How to make a survival spear

In a survival situation, you need to be able to protect yourself from anything lurking in the desert. Pick any random movie that involves a plane crash or a jungle adventure, and chances are you’ll see someone carrying a sharp stick at some point. Well, it may look beautiful and bring dramatic effect, but there is a strong case for the Survival Spear. They can be used for hunting, as a walking stick and of course to fight predators.

Not all survival situations are the result of a major disaster. Sometimes you head out into the backcountry with survival in mind, carrying a full bug-out style bag full of specially selected gear. Or you might get lost on the trail and know that leftover stationery usually increases your chances of being found by rescue teams, in which case you’ll have exactly what you take with you on the trail. When you’re packing for your trip, essentials like a knife and a fire starter can make the difference if you’re to survive.

What materials are spears made of?

What is used to make a spear will depend on the style you choose. There are many different types, and you can make them as elaborate and designed as you want, but there’s a reason the humble pointed stick has been trusted for thousands of years. If you work your stick properly, you may end up with a tip harder than copper.

To craft your Survival Spear, you need a strong branch or sapling just a little taller than you. Keeping your spear longer than you are tall means that when you’re holding it upright, you’re not going to have an accidental encounter with the pointed end. For a strong, flexible spear, your branch should be about the thickness of a broomstick and should still be green. Cutting down living trees goes against the principles of leaving no trace on the outside, but in a survival situation we sometimes have to give up our preferred moral values.

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How to make a survival spear

Step 1: Find the branch or sapling you have chosen and cut it as close to the base as possible. You can use your knife or a hatchet for this, but a folding saw will give you the cleanest cut. Use your knife to remove any extra growth from your spear.

2nd step: Shave the bark several inches off one end of your spear. Once it’s clean, use your knife to shave the tip down to a point. Hold your spear firmly in one hand and remember to sharpen the stick away from your body.

Step 3: When your spear is sharp enough, heat the pointed end in your campfire to harden the tip. Heating the tip dries the wood, hardens it so it is much stronger, less flexible and will last longer. Remember that you roast your spear slowly, without trying to burn the tip.

If you have some grease on hand, like a jar of Vaseline or lip balm, you can grease the tip of your spear before heating it and protect the wood. This prevents the tip of your spear from charring as easily. If you don’t have grease on hand, you can substitute pine sap.

Step 4: Your survival spear is ready to go. If you have time to burn and want to get the toughest spearhead possible, you can use a smooth stone to polish your spearhead. Rub the stone firmly on the tip of the spear to compress the fibers and harden the wood until it almost looks glassy and is as strong as steel.

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