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Episode 71 S2-36

Improvised Weapons


Special Guest:

Without Land Ch 36

James E. Hart

The Without Land adventure continues as the team's defenses are tested. Here to discuss improvised weapons and the endless possibilities is James E. Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness.

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The possibilities are endless for improvised weapons because they are exactly that, improvised. These weapons can be clubs, maces, spears, swords, tomahawks, etc. You can even make a monkey fist out of nylon rope and use it effectively as a weapon. A 1/2 inch size nylon rope will make a monkey fist hard enough to break bones and skulls. This type of knot was originally used to throw a line to the shore or to another boat. It is a great way to get a rope into a tree as well.


Many materials around your house can be put to use as an improvised weapon. A spoon can be turned into an arrow head. You can make tomahawks. There are lots of ways to make bows out of PVC and other items. A broom handle with a quality knife attached to the end make a great spear. Remove the handle of the knife and carefully saw a section into the end of the broom handle. Then slide the tang of the knife in the slot you created. Drill a hole in the broom stick so you can put a screw through the handle and the knife and then wrap it in paracord. You will have a sturdy spear.


You have to think about defense as well. You can remove the front sheeting of your refrigerator and attach plywood to the back with a handle to make a great shield. Making leather armor would help you deflect a lot of damage, depending on the thickness and stiffness of the leather. This is not going stop a bullet but it will provide extra protection against melee weapons.


Final Notes from James

Don't advertise your weapons. This may cause adversaries to hide from you and conduct a surprise attack rather than directly confronting you.


Your knife should have a channel to reduce suction when it is stabbed into something.


Stay at least ten feet away from opponents to avoid melee weapons.


Always remember any fight you are not in is one you will walk away from. It is better to live another day.

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Without Land Ch 36

James E. Hart

A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.


Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.

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