Even if you don’t use a pack axe for breaking down a big-game animal, you’ll need one in camp for driving tent stakes, splitting kindling, clearing shooting lanes, and fighting off charging bears. The CRKT Pack Axe is a classically styled embodiment of what the packable axe should be. It sports a relatively long handle, so it will offer a decent swing radius, but it’s still portable. The head is well designed, with a straight top, a cutting edge that curves in toward the bottom, and a wide flat back for hammering. The cutting edge wasn’t sharp enough to use for skinning, but you could get it there with some time at the stone. The hickory handle is attractive and has good ergonomics. There’s no sheath included, so you’ll have to fashion your own—ideally out of bear hide.