PVC Survival Gear: How to Make It – Part 5, by J.H.

PROJECT 5: PVC Survival Staff (Walking Staff, Blow Gun, Frog Gig, Fish Spear, Survival Kit)- continued

Today, we’re continuing to work through the steps of how to make a survival staff, walking staff, blow gun, frog gig, fish spear, and survival kit. It is versatile and can be whatever you choose to make it and used however you need it. We’ve completed the MAIN section and are currently working on the section containing the frog gig tines. So let’s continue with the process.


  1. We now want to take this frog gig tines section and connect it to the MAIN section of your staff. But before we do, let’s add the cork. Where the 3” section of 3/4” diameter pipe is attached, there should be a 1” section of free 3/4” diameter pipe at the end. Heat this 1” section fully and insert the cork. Use the cool, damp rag to quickly cool the PVC around the cork. Did you say, “The cork is too big.”? That’s okay; just use a mallet or other hammering tool (don’t overdo it!) to gently tap the cork into the heated PVC pipe. Did you say, “The cork is too small.”? That’s okay also; just squeeze the heated pipe around the cork evenly, until it cools.

    Now, the open end of your “gig” section of pipe will be slid onto the MAIN section of your staff. To do this, you simply have to heat the 3/4” diameter (the 3” of “free” pipe at the end of the section (NOT the end with the cork), and drive it onto the exposed 1/2” diameter section of the MAIN staff. Let me be explicitly clear; this is NOT the end of the MAIN staff that we added the 1/2” section of pipe to in step 3. The 1/2” diameter pipe that IS already part of the MAIN staff. Drive the piece on until it stops and then cool with a rag.

  2. We are getting down to the nitty gritty. For that added top portion of 1/2” diameter pipe we included (in step 3), there are a few ways you could “top it off”. One simple way would be to get a 1/2” PVC pipe cap (glue on) and simply fasten it. Another way would be to use a small cut-off of 3/4” diameter pipe and make a cap by heating and squeezing together one end. Or you could fill the top open end of the pipe with a bit of hot glue, which will serve as a waterproof seal instead of putting on a cap. Generally, I like to have the 1/2” end exposed and not capped, in case I decide I want to attach another piece– a “shepherd’s hook attachment, which comes in handy very often out in the wilds. (I made the shepherd’s hook attachment myself and carry it in my pack.) This section of 1/2” diameter pipe we added in step 3 makes a great area to store survival items or fishing items. It is also completely removable. It may seem difficult at first to take off or put on the removable survival storage section or the “gig” section but after a few times, it will get easier.

    *Note- Using ***AMAZON.amazon.com/Vaseline-100%25-Petroleum-Jelly-Ounce/dp/B007E62538/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426767686&sr=8-1&keywords=petroleum+jelly***petroleum jelly or “drawer slide wax” will make the removable pieces slide on and off more readily without compromising the integrity of the overall piece.

  3. Drill three small holes in the cork in a triangle shape, so that the holes are not too close to the outer edge of the cork and not too close to each other. You want them as evenly spaced as possible while keeping in mind that these are for a frog gig, so if you make the holes at too much of an angle or too far apart, it will be ineffective as a usable tool. After the holes are made, safely drive the dull ends of the gig tines into the holes. Work each one around a bit in its respective hole so the cork will accept them easily. While you don’t want to make the holes too large, it’s okay to widen each to some degree as the cork will expand with time. Also, dipping the cork in water can help “heal” the holes slightly. Once you are satisfied with the gig setup, you can remove the tines and store them in the “gig” section of the pipe. You may want to use rubber bands around them to keep them together and cut down on any rattle. Also, tying a string to them and letting it run out the end of the pipe helps to ensure easy retrieval of the tines. You likely will have additional space in the “gig” pipe section. Go ahead and fill the excess with cotton balls or whatever you’d like. Just don’t overpack it.
  4. When you remove the 1/2” diameter section from the top of the staff and set it aside, what you have left– the open part of the MAIN staff– is the mouthpiece for your blowgun. To use the blow gun, simply remove the “gig” pipe and the survival storage pipe and use the MAIN section as a 3 1/2′ blow gun. The darts can be stored inside the MAIN staff pipe. With the MAIN section clear, just pop in a dart, aim, and blow. If you don’t already know how to use a blowgun safely and properly, I suggest you watch a tutorial or have someone show you. This may seem silly if you think it should be common sense on how to use it, but I have watched people have blowgun accidents because they didn’t have the correct knowledge of proper use.

    As far as darts go, you can buy them. (Make sure to get the right size.) ***AMAZONamazon.com/Bore-Blowguns-625-Mini-Broad/dp/B002LEZFQW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426766546&sr=8-2&keywords=cold+steel+blowgun+darts***Cold Steel sells darts that are very close in size and are compatible with this staff with minor modification, or you can make your own. It is quite simple to make very efficient homemade blow darts, and there are tutorials online of how to do it with nails or other materials.

  5. (OPTIONAL)- Sand, Paint, and Paracord Wrap. Use the paracord to do a single spiral wrap on the MAIN section of the staff up to the point where it is comfortable to you, near the mouthpiece. Make a lanyard loop at the end for your wrist.

Now you’re ready! Go for a hike. Well, why not just go for an adventure and enjoy your light-weight, versatile survival staff. Have fun!!

P. S. You will notice you have extra PVC pipe left over. I didn’t do that accidentally. Use these pieces to come up with attachment sections that you will find useful. Play around with it. Have fun.

So, after looking at and maybe even doing one or more of these projects, do you think PVC gear has a future? I’ll start of by saying this: I can make a 35-pound draw re-curve bow for less then $10. I can make a real, usable and durable take-down survival bow for about $15. The ability to grow your survival tools and gear, while adding knowledge and also saving money is real. What do you think? Add to this the ability to make a multitude of gear, just the way you want that can really suit your own style and needs and you should be able to see the value of this material.

There are several other projects worth looking up and probably several more I don’t even know about. To give you an idea of other applications for the use of PVC, you may want to look into: DIY Water Filter, Sling Shot, A Top Shelf Versatile Back Pack Frame, Portable Greenhouse Structure, Snow Shoes, Truck Tent, and PVC Air Rifle, just to name a few. These can all be designed with this amazing material. There are videos with well-known survival instructors, like Dave Canterbury for example, that have PVC gear instruction. Many videos are available for free on youtube with these tutorials. There are also a number of books and blogs on PVC builds. I believe the trend of making PVC gear will grow into a well recognized survival skill.

Another thing I’d like to point out is that in a WROL situation, that includes abandoned houses and buildings, you will have a fairly high chance of finding PVC pipe. That makes this material quite abundant in those circumstances. That means that you have a valuable accessible asset, if you know what to do with it. As weapons, caches, barter, what you make has so many options. Not only do I believe that PVC gear has a viable future, but it may turn out that it is a futuristic survival source, and through this skill of producing items from PVC, you have learned one of the main and very necessary basic survival skills– adaptability.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you, dear prepper friends and readers, for taking the time to entertain what may seem like a strange notion. I hope this article has been useful and enjoyable to all of you. I wish you all the best of luck on your journey. Keep on keepin’ on. Don’t just survive; live and thrive. God Bless.