Learn to make your own homemade weapons so you'll have a fighting chance in a survival situation where all you have is nature.
How to Make Homemade Weapons
Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?
Let's say you got lost in the wild, and you somehow forgot or lost your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT (or whichever is the best survival knife for you). What do you do?
While your situation is most likely not quite as bad as Tom Hanks had it in Castaway, let's face it. The only way you're gonna get out of this situation in good shape is to let out your inner caveman.
Let me explain. Our very primitive ancestors lived in a time when every day was a survival situation. Any tools or weapons they needed had to be made from scratch.
So, should you be unlucky enough to have only the shirt on your back while you're lost in the wilderness, you'll have to follow suit. Let the training of your inner caveman begin.
Today's lesson: how to make DIY weapons in the wild with only the resources nature provided you.
How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons
Having a knife, any kind of knife is probably one of the best things to happen should you suddenly find yourself in a survival situation.
You can use it to help you find food, build a shelter, and defend yourself against wild animals.
So it's highly fortunate nature is waiting like a momma at a craft table with lots of materials you can use to create one.
1. Stone Knives
Bone, shell, bamboo, wood, or even an old aluminum beer can may work to perform the puncturing function of a blade. You know you've seen these a million times when you're out hiking.
They're easy to crack or break or shape into a fairly sharp point which will do in a pinch. Unfortunately, you're not going to be able to use a chicken bone or an expertly-shaped aluminum can point to skin, chop, baton, or any of the other necessary functions of a survival knife.
This is where the stone comes into play. I'll start by saying making a knife out of stone isn't easy, but it can be done.
You'll need three things: a core rock, a hammerstone, and a pressure flaker. Remember, you're going to be smashing these together in true caveman fashion.
So, having stones you can reasonably grip in each hand is going to make your life a lot easier. Although, it's definitely an option to stand poised over one rock smashing down on it.
You, with a two-hand grip, pounding until you've chipped away at it a bit. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
2. The Core Rock
The core rock is what you'll be making into a blade. Find any large stone, preferably made from obsidian, slate, chert, or flint with a relatively flat side.
In case you weren't a rock collector in any of your previous lives, here's another way to decide if a rock meets the requirements for good knife-making material. Tap or click a rock together with another rock and listen for a ringing sound (like glass).
The more rock sounds like glass, the better it is as a material for your core rock. If you can, choose a rock which is already a bit sharp to reduce the amount of time you'll need to shape it.
3. The Hammerstone
The hammerstone is a medium-sized, spherical rock, preferably made of granite. It will be used to smash, chisel, chip and shape the core rock.
You'll be using it to chip off pieces of the core stone and to narrow the edges to a blade shape.
4. The Pressure Flaker
The pressure flaker, or flaking tool, is a rock with a sharp point to help you refine the blade's edges. You'll use your flaking tool after you've thinned the edges of the stone with the hammer stone to make the “blade” sharper.
When you start making your knife, you'll want to be sure to wet the core stone to shorten the time it takes to shape it into a blade. Begin by striking glancing blows near the edge of the core rock with the hammerstone.
Chip away at the core rock until you get the general shape of a blade. Then, use the flaking tool to refine the edges you need to sharpen.
You can also use a stone with a rough surface such as a sandstone to sharpen the edge. Use some rope, cloth, or leather to lash the base and create a handle.
If you are having troubling shaping the rock into a knife, you can opt to create stone blades instead. Check out the videos below to learn how:
How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons
We've talked about how to make a spear using your best survival knife in a previous article. The same principle applies here.
Even without your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT or whichever survival knife you normally bring with you, you can still make a spear using your newly made stone knife.
To make a spear, you'll need to find a five-foot-long stick tough enough to endure repeated short or long-distance throws.
- First, pick the end of the stick which has a more rounded tip and use your stone knife to start shaving to create a spear. Once you're done, be sure to heat the spear over some hot coals to make your spear sharper.
- As an alternative, you can also make a spear by tying your knife onto a stick. Find a stick which is about an inch wide.
- Measure about 2 inches from one end of the stick. Mark the point, then split the stick into two until you reach the 2-inch mark, creating a sort of Y shape.
- This will create a space where you can stick your stone knife before you lash it on with some twine, cord, or rope. To lock the blade in place, put some moss or lichen in the remaining space.
- If you haven't had time to fashion your knife out of stone yet, you can also use broken pieces of shell or glass or splintered bamboo or bone and secure it to the end of your stick.
- If you find a way to split your stick without a knife, you can insert the splintered bone or bamboo into the wedge and tie it off like you would when turning a knife into a spear.
How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons
While sharp pointy tools are all well and good, you can never go wrong with a blunt homemade weapon. You can use it for hammering or bludgeoning something such as a weighted club.
The weighted club could be one of the deadliest ancient weapons. To make one, you'll need the following: a piece of wood around 14-16 inches, a medium-sized rock, and some rope.
- Once you have all the materials, you'll need to wrap some lashing 6-8 inches from the end of the stick.
- Split the same end until you reach the lashing in order to create a V-shaped notch. The rock you picked out should be shorter than the length of the split.
- Insert the stone then lash it securely (above, below, and across the stone). The lashing on the stick above the stone clamps both sides of the split together providing the first point of security, so it's especially important to create a good, tight lashing above the stone.
- You'll want to make sure you bind the split ends securely so the stone won't fall off whenever you use it to hammer or pound on something.
This video from Wannabe Bushcrafter will show you how to make a bamboo knife:
Now, hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where making homemade weapons is going to be a necessity for survival.
But, if you do find yourself in such a quagmire, this little bit of information and inner caveman training may be what saves your life.
Which of these homemade weapons do you want to make? Tell us your progress in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.