Saturday, 12 November 2011

Carrying The Tomahawk[trade axe].

My thanks to Elmo for asking about the carrying and safety aspects of tomahawks. As far as the covering of blades is concerned, I think it was a personal choice based on experience. I told Elmo about the trapper who slipped on ice and fell on his tomahawk which had no blade cover and was carried under his belt. The blade cut his hand off as he tried to break his fall.

The typical and most common way for a woodsrunner to carry a tomahawk. This woodsman has removed the blade cover because he is using his tomahawk to construct a shelter.

Again, you can see the tomahawk through the back of my belt with a linen cloth cover on the blade. My half-axe is secured under the ties on my blanket roll.

This tomahawk frog belonged to a close friend of mine who went under some years ago. His persona was that of an ex Ranger and no longer needing to carry a bayonet for his Brown Bess musket, he ellected to make this frog to just carry his tomahawk. This shows my wife's belt axe in the frog.

This is the type of frog carried by some Rangers and light infantry.

This mid 18th century carrier is home made and designed to carry under the arm with the strap over the shoulder.

This I believe is a copy of an original late 18th century tomahawk blade cover. I would not take this to be one of common usage.


Gorges Smythe said...

Being original, that last one is especialy interesting!

Le Loup said...

I agree Gorges.

Jenny said...


I like that last one - it reminds me of the Alexander McKenzie tomahawk carriage.

There's another original here -

(So many shoulder straps! All this stuff adds up! :p)

elmo iscariot said...

Very interesting, thank you.

Carrying an axe in a belt with the blade uncovered while out of reach of the civilized world seems like insanity to my mind, but I'm not about to argue with people who made their living in the wilderness.

Maybe you and I are just conservative. ;)

grimbo said...

hi keith,good info..from the sketches ive seen from various books of 18th century trappers etc,the axe is just tucked under the belt,no cover,i carry mine like the while in the woods as i seem to be using it permantly for different tasks,if i leave it in a tree near by,it always seems not to be near by when i need it,and i believe like a knife it should always be on you at hand ready for use.The way the tomahawk blade rests?For me i have the head nestled up to my fire bag,so it sits almost on this.I do use a frog set up,this is when im travelling with a pack on my back,this set up allows me to get at my tomahawk with out taking my long pack off..cheers.