One very intricate, centuries-old survival skill is the ability to flint knapp. Flint knapping is the creation of tools or weapons from stones. Native American tribes — and people before them — used this skill to create tools and weapons used by hunters and gatherers. Today, flint knapping is still a highly skilled art practiced by survivalists.
There aren’t many tools that are needed, although picking the right stone is essential. The best stones to choose from are flint, chert or obsidian. Make sure the rock of your choosing is without cracks, fractures or fissures.
The only other thing you will need is something to break up and mold the stone to your creation. Long ago, people used antlers, hard wood, bone or stone. For safety, wear gloves, pants, glasses and shoes, and have a piece of leather to hold the stone – so you don’t get cut.
Once all of these tools are obtained, you are ready to begin working. Keep in mind: This takes patience.
Percussion flaking is needed to start the process. This type of flaking will make the general shape of the tool you are creating by striking the stone (with an antler, bone, stone, etc.). Be careful when striking the rock as not to break it. This will take time and practice. Once the general shape of the creation is made, move to the next step
Pressure flaking is just as it sounds, and is used for the finishing touches. You apply pressure to the edge of the stone with the tool of your choosing and flake off pieces. This step shapes the corners of the stone, like an arrowhead. Carefully keep flaking and flaking until the edges are formed. Watch the video to see this put into action.
Story continues below video
If you are creating an arrowhead, then you will need to create a notch. This is that fish-tail-like shape on the bottom of the arrowhead. To do so, you need to notch by carefully flaking and abrading the edge. To prevent it from breaking, use the stone to abrade the edge down. Keep repeating this process until you get your desired notch.
Knowing how to create tools with your own hands gives you a link to the past but also can help you in a situation where you are without the equipment you need. If you want to learn a new skill, then give flint knapping a try!
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below: