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Review: Crawford Survival Staff


Survivalists have a particular fondness for large sticks. When faced with unexpected situations, one of their first tasks is to find or cut a sizable stick that can serve multiple purposes, such as a hiking staff, club, fishing pole, or even a spear. Apart from its practical uses, a large chunk of wood also brings comfort when facing the unknown.

However, a stick from nature, no matter how resourceful you are, only serves limited functions. To unlock its full potential, you need a purpose-designed stick like the Crawford Survival Staff.

The Versatile Survival Staff

The Survival Staff, created by renowned custom knifemakers Pat Crawford and his son Wes, appears to be a high-quality hiking staff made of aluminum at first glance. In reality, it is a completely modular survival system that offers far more functionality than a regular stick.

The Survival Staff consists of several components, including a two-piece body, a steel point, an aluminum handle and cap, a stainless steel blade, a rubber crutch tip, and a soft rubber grip. When assembled, these parts create a 57-inch hiking staff that conceals a stainless steel blade within the upper section. The bottom section provides storage space for survival supplies and accessories, as well as other unique functions.

The brilliance of the Survival Staff lies in its ability to mix and match the various components. The threaded ends of the parts allow for easy rearrangement and screwing together in different configurations. By unscrewing the handle, removing the blade, and replacing the handle cap with it, the staff can transform into an instant spear. Removing the top section and screwing the handle into the lower tube creates a 38-inch walking cane for urban environments. Detaching the handle and upper tube from the lower tube results in a 24-inch baton/swagger stick and a fully functional 33 3/8-inch blowgun.

All the joints of the Survival Staff have O-ring seals to prevent parts from coming loose and ensure watertightness. The screw engagement of the parts is robust, providing strength in every joint. Additionally, strategic knurling provides non-slip surfaces, making assembly and disassembly effortless without the need for tools.

In its basic configuration, the Survival Staff functions as a sturdy hiking staff and a formidable impact weapon. While not a full-service survival knife, its blade offers impressive cutting capability for most tasks. When used as a spear blade, it surpasses the typical “lash-a-knife-to-a-stick” survival spear and can be assembled in under a minute. Although not recommended for throwing, it excels as a stabber.

The Survival Staff also features a blowgun function. The longer lower section with a .61-caliber bore, polished smooth to reduce friction, maximizes ballistic performance. Combined with modified .625-caliber commercial darts, the blowgun becomes an efficient tool for hunting small animals. The staff's lower tube can store up to eight 4 3/8-inch darts.

The Dave Canterbury Package

The Survival Staff's modular design has made it popular among survivalists for decades. Noted survivalist Dave Canterbury, after getting his hands on one, designed additional components for it to enhance its versatility.

Canterbury believed that the standard blade on the staff was too narrow and desired a wider profile with improved edge geometry. This blade would serve as a more versatile cutting tool and create a larger wound channel when used as a spear blade, suitable for larger game like wild boar and deer.

In response to Canterbury's input, Wes Crawford created the Missile Spear Point/Neck Knife, an all-steel knife that complements the staff. The Missile is a compact, double-edged neck knife that can be attached to the staff using a stainless steel adapter. The adapter turns the staff into a serious double-edged spear.

By removing the standard blade, Canterbury's suggestions opened up space inside the staff for other accessories, such as a Firesteel fire starter and a three-pronged spearhead for fishing in shallow waters. These accessories can be attached to any of the staff's steel tip, threaded coupling, or head, providing secure storage and leaving the internal space available for other items.

Other Accessories

The Crawford Survival Staff's modular design allows for personalization and customization. Crawford Knives offers a set of watertight plastic test tubes that fit inside the staff, providing organized storage for matches, tinder, water purification tablets, and other small survival items. They also offer accessory kits with micro-sized flashlights, miniature lighters, fire starters, and whistles, all designed to fit inside the staff.

In addition to the standard knurled aluminum handle section, Crawford Knives offers a heavier stainless steel version and a T-handled grip for the “urban” configuration. They even provide a “gaff” hook for harvesting fruits and nuts. For those who consider a slingshot a viable survival weapon, Crawford Knives offers a handcrafted slingshot made from hardened stainless steel and surgical rubber tubing. The slingshot can be attached to the top of the staff and also serves as a shooting rest.


The Crawford Survival Staff, with its modular design and versatile components, is a highly functional and reliable tool for survivalists. It serves as a sturdy hiking staff, a powerful impact weapon, and a capable blowgun. With additional accessories and customization options, it—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

By: Patrick McCarthy
Title: Review: Crawford Survival Staff
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2023 12:00:43 +0000

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