Whether you’re camping in the back woods or hiking along a wilderness trail, knowing the essentials of wilderness survival is an important skill to possess. While in most cases you may not be able to hunt for large game on the fly, you can easily whittle a piece of wood into a hook and use it to catch fish in a nearby pond or stream.
The process is relatively easy and can be done using two pieces of hardwood and a pocket knife. Once you whittle the wood into a rudimentary fishing hook, tie it to a bamboo pole or large stick using thread or cordage and cast your line into the water for a strike.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- 2 pieces of dry hardwood
- Pocket knife
- Cordage, depending on water depth
Search your area for two strips of dry hardwood. You must whittle down the strips, so choose two strips that are at least 1-1/2 inches long. You will end up with a strip of hardwood that is 1 inch long and another strip that is 1/2 inch long.
Shave each strip of the hardwood with the pocket knife until each is relatively smooth all the way around.
Create a hole at the base of the 1-inch strip of wood that is 1/8-inch in diameter. Make your incision mark at a 45-degree angle. When you insert the “hook” portion of your fishing hook, it will look like an “L” with the bottom line slightly slanted upward.
Carve a point that is 1/8 inch in diameter into the tail end of your 1/2-inch strip of wood. Test the point by plugging it into the hole you carved in Step 3. If the tail end slides snugly into the hole, stop carving. Press the 1/2-inch strip of wood forward into the hole to ensure a tight fit.
Carve the free end of the hook (the 1/2-inch strip of wood that jets out from the strip of wood that is 1-1/2 inches) into a sharp point using the pocket knife. Continue whittling the wood down until the hook point is sharp to the touch. The hook point needs to stab a fish, so be sure it’s as sharp as possible.
Tips & Warnings
- It’s OK to simply eye your measurements if you do not have a tape measure.
- Tie your hook onto a tree branch using a piece of string or cordage and fish as usual.
- To attach the cordage, open the strands to form a small loop. Thread the hook point through the loop and then pull the loop back along the hook shaft until it settles into place. Alternatively, carve a groove around the base of the hook and seat the cordage there.