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Primitive Technology: Make a Sling to Gather Food (or Defeat Giants?)

If the Biblical David could kill a giant with a rock thrown from a sling, is it possible for you to use the same weapon to gather food from the wild?

We have seen the fellow in the following video exhibit some pretty amazing wilderness living skills. From building a tile-roofed hut to crafting a stone axe with no modern tools whatsoever, his projects show what a human is capable of achieving with nothing more than his intelligence and the natural materials at hand.

His latest project – fashioning a usable sling – is smaller and less time consuming, but no less impressive or practical.

“A sling is a weapon for throwing stones with greater force and range than by hand alone,” he says.

The material he used to make his sling consisted of the inner bark fibers from a small tree. He separated the fibers and allowed them to dry overnight before twisting them into cordage, a useful survival skill in itself.

The manner in which he braided two cords to create one stronger cord can be seen in the video.

“Two or more strands are both twisted individually in one direction (clockwise in this case) and are then twisted together in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise),” he explains. “The two strands want to unravel in the clockwise direction but are unable to due to being twisted together in the opposite direction.”

The pouch for the firing stone was also made of the same cordage.

By using a sling you can see that it is a skill that takes a good deal of practice to master. He missed targets far more than he hit them. But he admits that he did improve as he kept at it.

He also advises, “Use larger stones as they swing slower and are easier to time the release. Larger stone also carry more momentum. The stones should also be smooth so they fly straight and don’t grip onto the pouch when released but fly out smoothly on target instead.”

He further directs those interested in trying this primitive weapon to a video by another sling practitioner:

“For people wanting to see how accurate you can get with a sling with practice here is an example. You’ll notice also he uses larger, smoother stones and a different type of sling from what I did.”

“The benefit of the sling as a weapon is that it is easy to make,” he concludes, “is very portable, and has few components to break and the ammunition (stone) is everywhere. The disadvantages are that it is difficult to learn to use and cannot be fired in thick forest for lack of room to swing it.”

No doubt the force that a sling imparts to a stone projectile could handily dispatch small game, if a person were to become highly skilled and accurate in its use. At the very least a sling is another weapon option worth having in one’s survival skill set.

NEXT: Primitive Skills: This Man’s Ingenuity Will Blow You Away

Primitive Technology: Make a Sling to Gather Food (or Defeat Giants?)