If a huge natural disaster should strike, society should collapse, or zombies begin to take over our “world”, you’ll have no choice but to run to the wilderness in order to survive. Hopefully, you’ll have your bug out bag with you wherein you have at least 3 days’ worth of supplies until help comes. However, there is a possibility of you needing more supplies after 3 days with no help in sight. Though a more probable scenario would be that you found yourself lost in the wild with nothing but your survival knife, the result is the same thing – you’ll need to fend for yourself until help comes along. Thus, one of the skills you definitely must have is the ability to use your survival knife to procure food.
3 Ways to Use Your Survival Knife for Procuring Food:
Finding edible insects
Though you might be cringing at the thought of swallowing a bug, a lot of insects are rich in protein and fat, two important nutritional needs that you must meet if you’re in a survival situation. Before you start digging for bugs to eat, however, you should keep in mind that the basic rule of thumb is to avoid brightly colored insects, pungent ones, and hairy ones as well. Following this rule can help you avoid eating any inedible insects. So, how does a survival knife help you find edible insects? For some insects, such as ants, you’ll have to do a bit of digging and using your hands isn’t always the most ideal thing to do. Other insects have nesting sites underground, beneath rocks, or within rotten wood that you’ll need to dig or pry through to get your meal. With the best survival knife in hand (or even just a mediocre one), you can easily forage through the insects’ hiding places and gather yourself some grub. And while Bear Grylls loves to eat bugs raw, you’d be better off cooking them (a.k.a. boiling) before consuming your meal.
Spearfishing and hunting
A spear is a perfect tool for catching some fish and game, both excellent sources of protein and fats that you will need in order to survive. Now, if you’ve watched some episodes of Bear Grylls (who is the ultimate survivor man), you’ll know that using a spear to catch food is not going to be easy, whether you’re fishing or hunting. But like with everything else, practice makes perfect so onwards we go.
You can fashion a spear using your survival knife by getting a stick that’s about five feet long. Make sure that it’s durable enough to withstand the abuse of being thrown time and again. Once you have a stick, choose the end that is more rounded as your tip. To create the pointed tip of a spear, hold your stick at a 450 angle, place your knife’s edge around 4 inches from the end of the stick, and start shaving in a downwards motion. Rotate the stick frequently as you shave so that the tip stays sharp and even. Once you have a sharp point, rotate it slowly for a couple of minutes over some hot coals to dry out the wood. This makes your DIY spear much sharper.
If you need a visual of how to do this, be sure to check the video out below:
Another way you can create a spear with your survival knife is to lash it onto a stick. Some of the best survival knives have “spear-holes” which you can use to tie your knife to a stick. Even if your knife doesn’t have that feature, it’s still possible though less secure. Before you can tie your knife to the stick, you’ll need to create a shelf for your knife. For the shelf, you'll need a stick about 3-5 feet in length. Make sure that both ends of the stick are flat so cut off a bit at the ends if need be. Place your knife's handle on top of the stick to measure its length starting from the end of the stick. Mark that spot with your knife. Using your survival knife, split the stick up until the spot you marked. Then, cut off one of the split ends to make the shelf. Place the knife's handle on top of the shelf, making sure that your blade sticks out at the stick's end. Use a rope, cord, or whatever material you have handy to tie your knife to the stick. With a spear in hand, you're now ready to hunt and fish (or die trying).
Creating small traps or snares
To improve your chances of catching food in a survival situation, you'll need to do a bit of trapping to supplement your hunting (or lack of success thereof). With your survival knife in hand, you can easily create small snares and traps. One of the simplest ones you can make is the "simple snare" which is exactly what it says. You simply need to create a noose out of fine, flexible wire, twine, or some kind of cordage that easily and quickly tightens when the animal pulls on it but is durable enough that it won't snap. Some examples include shoe strings, a fishing line, and the wire in your bra (if you happen to be wearing one). If you don't have any of those types of materials with you, you can still find excellent materials from plants and trees such as milkweed, cattail, and stinging nettle. Once you construct your noose, make sure that its size is about half a head larger than your prey's. You'll also need a small stake where your noose will be attached. Using your survival knife, create a small stake which you will attach to your noose and hold it in place even if the animal pulls against it continuously. Keep the noose open (able to allow the animal to pass his head through it when passing by) with some small twigs or grass. One thing to keep in mind is to place your snare in a place where an animal is likely to stumble upon it such as a trail or near some animal droppings.
Of course, there are numerous other ways your survival knife can help keep you from starving to death in the wild. But these three should be good enough to hold you until help comes or you finally reach civilization.