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40 Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know

Know these essential knots and learn an invaluable survival skill you can use for life!

RELATED: How to Tie the Best Knots for Camping and Survival

Essential Knots: How Many of These Can You Tie?

1. Overhand Knot

The overhand knot is one of the basic knots. In fact, you can use this as the basis of all the other essential knots you will make.

You can also tie other knots with this fundamental knot. Indeed, when making paracord hitches, you will see the overhand knots along with other knots.

2. Double Overhand

If you know the overhand knot, this is the extended version of it. But there's just one additional pass that makes it different to the overhand knot, it’s also bigger and a bit harder to untie.

3. Figure Eight Knot

Figure eight knot | Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know

This is one kind of stopper knot and it is also useful when rock climbing and sailing. The purpose of this knot is to prevent ropes to run out from retaining devices. It's also easier to get this kind of knot undone as compared to the overhand knot.

4. Running Knot

Those into crochet and knitting know the running knot since it's the starting point. It's an adjustable knot related to the slip, noose, and slipped overhand knot.

It also tightens once you pull the rope and also undone easily by pulling on the working end. You can also use it as a stopper knot.

5. Granny Knot

You can use this knot a.k.a, the binding knot to secure an object using a line or a rope. Though it resembles the square knot or reef knot, it's still inferior to it when it comes to uses.

6. Sheepshank

This is a type of knot you can use to shorten a rope temporarily. Do consider that this type of knot is unstable. If you place a little too heavy or too light load, it will fall apart.

7. Square Knot

You can also call this as the reef knot. To make this type of knot, just tie an overhand knot (left-handed) to another overhand knot (right-handed). You can use this as a binding knot with the right material on a curved surface.

8. Bowline Knot

This is one type of knot which you can tie and untie easily. You can make this by forming at the end of the line a fixed circle or loop.

While it's a simple knot, it's ancient too, which stood the test of time. It's also one of the basic four maritime essential knots, including the figure eight knot, clove hitch, and reef knot.

9. Sheet Bend Double

This is a sheet bend knot doubled and effective to secure different lines. It has a tendency to loosen if not loaded though. This is almost similar to a bowline and a more secure alternative to the square knot.

10. Sheet Bend

You can make a sheet bend knot by joining two ropes. This is also called as weaver’s knot or weaver’s hitch. One way to tie this knot is by creating a half hitch in the slack part of a larger rope.

11. Overhand Bow

Overhand bow knot | Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know

You can use this type of knot for fishing, shoelaces, climbing, as well as joining other knots. It is difficult to untie though but quite strong and reliable.

12. Double Carrick Bend

This type of knot is appropriate when using a rope that is heavy, very large, or too stiff. You won’t need to worry about the knot jamming while lifting a heavy load.

13. Bow Knot

A bow knot has large loops that are decorative. It consists of two loops and two ends that are loose. This knot is commonly used to tie shoelaces and you can easily tie and untie it.

14. Figure Eight Double

You can also call this type of knot as “bunny ears” or dog-eared loop. You can make this by forming two parallel loops similar to a figure-eight loop.

15. Clove Hitch Knot

The Clove Hitch#clove #hitch #knot #knots #allaboutyachts #yachts #sailing * The Clove Hitch is another indispensable knot for the yachtsman.
* It is extremely simple to use and extremely important in the application.
* The most popular application on … https://t.co/FFnaTehrbQ pic.twitter.com/7YQ36tOGgU

— All About Yachts (@AllAboutYachts2) March 4, 2019

You can make this type of knot through two successive hitches half tied to an object. This is considered one of the most essential knots and commonly called a double hitch. It's also most effective if you use it as a crossing knot.

16. Half Hitch

The half hitch knot is a simple knot done overhand. You can make this by bringing one end of the rope over and underneath the standing edge. This is not a secure knot, but it is essential when making bends and other knots.

17. Timber Hitch

This is also another type of knot you can use to attach one rope to an object that is cylindrical in shape. With this knot, you only use a single length of rope. You can easily untie this even after loading a heavy object.

18. Killick Hitch

If you are planning to hitch a knot to an object of odd shapes, this the perfect knot to use. It is also called as the kelleg hitch. A combination of a half hitch and a timber hitch, you can also use this knot when pulling or lifting an object.

19. Halyard Bend

Gaff Topsail Halyard Bend, actually a hitch used in boating to attach a rope to a pole | Day 54 #Scout series #knots #vsco https://t.co/lv28tAxLKE pic.twitter.com/vuKUmRvaOt

— Jessel Sookha (@jsookha) January 31, 2018

This type of knot is used to attach the end of a line or rope to any object that is cylindrical in shape. You need to tie it at a right angle though. This is another version of timber hitch doing a double loop around and single tuck underneath.

20. Rolling Hitch

You can use this knot when tying it to another rope, a pole, or any rod. This type of knot resists any kind of movement lengthwise with a single pull. This is commonly used when sailing as a stopper when relaxing any tension over a sheet clearing any blockage.

RELATED: How To Build An Urban Survival Kit

21. Fisherman's Bend

The fisherman’s bend has two double overhand knots tied to each other on every end. The line you can make with this is also called as the Prusik Knot, which is excellent as ropes for climbing.

What is the Prusik knot? This is a friction knot typically used when ascending or descending on a rope like canyoneering, zip lining, climbing, caving, or rope rescue. The knot is attached to a loop of cord positioned around the rope.

22. Two Half Hitches

Two half hitches knot | Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know

This type of knot can be a hitch knot or a binding knot. You may do this by creating an overhand knot which you tie to a post. You can then create a half hitch from there. It's also called a double half-hitch.

23. Hitching Tie

This is the perfect knot to use when tying off stuff sacks. You can easily untie it, and it's a simple knot to make as well.

It is also a slip knot or a noose wherein the loop is tied tight around the object. You cannot use this though as a strong knot when doing extreme activities.

24. Tiller's Hitch

A Tiller’s hitch is a good knot for holding. This is suitable for holding the tiller and yet easily unties. This is also the loose version of a sheet bend, and you may use this in instances wherein you need to release quickly.

25. Cat's Paw

This is another type of knot used to connect a rope to an object. You can find this knot as similar to a cow hitch. The only exception is the additional twist on every side of the slack part of the rope. This way, it is less likely to slip.

26. Blackwall Hitch

You can use this type of knot if you want to temporarily attach a rope to a hook. It consists of a half hitch and will hold when there is constant tension.

You can only use this when the hook and the rope are equal in size. But, it will slip when there is stronger tension on the rope.

27. Midshipman's Hitch

Midshipman’s Hitch https://t.co/cwkhfu6h8Z pic.twitter.com/3KWIOvvEKz

— Jack Raven Bushcraft (@JackRavenInfo) March 4, 2019

This knot is another option to loosen any lines that are under tension. It is an adjustable loop, which you can use for lighter applications. An example where you can use this knot is when setting up a tent.

28. Lark's Head

A lark’s head is also a temporary knot that is loose. You can also use this on a rod or a pole. It's also considered as one of the decorative knots frequently used. This is one type of a hitch knot used for processes that involve mounting.

29. Sailor's Knot

This is a secure hitch which is also jam-proof. You can use this to fit the rope to any object that it's attached to.

It is also another type of the Josephine knot. You use two loops with this knot instead of three which makes it different from the Josephine knot.

30. Miller's Knot

Instagram Photo

The Miller’s knot is also called as the “sack knot” or “bag knot.” You can use this to secure any openings such as in a bag or a sack. This is basically used for binding and it's historically associated with tying of sack of grains thus, the “miller” name.

Spider Cord Paracord loop knot munter hitch stopper knot

31. Marlinspike Hitch

You can use this temporary knot if you want to attach a rope to a rod in the form of a handle. You can also use this knot for other rope work. This knot allows for added tension on the rope compared if gripping only with bare hands.

32. Fisherman's Knot

Fisherman's knot | Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know

You can also call this the “halibut knot.” It's a kind of bend consisting of two overhand knots to form a symmetrical angle. You can also use the fisherman's knot to join thin, slippery, or stiff lines.

33. Surgeon's Knot

You can use this type of knot to bind and surgeons use this often. It keeps tension over a suture, thus its name. It's also considered as one of the easiest essential knots to tie when combining lines equal or unequal in diameters.

34. Fisherman's Eye

This is also called the True Lover’s Knot. Anglers make use of this to create a leader loop. This is a very useful loop which you tie on the loose end of a rope using 1 of 4 other methods.

35. Slippery Hitch

Need an #easy #knot for #dog's #leash?#Quick 30sec #lesson on how to tie a Slippery #Hitchhttps://t.co/ETyJOHEu9N pic.twitter.com/brZew8zcZu

— Repairs101 (@Repairs101) June 8, 2016

If you want to tie a knot to a rod or a bar, the slippery hitch is a good choice. However, it cannot provide you with reliable strength compared with other knots. You can easily untie and tie it though.

36. Stevedore's Knot

You can use this knot as a stopper knot. It is usually tied to the end of the rope and where the lariat’s other end can pass through to make a running noose. This knot is bulkier though but less likely to jam compared to the figure-eight knot.

37. Lariat Loop

This is a type of a circular small loop. It is also tied to one end of the lariat through a knot.

Cowboys often make this loop when they need to lasso a horse or a cattle. It is circular in shape which loosens freely especially with a stiff rope where you tie it with.

38. Bowline on Bight

Knot of the Day: Bowline on a Bight
The Bowline on a Bight makes a secure loop in the middle of a piece of rope. It does not slip or bind. #knots #KnowYourKnotshttps://t.co/hOsBbwC8fU pic.twitter.com/LYrPDut9Ch

— Animated Knots (@animatedknots) January 20, 2019

You can make this type of knot by making a pair of loops with fixed sizes. You can also easily untie this knot after a strain. This is a secure loop which you can use for slings or as an improvised seat during an emergency.

39. Taut-line Hitch

With this knot, you can adjust it to suit lines that are under tension. This type of knot comes in handy when you need to adjust the length of a line from time to time. You can also use this as an alternative when securing your tent ropes or when climbing a tree.

40. Chain Hitch

You can use this type of knot when connecting a rope to an object that is cylindrical in shape. This is the same as a marline hitch. You can also achieve this knot by forming successive essential knots in the style of a clove hitch.

This post on essential knots is based on the infographic courtesy of Wide Open Spaces.

Whether you're prepping for the unknown or just a weekend camping trip, learn how to tie knots first for your own good. But knowing the different types of knots and their uses, especially these essential knots will give you the upper hand.

Which among the essential knots listed have you tried so far? Do share your experience in the comments section below.

Up Next:

Check out 10 Smart Ideas My Redneck Neighbor Taught Me at https://survivallife.com/smart-ideas-redneck-neighbor-taught/

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

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Essential Knots Every Survivalist Needs To Know | https://survivallife.com/40-essential-knots/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 4, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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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!

Up Next:

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

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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.

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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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.

Steps:

  • 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.

Steps:

  • 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.

Steps:

  • 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.)

Steps:

  • 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.

Steps:

  • 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 | https://survivallife.com/5-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.

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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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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