We ran our axe course over the last weekend and had a great time. The axe is a really versatile tool and makes many bushcraft tasks much quicker, but it needs to be treated with respect. You can’t afford to make mistakes with an axe as the consequences can be nasty. We place a lot of emphasis on working safely, although a lot of the time safe working can also be efficient working. You can read a post on axe safety here.
We started the axe course by looking at different axes and their purpose and then moved on to getting the eye in by splitting logs on a stump and on the ground. From there we felled some small ash trees, snedded and cross cut them, We used some of this ash to make wedges and mallets. The course then moved on to feather sticks and some simple carving. Nicola surpassed herself with dinner, pork and parsnips in cider with mash and broccoli. We spent the evening in the yurt with the stove burning away.
The next day, after bacon and egg rolls, we started with a woodland walk and did some tree identification (I like this time of year for tree IDing as you can see the leaf and the bud on many species). When we got back, we went over some tree felling theory and felled a bigger ash. Again we snedded and cross cut. We took some of the wood back to camp and used the wedges and hammers made on the previous day to split it and managed to create some rudimentary boards.
Whilst Friday night and much of Saturday were wet, we had a great time. I’d pretty much expected this as 5 of the people on the course had been with us previously and Nicola and I were looking forward to seeing them again. And the 2 first timers were also excellent company and we expect to see them again as well next year.
We’ve got a few photos below taken on the axe course
You can see plenty more photos taken on the course on our Facebook page.