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.
Hatchets aren’t a new invention, but they’re a critical one when it comes to anything and everything outdoor related. Few companies know this better than the Hults Bruk, a lauded Swedish brand known the world over for its refined ironworking and tried-and-true lineup of hand axes. And, as of last year, the axe aficionados have begun to peddle their wears on our side of the Atlantic for the first time since the company opened its doors in 1697.
The exquisite Jonaker ($144), though just one shining example of Hults Bruk’s penchant for fine blades, might be the most apt for the backcountry or the modern lumberjack in all of us. The 9.4-inch hatchet is the most compact within the company’s limited arsenal, one outfitted with an solid hickory handle and hand-forged with Swedish steel, the latter of which will gleam whether it’s striking kindling in the wilderness or quietly sitting above your living room mantle. The axe head itself is forged in a foundry that’s been in use since the company’s initial inklings, too, and makes use of a hand grinding production process designed to increased the density of the blade.
Furthermore, the head is constructed in such a way that it creates a tempered zone that’s designed to hold a sharp edge even after prolonged sharpening. Linseed oil — a traditional finish used on gun stocks, pool cues, and cricket bats — helps better preserve the wood and showcase the handle’s natural grain, while an accompanying leather sheath provides additional ornamentation and protection when not in use. The hatchet’s lightweight build just means you can wear it on your belt or (delicately) toss it in your pack before heading out to wherever your next adventures takes you.
Check out Hults Bruk online to make a purchase, or to take a closer look at the company’s longstanding history and remarkable assortment of Swedish axes.