Anytime you get into a “survival” scenario, whether actual or preparing for, you are dealing in compromises. You cannot carry everything that would be ideal. Think about this - just how likely are you to carry an axe into the woods for a hike, or even overnight camping trip? If you are, then you have your answer. An axe is absolutely the best choice for some serious wood prep. But it is heavy and bulky. It’s more likely you would carry a knife, and perhaps a small hatchet/hawk. Then it becomes a question of the area you’re likely to be in. Here in Tennessee we have enough smaller dead wood that it is pretty easy to get an emergency fire going with just a good fixed blade knife for prep. Because of that I don’t carry a hawk/hatchet unless I just want to. Maybe in your area the hatchet/hawk would serve better. So, in preparing for survival, I would be totally comfortable with a larger fixed blade knife in place of a hatchet/hawk. In my mind, while it won’t do as well the work of a hatchet/hawk, it will still do those tasks while at the same time it can do tasks the hatchet/hawk can’t do very well. For me the knife wins the debate.