Whether you’re hiking, hunting, or at work in the forest, carrying an axe the right way will make life easier and safer. It’ll also protect your valuable tool from unwanted damage. We’ve created this handy axe-carrying guide to get you started.

What is the best way to carry an axe?

To carry a hatchet or any small axe, you can attach it to a pistol belt, strap it to the side of a pack, or wrap it in a jacket and stick it inside your pack. Some packs like the Isle Royale Bushcraft Pack have an integrated axe sleeve that keeps it safely out of the way.

If you’ve got a long trek ahead of you, attaching an axe to your backpack will place additional strain on your back muscles. Many experienced bushmen prefer attaching tools to their belt or to a leather strap and slinging it over their shoulder.

  • For short distances, it may be easier to carry the axe by hand.
  • A leather strap carrier can also be used to attach your axe to a boat or canoe. This way, you won’t lose your tool if the vessel flips over.
  • A sling that’s used to carry a rifle makes a useful carrier for an axe.
  • For longer trips on foot, a folding saw may be a better option than an axe.
A man holding firewood under his arm and an axe in the other hand

How do lumberjacks carry their gear?

If you’re in the bush felling trees, you may have a pile of stuff you need to lug around. You can carry a saw on the shoulder while the axe can lay on the saw bar or hang from a belt.

To keep small items like wedges and tape well organized, store them in an ammo box that are sold at army surplus stores. Your water bottle, food, and spares are best kept in your backpack. 

How to carry an axe around camp

A safe way to carry an axe short distances is to hold the handle close to the head, making sure the handle is pointing away from you. That way it won’t swing into your leg as you walk.

When you carry an axe around camp is important to always keep the mask on. This is a leather sheath that’s designed to protect the axe head. A mask will protect yourself and others from injury while keeping the blade from getting damaged.

Keep in mind that even when a mask is attached, extreme care should be taken when walking around with an axe. A sharp axe may cut through the mask, causing serious injury. If you trip while carrying an axe, a mask may not protect you from the blade, so always take care. Be sure to carry the axe in a way that if you fall, the axe won’t be waiting beneath you.

If you happen to trip while walking around with an axe, be sure to toss it out of range. It may damage the axe, but that’s preferable to your arm, leg, or face.

How to leave an axe unattended

If you have to leave your axe unattended for a short period, don’t leave it in a spot where others may stumble onto it. The best place to leave an axe for a few minutes is in a log or stump. Always make sure that none of the axe’s blade is exposed.

Take extreme care when walking with a sharp axe over your shoulder.

Commonly asked questions

Is a designated axe area worth it at a campsite?

Having a designated zone for axe work is a good idea. While setting up camp, look for an area that’s well away from people and not on a path regularly used to get to toilets or washing and sleeping areas. Keeping axe chopping activity away from other people is always a good plan. 

Is carrying an axe illegal?

Some states in America have banned carrying an axe in public while others allow it, so it’s best to check local laws. In most cases, if you can prove that you need an axe for work and there’s nothing malicious at play, you’ll be okay. There are few reasons for carrying an axe in public other than for work or to take it to or from a store. 

Can I carry an axe in my car?

You should check local laws before carrying an axe in your car. Some jurisdictions don’t allow it, while others require the tool to be stored in the trunk, out of harm’s way.

Summing up

Many axe owners spend plenty of time maintaining their tool, working on the perfect swing; but working out the right way to carry an axe isn’t such a priority. Professionals understand the benefits of spending a little time to work out the best way to carry their tool. Not only are they staying safer, but there’s also less chance of damaging the axe, and covering a large distance is much easier.

For most hatchet owners, storing it in the pack, sliding it into the pack’s designated axe sleeve, or using a sling over the shoulder will work best. Felling axes are usually too large for a backpack; instead, attach them to your waist or carry them by hand with a protective sheath attached to the head.    

If you’re on a budget, visit a local gun show or market, look for a Mosin-Nagant WW2 rifle sling or a similar style sling. They’re often sold for a bargain price and they’re perfect for axe carrying. They’re also available online, but you’ll usually pay more than you would by attending a show.   

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