Anyone who’s camped with me knows that I have an affinity for the hiking staff. A staff is useful for a myriad of things from being a simple support while walking, to checking for stable footing while crossing streams and loose rocks, and flinging snakes out of your path. It’s also an age old, simple but effective defensive tool that’s generally legal just about anywhere. When I had a chance to meet Pat and Wes Crawford at a knife show earlier this year, I knew they had taken this concept to the next level with their Survival Staff.

Crawford Knives has been making the Survival Staff since 1985 and they’ve got the concept quite refined by this point. They take the basic staff concept and work an amazing amount of options into it so that even if all you have with you is your staff, you’ve got a lot of tools to handle unforeseen situations in the wild or even in the concrete jungles. Add in some optional accessories and you really have an amazing tool.

Base Package

Pat and Wes start with a 6061-T6 aluminum pipe as the base for the tool. Note that they say pipe, not tube and that’s important. This is a solid, sturdy, thick walled pipe, not a thin tube like I’ve seen in some knock offs of this concept. The basic package consists of a 33-inch long hollow tube body that doubles as a blowgun, a shorter 20-inch long tube body which can be used as a baton, a standard aluminum head and a mushroom cap top (a basic top piece with a lanyard hole), a bottom tip with a hardened steel point, a rubber end cap, a tube connector to connect the short and long tube, a soft foam rubber handle, six blowgun darts, and a custom, hand ground 11-inch 440C blade that screws into the handle. The blade is removable to allow for a variety of mounting choices or to remove it entirely for areas of the country where it may not be legal. The basic Survival Staff package goes for $294.95.

As if the basic staff isn’t enough, there are a variety of optional accessories available, too, that let you tailor your staff to your defensive and survival needs. There is a three-prong fish point/frog gig, a rifle rest, a firesteel, a heavy steel head to add weight for use as a defensive baton, a T-handle for use with the longer tube to make a cane, survival tubes to allow you to store items in the hollow tube, spare O rings and blow gun darts and a camera adapter. There is also a basic and advanced survival kit option prepackaged in tubes to fit inside the staff as well. Last but not least is the Crawford Missile neck knife available as an option along with a mount that lets you mount it as a spear.

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