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9 Ways to Preserve Pears, Plus Tips to Prevent Browning

How to Preserve pears using canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting. Their natural sweetness makes them a delicious snack or dessert.

Our neighbors have a beautiful pear tree that’s over 50 years old, and each year they invite us to share in the harvest. Big tree = many, many pears, so over the years I’ve used many different ways to preserve pears. No matter how you store them – canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting – their high sugar content makes them a naturally decadent dessert. In this post I’ll cover both short term and long term storage options.

How to Store Pears without Processing

Pick pears before they are mature but not fully ripe, then allow them to ripen off the tree. If you leave them on the tree to ripen, they tend to spoil from the inside out. The outside looks good, but when you cut them open, the inside is soft and brown.

For longest storage – keep unripe pears at 30 °F (-1.1 °C) and 85-90% humidity. Fresh, unripe pears will hold in these conditions for 2-5 months, depending on the variety. The high sugar content of pears acts as a natural antifreeze.

Good storage pear varieties:

  • Anjou
  • Bosch
  • Comice
  • Winter Nelis

These varieties should keep 3-5 months. Bartletts should keep 2-3 months in optimal conditions. Pears can be rock hard straight off the tree and still ripen beautifully in storage.

The firmer the pear, the better it typically will hold in storage. Temps colder than 30°F will damage the pears, warmer temps will speed up ripening. Even if you don’t intend to keep the pears very long, brief chilling will improve the flavor. Most store pears have already been chilled during transport and are ready to ripen. The longer the time spent in cold storage, the more quickly the pears will ripen at room temp.

A spare fridge or walk in cooler is ideal, although I found that the new mini fridge we purchased for storage does not work well because it is too airtight. Ethylene gas cannot escape, and food tends to spoil. My husband’s old dorm fridge worked better, but it died at around 25 years of service.

It’s best to lay out your fruit in shallow bins or containers that you can inspect regularly. Remove any fruit that shows signs of spoilage and use or preserve pears via another method. Once ripe, pears should be used within a couple of days.

How to Keep Cut Pears from Getting Brown

There are several ways to help keep your cut pears from getting brown. These can be used for cut pears you plan to eat soon, or as pre-treatment before any of the types of storage. Pears are sliced and peeled (if desired), then dipped in one of the following solutions:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice per gallon of water
  • pineapple juice,orange juice or other acidic juices – full strength, or diluted by half with water
  • 2 tablespoons salt per gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon citric acid per gallon of water

No matter what treatment you use, it will only slow down browning, not completely prevent it. It’s best to work in batches or get some help for processing so pears don’t sit too long cut.

How to Make Pear Candy AKA Dehydrated Pears - Easy recipe for super sweet, sulfite free, dehydrated pears that stay light colored and tasty in storage.

Preserve Pears by Drying – How to Dehydrate Pears

If you don’t have cold storage, dehydrating is probably the next easiest way to preserve pears. Due to their high sugar content, pears take quite a while to dry, roughly 10 to 24 hours. The resulting dried fruit is very sweet, like pear candy. Some people think it resembles the taste of caramel. Pears should be dehydrated at 135 ºF/57 ºC overnight or until fruit is dry and leatherlike. Pretreating will help keep the pears from browning, but is not required. Store dehydrated pears in an airtight container.

For detailed step by step instructions on drying pears at home, see the post How to Make Pear Candy.

Preserve Pears by Freezing

Again, this is a super easy pear storage method. Like most of my pear storage, I prefer to peel, quarter and pre-treat the pears before freezing to keep them form browning. If you like to be able to pour out a small amount of pears from your freezer storage, freeze the fruit on trays first. After fruit is frozen solid, pack in zip top freezer bags or freezer containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.

You may also pack sliced pears in sugar syrup (see below) or juice in containers and freeze.

For a light syrup, use 2 1/4 cups sugar and 5 1/4 cups water. You may also substitute honey for the sugar and reduce the amount to 1 cup, or can the pears in apple or pear juice. Spices, such as a cinnamon stick, may be added to each jar or container during canning or freezing. For 7 quarts of pears, I used a little less than 2 batches of light syrup and 18 pounds of pears.

How to Preserve pears using canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting. Their natural sweetness makes them a delicious snack or dessert.

How to Can Pears Cold Pack or Hot Pack

It’s generally recommended that pears be gently heated in syrup before being packed in jars, but I have raw packed very ripe pears to keep them from turning to mush. To can pears, you should use a water bath canner.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds per quart
  • Light syrup or juice

Directions

Fill canner with hot water to about 3/4 full. Water level should be one to two inches above jars during the canning process. Make sure jars and lids are clean. (See “How to Can Food at Home – 8 Steps for Safe Canning” for more detailed information on canning equipment and general canning tips.)

Wash and drain pears. Peel, core and cut into halves or quarters and treat to prevent darkening. Make syrup and keep hot.

To Cold Pack Can Pears:

Drain pears. Fill jars with pears, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup into jars. Use thin plastic spatula or chopstick to remove air bubbles. Add extra syrup, if needed, so that jars are filled to 1/2 inch headspace.

Wipe rims and screw on two-piece lids finger tight. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes in a boiling water canner. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on towel to cool completely. Remove rings and check seals. Wipe any spills or drips, label and store in a cool, dry location out of direct light. Use within 1 year for best quality.

To Hot Pack Can Pears:

This works best with firm, ripe pears. After pre-treating, drain pears. Heat pears in the syrup until hot throughout. Pack into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and add liquid, if needed. Process as above for cold pack.

How to Can Almond Pears

Almond pears are pears canned with almond liquor and blanches almonds for a delicate almond flavor. Check out the step by step canning instructions and recipe in the post, “Almond Pears“.

How to Preserve pears using canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting. Their natural sweetness makes them a delicious snack or dessert.

How to Freeze Dry Pears

Although pears can be freeze dried, they take a really LONG time in the freeze dryer due to their high sugar and water content. If you try it, I suggest using less ripe pears and slicing them very thinly.

To freeze dry pears – simply peel, thinly slice and treat to prevent browning. Drain completely – you may even want to pat them dry with a clean flour sack towel. Spread pears on freeze dryer trays in an even layer. Do not exceed 10 pounds total for unit. Run freeze drying cycle and check for dryness. Add extra drying time if any large pieces test cold in the center. Freeze dried pears will be slightly tacky on the surface, but the center of the fruit should be dry and crisp. Seal in a Mylar bag or vacuum sealed mason jar with oxygen absorber. Label, date and store in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight.

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Learn more about Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryers.

Cranberry Pear Jam - traditional & low sugar recipes. Tart cranberries team up with sweet pears and a hint of cinnamon to create this memorable autumn jam.

Cranberry Pear Jam

I like to pair pears up with other flavors in jam, since pears on their own can be very bland. Jam is good way to use up pears that are too soft for canning or drying. My favorite pear jam recipe is cranberry pear jam, which combines two favorite fall flavors. The cranberry pear jam post features both traditional and low sugar versions of the recipe.

how-to-make-pear-wine

Preserve Pears as Pear Wine

When I have more pears than I can freeze, can, dry and otherwise preserve, or if the pears get really ripe, it’s time for wine! With just a few pieces of basic equipment, you can make a simple country wine right in your own kitchen. See “How to Make Pear Wine” for my pear wine making story and recipes.

Easy Pear Butter

There are a ton of pear butter recipes out there, but I like to keep mine super simple. Very ripe pears are best for pear butter. Because the pears are so naturally sweet, I don’t add extra sugar. I simply core and peel the pears, cutting out any damaged spots. Pre-treating isn’t needed, since the butter will turn brown with cooking. That said, adding a little lemon juice or orange juice to the pot brightens the flavor and ensures the pH is low enough for safe canning.

Place the cleaned pears in a heavy bottomed pot with a bit of water to prevent scorching. Add roughly 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or orange juice per quart of pears. Cook gently on low heat, stirring regularly, until pears are soft and smooth. Cook off excess water until desired consistency is reached, stirring more frequently as the butter gets thicker.

When you are ready to can, you may process “as is”, or add spices of choice such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla or citrus zest. Fill jars to 1/4 inch headspace and process cups or pints for 10 minutes in a water. Allow to cool on a clean towel, remove rings, wipe down and label jars. Store in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight.

How to Preserve pears using canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting. Their natural sweetness makes them a delicious snack or dessert.

Enjoy Your Pears Year Round!

Dried pears are great in granola or snack mixes, or baked into oatmeal or cookies. Individually frozen pears can be blended into smoothies or fruit sorbets. Canned pears make a tasty dessert straight out of the jar, or blended into smoothies. Use your imagination!

What’s your favorite pear variety or way to store pears? I’d love to hear from you!

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The post 9 Ways to Preserve Pears, Plus Tips to Prevent Browning appeared first on Common Sense Homesteading.

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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