw blade for those unique situations. And its just about the right weight!
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by BobP » Sep 30 2010 12:09 pm

chumley wrote:You'll know I've camped somewhere because there's usually a nice 2-3 night supply of cut and split wood neatly stacked up for the next folks. I always find it to be a nice treat to arrive at a campsite late and not have to worry about gathering wood right away. Its good karma.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Tough_Boots » Sep 30 2010 12:33 pm

I've carried a hatchet with me in the past but found that its not worth it. Anything that a hatchet can cut, I can break over my knee or with my boot. As for splitting wood-- I can't even hit a slow moving softball or a tee'd golf ball. You don't want me swingin' an axe...
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by Jeffshadows » Oct 01 2010 9:05 am

Always on the truck, very little in the pack.
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Re: does anyone carry an ax?

Post by tahosa » Oct 01 2010 9:12 am

A small saw by ~corona~ works real well.

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