When every single ounce of weight counts and you need a multipurpose tool that doesn't require batteries and can be used a variety of tasks, the backpacking hatchet is your best friend.
Out in the wilderness, you're going to run into so many different types of scenarios. Having your trusty hatchet by your side will come in handy so many times, you'll wonder what you ever did without it.
Hatchets have been used for centuries as all-purpose cutting, slicing, light chopping, and weaponizing tools.
You never know what you'll encounter in nature, so you need the best backpacking hatchet on the market. Made with modern materials and ergonomic grips for easy handling, these hatchets should go wherever you go on your backpacking adventures.
Backpacking Hatchet Reviews:
1. Editor's Choice - Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
If you're going to choose one tool to take with you out on backpacking trips, this Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is the perfect editor's choice.
Supreme material construction, a special non-slip rubber grip on the handle, and the trusted name of famed outdoorsman Bear Grylls all combine to give you the best experience for your money.
It's also surprisingly affordable, so there's no reason you can't add this to your backpacking equipment. When you want a hatchet that is a perfect modern example of this ancient tool, choose this one.
Even though it's small and lightweight, the blade on this hatchet is large and razor sharp to handle splitting logs. It's made of a full tang, high-carbon steel for durability.
The other side of the blade, the flat end, is crosshatched with a striking surface. You can pound tent stakes, straighten bent metal, or even tenderize meat. This hatchet also comes with a nylon sheath that's resistant to mildew. The sheath has belt loops for you to attach and access the hatchet easily.
This hatchet comes with a copy of Bear Grylls’ “Priorities of Survival” pocket guide to get you started on outdoor living. The hatchet's overall length is 9.46," the blade length is 3.5," and the handle length is 7.” It weighs 20.8 ounces, or 1.4 pounds.
It’s a solid tool and your best friend while you’re out in the wilderness, whether for a day or a year.
2. Best Lightweight Backpacking Hatchet - Fiskars X7 14-inch Hatchet
It is solidly built, and the handle does not separate from the blade. This incredible tool has been built and perfected with amazing balance in your hand. Every time you swing it, the power-to-weight ratio increases for faster cutting and chopping power.
It's similar to swinging an aluminum baseball bat. Its bright orange handle is easy to see, even at night, and stands out amongst the greens, browns, and grays of nature around you. If you need to choke up on the handle for precision swinging, that’s also easy.
The carbon steel blade has been precisely ground and beveled for an extremely sharp edge that gives you amazingly clean cuts. The blade is also low-friction coated so that it doesn't flake. The shape of the blade is nice and thick at the base and doesn't taper too much toward the edge, increasing strength and longevity.
In a hatchet, you don't necessarily want a super-skinny blade. That makes it brittle, which increases its weakness. This Fiskars X7 Hatchet has a thicker blade. This also gives it a deeper chop. This hatchet is 14" long and weighs 1.4 pounds.
If you'd like a hatchet combined with plenty of other tools, just like a Swiss Army knife, then get your Bukm Portable Stainless Steel Multipurpose and Multifunctional Hatchet.
It also comes with a needle nose plier, a Phillips head pocket screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, a claw hammer, a bottle opener, a survival camping knife, a hand saw, a wrench, and a nail file. All of these extra tools fit securely into the handle, and a small metal loop at the bottom of the hatchet holds everything in place. It also comes with a handy carry pouch.
Some multifunctional tools have a great knife, but everything else isn’t well made. There’s one standout piece. Not on this hatchet. It actually comes with tools that you’ll need while on the backpacking trail.
You also don’t have to worry about carrying multiple tools, adding weight to your pack, or misplacing a hatchet.
No sturdiness was spared by having multiple tools in one for this, either. Everything is durable, made well, and built to last. Every job you have around the campsite, on the backpacking trail, or even simply at home could be made easier and better by using this multifunctional Bukm tool.
It also makes a great gift for anyone interested in having an affordable multi-tool around the house. Weighing less than one pound, it's only 7" long, 3.5" wide, and 1.5" deep.
Backpacking Hatchet Buyer's Guide 101:
Types of Hatchets for Backpacking
From large and simple hatchets, down to the multifunctional hatchets listed above, these versatile backpacking tools come in all shapes, sizes, and construction materials. Hatchets are different from tomahawks or axes in that they are much more multifunctional.
Most hatchets are made with carbon steel blades and wooden handles. They look like small axes, and they do not have a double blade or a more “pickaxe-looking” two-pronged blade. The blade is much thicker and not as curved as a tomahawk blade, either. Hatchets specifically for backpacking and camping are made to be much lighter in weight than traditional models.
What Do You Need it For?
What don't you need it for? Hatchets are so synonymous with outdoor usage that they've been depicted in drawings of Native Americans, frontiersmen, and early American settlers for well over two hundred years.
You can use your hatchet to chop small kindling and strip it for building a fire or simple shelter. You can successfully kill and skin animals, which was one of the hatchet's original purposes. You can easily cut through undergrowth to clear spaces for fire pits and camping. You can even chop up foods for meal preparation.
One of its most enjoyable uses is minor axe-throwing competitions. Of course, you can also defend yourself against wildlife attacks. Anything that needs to be cut, chopped, or sliced can benefit from the use of a lightweight, strong, and durable backpacking hatchet.
Hatchet blades should be made from the highest quality and most durable steel. They should also be very thick and proportioned in balance with the handle, neither too heavy nor too light.
Carbon steel is a type of steel in which the main alloying element is carbon. Its properties are dependent on the amount of carbon present. Carbon strengthens the hatchet blade, so you want to look for this material in your hatchets.
When it comes to hatchet blade shape, the more traditional, the better. You're looking for a thicker blade that is attached securely to the handle. It should taper down to a beveled edge that's finely ground and very sturdy so that it doesn't chip or break while chopping and slicing. Although perforated blades with holes or shapes have a great look, you want the durability and strength of a solid blade.
Hatchet blades will need to be sharpened to be kept in the best shape. You can use a file and stone to sharpen most blades, plus there are also handheld blade sharpeners available on the market.
The hatchet handle is also an important part of the tool. When you pick up the hatchet, it should feel natural to hold it in your hand. The overall balance is important. It's great to have it as light as possible, too, without sacrificing blade size and usability. Some hatchets have an extra gripping design on the handle.
When you’re considering adding a hatchet to your backpacking, you also want to keep the weather-proofing in mind. Some hatchets come with a carrying case or special sleeve to protect them from the elements. You don’t want your tool to rust, chip, or break while you’re in the middle of getting that night’s campfire going. The better made the hatchet, the longer it will last you.
You Need A Camping Hatchet For Your Next Backpacking Trip
A backpacking hatchet is so essential for nature trips that it's included on basically every packing list.
You don't want your hatchet to add extra weight, break on the trail, rust, or get damaged by wind and weather. Bypass all of those problems by investing in the best backpacking hatchets available.
Hatchets combine the best qualities of both outdoor knives and axes in one handy tool that is an outdoor person's number-one ally. It will not only keep you warm, well fed, and sheltered on the trail but also protect you and keep you safe - so that you can be prepared for anything that happens out in unpredictable nature.