Dave Canterbury is one of the most respected wilderness survival experts. He runs the Pathfinder School, which will prepare you for the unexpected with practical woodland exercises as well as classroom-type training.

Combining decades of outdoor self-reliance knowledge and primitive skills experience, the school’s staff is made up of an array of talent and mastery. The certified Pathfinder School instructors are highly trained, and it doesn’t get much better than Dave himself.

In this video, Dave offers some expert axe tips, including what to look for when you buy an axe. How long should it be? What are the dangers of using an axe that is too short, or one that is too long? As Dave shows, a “hunter’s axe” is designed to be smaller for easy portability, but it’s also easier to hurt yourself if you’re not careful. So, with a shorter axe, make sure you kneel before swinging to chop wood. Another useful tip: Keep the mask secured on the axe until you’re ready to chop or slice.

When you’re ready to chop firewood, stretch your arms out so that you come down straight onto the wood without missing it.

Check out the video to learn more axe-handling tips to safely chop wood for building a fire, shelter in the wilderness and more, and for more of Dave Canterbury’s expert training, check out

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