Reviewing the Crawford Survival Staff
Review of the Survival Staff
Survivalists have a definite “thing” for big sticks. Caught in an unexpected situation, one of their first orders of business is to find or cut a large stick that can serve as a hiking staff, club, fishing pole, or even a spear. Beyond those specific functions, a big chunk of wood is also just a comforting thing to have when you’re facing the unknown.
No matter how creative you are, though, a stick plucked from nature is still only a stick. While it can certainly help you keep your balance on uneven terrain and give you a fighting chance against both two- and four-legged predators, its résumé pretty much ends there. To wring more function out of it, you need a better, “purposedesigned” stick like the Crawford Survival Staff.
As the brainchild of legendary custom knifemakers Pat Crawford and his son Wes, at first glance, the Survival Staff appears to be nothing more than a high-quality hiking staff made from aluminum instead of wood. In reality, it’s an incredibly versatile, completely modular survival system that offers functionality far beyond a humble stick.
Survival Staff Basics
Pat Crawford developed the original Survival Staff nearly 30 years ago and its brilliantly simple design is still unrivaled in today’s market. Hand-crafted one at a time from hardened, black-anodized aluminum, it consists of a two-piece body, a steel point, an aluminum handle and cap, a 440C stainless steel blade, a rubber crutch tip, and a soft rubber grip. When all these parts are assembled together, they yield a 57-inch hiking staff that conceals the 440C stainless steel blade within the upper section like a sword cane. The bottom section, provides onboard storage space for survival supplies and accessories — as well as other unique functions (more on that shortly). The real genius of the design, however, comes through when you start mixing and matching all those parts.
Meticulously machined threads at the ends of the various components of the staff allow them to be rearranged and screwed together in different configurations. Unscrew the handle, remove the blade, and replace the handle cap with it and the staff becomes an instant spear. Remove the top section of the staff and screw the handle into the lower tube to create a 38-inch walking cane for urban environments. Detach the handle and upper tube from the lower tube and you’ve got a skull-busting 24-inch baton/swagger stick and a fully functional 33 3/8-inch blowgun.
All the screw-together joints of the Survival Staff feature O-ring seals that keep the parts from working loose and ensure that everything remains watertight. The screw engagement of all the parts is also extremely robust and ensures impressive strength in every joint.