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 axe 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 axe to your backpack.

Backpacking Repair Kit

The Parts of an Ice Axe:

Axe part descriptions
Putting an axe through the ice axe loop at the bottom of the pack

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 axe loops located on the left and right side of the bottom of the backpack. As a result you can choose the side that works best for you.

axe all the way down the ice axe loop

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

axe flipped up on the backpack

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

axe being secured to backpack

4. Firmly secure the 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 axe for more security.


It is very important to properly secure you axe to your pack. Securing your 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 axe is not being used.