To make a wilderness knife, first chip away the general shape with another rock or sharped bone.

2008 HowStuffWorks

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When it comes to making weapons in the wild, you'll definitely need to adjust your mind-set from the 21st century to primitive time. Think caveman. For thousands of years, humans protected and fed themselves with weapons and tools made by hand from natural resources. And when you're stuck in the wilderness with nothing but the shirt on your back, you'll need to do the same thing.

Luckily, building up a personal armory requires a short list of supplies, many of which you can easily find in any location. Keep your eyes peeled for hearty wood, rocks and animal bones that will serve as the nuts and bolts of your instruments.

To kick-start your arsenal, there's one essential tool you should focus on first -- a knife. Because of its variety of uses, a knife offers invaluable service in survival situations.

Although bone and wood are suitable for knife blades, stone holds up the longest.

To fashion the blade, you'll need three essential tools:

  • Core rock: A large stone with a relatively flat side will become the actual blade. W­et it to speed up the shaping process.
  • Hammer stone: a large, smooth rock used to chip away the blade shape from the core.
  • Pressure flaker: an antler tip or rock with a sharp point for refining the blade edges.

­If you find a large animal bone, smash it with a rock, then use one of the shards as a blade. While a bone knife works well for punctures, it won't withstand repeated use. Wooden blades are similarly weak, but you can reinforce their strength by using only straight-grained wood and drying it over a smoldering fire.

Now you have a blade, but holding it in your bare hands will cut you. How can you attach a handle to your knife? And what other multi-part weapons can you make in the wilderness? Read the next page to find out.