Trekking: 5.11 Tactical’s Operator is an axe of all trades

5.11 Tactical Operator Axe
Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.

Axes are the sharped-edged fundamental of any tool collection — mostly because they can wreak havoc on a variety of mediums with little to no force. And although they’ve been used for millennia as a convenient means of shaping and splitting wood, we rarely think of them as anything other than implement for doing just that. The folks at 5.11 Tactical may not be looking to reinvent the wheel, but they are looking to broaden that shallow mindset with the introduction of the Operator Axe ($160).

Related: At 1½ pounds, the Hults Bruk Jonaker is a backpacker’s delight

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.35.56 PMLike similar utility axes, the Operator is made for more than a single purpose. The company designed the stainless-steel instrument in conjunction with Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics — a reputable North Carolinan manufacturer of high-quality tactical gear — and as such, it’s meant to be as industrious as it is durable. The bearded axe’s frame sports a black oxide finish and features a basic ruler on one side, which accompany a multitude of components that allow the axe to carry out 24 different functions without the need of an additional toolkit.

The sleek, ambidextrous axe features a hammer for bludgeoning nails and stakes, a pry bar for opening doors and windows, and both standard and metric markings and wrench openings. The jimped shaft and handle ensure stability, too, while the two-piece sheath and rubberized retention strap make sure you can safely carry the 15-inch utensil from your shed to the backyard, and to the woods and beyond. Now, if only learning to throw it were that easy…

Check out 5.11 Tactical online to make a purchase, or for a closer look at the company’s extensive collection of tactical apparel and accessories.

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