Best Backpacking Axe for the Outdoorsman

best backpacking axe

Axes and hatchets are incredibly handy while on a backpacking excursion. In some instances, having a backpacking axe can even save your life. There are a number of axes geared towards outdoorsmen, so it's important to find the best backpacking axe for you.


Look for an axe with features that fit your intended activity. Perhaps it's more stability for chopping wood or better finesse for hunting and carving. We've sorted through all the options and compiled a list of axes and hatchets ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

1. Husqvarna

The Husqvarna hatchet is known as the hatchet with the best overall value. At a mid-range price, it'll last as long as more expensive axes.

The tool is backed by nearly 400 years of Swedish experience crafting axes and hatchets.

This hatchet is slightly heavier than other backpacking hatchets on this list, but that additional weight means each swing packs more power to cut through larger logs.

2. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks has a reputation as being the best manufacturer in the industry. Its products are always high-quality and carefully crafted. This is an axe intended to last generations, and the cost reflects this longevity.

However, for the serious backpacker, there is no better tool on the market.

The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet weighs 1.7 pounds, which is suitable for strapping to your pack, and won't weigh you down as you hike or hunt. The ergonomic handle is easy to grip and stops much of the reverberation as you strike or carve. It can be used for a number of tasks that range from detailed to heavy duty, as the blade is made to be precise, while the construction is tough.

3. Gerber Gator Combo Axe II

Let’s face it, anything that comes as a two-in-one package is helpful for campers and backpackers. It allows for more room in your pack and puts an additional tool at your disposal.

The Gerber Gator II is a great buy for all of these reasons. It's equipped with a fixed blade knife that fits inside the axe handle, for the tasks that require some multitasking.

Yet, this nifty extra isn’t a gimmick. The axe itself is well-made and sturdy - the blade is made of forged steel, and the handle is constructed of glass-coated nylon.

4. Estwing E24A 14-Inch Sportman’s Axe

Unlike many other axes on the market the Estwing E24A 14-Inch Sportman’s Axe has a handle made of metal, covered by a leather wrap. Most axes and hatchets sport a wooden or glass-fiber handle to minimize shock to the hand and arm when striking.

However, Estwing’s interesting approach to axe construction is not holding it back. This particular axe has become incredible popular with backpackers and campers in recent years.

An axe entirely made of metal is extremely durable. There is little that can break or damage the Estwing Sportman’s Axe. That means it'll last for years after purchase, and with a lower price tag than similar axes you're really getting your money's worth.

5. Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet

The Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet features a stainless steel blade fused to a glass-fiber filled handle with rubber exterior, and it's receiving rave reviews from backpackers.

The chosen materials allow this hatchet to work well in any weather condition, including rain and freezing cold. The blade will not rust or corrode in rain, and the rubber handle ensures a tight grip.

This allows backpackers to spend less time out in undesirable weather conditions and more time by a warm campfire.

6. Fiskars X7

At only 14 inches, the Fiskars X7 packs a lot of punch into its small size. This smaller hatchet is great for backpacking and camping, and receives rave reviews in field tests.

However, the Fiskars X7 has more than power, this axe is great for shaping wood to use as tent pegs or other wooden objects.

The Fiskars X7 is an all-around tool that's certain to come in handy in the backwoods.

7. Wetterlings Wildlife Axe

The Wetterlings Wildlife Axe is a great tool for the avid backpacker and outdoorsman.

Wetterlings is backed by over 125 years of forging blades. This long history has led to a high level of skill and near perfection in forming a blade by hand, which is not an easy skill to develop. The Wildlife Axe draws on this history, and boasts a high-quality blade on a light and packable handle.

In total, the Wildlife Axe (also called the Wilderness or Expedition Axe) only weighs 1.25 pounds, making it light enough to carry on your belt to your next camp site.

8. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet from Gerber meets many of the qualifications for a good backpacking axe. It's slender and compact, measuring only 9.2 inches from top to bottom, with a blade length of 3.5 inches.

Both qualities make it easier to slide into your pack on your hike.

Best of all, the Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is made as a single piece, which makes it more durable and less likely to break.

Get the Best Backpacking Axe

Each of these backpacking axes brings quality and performance to the table. The best backpacking axe differs by the individual, so choose the one that meets your needs.