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How-To · March 9, 2015

5 Useful Objects You Can Whittle with a Pocket Knife

Tent Stake

Though seemingly simple, this is the literal foundation of an outdoor survival shelter. If you lose one of your pegs, or need to fashion a tent out of a tarp in a pinch, a handcrafted stake can save the day. Once you master this simple technique, you should be able to whittle a respectable one in a minute or two.

Fishing Spear

You can only subsist on canned beans and beef jerky for so long. Besides, wielding a whittled spear on a riverbank will make you feel like a boss. In this in-depth tutorial, hardcore survivalist Paul Scheiter teaches the art of carving a mighty, four-pronged implement.


A man can never have too many knivesparticularly when hes out in the wild. In order to keep your pocketknife as sharp as possible, consider whittling a backup for less demanding duties. In this video tutorial, Little Book of Whittling author Chris Lubkemann demonstrates this simple task using a pocketknife and some sandpaper.


A whistle can be instrumental in an emergency, especially if youre alone and need to signal for assistance. If not, its still a cool way to communicate with your camping companionsand even more so if you whittle your own. Though it tends to wander off-topic, this father-son carving lesson yields an impressive result.

Bow and Arrow

If youre going full Robin Hood, youre going to have to put in some work. Seasoned outdoorsman Paul Cipriani explains the somewhat complex process of building a bow and arrow, stressing the importance of details like selecting the wood, cutting the notches (always at a 45-degree angle), and straightening the arrow shaft (by holding it over a fire). For a durable bowstring, you may want to keep cordage in your rucksackbut you can also twist together some plant fibers in a pinch.