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What Size Axe Do You Need for Camping? (And How To Use It)

What Size Axe Do You Need for Camping? (And How To Use It)

When you go camping, you’ll want to know that you have a reliable axe. You need a sharp, high-quality tool that can be used for many tasks. With so many different sizes to choose from, it can be difficult to pick out the right one. In this blog post, we will go over some common campsite tasks and related axe sizes that you might want to bring with you on your next trip. So, what size axe do you need for camping?


What Size Axe Do You Need for Camping?


The size of an axe can affect how quickly you can complete a task, as well as how difficult the job will be.

Small axes are great for splitting small firewood and clearing a path through the woods. If you have an axe that is too large, it will be difficult to use in these situations because of its size and weight.

Let’s discuss some factors of an axe that determine its size and weight:

Axe Length

Length is a big component when considering the size of your camping axe. A longer handle will require more force to swing and therefore is slower at chopping wood or clearing branches. However, using the momentum of your swing, you can cut deeper into the wood.

On the other hand, if an axe has too short of a handle, then your range of motion could also be limited. This makes it easy for you to miss your target and could cause you to become fatigued more quickly.

The best size for a camping axe is between 20 inches and 26 inches. You’ll be able to split pieces of larger firewood, and it will be small enough for chipping and carving. An axe at this length is also fairly shock-absorbent, which can help prevent injuries.

For backpackers and campers who need a light, minimal pack, an axe length of 8 to 12 inches is more appropriate.

It’s best to go see several axes in person and hold them in your hand to see which one is the most comfortable.

Axe Head Weight

The size of the axe head is another consideration when it comes to choosing your camping axe. This part of the axe is the heaviest overall and determines how quickly you can get a job done.

An axe with too light of a head might not provide enough force to split wood or cut through thicker branches. Using an axe with a heavy head will require more energy and can tire you out faster than using a lighter one.

The thickness of the axe head will affect its weight and size. This is called the cheek thickness. Thicker cheeks are used for splitting wood, while thinner cheeks are better for cutting down trees.

The manufacturer’s notes are the best way to determine what weight your axe head will be. Axe head weight ranges from 1.5 lbs to 5 lbs. A weight under 3 lbs is ideal for a camping trip.


Types of Axes for Camping


There are three main types of axes to choose from for camping. Understanding each type can help you decide which one is right for your next trip:


A hatchet is a one-handed axe that is used for splitting small pieces of wood for fire and chopping small branches. Its small size allows for more precision and control, which makes it a great choice for camping.

You can also start a fire with a hatchet by using friction to create sparks. The hammerhead side of a hatchet can be used to break up small pieces of wood, which can be helpful for creating tinder and kindling.

These axes are 18 inches long on average and can way between 1.5 to 2 lbs.

Camping Axes

A camping axe has a head that is slightly heavier than a hatchet. It features a longer handle and can be used for both splitting and chopping.

The weight of a camping axe will make it more suitable to use when you need to split larger pieces of wood. It can also be used to cut through fallen trees or split logs.

Camping axes are 19-26 inches long and have a head weight of between two and five lbs.


A tomahawk is a type of axe that has been used by Native Americans and frontiersmen for centuries. Its design features an axe head with a sharp blade that is attached to a long handle. They are similar in size to a hatchet and are often very lightweight.

A tomahawk can be used for chopping and splitting small-sized wood. Tactical tomahawks are commonly used for hunting and throwing. They are also capable of cutting thick materials like metal and plastic, which makes them a popular choice for survivalists.

Boy’s Axes

A boy’s axe is a lot like a hatchet, but it has a longer handle. This type of axe is designed for kids and beginner axe users. It gives them more leverage when chopping or splitting wood and has a heavier head to prevent injuries.

Most boys’ axes are between 12-18 inches long. The axe heads weigh around two lbs. This is a great axe for camping because it is large enough to cut through small pieces of wood, but not too heavy for smaller users.

Limbing Axes

A limbing axe is designed for removing branches that get in the way of your work. It is typically used when you are felling trees or cutting them down to smaller pieces of wood.

This type of axe has a thin, curved blade on one side that is used to remove branches without damaging the trunk or main body of the tree. Since the blade is curved, it can be used on both sides of the trunk without harming the wood grain.

Limbing axes are typically 20-25 inches long and have a head weight of between one to two lbs. They’re great for primitive and longer-term camping trips because they can be used to cut through branches and small logs.


A maul is a large axe that has been used for centuries to split wood. This type of axe can be very heavy, so it’s not the best choice for camping. This is usually considered a wood-cutting axe that can be used to split logs in half or smaller pieces of wood.

It has a large blunt head that is similar to a sledgehammer and isn’t as sharp as other axes. This makes them ideal for splitting large dense logs rather than cutting or chipping them down.

Mauls are between 26-36 inches long and have a head weight of seven lbs or more. They’re not as common as other axes, so it’s not recommended for novice users.

Splitting Axes

A splitting axe is used for cutting wood into smaller parts. They have a heavy head and an extra-sharp blade that can split through logs or large branches.

Splitting axes are usually 26-36 inches long and have a head weight of five lbs or more. Their heavy heads make the impact of the cut more efficient.

It’s important to note that splitting axes are different than mauls (which are great for larger logs, provided they are kept sharp) because they have thinner blades and can be used on logs of all sizes. Since they are slightly lighter, they are a better choice for camping than a maul. However, they are still best left at home for splitting wood on your property.

Felling Axes

Felling axes are used for dropping trees. If you are doing this while camping, it’s best to use this type of axe. However, it’s unusual that you’ll be felling trees unless you’re in a survivalist or long-term situation.

Felling axes are usually 24-36 inches long and have head weight of six lbs or more. They usually have a thinner blade and can be used on logs that are larger than splitting axes.


What Material is Best for a Camping Axe?


What is an axe made of? If you know the type of axe you need, it’s important to consider what material is best for your camping needs.

Axe Handle Materials

Steel axes are the most common choice for camping because they’re

When deciding which materials are best for a camping axe, you’ll want something lightweight, strong, and durable.

Axe handles are most commonly made of hickory wood. This is a strong and flexible type of wood that can also withstand heavy use. The shock of each swing can be absorbed by the wood.

Ash is also a popular choice for hatchets and other axes because it is very lightweight, flexible, and strong.

Wooden handles will eventually break or crack, but they are easier to replace than other materials.

Axe heads are also made with strong metal alloys that won’t rust easily. A stainless steel alloy is a popular choice because it’s highly resistant to rust and corrosion. However, metal handles tend to be heavier and aren’t ideal for beginner users.

These days, many axe handles are made out of strong synthetic materials as well as plastics. Plastic can last longer than a wooden handle, but it can also be harder to replace.

When choosing an axe with the best material for your camping needs, you’ll want to make sure that it has a good grip. It can be very dangerous when your axe slips and cuts your foot or leg.

You’ll also want to make sure that the weight and shape of the axe is balanced and that you can swing it easily. If the axe feels heavy or awkward, then it’s best to choose a lighter version with synthetic materials.

Axe Head Materials

You’ll also want to consider what type of metal is used in its head.

Steel is the most common material for axes because it’s strong and affordable.

Axe heads made from stainless steel are resistant to rust and corrosion, so they’re a better choice for camping trips. Carbon steel is stronger than traditional steel, but it is more prone to rust and corrosion.

Axe head materials with good resistance to rust include chromium, manganese, nickel, and vanadium. These alloys are more expensive than steel or stainless steel, but they will resist rusting better in wet conditions.

Titanium is another popular metal for axe heads because it’s lightweight and strong. It also has good resistance to corrosion. However, titanium is also more expensive than other metals.


How Do You Use an Axe Efficiently?


First, you’ll want to focus on how you’re gripping the axe. It’s important to grip the handle with your palm, not just your fingers. Your thumb should be placed on the back of the axe head, not on the side of it.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re wearing protective eyewear and gloves. You can also wear boots and heavy clothing to protect your legs, arms, hands, and feet.

When you’re ready to swing the axe, focus on your stance. You should be standing up tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the axe head below waist level to prevent injury if you miss your target.

For an overhand swing, grip the axe with your dominant hand near the head and keep your other arm out to protect yourself. If you’re using a two-handed axe, then keep your dominant hand near the handle and use both hands to swing.

Lift the axe and swing it in an arc, aiming for your target. Once you get comfortable using the axe’s weight and momentum, you’ll find that each swing is faster and more powerful.

When camping, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Cut your wood close to your campsite and make sure that you’re well away from any tents, trees, or other objects.

You should also make sure that you’re not standing on a slope or uneven ground when you’re chopping. This may cause you to lose your footing and fall over or take a miscalculated swing.

You’ll also want to make sure that you clean up any wood chips or pieces of bark. They can be very slippery and cause you to fall or lose your footing.


What Is a Camp Axe Used For?


A camp axe is a tool that’s primarily used for chopping wood. It can also be used to split logs and kindling, cut small branches and plants, and trim thick brush.

Here are some other interesting uses for a camp axe:

  • Digging trenches and holes for shelter building, storage caches, or digging latrines.
  • Breaking up ice for water and creating holes in the ground to collect rainwater.
  • As a hammer or nail puller, making tent stakes from wood.
  • Opening canned food.
  • Fletching (making bows and arrows).
  • As a firestarter.
  • Self-defense for predators
  • Cleaning game and fish when hunting.
  • Clearing trails

You can use your axe for almost anything that requires a sharp blade. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings and always follow the proper safety precautions before using an axe or any other type of tool in the wild.


Final Thoughts


An axe is one of the most valuable tools you can own when camping or hiking, as it’s versatile and durable enough to handle a variety of tasks. If you’re new to axes, then make sure that you choose a well-made small or medium item that can help you to complete basic camping tasks without being too heavy or fatiguing.

Once you get the hang of your axe, you’ll find that it’s an invaluable tool for any outdoor activity.