Axemanship Course: The Jack Mountain Bushcraft School Axe Method

Course Info
· Max. Size: 10
· Length: 1-Day
· Tuition: $125
· Where: Wolfeboro, NH

The Axe Is The Most Important Tool Of The Northern Forest

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“There is nothing in the woods that so fills the amateur with despairing admiration and envy as the manner in which an old woodsman uses his axe.” – Edward Breck, The Way Of The Woods

Over the 2+ decades we’ve been training people to use an axe safely we’ve developed a curriculum unique to the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School, based around safety, efficiency and our vast experience training people who have never swung an axe. You won’t find this curriculum in any book or on any YouTube video. We do things a little differently.

The safe and efficient use of the axe is a foundational skill for living or traveling in remote forests when you cook and heat with fire. There is a renewed interest in axes due to the current popularity of bushcraft. As such, there are many demonstrating axe use on YouTube and the internet who have no idea how to use or teach others the way of the axe. The result is that people are learning bad and unsafe technique.

Watching people with no training is absolutely terrifying for our instructors; much worse than any horror movie, because we know how close people are coming to maiming themselves.

We train people to use axes safely in remote environments. When there is no chance of making it out to a doctor or hospital without a few days of travel, safety takes on a whole new importance.

Many seek old books for their information on using an axe. We don’t. There are many techniques in the old books that we think are just plain dangerous. Because we’re training people to use axes safely on remote expeditions, we’ve developed safety parameters that minimize the risk. The most important piece of safety equipment is your brain. When you approach every situation with a mind for safety out of respect for what this tool can do, it will become your most cherished tool. When you flail about without heed for safety it’s only a matter of time before you get hurt.

Upon completion of this course you should be able to use an axe safely in any environment under any conditions. This is the same training that participants on our 9-week Wilderness Bushcraft Semester receive.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completing of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the different types of axes
  • Choose and appropriate axe for their needs
  • Maintain a sharp edge
  • Understand the psychology of axe use
  • Create safe axe training exercises
  • Understand the four major axe uses: Felling, Limbing, Sectioning, Splitting
  • Understand the implications of being in remote locations on the four majors
  • Know the specific safety parameters of each of the four majors
  • Understand the role efficiency plays in axe use


Participants will need their own axe, as one of the first lessons of the course is to never lend your axe. For information on choosing an axe, check out this blog post and video.

Who this course is for: This course is appropriate for adults and mature teens. It is not open to those younger than 16 years of age. Previous experience using an axe is desirable, but not required.
When: Course runs from 9 am to 4 pm, with a break for lunch. Bring a lunch.
Where: The Jack Mountain Bushcraft Folk School. 267 Camp School Road in Wolfeboro.
What to bring: Axe with a sturdy sheath, new mill bastard file, seasonally appropriate clothes, notebook and pen, snowshoes (if the snow is deeper than 6”), lunch.

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