The lights go out. Your emergency radio keeps playing a message on repeat from the Emergency Broadcast System. News is non-existent. Rumors are everywhere. People are starting to clear out the grocery and hardware stores.
You don’t know if you’ll have to fight, but you want the best chance you’ve got to protect yourself, your family, and your property. What weapons will you need when SHTF?
Fixed Blade Knife
A fixed blade knife is great when the question of time is at hand. Any machine, no matter how simple, will eventually fail at its most sensitive part. And a knife is an essential survival tool for crafting as well as fighting.
If you use a cheaply made folding knife to strip branches or bark from a tree, eventually, it will break. A fixed blade has less of a chance of breaking at a hinge.
As with anything you purchase, quality is a better target than quantity. A fixed blade knife should have a tang that goes through the length of the handle. This ensures that even if the handle needs to be replaced, the blade can be migrated.
Crossbow or Recurve Bow
There will be scenarios where you need to hit a target outside of a stone’s throw. Whether it’s hunting a deer in the woods or defending yourself, a crossbow or good recurve bow could be the key.
The great thing about archery is the ammunition is plentiful. There is quite a bit of skill required to fletch an arrow or crossbow bolt properly, but it’s a skill you’ll likely have time to master.
Unlike firearms, bows don’t run out. While manufactured arrows are undoubtedly straighter and more precise, homemade arrows can be assembled and arrowheads made from a surprisingly large number of materials.
Hatchet or Tomahawk
A well-made hatchet is worth its weight in gold. Not only will you likely use that hatchet to construct defenses and booby traps, but it can also be a very effective close-quarters combat weapon.
There’s a reason the Native Americans and frontiersmen always carried a hatchet or tomahawk. By their very design, handles will eventually break or disintegrate, but metal can last a lifetime. Tomahawks are great because a new handle is easy to fashion. Hatchets may also be designed the same way, but others have fixed plastic or polymer handles that are difficult to pry apart once they crack or splinter.
Every tool in your arsenal will break if you survive long enough. Choose tools that are designed to be repaired. Solid components matched with sound engineering means you have less to do when something finally does break.
Distance is important in a fight. The more distance you can keep your attacker at while still being able to inflict damage is key to survival. A spear buys you distance. A good spearhead can be fashioned out of a hoe, or you can buy a dedicated spear tip that can be fixed onto a shaft.
You can also improvise a spear from a knife. In either case, it buys you critical time to keep your attackers at bay.
What is one weapon (non-firearm) you’d want to have when the SHTF? Let me know in the comments below.