Gransfors Axe Holder

Brenton Horne shares his clever self-made Axe holder modification on his day pack.

Whilst on a canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park last year a squirrel wrecked my day pack getting at a granola bar I had stashed in the bottom. I wasn’t too upset, it gave me a great excuse (I mean reason!) to buy a new day pack. The pack I chose in the end was a 5.11 Tactical Rush 24, it’s a great pack with loads of space and options for organising gear. It is also covered in molle webbing to increase the options of adding other attachments to it.

Another piece of favourite gear is my Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe; this has proven useful on so many trips from splitting firewood to making tent pegs and clearing paths of fallen trees early in the spring. I like to secure this axe to the outside of my pack freeing up space inside whilst also making it easily accessible. On my larger backpack I use the ice axe loops for this purpose and I had wrongly assumed I could easily buy a molle attachment so I could secure my axe to my new pack. I scoured the web looking for options but found next to nothing. I tried to make something using paracord and the pack compression strap but this was unsatisfactory.

Eventually I decided to make something myself. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, basically reproducing the ice axe loop on my other pack. The materials needed were:

  • A 1″webbing belt with quick release buckle
  • A pair of plastic 1″strap adjusters
  • A set of 5/8″heavy duty press snap fasteners (along with the tool for fitting)
  • A lighter for sealing the belt after cutting it

I carefully measured the length I needed for the loop, about 23″ as it turned out, and cut this off the end of the belt after unthreading it from the male end of the buckle. I measured and fitted 2 sets of snap fasteners on each end to fit around the molle webbing, one set will probably have sufficed but I wanted to be sure it was secure.

This formed the loop through which I slide the axe handle and holds the axe head. I then split one side of the strap adjusters to fit the molle webbing through and used the remainder of the belt along with the buckle threaded through these for securing the axe handle.

So far I am very pleased with the results; it functions really well and holds the axe securely even when hiking on uneven ground. It is also easy to remove when I’m not carry the axe which is a bonus. I would have preferred to use OD green for the axe holder to blend in with the pack but black was all that was available at the time. There is also a sense of personal satisfaction that I have a simple, cheap, elegant solution that I have made myself, not sure why I didn’t think of that from the start.