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OUTDOOR SURVIVAL

Field-Expedient Weapons, Tools, and Equipment: Clubs

You hold clubs, you do not throw them. As a field-expedient weapon, the club does not protect you from threats. 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.

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.

Sling Club

A sling club is another type of weighted club. A weight hangs 8 to 10 centimeters from the handle by a strong, flexible lashing (Figure 12-2). This type of club both extends the user's reach and multiplies the force of the blow.