There are some basic supplies everyone knows to keep for an emergency. Emergency rations, water or a water purification system, some kind of shelter. However, there are many reasons you should add an axe to your list of must-haves.
Axes are great for survival because they can be easily bought. A high-quality axe doesn’t cost a huge amount, even for a top-name brand. Most outdoors stores and home improvement stores sell a selection. Based on what you prefer in an axe, there are many options even at a big box store.
When you purchase your axe, look for a premium wood handle with a fine grain. Plastic models are cheaper, but also don’t last very long. Metal handles with rubberized grips can be great for more difficult tasks, but tend to weigh more, making them less reasonable to carry around. You also want to ensure you purchase an axe with a long handle, as the increased leverage will give you more might while working.
Find an axe that also has a strong steel alloy head. You many find “bargain” options that have two types of metals, or aluminum heads. These dull more quickly and tend to suffer under more challenging work, including chopping harder materials like black oak. You can also choose between an axe with a flat back on the head, or a pick-shaped head. This is up to your discretion. The two options offer different uses. In a survival scenario, the mock-sledgehammer style of a flat head may well prove more useful more often.
You should also consider what you intend to use your axe to do. Obviously, the very first thing that pops into most people’s minds when they think of axes is cutting down trees for firewood. In a survival scenario, you may end up doing this more often than you like! Having a great axe that can do the job with less exertion can make a world of difference. You can save hours with the right axe. Make sure you choose an axe with a long handle and a weighty head- most of the axe’s weight should be in the head. Check for a strong, long-lived join where the handle and head meet as well.
Another use for an axe is building a more permanent shelter. While you may use a tent or other temporary survival shelter at first, you will soon need to be able to build a weather-ready shelter that can last a little longer. This is where axes come in as a great tool. An axe with a head that is plenty sharp on one side and flat on the other can help you build a solid, trustworthy log cabin in a relatively short amount of time.
First, you can use your axe to test and fell the right trees. You axe can also be used to shape or split the long logs, depending on the type of log cabin you are trying to build. Then, You can use the other side of the head of the axe to pound in the wood or metal stakes that will hold your logs in place as needed. With the exception of filling the natural spaces that can occur in a log cabin, you can build your entire home, including the interior panelling, with only an axe.
An axe is the kind of tool that will last a long time while you are trying to survive. Not only are they a tool with thousands of years of tradition, they are essentially simple in design. You need only know how to sharpen it. This also means that many types of axes can be repaired yourself. You don’t need special tools or supplies to do it- just the original parts and some basic knowledge of how to put the head and the handle back together. Losing the head of an axe is the most common breakage, and is easily remedied.
Essentially, to replace an axe handle, all you need is the axe head. First, you select a branch that is roughly suited as a handle. You can even choose one that will create a longer handle than the original, if you would like more leverage. Next, cut down the wood and trim the bark. Create a wedge that fits the seat of where the old handle joined the head. Make sure the handle is a little bigger than the space. Finally, use a rock or other hard, weighty object to strike the end of the handle, forcing it to seat into the axe head. With just a few hours of work, you have your great tool back in order.
An axe is a great tool for self-defense, even in a zombie apocalypse. It works better than a hatchet, which requires very close range to be effective. Additionally, the weight of an axe head and its long handle provide leverage and torque when striking. You can use this to your advantage to conserve energy when defending yourself with an axe. The momentum can be turned and carried back in the opposite direction, as with a baseball bat.
When you use your axe for self-defense, be sure you have practiced swinging it. You will be swinging with all of your strength, so you want to be sure you know how to keep control of that momentum. Treat each swing like a baseball bat or a tennis racket swing. You pull on the handle, rather than push, in the direction you want it to swing. As you reach the end of that strike, you want to be certain you won’t hit yourself or carry yourself off balance if you don’t make contact with your intended target. Instead, sweep the head of the axe up or down and carry it around. This will create a pattern similar to a figure eight. This is the best way to conserve energy and safely defend yourself without risking harm to yourself or extended exposure to attack.
As you consider an axe for your survival needs, research them thoroughly and be certain you get one that not only meets all of your needs but feels comfortable to you. Make sure it doesn’t feel too heavy. Finally, be sure the handle rests comfortably in your hands. Practice using it and keep the blade oiled and sharp, and you are good to go!
Nigel William is a practical hands-on guy who is a passionate camper, woodworker, likes DIY home improvement, gardening, cars and being prepared for the unexpected. Nigel is also a father and husband who believes that family is the most important thing in his life.