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singlebladecanoe
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/23/2019 03:47PM
Anyone carry a small axe and folding saw with them on their trips? Is it worth carrying the extra weight and space they take up?
 
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11/23/2019 04:13PM
I used to carry both but now take into account the time of year. Early season there is plenty of fuel available around campsites that doesn't require more than leather gloves.

Later in the season it's nice to have a saw to process larger deadfall as all the small stuff has been collected and burned. I decided to always bring an axe after reading about blocked trails from unexpected storms.
 
11/23/2019 04:13PM
I had almost reached the point of leaving my axe and saw at home. I spent the night in Duluth the day before heading up to the Gunflint 2 or 3 years ago. A powerful storm tore through the north shore that night.

It took quite a long time for us to even get out of Duluth the next morning and we found ourselves clearing portages and our campsites every day of our trip.

So now, I wouldn't think of leaving my axe (small forest axe) and my saw at home.

But, you'll get lots of views on both sides of this discussion.
 
11/23/2019 04:42PM
I don't usually care either one, but not a big fire builder. Less weight and chance of injury, especially when solo. If anything, I'd take a saw. Wood can be batoned with a knife.
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member(503)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/23/2019 05:19PM
I do carry a folding saw but no axe. I prefer my Becker BK2 for chopping and splitting firewood.
 
11/23/2019 06:47PM
I carry a small folding saw to cut fire wood to foot-long lengths. I tend to chose wood that is 2-3 inches in diameter or smaller. So I don't really need an axe to split larger pieces. The saw is lightweight and requires very little space in the pack.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
11/23/2019 06:50PM
We have carried a hatchet back in the day, but never an axe. We bring a Sven saw every trip. There are other brands as good or better, but we like a saw.
 
RetiredDave
distinguished member (278)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/23/2019 07:51PM
boonie: "I don't usually care either one, but not a big fire builder. Less weight and chance of injury, especially when solo. If anything, I'd take a saw. Wood can be batoned with a knife. "

This is what I do too. I have a folding Silky saw and a fixed blade Morakniv for batoning. I solo in the early fall and have a fire every night. I do have to paddle away from camp for wood, but it's abundant most places just a few paddle strokes away.

Dave
 
overthehill
distinguished member(4421)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/23/2019 08:24PM
I take a 15" Irwin (alot of old threads here on it) and a fixed blade knife (kabar or mora) for "baton splitting " kindling . I base alot and cook on the fire alot.
The saw comes in handy for thick rounds of wood cut short enough to go under the firegrate and burn an hour or two.
 
bwcadan
distinguished member(1377)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/23/2019 08:56PM
we take a hand ax. It is worth it for us despite the additional weight. Base camping usually brings more fires at night and a few portages really make the weight a non issue. To be on then safe side, we pack it into a mesh bag which is mostly cut proof unless you were to abuse it.
 
11/23/2019 11:10PM
Always a folding saw and usually a hatchet. A forest ax only when you're expecting to to clear trail, process a lot of wood, or winter.
 
11/24/2019 08:20AM
I've only taken a 25 year old Sven Saw on solos and only brought a forest axe on a base trip in 2015. I intend to upgrade my saw to this Boreal Saw for this year as I intend to bushwhack a bit.

 
Bearpath9
distinguished member (112)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/24/2019 08:23AM
Took a saw last year. I decided to take a small (2 lb. head, 20" handle) splitting axe this year, along with the folding saw. I feel an axe gives me more options when gathering wood.
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/24/2019 08:45AM
Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe and Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw for me. I like to be prepared and I don't mind the extra weight.
 
Tomcat
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11/24/2019 09:02AM
 
gymcoachdon
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11/24/2019 12:26PM
Small Forest axe and Irwin saw here. Both are carried on the side cinch straps of my CCS Pioneer. That pack is what I take with me on the first trip of any portage, so I have the tools if the trail needs cleared. I have only used it for that twice, both in WCPP, but it did make the trip over with the canoe easier.
In camp, it is nice to have the axe for splitting up rounds for kindling, although a knife will work, the axe is more efficient for me.
 
11/24/2019 06:58PM

I found this gerber hand axe online. Even could have it personalized, haha.

I’ve tried different splitting methods, but this was a great add to my wood processing gear. When all is wet, it enabled me to get some dry heart wood, starting a warm fire in no time.

I had the Bob Dustrude saw and, at the end, replaced with the Boreal 21, by far the most versatile saw I’ve used in the back country.

You can argue all you want about taking saw/ axe on a trip, but once you spend weeks out in below normal temps and above normal rain, you kind of see it’s importance. One of the best things I had done is have our good friend on BWCA.com, Mitch (Dicecupmaker) make a nice leather sheath for it.
 
gqualls
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11/24/2019 07:07PM
I basecamp so weight is not really an issue. I pack both: a 2 inch Estwing axe and a Silky Saw Katanaboy.
 
Aslowhand
member (6)member
 
11/25/2019 05:13AM
On day trips I carry an axe, on overnighters I always carry both. In my opinion very useful despite the extra weight!!







 
Savage Voyageur
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11/25/2019 08:29AM
I carry a hatchet and saw on every trip. We cook with wood and that takes a lot of split wood. You can regulate the heat of the fire with smaller chunks of split wood. And After a three day rain, all the wood will be wet. If you split it with a hatchet you will get the dry inside wood and you will have fire. If you want a fire bring some tools to make the job easier. If you are doing 30 miles a day and single portaging then no.
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/25/2019 12:38PM
Sometimes both an axe and a saw are invaluable.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2962)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/25/2019 01:38PM
singlebladecanoe: "Anyone carry a small axe and folding saw with them on their trips? Is it worth carrying the extra weight and space they take up?"

Yep! More than worth an extra couple lbs.. Especially if there's rough, cold weather and you want a fire going most of the time.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(859)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/25/2019 03:22PM
I have a tomahawk that I picked up at Cabelas. It is closer in length to an axe but only weighs about a pound and a half. The handle length makes it safer to use than a hatchet and makes it easy to split firewood for easy cooking. I've tried using a knife with the baton method but I'm more likely to slip up and cut myself or crush a finger doing that. I'd rather just take one swing with the blade away from my body.

For a saw I have an Irwin handsaw that works great.

Both saw and tomahawk are tucked into the sides of my CCS Hybrid pack for ease of access in case I encounter a downed tree blocking the trail, or a shore lunch with a real fire.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (392)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/25/2019 06:50PM
nctry: "
I found this gerber hand axe online. Even could have it personalized, haha.

I’ve tried different splitting methods, but this was a great add to my wood processing gear. When all is wet, it enabled me to get some dry heart wood, starting a warm fire in no time.

I had the Bob Dustrude saw and, at the end, replaced with the Boreal 21, by far the most versatile saw I’ve used in the back country.

You can argue all you want about taking saw/ axe on a trip, but once you spend weeks out in below normal temps and above normal rain, you kind of see it’s importance. One of the best things I had done is have our good friend on BWCA.com, Mitch (Dicecupmaker) make a nice leather sheath for it."

Ben, that's a dandy axe!
 
singlebladecanoe
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/27/2019 02:36PM
unshavenman: " Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe and Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw for me. I like to be prepared and I don't mind the extra weight."

those exact 2 is what I plan on carrying with me. Glad to hear that others carry the same kit.
 
martian
member (22)member
 
11/30/2019 10:32AM
We've used a Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe & Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 folding saw. Both are nice tools. Though I tend to bring the axe for car camping. The saw we take in. If possible I'd prefer to use neither, as my dad always said find dead branches no larger than your wrist. Tough to do at times.
 
x2jmorris
distinguished member(948)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/30/2019 04:58PM
Hatchet and saw is mandatory for me. Sometimes an ax depending how far I go in.
 
12/01/2019 03:45PM
Gransfors bruks wildlife hatchet and Agwa Canyon boreal 21 saw always with when my wife and I travel as she likes camp fires. When I am alone, I leave the hatchet and sometimes the saw as well as I am not interested in fires when I solo.
 
gkimball
distinguished member(561)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/03/2019 11:47AM
unshavenman: "Sometimes both an axe and a saw are invaluable.
"


Agree completely with the need to handle all sorts of situations. Have carried a saw of some sort, now a Silky Boy, after encountering one of these "obstacles" on a solo trip portage many years ago.

Even if I don't have a fire its nice to be able to process a downed tree enough to get through a portage.
 
ssava
member (29)member
 
02/14/2020 03:52PM
I have a found a saw is worth it's weight in gold! An axe, not so much especially at the risk of serious injury with an axe when not used properly.

This one has been extremely valuable FWIW
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BigFlounder
member (42)member
 
02/14/2020 06:06PM
I carry a Sven Saw and love it. Don't feel I need an axe, but would love to have a small camp axe.
 
nooneuno
distinguished member (449)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/14/2020 07:18PM
singlebladecanoe: "Anyone carry a small axe and folding saw with them on their trips? Is it worth carrying the extra weight and space they take up?"

Always......
 
4keys
distinguished member(647)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/14/2020 08:45PM
We always take a Sven saw and a small Estwing sportsman ax. We have had to do a bit of trail clearing to get the canoe through after a storm. And while we don't always have a fire, we do enjoy sitting around small fire with a cup of wine.
 
lindylair
distinguished member(2222)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/14/2020 08:54PM
Saw yes, invaluable for cutting that perfect downed tree to campfire length. Batoning will work fine for splitting that same log into smaller pieces for kindling, i also use a Morakniv - bulletproof. Don't bring an axe or hatchet and haven't needed it. More weight and the temptation to get carried away. Too me it is dangerous for all but the experienced, and even then the odds seem to go up. If it's part of the enjoyment and experience for you, then go for it but otherwise it is not necessary IMO.
 
jrlatt
distinguished member (431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/14/2020 09:32PM
I carry a small folding saw, the one pictured and a pair of lightweight pruners .

This saw is study, light weight, cheap and I do not worry about it getting damaged. It is a little harder to pack.




 
02/15/2020 08:42AM
I take a small, light folding saw. Consider an axe both too heavy to warrant carrying and carrying too much risk for injury.
 
pamonster
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02/15/2020 10:39AM
Both, every trip.
As many allude to, an axe makes people nervous of injury. If you're not proficient you can get by fine with just the saw.
 
BigCurrent
distinguished member(574)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2020 09:28AM
singlebladecanoe: "unshavenman: " Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe and Agawa Canyon Boreal 21 saw for me. I like to be prepared and I don't mind the extra weight."


those exact 2 is what I plan on carrying with me. Glad to hear that others carry the same kit."


We take the same axe but we carry the Irwin saw instead. The Agawa is a sweet design but I find the handle to be uncomfortable. It works great, just gets a little painful after a while. It's a good setup and traveling in mid-May it is part of the essentials for us. We like to stay up late around the fire and without the axe it would be tough to harvest enough wood.
 
CCBBSpeckled
 
02/19/2020 04:19PM
I bring a hatchet and partner brings a saw. Works for us.
 
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