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25+ Asparagus Recipes Plus 4 Ways to Store Asparagus

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

Spring asparagus is a wonderful blessing after a long winter. Those first tender stalks are absolutely delicious raw, straight out of the garden. If you have large home patch – or want to take advantage of the seasonal abundance in stores and farm markets – it’s great to have an assortment of asparagus recipes on hand and to know how to preserve asparagus for later use. This post features over 25 asparagus recipes, including soups, salads and main dishes, plus instructions on how to store asparagus and preserve it for later use.

Our own asparagus patch is still young, but our neighbors have a lovely 100+ year old farmhouse, and four different asparagus patches around the yard. For those who are not asparagus savvy, you need to keep the spears harvested during the production season. If you don’t, they will get tall and produce seed, and you will have no more asparagus to harvest.

Note: The size variation in homegrown asparagus is quite substantial compared to commercial asparagus. I always went for the thinner stalks in the store, thinking they’d be more tender, but I found out while picking that they emerge from the soil at the width they will be as they grow. Thinner stalks are not any younger than fat ones, and the fat ones were often more tender and juicy. Don’t fear the fat asparagus!

How to Store Fresh Asparagus

To keep your asparagus fresh and crisp, place it upright in a container with about an inch of water in the bottom and store in the refrigerator. This will help to keep it from drying out. Best if used within one week.

Asparagus Recipes – Soups

Asparagus Chowder from Fearless Eating

Chicken and Asparagus Soup from The Organic Kitchen

Instant Pot Cream of Asparagus Soup from Recipes to Nourish

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup from Raising Generation Nourished

Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Stinging Nettle Soup from Raising Generation Nourished

Asparagus Recipes – Side Dishes

Asparagus Mint Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from nutritiouslicious

Asparagus with Balsamic Sauce from This is So Good…

Asparagus with a Twist from Studio Botanica

Baked Parmesan Asparagus Fries from Chocolate Slopes

Cheesy Grilled Asparagus from Farm Fit Living

Crispy Asparagus Fries from Yummy Inspirations

Corn Off the Cob with Red Bell Peppers and Asparagus from The Organic Kitchen

Fingerling Potato Salad with Asparagus from The Organic Kitchen

Garlicky Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus from Homespun Seasonal Living

Jamaican Stuffed Acorn Squash from Happy Mothering

Mushroom, Asparagus & Egg Salad from Happy Mothering

Pickled Asparagus (for canning) from A Farm Girl in the Making

Penne Pasta with Asparagus and Pine Nuts from The Organic Kitchen

Sauteed Asparagus with Feta from Yummy Inspirations

Simple Bacon Wrapped Asparagus from Happy Mothering

Spring Asparagus & Fennel Sauté from Recipes to Nourish

Spring Salad with Asparagus and Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette from The Organic Kitchen

Asparagus Recipes – Main Dishes

3 Ingredient Bacon Asparagus Frittata from Grok Grub

20 Minute Spring Stir Fry With Garlic Butter Sauce from Raising Generation Nourished

Crustless Spring Quiche from Recipes to Nourish

Grilled Bacon Sriracha Meatball Skewers with Coconut Rice from The Organic Kitchen

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts from The Organic Kitchen

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

How to Freeze Asparagus

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, one of my favorite preserving references

Select young, tender asparagus with tightly wrapped tips.

Wash thoroughly and sort into sizes. Trim bottoms if needed (the part of the stalk closest to the ground is often tough).

Cut into bite sized pieces, or leave whole – think ahead to how you want to use your asparagus.

Blanch small spears 1 1/2 minutes, medium spears 2 minutes and large spears 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and plunge into cold water bath.

Drain. I first drained in a colander, and then placed them evenly spaced on a flour sack towel on top of an old, absorbent bath towel, to wick away as much excess moisture as possible before freezing.

Pack asparagus into plastic freezer bags, can-or-freeze jars, plastic freezer boxes or vacuum bags.

Seal, label and freeze.

To keep my spears in good shape, I lay out my asparagus on cookie sheets covered with reusable parchment paper and pre-freeze them before sealing them in vacuum bags the following day.

I packed the frozen spears into meal sized packages with varying amounts per package and sealed them with my vacuum sealer. My goal was to have a product that looked as good when you brought it out of the freezer as when you put it in – no ice crystals, no mushy mass of green goo, just neat, tender spears ready to be heated in a pan with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. If you plan to keep produce frozen for any amount of time – for instance, in this case, I probably won’t pull this out until winter, when fresh veggies are gone – the investment in a vacuum sealer and the small amount of extra time involved is well worth it in the HUGE improvement in quality of frozen veggies and fruits.

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

How to Dry Asparagus

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving

Choose young, tender stalks. Wash and trim bottoms, if needed.

Slice into one inch pieces. If you have really fat asparagus stalks, cut them in half lengthwise before loading them in the dehydrator. Fat pieces take much longer to dry.

Steam blanch 3 to 4 minutes, or boiling water blanch for about two minutes, until they are bright green.

Chill in a cold water bath, drain well and spread evenly on dehydrator trays. Dry at 125F (52C) until brittle. Drying time will vary depending on humidity levels and size of asparagus pieces. I usually load before bedtime and dry overnight. You want them to be very dry, so they snap easily in half, for optimum shelf life.

Seal in an airtight container. Label and store out in a cool, dark location for best shelf life. If you want to boost shelf life even more, you can use the Foodsealer jar sealer attachment and vacuum seal the jar, too. Don’t leave your dehydrated veggies sitting out, especially if it is humid, as they will absorb moisture from the air.

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

Rehydrate and serve in soups or with seasoned cream sauce.

Isn’t it amazing how much they shrink up? If you’ve get very limited food storage space, dehydrating is the way to go. Remember the six cups I started with? After drying, it all fit into one cup sized jar.

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

How to Lacto-Ferment (Pickle) Asparagus

This recipe is the love child of two different posts, one from Heartland Renaissance, and one from A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. Since I scored some green garlic (immature garlic) from a neighbor (thanks, Deb), I figured I’d use it in the ferment. My neighbor, Betty, who provided me with the asparagus, had mentioned that she wanted to make some pickled asparagus. I’m pretty sure that she had standard pickled asparagus in mind, but I’ve been experimenting more with live cultured foods, so I used lacto-fermentation.

Lacto-fermentation is the use of water, salt, spices and sometimes whey to preserve food without heat canning. The lactobacilli bacteria that proliferate in lacto-fermented foods not only help to preserve it and give it that “pickle” flavor, they also act as little probiotic factories, making the food more digestible and increasing its nutrient value. Lacto-fermented food is loaded with healthy bacteria. I eat some every day.

Lacto-Fermented Asparagus Recipe

For each quart jar:

1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
2 stalks green garlic, cut into 1 inch pieces
Enough asparagus to pack the jar tightly
4 tablespoons whey – If you do not have whey, add an extra tablespoon of salt to your salt water
Salt water – 2 tablespoons sea salt to one quart water, mix well to dissolve (you won’t need all of this to fill the jar, but it’s better to have a little extra than to run short)

Clean and trim asparagus so the spears will fit into the jars below the neck of the jar (you want to keep them covered with liquid during fermentation.) Put loose spices into jar, then pack asparagus into jars as tightly as possible (they will shrink during pickling and will want to float and pop up out of the liquid). Wedge in garlic pieces as you go.

Pour in whey. Pour in enough salt water to completely cover the asparagus, but make sure to leave one inch of head space at the top of the jar. As it ferments, gas are produced and jar contents may expand. Use an airlock, or burp jars daily.

I used atlas jars, which have wider shoulders but narrow mouths, to help wedge the asparagus in so it stayed below the water level. You can also use a smaller jar with water in it nested in a wide mouth jar, or a clean stone, or other clean weight to hold the veggies under the brine. You can also purchase airlock lids for your mason jars and pickling kits with the lids and additional fermenting equipment.

Cover jars and place in a cool, dark place. Allow to ferment for at least 3 days. After three days, you can continue fermenting, or cover tightly and move to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. The flavors will get stronger and the asparagus will get softer the longer it ages at room temperatures. Heat dramatically speeds up the fermentation process, so warm weather ferments will have shorter shelf lives. I kept mine on the counter for three days under a dishcloth, then moved it to the fridge.

My final product turned out a little cloudy, probably due to the whey and the “pickling spices”, which had some finer bits, and sea salt. The taste is delicious. Judging by the shelf life of other ferments I’ve tried, these should be good for several months once refrigerated, if not eaten sooner.

Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

How to Freeze Dry Asparagus at Home

If you like the super long shelf life of freeze dried foods, it’s now possible to freeze dry your own veggies at home using the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer. Stored properly, freeze dried veggies will easily keep over 5 years.

As with other asparagus storage methods, clean, trim and dry asparagus.

I cut mine in thin diagonal slices for use in soups, casseroles and other cooked dishes.

Blanch the slices for 2-3 minutes and cool in a cold water bath. Drain well and pat dry.

Line freeze dryer trays with parchment or freezer paper for easier cleaning, and place asparagus slices in a single layer on the trays.

Load trays in freeze dryer. Close drain valve. Check oil levels in vacuum pump. Start cycle. Because of its high moisture level, asparagus will likely take over 26-30 hours to dry, depending on ambient conditions.

When cycle is complete, check dryness by breaking open some of your thickest pieces to make sure they are not cold in the center. If you have cold spots, add additional drying time. Remember, thin even slices will dry more quickly.

When asparagus is completely dry, pack into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and seal, or vacuum seal in mason jars. Freeze dried food will absorb moisture from the air quickly, so don’t leave the finished food sitting out. Freeze dried asparagus is light and crisp, and can even be eaten as a veggie chip for snacking.

Learn more about Home Freeze Dryers at Harvest Right.


Over 25 creative asparagus recipes for soups, salads, sides and main dishes, plus 4 ways to store asparagus - freezing, drying, freeze drying and fermenting

Asparagus can also be pressure canned. You must use a pressure canner because it is a low acid food. I don’t can it because I don’t care for the mushy texture that canning produces. For asparagus canning instructions, see “Canning Asparagus: Easy, Fully Illustrated Step-by-Step Directions and Recipe to Make Home Canned Asparagus!” at

What’s your favorite way to use asparagus? Leave a comment and let me know!

You may also enjoy:

Originally published in 2011, updated June 2016.

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

Learn to make your own homemade weapons so you’ll have a fighting chance in a survival situation where all you have is nature.

 [You Get One FREE] Weird Little Knife Drives TSA Crazy!

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

Let’s say you got lost in the wild, and you somehow forgot or lost your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT (or whichever is the best survival knife for you). What do you do?

While your situation is most likely not quite as bad as Tom Hanks had it in Castaway, let’s face it. The only way you’re gonna get out of this situation in good shape is to let out your inner caveman.

Let me explain. Our very primitive ancestors lived in a time when every day was a survival situation. Any tools or weapons they needed had to be made from scratch.

So, should you be unlucky enough to have only the shirt on your back while you’re lost in the wilderness, you’ll have to follow suit. Let the training of your inner caveman begin.

Today’s lesson: how to make DIY weapons in the wild with only the resources nature provided you.

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

Having a knife, any kind of knife is probably one of the best things to happen should you suddenly find yourself in a survival situation. You can use it to help you find food, build a shelter, and defend yourself against wild animals.

So it’s highly fortunate nature is waiting like a momma at a craft table with lots of materials you can use to create one.

1. Stone Knives

Bone, shell, bamboo, wood, or even an old aluminum beer can may work to perform the puncturing function of a blade. You know you’ve seen these a million times when you’re out hiking.

They’re easy to crack or break or shape into a fairly sharp point which will do in a pinch. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to use a chicken bone or an expertly-shaped aluminum can point to skin, chop, baton, or any of the other necessary functions of a survival knife.

This is where the stone comes into play. I’ll start by saying making a knife out of stone isn’t easy, but it can be done.

You’ll need three things: a core rock, a hammerstone, and a pressure flaker. Remember, you’re going to be smashing these together in true caveman fashion.

So, having stones you can reasonably grip in each hand is going to make your life a lot easier. Although, it’s definitely an option to stand poised over one rock smashing down on it.

You, with a two-hand grip, pounding until you’ve chipped away at it a bit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

2. The Core Rock

rock formation background | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

The core rock is what you’ll be making into a blade. Find any large stone, preferably made from obsidian, slate, chert, or flint with a relatively flat side.

In case you weren’t a rock collector in any of your previous lives, here’s another way to decide if a rock meets the requirements for good knife-making material. Tap or click a rock together with another rock and listen for a ringing sound (like glass).

The more rock sounds like glass, the better it is as a material for your core rock. If you can, choose a rock which is already a bit sharp to reduce the amount of time you’ll need to shape it.

3. The Hammerstone

The hammerstone is a medium-sized, spherical rock, preferably made of granite. It will be used to smash, chisel, chip and shape the core rock.

You’ll be using it to chip off pieces of the core stone and to narrow the edges to a blade shape.

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

The pressure flaker, or flaking tool, is a rock with a sharp point to help you refine the blade’s edges. You’ll use your flaking tool after you’ve thinned the edges of the stone with the hammer stone to make the “blade” sharper.

When you start making your knife, you’ll want to be sure to wet the core stone to shorten the time it takes to shape it into a blade. Begin by striking glancing blows near the edge of the core rock with the hammerstone.

Chip away at the core rock until you get the general shape of a blade. Then, use the flaking tool to refine the edges you need to sharpen.

You can also use a stone with a rough surface such as a sandstone to sharpen the edge. Use some rope, cloth, or leather to lash the base and create a handle.

If you are having troubling shaping the rock into a knife, you can opt to create stone blades instead. Check out the videos below to learn how:

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

south african zulu spear | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

We’ve talked about how to make a spear using your best survival knife in a previous article. The same principle applies here.

Even without your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT or whichever survival knife you normally bring with you, you can still make a spear using your newly made stone knife. To make a spear, you’ll need to find a five-foot-long stick tough enough to endure repeated short or long-distance throws.

  1. First, pick the end of the stick which has a more rounded tip and use your stone knife to start shaving to create a spear. Once you’re done, be sure to heat the spear over some hot coals to make your spear sharper.
  2. As an alternative, you can also make a spear by tying your knife onto a stick. Find a stick which is about an inch wide.
  3. Measure about 2 inches from one end of the stick. Mark the point, then split the stick into two until you reach the 2-inch mark, creating a sort of Y shape.
  4. This will create a space where you can stick your stone knife before you lash it on with some twine, cord, or rope. To lock the blade in place, put some moss or lichen in the remaining space.
  5. If you haven’t had time to fashion your knife out of stone yet, you can also use broken pieces of shell or glass or splintered bamboo or bone and secure it to the end of your stick.
  6. If you find a way to split your stick without a knife, you can insert the splintered bone or bamboo into the wedge and tie it off like you would when turning a knife into a spear.

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

While sharp pointy tools are all well and good, you can never go wrong with a blunt homemade weapon. You can use it for hammering or bludgeoning something such as a weighted club.

The weighted club could be one of the deadliest ancient weapons. To make one, you’ll need the following: a piece of wood around 14-16 inches, a medium-sized rock, and some rope.

  1. Once you have all the materials, you’ll need to wrap some lashing 6-8 inches from the end of the stick.
  2. Split the same end until you reach the lashing in order to create a V-shaped notch. The rock you picked out should be shorter than the length of the split.
  3. Insert the stone then lash it securely (above, below, and across the stone). The lashing on the stick above the stone clamps both sides of the split together providing the first point of security, so it’s especially important to create a good, tight lashing above the stone.
  4. You’ll want to make sure you bind the split ends securely so the stone won’t fall off whenever you use it to hammer or pound on something.

This video from Wannabe Bushcrafter will show you how to make a bamboo knife:

Now, hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where making homemade weapons is going to be a necessity for survival. But, if you do find yourself in such a quagmire, this little bit of information and inner caveman training may be what saves your life.

Which of these homemade weapons do you want to make? Tell us your progress in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

Know these home remedies for chigger bites, or better yet, avoid the bug's bites in the first place with helpful tips included here!

RELATED: Top Ways to Deal with Insects [Especially Mosquitos]

In this article:

  1. What Is a Chigger, Exactly?
  2. Where Do Chiggers Live?
  3. Identifying Chiggers Bites
  4. Home Remedies for Chigger Bites
  5. Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

Chiggers are members of the arachnid family. They are extremely tiny, and my guess is you won’t even see them as they jump from the tall grass onto your skin and/or clothing.

Adult chiggers are about 1/60 of an inch and have eight legs. The larvae are red, wingless, six-legged creatures which measure less than 1/150 of an inch.

Because of their red color, you might be able to spot the larvae when they cluster together, especially on white clothing.

What Is the Arachnid Family? It is a large group or class of invertebrate animals where the spiders and scorpions belong.

Where Do Chiggers Live?

Chiggers reside in tall weeds and grass, berry patches, and wooded areas. They could be in your backyard, by the lake, or your favorite hiking trail.

They are most active in summer and fall afternoons – the warmest part of the day.

Identifying Chiggers Bites

Only the larvae bite humans and they tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body.

Chiggers also have claws which help them grab onto your skin. The chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva.

The saliva contains an enzyme which breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Your body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube (cyclostome) through which the chigger sucks the dissolved skin cells.

Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days before falling off.

When the chigger falls off, you are left with reddish bumps. You may notice a bright red dot in the center—this is a remnant of the tube your skin formed in response to the chigger's saliva.

The bumps may look like welts, blisters, pimples, or hives. Bites generally appear in groups and get larger for several days to a week.

While many insects bite exposed skin which is easy to get to, chiggers like to bite in folds of skin as well as places where clothing fits tightly on the skin. Most chigger bites occur around the ankles, waist, armpits, crotch, or behind the knees.

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

Just remember, no matter what, DO NOT SCRATCH THE BITES! I know, easier said than done. But, breaking the skin on a chigger bite can lead to infection.

Here are 5 home remedies to help with the itching and swelling.

RELATED: Spider Bite? Here’s How To Treat It

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

Vicks Vapor Rub can put an end to itchy chigger bites immediately and will even reduce the risk of blisters. It’s the cooling menthol in it which relieves itching by affecting itch receptors in the skin.


  • Take a hot shower (use antibacterial soap.) Pat dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Take a small amount of the vapor rub and add some table salt to it.
  • Mix well and apply to the affected area.
  • Repeat if the swelling continues (otherwise, there is no need to repeat the process)

2. Cold Compress

A cold compress can help reduce the itching associated with chigger bites. Its numbing effect helps reduce the sensation of itchiness.


  • Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth.
  • Apply the compress to the bites for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed to relieve itching.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective remedy to reduce rashes as well as itchiness. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer which helps relieve itching and reduces the risk of infection.


  • Add 1 cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with cool water.
  • Stir well and soak in this water for 15 minutes and pat your skin with a soft towel. (Do this once daily)

Another remedy using baking soda:

  • Prepare a thin paste of 2 teaspoons of baking soda and a little water.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it on for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with cool water.

Note: Do not use this remedy more than once or twice a day. Never use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties providing instant relief from itching–one of the common symptoms of chigger bites. It is recommended to use colloidal oatmeal, meaning oats which are ground into an extremely fine powder.

(You can accomplish this yourself by grinding regular oats in a sealed Ziploc bag, using the backside of a spoon to crush the oatmeal.)


  • Add 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with warm water
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Soak in this mixture for at least 15-20 minutes
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil can also be used to get relief from the irritation and inflammation. It is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which reduce itching and facilitate healing.


  • After rinsing the affected area with water, apply olive oil to the chigger bite.
  • Reapply several times a day.

Another option using olive oil:

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apply on the affected area.
  • Repeat a few times a day.

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

As summer and fall are prime time for chigger bites, it is best to take the following precautions:

  1. When hiking, stay in the center of the trail and avoid brushing up against vegetation.
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants when going into the woods.
  3. Apply mosquito repellent on your hands, feet, and exposed skin on your arms before going outside.
  4. Shower immediately after being outdoors and use antibacterial soap.
  5. Wash your clothes in hot water.
  6. Resist the urge to scratch because breaking the skin on chigger bites can lead to a possible infection.

This video from Online Pest Control will show you tips to avoid chiggers and ways to get rid of chiggers:

Chigger bites much like other insect bites aren't only discomforting, they can be dangerous too. Many of these insects including chiggers carry diseases in some cases.

The best way to deal with these bugs is to avoid them or control them with our tips here. But, if you're so unlucky, you also now know the best home remedies to chigger bites!

Have you had to deal with chigger bites before? Tell us how, including more useful tips which worked for you in the comments section below!

Up Next:

Go to our Survival Life Store to shop some of our favorites self-defense tools and gear!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr!

***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 28, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

Arm yourself with a survival stick, get savvy with it, but first, find out why as you read on!

RELATED: Deadly Parasols | Umbrella As A Self-Defense Weapon

In this article:

  1. Survival Hiking Stick
  2. Survival Stick for Support
  3. Fetching/Reaching Things
  4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense
  5. Balance
  6. Gauging Depth
  7. Carrying Gear and Supplies
  8. Club
  9. Fishing Rod

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

A walking stick or a survival cane were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries as a decorative show of power and a defensive replacement for a sword. Yet, the truth is our ancestors have been using them for thousands of years, and for good reason…

…They work! Even the animal kingdom is smart enough to know just how useful these are:

(It may be hard to see, but this gorilla is holding a walking stick to gauge the depth of the water as she sloshes along)

A walking stick is not a new or revolutionary idea. In fact, the use of a walking stick predates history and its use continued on for generations including this present time.

Yet, it is one which is more often than not overlooked. When most people think of a walking stick, it is usually paired with a top hat or seen as a crutch for someone with a walking disability.

Far too few people even realize how important a walking stick can be, especially to someone in the outdoors. We will dig a little deeper into the many uses of a survival stick and maybe safely say, it could be the first multi-purpose survival tool.

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

Walking sticks are also known as trekking poles, pilgrim's staffs, hiking poles and hiking staff have quite a few different uses:

1. Survival Hiking Stick

Hold the survival stick in front of you and you can use it to clear your way by parting brushes and branches or leaves and thick tall grasses. You can also use it to clear spiderwebs, especially if you're not too fond of spiders.

Other insects, animals, poisonous plants, and even animal dung can get in the way. Use a survival stick to inspect or poke at those things if you are unsure, and never ever your hands or your feet.

2. Survival Stick for Support

Hiker in Caucasus mountains is crossing mountain river | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | hiking staff
Making your way through an uneven terrain will be more manageable with a walking stick for support. Whether you're going up or down, use the walking stick to either slow you down or hold you up.

You can use your walking stick like breaks to keep you from speeding down or use it to latch on to a rock or crevice when you're climbing up. Besides for yourself, you can also use your multipurpose stick as a support for your tarp emergency shelter.

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

It happens–a supply or gear falling on water, mud, puddle or in an area you dare not walk into. You can fetch or reach for those items with a stick.

It also happens where you need an item over a physical barrier and only a stick can fetch the item for you. You can also reach for fruits, nest, or other food sources up a tree or high structure with a stick.

RELATED: Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense

To use a survival stick as a weapon, make sure it's a sturdy stick with a finished look and not just any stick you found along the way. You can use it to defend yourself from an attacker whether it's human or animals.

I would suggest to train yourself in some form of martial arts using a stick like a baton as a weapon to have a better handle at it.

You can also fashion a spear with your stick by tying a survival knife on one end. Don't throw this spear though or you risk damaging or losing your knife and stick.

Hold on to your homemade spear and only use it to thrust at your target.

5. Balance

Hiker is crossing the river in Sweden | Hiker in Caucasus mountain | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | survival hiking stickWhen you're crossing a log bridge over a stream or you're going through the stream itself or other bodies of water, a walking stick can help you balance so you don't fall over. If you're walking through a muddy or rocky waterbed, a walking stick will help you up.

If you're up for it and if the body of water isn't too wide across, you can also use a long stick like a pole vault to cross over so you don't get yourself wet.

6. Gauging Depth

Relative to crossing bodies of water, a survival stick is handy in identifying dips beneath the waters which could cause you to stumble. You can also use the stick to identify where it's safe to take the next step.

You can also use this simple trick with the stick when you're traveling in deep snow, marshland, and even the dessert.

7. Carrying Gear and Supplies

Use your survival stick to help you carry gear and supplies. Pack your supplies with a shemagh, tie it tight to one end of your stick then place the stick over your shoulders in hobo fashion.

You can also carry more supplies with your survival stick. Even today, a carrying pole is used by indigenous people all over the world to carry heavy supplies you never thought possible.

Hang bags of supplies or jars of water on either side of the pole or stick, putting a stopper like a notch or tie on both ends so they don't fall off. Place the center of the stick over your shoulders and balance your load to your destination.

8. Club

Man carrying blue backpack | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | walking staff weapon
Use your survival stick like a club to knock obstacle down. A pillar of rocks or other objects may be on your way and a sturdy stick can help you safely knock those.

If you are in a building with glass doors or windows or inside a car, you can break the glass with a stick. Make to knock over pieces around your entrance or exit with the stick, too.

9. Fishing Rod

You only need to bring a fishing kit and your survival stick will make a good fishing rod. Tie a line on one end of your walking stick and fish away.

A DIY fishing pole is actually effective and many a fish has been caught this way.

As you guys and gals already know, I am a stickler for carrying things only if they have multiple uses. This guy managed to fit almost an entire survival kit into a walking stick he built from scratch, for under $20.00.

Check out this video from SOS 2054 I found, and find out for yourself, too:

A humble walking stick will indeed surprise you with what it can do for your defense, convenience, safety, and survival. Since you know now the practical and survival uses of this primitive multi-purpose tool, it won't surprise me if it lands a top spot on your list of survival tools for camping, hiking, or SHTF.

What other uses can you think of for carrying a “survival stick”? Let us know in the comments section below!

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**Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 11, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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