It doesn’t matter much whether you’re trying to survive the aftermath of a hurricane, an earthquake, a massive flood, an extreme blizzard or a volcanic eruption—once you’ve bugged out to your safe zone, you are probably going to be heating large quantities of water over an open fire.

Once that fire is going, you are going to equally need the tools to feed it 24/7 for days on end. Around the world, the primary means for this has long been basic axes, tomahawks, hatchets and machetes. Tomahawks and hatchets, in particular, have served Americans as combination tools and weapons from the earliest days of European settlement. Machetes have performed much of the same functions in the lusher vegetation of Central and South America.

The modern bushcraft and backcountry survival movement has given birth to a wide range of new models especially designed to fill this need. Here are a few of the more interesting ones we have found.

For more information on the axes, tomahawks, hatchets and machetes featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.

Camillus Camtrax

Condor Eco-Survival Golok Machete

Condor Cloudburst Axe

CRKT Birler

Camillus M-13 Machete

ESEE Lite Machete

Lansky Wilderness Pack

Ontario Bushcraft Machete

Heckler & Koch Clout Tactical Axe

SOG Folding Saw

Spyderco SzaboHawk

Timberline MSS

Wetterlings Bushman Axe

Zippo 4-In-I Woodsman

TOPS Micro Hawk

This article was originally published in ‘Survivor’s Edge’ Winter 2017. To subscribe, visit

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