Cold Steel’s Boar Spear, based on a medieval European hunting design, combines a lightweight medium carbon steel spearhead with a stout American ash shaft to create what Cold Steel intends to be a throwing weapon.
Several companies market modern versions of spears as survival tools, which is where they are most useful today. In olden times when people may have been accurate with throwing spears, users were more likely to cast one and hit something. Today that’s not the advantage of a spear–now it’s the extra reach. A good spear, like a good knife, is something you hang onto.
I’m an advocate of the survival spear as fundamental hiking gear. If you already hike with a long staff, like me, there’s no reason not to take the step up to a spear. Certainly, most of us will never have an encounter with a mountain lion, just as an example, and twenty or thirty years ago when lions were seldom even spotted no one thought of such things. Thirty years ago the places I hiked were wilderness zones and the lions had lots of room. Now those places are clear cuts and suburbs, and lion attacks aren’t so rare. In that rare encounter, a spear puts the fight seven feet away, which is a pretty handy thing.
As a hiking staff, the 7′ Boar Spear is a little longer than I’m used to carrying, and the blade is a little more obvious than I’d like, although an optional sheath is available. I hear that some actually use this spear for hunting wild hogs. If you’ve worked with hogs much you probably won’t want to do that. At least, not without some backup.