Ice axes are a vital piece of kit for snow expeditions, but wrongly attached, they can damage your pack or body. Here’s a safe technique to have you packing your pick like a pro.
Step one: Locate your loops. Most tramping packs have two small loops at the bottom rear corners. Set your pack down on its straps and thread your ice axe spike-first through one of your loops.
Step two: Pull it through. Pull the shaft all the way through, until the head catches on the loop. Ensure the pick is facing towards the centre of your pack.
Step three: Flip it. Hold the handle, and flip it like a lever towards the top of your pack. The loop should catch and hold.
Step four: Secure the shaft. Your pack should have a small loop on the back, which sits in line with the bottom loops. Secure the shaft in this loop, and you’re good to go.
Step five: Protect your points. To keep your ice axe from puncturing your pack, it’s worth investing in a protector to cover the sharp pick and adze.
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