Primitive Survival Weapons
for Acquiring Food

survival weapons bows

By Jason Knight

Primitive survival weapons can be valuable tools for acquiring food in extended wilderness survival situations. They can often be made from common natural materials found in the outdoors such as stones, branches, and fibrous plants. Examples of primitive survival weapons include:


survival weapon throwing stick

Throwing Stick

A throwing stick, also known as a rabbit stick, is a sturdy stick approximately an arm's length long and about wrist thickness in diameter. The throwing stick is used to take down small game such as rabbits or grouse at close range. It can be thrown side arm to maximize the striking area or thrown overhand to get between dense brush and trees. Sticks of the correct size can be used as is, or they can be carved to be more aerodynamic.

survival weapon fish spear

Fish Spear

A fish spear is a long, straight stick that has sharp points and barbs on one end. Eight feet is a good spear length to allow you to reach out into a pond or creek. It can be created by smoothing down a branch and carving points and barbs onto one end. A small wedge tied in place with string or plant fiber cordage keeps the points spread apart. The sharp points and barbs can then be fire hardened for increased durability.

survival weapon quickie bow

Quickie Bow

A quickie bow is a fast-made bow for immediate use in a survival situation. It is carved from a live sapling or branch of a tree. The reason it is called a “quickie” bow is because it is made at the time the wood is harvested, rather than waiting a year for the wood to season. The advantage of this bow is that it is ready to use right away. The disadvantage is that the quickie bow will lose its springiness after a few months of use.

survival weapon atlatl

Atlatl

The atlatl is a projectile throwing tool. It is a pre-cursor to the bow and arrow. It consists of two parts – a dart (similar to a small spear) and a cupped or notched launching stick. The launching stick allows the thrower to use leverage to hurl the atlatl dart through the air with significant force. Both parts can be carved from wood branches. Hunter-gathers used atlatls to take down many types of animals.


From simple throwing sticks and spears to the more elaborate quickie bow and atlatl, primitive survival weapons provide efficient tools for acquiring food sources in the outdoors. When combined with knowledge of traps, snares, game animals, and wild edible plants, there is rarely an occasion when survival food cannot be acquired. Throughout history primitive weapons have enabled humans to thrive in the wilderness.



Primitive survival weapons are part of the wilderness survival curriculum at the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program.



Return from Survival Weapons back to Wilderness Survival Articles

(360) 793-8709


wilderness survival school catalog Request Information:
Receive a free copy of our brochure and Wilderness Certification Program Catalog:

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.
We respect your privacy and never sell, trade, or share your information.


Visit the Course Calendar:

course calendar


Recent News at Alderleaf:


Alderleaf in the Media:

Alderleaf in the media


Find us on Facebook:


wilderness survival guide Join our eNewsletter:
And receive a free copy of our survival mini-guide, Thriving in the Outdoors: The Six Keys to Wilderness Survival!

Email:
Name:
Learn more