Whether it’s for splitting wood at the campfire ring or clearing away some downed timber to make way for a site, an ax is a useful tool to have along on any kayak camping adventure. However, we are often deterred by the size and weight of an axe and end up leaving it behind. Every kayak camper has made this decision and regretted it. This conundrum has hence-forth been solved. Behold the Back Paxe II:
Gerber’s Back Paxe II provides the utility of a trusty axe in a very small package. This hatchet weighs in at only 16oz making it a no-brainer to stow away in the back hatch. Its fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle holds up to abuse. The stainless steel head holds a cutting edge and is balanced very nicely for a proper swing. Finally, the included sheath protects the axe head from dulling and your gear from its ravages.
The Gerber Back Paxe has become a staple piece of gear on kayak camping trips with many of my paddling and outdoor friends. We’ve whaled through hundreds of firewood logs on Seamore Island, desperately cleared a campsite deep in the Dry River Wilderness, and carried it many miles on land and water “just in case.” It’s a great ax and I’d buy another in a heartbeat. The only thing that drives me a little nutty about the Gerber Back Paxe is the short handle. At only 9in long there have been plenty of times when I’ve feared for the safety of my knuckles. The small size and light weight also makes splitting wood a little challenging at first. There is certainly no substitute for a full sized ax but the Back Paxe is a great compromise for lightweight adventures!
Pros: Small, packable, light-weight, does the job well.
Cons: Watch your knuckles!
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