Bigger than a hatchet, smaller than an ax | AspenTimes.com

Bigger than a hatchet, smaller than an ax

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There is nothing more irritating, for me anyway, then settling in at camp, building a roaring fire on a chilly night and having a hatchet inadequate to handle the wood.

If you camp a lot, you know what I’m talking about – those annoying times when your light hatchet gets imbedded in a log and won’t budge.I’m happy to report I solved that problem this year with a purchase of a Meyerco Blackie Collin’s tool. I’m not sure exactly what to call it. It’s significantly longer and heavier than a hatchet but shorter and lighter than an ax. Perhaps it’s a “hax” or maybe an “axet.”The long and short of it is, it’s perfect. It measures about 2 feet long from the end of the handle to the top of the head. The head itself is about 6 inches long.

The shaft is made of steel rather than wood. That’s important because I know on my latest desert trip in October I would have cracked a wood shaft when I struck a piece of wood that contained a huge knot.More than 1 foot of the shaft has a beefy rubber cover to ensure a good grip and protection from the sting of connecting with stubborn wood. One strategic swing can easily split a moderate-sized log.I found this perfect tool (I don’t have any idea who Blackie Collins is or was) at the Roaring Fork Valley Co-op in Carbondale, quite possibly the coolest shop in the valley. I made the purchase in the spring but when I returned Nov. 1, I couldn’t find this exact model. Never fear, the Co-op has every size of ax and hatchet imaginable. The one that came closest to my “hax” was by Estwing and sells for $56.

Invest in one for happy splitting.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com