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How to Attach an Ice Axe to a Backpack

If you are hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail or the Continental Divide Trail you will likely need an ice axe at some point. Most hikers mail their ice axe ahead of time to the place where they will need it. When they don't need their ice axe anymore, they just mail it home. Here is how to securely attach your ice axe to your backpack.

Paul Bodnar       Educational       7/1/2021
Paul Bodnar
Educational
7/1/2021

The Parts of an Ice Axe:

diagram of ice axe
ice axe going through the loop of a backpack

1. Turn the pick on the ice axe towards the center of the pack so it doesn’t protrude from the backpack.

Most backpacks have two ice axe loops located on the left and right side of the bottom of the backpack.

ice axe being attached to a backpack

2. Slide your ice axe down into the ice axe loop keeping the pick pointing towards the center of the backpack.

ice axe being attached to a backpack

3. Rotate the ice axe up so the spike faces upwards.

ice axe being fastened into backpack

4. Firmly secure the ice axe to the pack

Most backpacks have a strap that you can use to firmly secure the ice axe to the backpack. Use more straps to secure the ice axe for more security.

Summary

It is very important to properly secure you ice axe to your pack. Securing your ice axe to your pack using multiple straps is recommended.

To avoid injury it is recommended to cover the adze, pick and spike with a cover when the ice axe is not being used.


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About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail again in 2010 to do research for his guide book Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the Pacific Crest Trail. Now with the help of a team of great people they have created over 50 guides for trails around the world.