To wrap up this section on parangs I’m going to quickly review the options already covered and, in the video below, show you another option that requires a bit more time, expense and forward planning but is one you might want to consider.

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Plastic handled parang (10 inch blade) with bamboo sheath & rattan belt

This is about as basic as you can get but, if you’re as skilled in junglecraft as the Orang Asli, it’s arguably  all you need.

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Pros:

The cheapest and quickest option (total cost GBP 3.50)

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Cons:

Temporary sheath (will break over time)

Parang will rattle in sheath and fall out if inverted

No survival items included

Parang blade may work loose in handle over time

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Wooden sheath and handle (10 inch blade)

I like this set up, but I am having to restrain myself from drilling through the handle and putting in a retaining pin!

Time will tell how well the handle holds with heavy use.

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Pros:

Nice to use (it just ‘feels’ right)

Cheap: cost about GBP 5.00 in total  (only cost is the paracord, the ring/clip arrangement and the parang)

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Cons:

Time consuming to make

Risk that parang will work loose of handle and fly out (no retaining pin)

No survival items included

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Plastic handled parang with PVC tube sheath (14 inch blade)

This is a budget option and, with this in mind, I have replaced the Falkniven sharpening stone with an old mill file to keep the cost down.

All the items used could be sourced locally when you arrive.

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Pros:

Cheap and quick to put together (total cost about GBP 10.00)

Some survival items included

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Cons:

Longer blade is more difficult to use/control

Parang tang only held by small retaining pin (so may work loose)

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Jungle survival combo V2 (10 inch blade)

This is the parang/sheath set-up in the video.  It is the most expensive option and you would need to buy some items before leaving for Malaysia (Falkniven sharpening stone/Mora clipper/Frog bayonet sheath) – however it means that you can set up the sheath before you leave (and include any survival items you want) and simply buy the parang when you arrive.

With this parang I have added an extra, more robust, retaining pin to the existing one.  To do this you’d need to find someone who will lend you a drill when you arrive (and you’d also need some epoxy resin).

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Pros:

Two blades are better than one!

Robust sheath

Survival items included

Parang tang well held in handle

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Cons:

Need to source items before you leave (time consuming)

Most expensive option (total cost around GBP40.00)

Need access to drill/epoxy resin etc when you arrive in Malaysia

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As with most equipment, different options have different sets of pros and cons and the best option for you will be determined by your own personal preference, jungle skills, budget and the type of trip you are planning.