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Spears – how to make a spear in a wilderness survival situation.

Ancient stone spears

Bladed Spear

Ancient stone spearsTo make a bladed spear, use the same procedures to make the blade that you used to make a knife blade. Flint, obsidian, iron, or bone can be used for a spearhead.  If possible, modify the normal knife blade construction by adding barbs to the base of the blade.  Barbs will ensure the spear stays embedded in your prey.

Next, select a shaft (a straight sapling) 1.2 to 1.5 meters (4 to 5 feet) long. The length should allow you to handle the spear easily and effectively. The diameter should be thin to allow it to glide through the air with ease.  Attach the spear blade to the shaft using lashing. The preferred method is to split the handle and insert the blade into the handle. Fill space between the handle and blade with wood or other filler.  Finally, wrap or lash it tightly. If wrapped with rawhide, soak the leather first to allow it to stretch.

Stick Spear

You can create a spear without adding a blade. Select a 1.2- to 1.5-meter (4- to 5-foot) long straight hardwood shaft and shave one end to a point.  If possible, fire-harden the point by placing it into a fire until you see a small flame on the tip.  Then sharpen the tip with a rough rock.  If you have thin, flexible metal available. it can be wrapped and formed around the spear point to reinforce.

Bamboo Spear

Banboo spear construction

Bamboo makes an excellent spear. Select a piece 1.2 to 1.5 meters (4 to 5 feet) long. Starting 8 to 10 centimeters (3 to 4 inches) back from the end used as the point, shave down the end at a 45-degree angle. Remember, to sharpen the edges, shave only the inner portion as the outer layer is the hardest.

Penetrating “blades” or flutes can also be fashioned on a bamboo spear by splitting the ends of the bamboo and separating them with vine or pieces of wood. Then sharpen each to a fine point.

Split bamboo tip into flutes

A stick of this fashion gives multiple, spread blades that are excellent for spear fishing.

4-pronged bamboo spear

Other Materials for Spears

You can use other materials to make spears.  Metal rods and even PVC pipe can be improvised into a spear.

Throwing a Spear

Find the spear’s balance point while you rest it in your palm with the point held towards the target.  To throw a spear, start with a sidewise stance from the target with the spear held in the hand furthest from the target.  While keeping your knees bent, step forward towards the target.  Straighten the knees, twist forward with your hips, and launch the spear toward the target.  The throwing shoulder should drop and your non-throwing hand should fly out behind you.  At the point of release, only the index finger and thumb should be gripping the spear.  Release the spear while it is parallel to the ground.  If possible, putting a spin on the spear right before releasing will allow it to travel faster and further.

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