Dryer phat etc

As some have pointed out - you either learned to use a real axe as a kid splitting fire wood, or you have no concept of what its for and how to use it. A hatchet or axe is worthless in the hands of someone not an axeman and is more dangerous than a grizzly bear. People casually swing the axe not thinking that a very heavy sharp edge is moving at high speed towards their legs. Even splitting kindling with a small axe is very dangerous because you can chop a finger off if you don't move it out the way in time. And a dull axe is dangerous because the blade tends to bounce off the wood rather than biting in and the reflected axe could hit you.

Perhaps the ONLY reasonable use the average camper has for a hatchet is making and driving in tent pegs. An axe is pretty much useless without a saw to cut log sections, then split em with the axe. And generally that only matters when ya wants 16 inch sections so they fit into a stove.

THAT SAID: Some of us old farts do know backcountry axemanship and the old time camping skills and if I was lost in the bush with only one thing to my name - I would choose a "slash axe" - one step smaller than a felling axe and easier to use. It has the potential to bring you shelter, protection, and heat, and maybe food. To a Native American, next to a blade, and bow and arrow, a hand axe was the most important tool. SO is a small hatchet an important camping tool - you betcha - but only to those with the skill and a place where those skills are appropriate, like in Central Oregon.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.