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Survival Weapons

(Adapted from the U.S. Army Survival Manual)

FIELD-EXPEDIENT WEAPONS

A knife is your most valuable tool in a survival situation. Imagine being in a survival situation without any weapons, tools, or equipment except your knife. It could happen! You might even be without a knife. You would probably feel helpless, but with the proper knowledge and skills, you can easily improvise needed items.

In survival situations, you may have to fashion any number and type of field-expedient tools and equipment to survive. Examples of tools and equipment that could make your life much easier are ropes, rucksacks, clothes, nets, and so on.

Weapons serve a dual purpose. You use them to obtain and prepare food and to provide self-defense. A weapon can also give you a feeling of security and provide you with the ability to hunt on the move.

CLUBS

You hold clubs, you do not throw them. As a field-expedient weapon, the club does not protect you from enemy soldiers. It can, however, extend your area of defense beyond your fingertips. It also serves to increase the force of a blow without injuring yourself. There are three basic types of clubs. They are the simple, weighted, and sling club.

 Steve's Notes: This was adapted from the U.S. Army Survival Manual, and so discusses weapons for use against people. They can be used also for protection against animals, though, and for procuring food. As teenagers, we clubbed more than one fish when they were running thick.

Simple Club

A simple club is a staff or branch. It must be short enough for you to swing easily, but long enough and strong enough for you to damage whatever you hit. Its diameter should fit comfortably in your palm, but it should not be so thin as to allow the club to break easily upon impact. A straight-grained hardwood is best if you can find it.

Weighted Club

A weighted club is any simple club with a weight on one end. The weight may be a natural weight, such as a knot on the wood, or something added, such as a stone lashed to the club.

To make a weighted club, first find a stone that has a shape that will allow you to lash it securely to the club. A stone with a slight hourglass shape works well. If you cannot find a suitably shaped stone, you must fashion a groove or channel into the stone by a technique known as pecking. By repeatedly rapping the club stone with a smaller hard stone, you can get the desired shape.

Next, find a piece of wood that is the right length for you. A straight-grained hardwood is best. The length of the wood should feel comfortable in relation to the weight of the stone. Finally, lash the stone to the handle.

There are three techniques for lashing the stone to the handle: split handle, forked branch, and wrapped handle. The technique you use will depend on the type of handle you choose. See Figure 12-1.

Making Survival Weapons

This discussion of survival weapons continues on the pages:

Survival Knives

Throwing Sticks

Making A Bow And Arrow

Bolas

Survival Spears

Back to the Wilderness Survival Guide.



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