Backpacking can be great fun. Heading off into the wilderness with a backpack and sense of adventure. However, it always pays to be prepared. With only what you can carry in your pack you want to make sure that you choose lightweight items and a lightweight backpacking hatchet is something that you want to pack if you will be chopping wood for a campfire.
Here are my top picks for lightweight backpacking hatchets.
The Fiskars X7 is are great little lightweight hatchet. It has a synthetic handle that is almost unbreakable and a nice chopping and splitting head for cutting that firewood. It also has some nice bright colours so that you don’t lose it in the forest.
Another benefit of this hatchet is the price. It is one of the cheaper priced hatches on the market even though it is made to a high-quality standard. This is a great lightweight hatchet option. Toolazine rates this as their top budget hatchet model for camping, hiking and backpacking.
Named after the famous survival expert Bear Grylls this is another great lightweight hatchet model. Like the Fiskars model above it has a synthetic handle. This model, unlike the Fiskars is a full tang (the head and handle are one piece of metal) hatchet. Because it is full tang, it is very tough but that also adds some weight where it is less useful. It is better to have most of the weight in the head of the hatchet so that it make cutting and splitting wood easier.
This is also another great lightweight option.
This really is a lightweight hatchet. It is much lighter than the two hatchets above and ideal if you want to save weight. The biggest drawback is that because it is so lightweight it is less effective at cutting and splitting wood. However, it could be considered as too lightweight. It is best taken as a hatchet in case it is needed in an emergency (e.g. in case you need to build an emergency wilderness shelter or cut firewood in an emergency) rather than if you know that you will need to cut firewood.
This is a great lightweight hatchet for emergencies.
Tips for taking a hatchet backpacking
Choosing the right hatchet is the first thing but here are some other considerations when taking a hatchet backpacking.
Keeping it sharp
A sharp hatchet is much easier to cut with than a dull hatchet. If you are cutting a lot of wood then you may want to sharpen it in the field. You can sharpen a hatchet with a rock in the field.
Use a sheath
A sheath for your hatchet head is important, especially if it is sharp. You don’t want it cutting through your backpack or worse cutting you whilst you are out in the wild away from medical assistance.
Proper cutting techniques
Hatchets are not toys and should be treated with respect. Be careful where your body is and where your hatchet will go if you miss or it glances or bounces off what you are cutting. You don’t want to end up as the nine toe guy. Also, be careful where other people are. A good rule is for everyone to stand well away from anyone using an axe or a hatchet.
Keep it dry and oily
None likes a rusty hatchet. A good way to prevent rust is to keep your hatchet dry (of dry it if it gets wet) and oil it before storing it. These two things will go a long way to keeping your hatchet rust-free and looking new.