I decided to hit the woods to try my hand at building a quick shade shelter with the Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Axe. This axe has so many more uses besides just building a wilderness shelter.
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When it comes to building a wilderness shelter, there’s always something new to learn. I used to live in the city and the only wilderness available to me had been city or state parks. This meant that I had a lot of restrictions when it came to practicing wilderness survival skills.
I learned to adapt. Instead of chopping down trees, I used what I could find on the ground: Limbs, leaves, grass, etc. Whatever I could harvest from the forest floor, I used it to create shelter.
Is it the best shelter you’ve ever seen in your entire life?
Not even close.
But not only did it do the job, but with every shelter I built, I learned tricks to be better for next time. In the end, that’s all that really matters – learning.
In general, though, I’m a big fan of using a hand saw and a really big knife as my base tools for working with small branches, firewood and so on.
My husband has had a rusty ol’ hatchet that we always take camping to cut firewood. I’ve really tried to love it by consistently trying it, but a hatchet doesn’t seem to be my kind of outdoor tool.
An axe, however, that’s always intrigued me; however, I’ve never been able to properly wield an axe.
The Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Axe measures 16-inches in overall length, which makes it extremely easy to wield for a petite woman such as myself. The stainless steel is sufficiently heavy, but it’s well balanced so none of it feels too heavy either way, nor does it feel too heavy to wield.
The rubberized handle is extremely comfortable and effectively absorbs reverb after hitting against wood.
The sheath that it comes with is a very standard sheath with a few buttons to keep it from falling out. The sheath comes with a belt loop, which makes it convenient to have out in the field. However, I wish the loop snapped open and closed instead of having to take my entire belt off to strap it in. A minor inconvenience, but something I would have personally preferred. Otherwise, the sheath held it in place perfectly fine.
Right out of the box, the axe came extremely sharp – a pleasant surprise. (So much, so that it put a smile to my face the first time axe met wood.)
Building the shelter felt like a breeze. I found a few huge limbs that only needed a few minor changes to make them suitable for the shelter. The axe made the changes effortlessly.
It took about 10 minutes to erect the entire structure! I took my time, but the overall swiftness of this shelter is mostly due to the efficiency and ease of use of this axe.
The proper tools make all the difference, no matter what you’re trying to do. Take it from me, when you use the wrong tool, you suffer and struggle through it. Find the right tool and your whole world will suddenly make sense.
This axe has honestly changed my opinion about axes and I’ll be adding this to my “go-to” collection of my most useful tools.
Take a look at the Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Axe here.