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Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Tobey Schmidt

Although I come from the flat lands of Indiana, I now call Arizona home where I love to rock climb, bike, backpack, paddle—and photograph it all. I can’t wait to share my adventures with the readers of Experience Arizona!

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Read the Experience Arizona Disclaimer before attempting any of our adventures. Check with local authorities (FS, BLM, etc.) before heading out on any adventures for updates road conditions, closures, etc.

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Estwing Long Handle Camper’s Axe Review

By Iain Gordon

In every wilderness enthusiast’s life there comes that point in time where they have a realization. It usually goes a little something like this:

‘I wish I had more wood...’

Maybe you’re huddling close to the fire on a cold night. Or you’re cooking steaks over an open campfire for that impossible-to-duplicate taste. Or you’re staying for a few nights in the same location. You need an easily-available material to burn, build, or whatever it may be and into your head pops:

‘I wish I had more wood...’

Often times, a quick excursion into the bush in search of small, dead twigs and branches will suffice. But this is not always the case. There are times when small amounts of wood are simply not sufficient.

And for those times, we have axes :)

In my many travels as an outdoorsman, its been my continuing pleasure to have the ability to use the Estwing Long Handle Camper’s Axe.

The Long Handle Camper’s Axe is a 26-inch, four and-a-half pound, steel axe with a four-inch cutting edge. It features a forged steel head with a through-body steel shank that goes all the way through the handle to the axe’s head. The handle comes with a thick nylon grip that serves to reduce the vibrations and shock of cutting into thick wood. Every axe also comes with a leather sheath to accompany it.

To give just an idea of the extent to which I’ve used this fine tool, I will give you a short overview of the exploits and travels of my own personal Estwing.

My own axe has been with me for seven years. Over that period of time it has accompanied me from the mountains of northern Arizona to the shores of the Hudson Bay on the Arctic Ocean. In my work in northern Canada, where I was a canoe-tripping guide for several years, the axe was in use constantly. Part of my job was to find dead wood, fell it, and split it for use in cooking and cleaning every night (fuel is too heavy and bulky to carry on long-term canoe trips). While doing this, the axe was exposed to the elements entirely, having to endure rain, sleet, ice, submersion in water, hours of exposure to the sun, and repeated use.

But more specifically to Arizona, my axe has accompanied me on many basecamping and backpacking trips in the higher altitude regions of the state (you know, where there’s actually trees). On a recent trip to Mt. Lemmon, in my home city of Tucson, the axe was used to hack thick branches off of fallen trees and chop up some of those already fallen trees for firewood when the cold night outlasted our Costco supply of pre-cut wood. The duties and conditions here at home were largely the same as before in Canada, but perhaps on a smaller scale (smaller wood was used and less of it) with heavier sun exposure and the added element of sand and dirt, which the axe handled without a problem. In other words, the Estwing performs just as well with small-time jobs as it does with the bigger ones. 

As a testament to its durability and utility, I still have it today. It works as well as the day I bought it.

So now I’ve barraged you with the numbers and the back story, but what does it all really mean? To make a long story short: this is a sweet little axe.

 

Pros
Cons
The bottom line

The cons don’t even come close to outweighing or outnumbering the pros in this case. If an axe has only limited utility in your camping arsenal, then you may not want to go through the hassle of bringing the Estwing Long Handle Camper’s Axe along. But if you, like me, have regular need in your travels for felling and splitting firewood on-the-spot then this axe comes highly recommended. This axe will take 90 % of all its jobs and tear them to pieces for you. If you get one, get ready to unleash the beast.

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