Whether at the cabin or in a tent some tools are worth their weight in gold.

I took a long look at what tools would best suit an extended stay in the wilderness.

Here are my best 7 hand tools that are a must at the cabin or the homestead.


An axe or otherwise known as an “ax” has been the woodsman’s tool that predates even the founding of steel. The axe is handy for small work around the campsite and also felling trees for cabin builds. It is a trappers tool and in the north woods especially if you are not carrying an axe for the wilderness you certainly wish you had. Pick a longer handle model and not a more compact hatchet for heavier jobs like dropping trees and splitting logs.

Hand Saw

Where the axe is a felling magician the hand saw is the finisher. The saw is also a safer tool in many hands than the axe and is certainly more quiet in use if stealth is the name of the game. A sturdy saw is perfect for finishing the ends of your log cabin build or cutting small saplings down in the way of your cabin window view.


I find a quality made machete to be a very handy tool in the wilds. It is great for clearing thorny vines, trails and even small saplings. It is handy and in a hurry would make a formidable weapon if need be. Where the trees are young and thin the machete would beat out the axe for utility purposes easily in second growth areas.

Skinning knife

How do you reduce a harvested game animal or fish to table fare? A proper skinning knife is the best tool. For big game a sharp knife complete with a gut hook will be your best friend after the shot.

Chainsaw (luxury)

Yes a chainsaw is a power tool. In the wilds many use it as a hand tool capable of beautiful work. While not completely replacing the axe or hand saw the chainsaw is a time and back saver when all is running good.


From digging an outhouse to digging wild edibles a shovel is an overlooked tool until you need it most. A digging stick is a poor replacement for a good shovel. Collapsible shovels such as the military models are great to carry but remember the short handles are a literal pain in the back. A full size shovel is needed for full size jobs.

Draw knife

A draw knife is perfect for de-barking logs for a cabin build or fleshing fur-bearing pelts. Keep this tool sharp and you will wonder what you did before you had one on your little homestead, wilderness escape or deer camp.

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