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The lowly axe, an often overlooked survival tool
When it comes to a survival axe the most important thing to consider is you. If you are capable of carrying the additional weight, a 2.5 pound junior axe might be just the thing. Smaller more compact axes are available with composite type handles. The advantage of this type of survival axe is that it is lightweight, small and the handle wont break.
Types of Axes
An axe is a tool that can help provide firewood, supports for a lean-to and poles for sun or rain tarps. Survival axes come in all types and varieties. There are small, compact hatchets with rubber handles. Many of these are less than a foot in length and usually weigh less than a pound. Another type of survival axes are constructed of solid one piece steel heads and handles. The handles on this type are usually dipped in rubber for a better grip.
There are multi-purpose axes available from many sources. In addition to having a one-piece solid steel construction with an axe blade on one end of the handle, they feature a pry bar on the other. This type also has a hammerhead on the top of the axe. Pry bars can be used to free people trapped in their cars or home, or shift heavy debris. Having a hammer with you to pound tent stakes, break windows or tack up tarps may be quite useful. A multi-purpose axe of this type provides three tools in one. When choosing tools for your survival bag consider the versatility of the tools that you are planning to pack.
If you live in a remote area with lots of woods you might want to consider a larger axe. The Boy Scout axe has a small handle with a 1.25 to 2.5 pound head axe. It is capable of splitting logs up to 15 inches in diameter. A medium-sized tree can be felled or cut in half in a few minutes. This type of axe is larger, with a 26 to 30 inch handle. The handles are usually made of wood, which means it can break. This would mean you would have to replace the handle using a stick or tree limb. This size axe is more difficult to carry but it may be more helpful if you are in an area where downed trees may be a problem.
Saws Come in Handy
In addition to an axe you should have some type of saw. There are many types of collapsible saws available. Bow saws that break down into a compact package will allow you to saw through limbs and small trees.
Finger saws, which are round saw blades attached to large metal rings on each end take up very little space. This type of survival saw does take some getting used to. Many people find that applying downward pressure while pulling the blade back and forth is the easiest way to use them.
Folding camper saws are between 10 and 12 inches when closed. They are limited in their use but are easier to pack than a junior axe and lighter in weight than a survival axe.
Regardless of which type of survival axe you choose. Remember that the ability to provide warmth and hot food is a very important aspect of survival.