Bushcraft slingshot

bushcraft slingshotThis weekend I was out in the forest and decided that I would show you one method to make a bushcraft slingshot. I opted to only use what I found in the woods and my trusty, always present Swiss Army Knife (Hiker).

Bushcraft slingshot

Before this weekend’s camping trip, I was in my local (Maryland) Tractor Supply Center (TSC). I was going to pick up one of their daisy slingshots, so I could take it camping with me. When I got to the counter to pay, I was asked for my drivers license. I am clearly over 18, so I decided to ask about this process.

The cashier informed me that this wasn’t just for age verification, but that they entered your license number and details into the system and it was tracked by Maryland State Police. Ok…what the heck? Needless to say I don’t like that, so I didn’t buy that slingshot.

Here I am now, in the forest. I have a Swiss Army knife, a Leatherman Wingman and NO SLINGSHOT. What would I ever do now?

I know… I’ll make a bushcraft slingshot.

First things first. I needed to find a forked branch. I found one and used the saw on my Swiss Army Knife Hiker to saw it off the remainder of the branch. Once that was done, I had my bushcraft slingshot frame.

I could have found a much better branch, but this would work just fine..

The next step was to strip the bark and remove any bumps or rough spots in the bushcraft slingshot frame.

Now I have a smooth frame for my slingshot. This also provided a bonus, free wood shavings for the evening’s camp fire.

bushcraft slingshot wood shavings

Wood shavings

We’ve now come to the more challenging part. Where in the world could I find something rubbery or springy for my bushcraft slingshot propulsion system?

I decided to hike back up to the road, and walk along it to see if I could find some litter or discarded auto parts that might fit the bill.

After hiking along the road for a little over an hour, I came across a bicycle inner tube. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it “should” work. I put the inner tube in my outer pack pocket and headed back towards camp.

I kept my eyes open on the way back to camp for any method I could use to fasten the inner tube to the bushcraft slingshot frame. As I was walking past a fence row, I spied a spool of some type of metal wire. It wasn’t mine, but I did stop and snip off about 12 inches of it with my Wingman multi-tool, and stashed it in my pack also.

Once I got back to camp I started looking at the bushcraft slingshot frame, the inner tube and the wire to see how I could make this all come together.

I cut the inner tube to about 12 inches and wrapped each end around a twig, then pinched the wrapped end with some wire so that the tube couldn’t unwrap from the twigs on the ends.

Then I held the bushcraft slingshot frame and used the saw, from my Swiss Army Knife, to slot the arms of the slingshot, so I could slide the inner tube into them.

The twigs, wrapped in the end of the inner tube, prevented the inner tube from sliding back through the slots in the arms.

After wrapping the top of the arms of my bushcraft slingshot with wire, to keep the inner tube from sliding up out of the slots in the arms, I was holding a fully functional bushcraft slingshot.

bushcraft slingshot

 This slingshot isn’t pretty, nor is it perfect, but it does function, quite well. After firing a few rocks from it, I quickly realized that I needed to trim the width of the inner tube to make it easier to draw back, but that was simple.

Below is a short video to show my bushcraft slingshot in action. My 7 year old daughter loves to help with the blog, so she asked me if she could shoot a video. How could I say “no”?  Keep in mind that I had been camping all weekend. After I got home, I had to do some planting in the garden. I apologize for looking disheveled and gross. I wasn’t planning on making a video, else I’d have dressed up pretty for you guys.

This is just one of many methods I could have used to fashion a bushcraft slingshot, or any other improvised tool, weapon or implement. I hope this gets you thinking about being flexible and using what you find  and utilize in your surroundings.

Most of this was typed on a Chromebook, while in a tent.

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