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Do You Pack an AX?

I've only known one hiker who packed an ax...a forestry student named
Axman no less.  But my last trip convinced me to always carry one...and
a saw.....in the car.  We had some real wind one nite and were grateful
that nothing went crash in the nite on us. Today, back in the car and
on our way out we found the road blocked be a huge old tree that had
snapped in the wind.  If we couldn't get by it would have meant an
eighty mile detour (about thirty of them on_really_bad_roads). As I
wondered how far I would have to back up before finding a turn-around,
I remembered the folding hatchet a well-meaning friend (a non-hiker)
had given me for Christmas. Knowing I would  not want to carry it on my
back I stashed it in the trunk. Now this thing was anything but user
friendy-no proper handle - it did let us remove enough branches to
squeeze by and be on our way.  Tomorrow I'll replace it in the trunk
with a proper ax and maybe a bow saw.  Of course that means I'll never
run into a similar situation again.             Kahley