Page 1 of 3

does anyone carry an ax?

Posted: Oct 23 2003 5:03 pm
by AZ_Hiker
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 ?

AZ_Hiker

Posted: Oct 23 2003 5:27 pm
by mttgilbert
If you want to save weight, skip the ax all together.

If its too big to break by hand its too big to go in the fire.

Posted: Oct 23 2003 5:36 pm
by Rodney
In response to matt gilbert's reply:

I've never carried one on the trail...but, I use to carry one back when I was dating. :o :lol:

Posted: Oct 23 2003 7:37 pm
by Daryl
An axe is way too much work to cut chunks of wood off any way. A wire saw should do the trick well at a fraction of the size and weight.

Posted: Oct 23 2003 7:44 pm
by Abe
Nope. Don't carry an axe, hatchet, or any other form of wood chopping tool. To much weight to pack around.

Posted: Oct 23 2003 9:28 pm
by HikerInGilbert
Daryl wrote:An axe is way too much work to cut chunks of wood off any way. A wire saw should do the trick well at a fraction of the size and weight.
Those wire saws work extremely well. Take a bit longer due to knots, but very very light. Adds nothing to your pack.

Work really well with plastics and soft metals too...

Posted: Oct 23 2003 10:11 pm
by whereveriroam
I don't and never will but for those who do make sure you can handle it well. The backcountry would be a crappy place to have an accident with one and they do happen!

let me ax you a question

Posted: Oct 24 2003 7:42 am
by pfredricks
AZ hiker-
How dare you hike off trail...haha....oh wait that's a different topic of yours. :lol: :lol: :lol: I am so kidding!

I wanna hike with you man, if you are willing to carry an ax you gotta have all kinds of goodies in there.

Can I ax you what your typical pack weight is with water? Seriously, I am curious what you are willing to tote.

Since many areas are "downed wood only", ax is usually unnecessary for my tastes. Can usually find workable pieces or some clever means to make them workable pieces.

good luck man
-Pete

Posted: Oct 24 2003 8:48 am
by plummer150
In response to Rodney's reply:

Same, however, like I've said before, I prefer the machete. An axe is too much. A machete is perfect to carry and perfect for just about anything......

Posted: Oct 24 2003 11:35 am
by olesma
plummer150 wrote:I prefer the machete. An axe is too much. A machete is perfect to carry and perfect for just about anything......
Is it just me - but I suddenly never EVER want to accidentally run into Plummer150 on the trail on a dark night.

I don't bring an axe or a machete - but a chainsaw works wonders for just about anything.

On a serious note - I've carried a hatchet before, and once when going on an extended backpacking/trail building trip I brought along a full sized axe - we were out for about a week.

I've found the hatchet useful for longer base-camp type trips, but if I'm just going by myself, I never carry one. I have the little saw in my swiss-army knife, and that has always served any purpose I have needed to cut wood for.

Posted: Oct 24 2003 4:52 pm
by AZ_Hiker
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.

I will pick a chain saw as I have been meaning to do that anyway..


pfredricks, ha ha.. you make me laugh. I will hike with you anytime unless your going back to hellsgate.. I dont know if I will ever go back there unless im in a jeep. j/k I will go back again someday.

as far as the weight of my pack.. I really dont know.. I have been in a massage weight losing program as far as my pack gos. right now I have one ready to go for saturday and I would say its in the 20 s somewhere without water.

I have in it
a mess kit with a pot, canister and the msr 3oz burner.
food which is 3 lbs at best as its all freeze dryed. (for 2 people over night)
first aid which fits in a plastic soap travle case
some servivle gear which is maybe a pound.
sleeping bag is 2lbs 14 oz
tent which is aobut the same as the bag.
pillow and 3/4 inch / 3/4 leangth therm-a-rest ultralite
sweat shirt, light coat, socks and stuff.. a few lbs at best.
water filter, by msi I think its about a pound.
I bet there are some things I have forgot like head lamps and stuff like that. still not much as far as weight.

water will be the killer this weekend. we are taking 8 leters each. dont want to take and chances. we will be doing what Matt said and leaving some along the trail so we dont carry it the whole way.

really i think the mess kit is the thing that is the heavyest. so I am looking for a lighter way to cook. because I do like worm meals.

so over all my pack is rather light now as compared to a year ago, when I moved here heat will do that to you.

thanks for your imput guys

Posted: Oct 28 2003 9:38 am
by a44magmn
axe....hatchet......whatever....
have you, or anyone else, considered a nice Boker fixed blade knife with a double saw-tooth edge on top of the blade? :lol:
....I have one is why I am asking....am not a serious hiker (yet).

Posted: Oct 28 2003 10:12 am
by Lizard
I carry an axe on all my backpacking trips. It hangs on the left side of my pack, to counterbalance the weight of the iron Dutch Oven hanging from the right side of my pack.

:wink:

Posted: Oct 28 2003 12:39 pm
by desertgirl
Lizard wrote:I carry an axe on all my backpacking trips. It hangs on the left side of my pack, to counterbalance the weight of the iron Dutch Oven hanging from the right side of my pack.

:wink:
Really saw a group with 2 Dutch Ovens & a rather large saw going into Havasu Falls 2 years ago. They were not the scouts or any trail crew...Why would you need 2 Dutch Ovens ?

Posted: Oct 28 2003 1:12 pm
by Nighthiker
main meal and a pie.

Posted: Oct 28 2003 1:30 pm
by escudilla
I sometimes carry a wood stove and like camp fires at night(not the past two summers), my choice is the folding saw. I do carry an axe though, ice axe. Got in the habit while hiking in Canada in place of poles, handy tool, makes a good third leg and in a pinch will chop wood. :wink:

Posted: Oct 28 2003 2:01 pm
by hoppy47m
If its too big to break by hand its too big to go in the fire.
YUP!

Posted: Oct 28 2003 10:02 pm
by ADGibson
I prefer a machete when I expect to have a fire. I think it does a better job and doesn't weigh as much as an axe or hatchet.

Posted: Mar 11 2005 9:49 pm
by Sybil
I use a shovel with pick attachment and saw notching. Weighs in at 12oz. Nothing goes in my pack until it's weighed first! The shovel was too heavy , so I removed the extended handle. Much better now. I only carry it if I KNOW there will be a need for it. Otherwise, I don't need the extra weight...

Another axe to grind

Posted: Mar 12 2005 7:10 pm
by montezumawell
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.