Don't forget defense, Which is offense

Many people go out expecting to return. The reason is most do return. They go out without any actually weapon, or anything to really make a good weapon. Or so they think, anyway. Many of the people that get into a survival situation are in panic because they cannot cope with the fact that they have no defense at all. In truth, if you went out with the following few items, you really have as much defense as you should need to protect yourself.

-Paracord
-Knife
-Hatchet (You could use your knife)
- Whistle
-Mirror*
-Fire starting material
-Wire*

*= Not proven to actually work, however I have had good experience with the method I will describe in a bit.

Now, when I say you have everything you need in just that, you are probably wondering what I am talking about, aren't you? Well, what I mean is the following few things.

1.) Paracord could easily be used in defense for yourself! It could be used to climb a tree, or help, anyway. That doesn't sound like defense, maybe, but consider this situation: You are in the midst of a bear, and you have a paracord string set up attached to a tree. Climb that rope. Make sure to have a stick waiting, or take one. You will be away from the bear (Or other animal) The stick is to make sure that you have something to use if that animal decides to start climbing that tree! (Don't be afraid of this, as it usually won't happen)

A.) The Paracord could also make the item used to defend yourself while you are up in that tree. How? If you had the knife that you should have, you could use the cord to tie the knife to the end of a stick (Preferably a nice green stick, cut by the hatchet). Tie the knife to the end of the stick, and then you have an extra 2-6 feet reach with your knife (Depending on how long the stick is)

1.) This stick is a part of what I meant when I said it is also offense. The stick could easily kill any small to small-medium size game. That game could be used to feed yourself. I am not telling you that this is a good method of getting food (Getting yourself in danger, that is) but if the situation arises, the defense used could become the offense of obtaining a good bite to eat!

B.) This paracord could also be used to make a very strong snare. Now, I am NOT saying it will hold any big animal long, though it could, it isn't a guarantee. Just set up a few that are around the height of some of the animals that may be lurking, and from the direction in which you think it may be coming from. If need be, you can actually pick it up and toss it around the animal. After you do that (Not recommended) you could get any defensive weapon you have, or get to where the particular animal can't get to you.

C.) Alright, the last use for paracord that I will talk about is a sling shot! Get a Y branch, and attach the paracord to each end. Use a piece of cloth or something that you can put the rock or whatever is being fired into, and attach it in the middle of the paracord. Then it can be used to shoot rocks at other things.

See how much paracord can do? And that isn't even breaking the tip of the iceberg of what paracord can do.

2.) Knife. You have already found out what the knife is mainly used for. However, when you need defense, sometimes you want to hold onto your knife. If the main threat is something that will likely not harm you as in eating, but rather as in coming at you and just biting, you may not want that stick. This sounds stupid, probably, however if it is a small animal, a stick may not be effective. You will only get one chance to swing at most, and if you miss you are in a bad way. So, attach the knife to a VERY short stick. 1 foot, 18 inches most. You may not be 'holding onto' per se, however it is much closer than the previous style. Keep in mind you have a better chance of being harmed, with a better chance of getting the deadly blow in. So, just keep that in mind.

A.) A Knife could also be used to create a good survival defense mechanism. How, you might ask? Well, use the knife to sharpen a stick into a spear. Take your time when doing this, though. Don't rush it, or it won't be as effective. Make sure to get all of the bark off. Try to make it a fresh green stick (Hatched comes in use here).

1.) If you are mainly using this defensive tool against something that will be damaged badly, or killed and you will want the food, you may also plan on making a few notches in the wood so when you pull back it tears the insides up. It may not be the most humane way, but in a survival situation, humane isn't always the best way to go. (Try to be as humane as possible, though)

3.) Hatchet was really only for cutting wood. However, if you practice you could use it like a tomahawk and throw it. Or you could use it as the I described to use the knife. When you need it in hand, the hatchet is one of the best ways to defend yourself when need be.

4.) Mirror. What could a mirror do. Well, in a survival situation, signal. That isn't what I was going to say, but that is what it should be used for. So, do not do what I am about to say, unless you have a good backup plan. Such as 2 mirrors.

A.) Break the mirror. Yes, break it. Use a rock, and break small bits at a time. While doing this keep checking how sharp the point is. Eventually it will be pretty sharp, and when it is, tie it to the end of a stick and you have a fantastic make shift spear. DO NOT rely on this and only this. This is a pretty iffy way to use it. I say that because glass breaks easily, and it may not get done what you were hoping for it to get done.

5.) Whistle, and it doesn't need to be dismantled to work. First of all, I must stress the importance of a high quality whistle. Use it well. Blow 3 times, as long as you can in a row once every so often. Do not do it one time a day, as someone may be on a hike, a hike where they can't hear it one place, while another it is extremely clear.

A.) Now, the defensive part. An animal is almost 100% less likely to attack you, if it sees you as a threat. How do you make a 500 pound beast view you as a threat? Blow this whistle that loud noise can easily make you seem like a threat. It may sound odd, but noise is what most animals fear most. If you make noise while deer hunting, what happens? The deer runs away. Make noise while bear hunting what happens? It will almost positively run away.

B.) If you are moving, then blow the whistle often, to keep anything in front of you or around you aware you are there, and you mean business. Even this minuscule thing can make you feel much better. Keep the danger away. Do not challenge anything in the wilderness to a battle, because I guarantee you that animal knows the woods better than you do. It will win any fight that you get into with it. So don't try and challenge it.

6.) Fire. Fire is the most important thing in any situation of survival. For defense, however, it will greatly increase your morale, and your will to defend yourself more. When you have that fire, you have the absolute best defense you can have, and you may not even know it. How it works remains a mystery to me, however the animals fear the fire, for some reason. Whether it be the smell of it, the look of it, maybe they know that it could burn them badly, or kill them. Maybe they know we cook that very animal with heat. Whether it is one of these, all of these, or none of these will remain a mystery to me. However, I will very strongly recommend you have a decent size fire.

7.) Wire would only be used to make traps. You should really consider making many snares, or other types of traps with wire around your camp. It is a pretty good way to keep the little animals away. Especially if you know where they will be moving. There is a bonus, too, you get the food that the snare catches.

Now, if you get into a situation where you want defense and you have none of this, then I strongly suggest you build a blockade with branches and bushes. How it helps may surprise you. What I mean by a blockade is to build up as many branches and bushes as possible. I recommend thorn bushes, decent sized branches, and make it thick.

Don't let it be seen thru. Make it as tall as you can. This may be a false sense of security, however it will make you feel more safe. Anything to make you feel better you should take into deep consideration. Don't completely rely on it, though. For one, if something wants to get through this, it will get through this. Second, if you didn't actually take your time in making it, it will be able to be saw right thru by the animal. And last, this isn't a good way to repel, only a way to slow the animal down and give you more time to decide what you are going to do.

You just read all of these negatives about it, and I still told you to do it. Why? That security sense is a good feeling when stranded. Also, aren't there more negatives to almost everything in a survival situation? Still doesn't stop you from doing it, does it? (Set 10 snares, you still likely only have 5% chance to get something. Doesn't stop you from doing it, does it?)

Don't forget one last thing: "The best defense is a good offense" this is a very effective statement. Defend yourself well, and you will end up with food, or more importantly, being rescued.

-Dale Reynolds

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