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Build Your Own Walk In Cooler with a CoolBot Controller and A/C Unit

A CoolBot and household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk in cooler, saving you thousands versus a commercial cooler.

You can build your own walk in cooler for produce storage at just a fraction of the cost of commercial coolers. A CoolBot and a regular household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk-in cooler. Instead of paying over $5000 for a small commercial walk in cooler, you can save thousands with this DIY cooler option.

What’s a Coolbot?

A CoolBot it a small (roughly hand sized) controller that allows you to use a standard window AC to produce temps in the upper 30s (F). From the CoolBot website:

The CoolBot uses multiple sensors, a heating element and a programmed micro-controller to direct your air conditioner’s compressor to operate in a such a way to cool the room to 36° F without ever freezing up. Additionally, our innovative interface which links the CoolBot controller to your air conditioner allows for 5 minute installations without any training, cutting, soldering or even taping.

CoolBot walk in coolers are perfect for: hunters, farmers, cheese makers, homesteaders, brewers, preppers, dairies, taxidermy, or those who want additional food storage.

A CoolBot and household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk in cooler, saving you thousands versus a commercial cooler.

Why Build a Walk In Cooler?

I run a produce delivery service and was struggling to hold my produce. We quickly ran out of space in our traditional refrigerators, and I had a hard time controlling the temperature. Some produce would freeze and some would spoil quickly due to temperature irregularities. I was losing hundreds of dollars in inventory weekly.

A friend of mine that is a farmer and owns a local nursery recommended a product called a CoolBot. Her husband turned their storage shed into a walk-in cooler by adding a Coolbot to their window unit and double insulating the walls. After some research, we decided to add a cooler to a room in our garage.

Which Insulation is Best for a Walk In Cooler?

Standard fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass insulation proved to be the least initial expense. You would need to double it to create the recommended R-25 value (like my friend did). The down side is condensation buildup. You’ll need to replace the insulation every five years or so, because it will get wet and mold over time. If you need a walk in cooler for 5 years or less, this would be the cheapest option.

Blown Insulation and Foam Insulation

Blown and Foam insulation is easy to install and works well with existing rooms. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide the needed R-Value (25 or greater), and is susceptible to the same condensation and mold buildup as fiberglass insulation.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene is the best insulation to use for cooler applications. It’s what they use for commercial coolers. The down side it is hard to find and not cost effective to ship.

After much research and pricing all the options, we decided to look into used walk-in coolers. Much to our surprise, we were easily able to find a local (within a 2 hour drive) contractor that removed equipment from restaurants and grocery stores and had used walk-in coolers for sale. We bought an 8×9 Walk-In Cooler that included all the side panels, ceiling, and enough extra panels to make a door, all for $300.00.

We decided to use a room inside of our garage that hubby graciously gave up for us to install our cooler. This location was perfect because:

  • it had a concrete floor (best recommended flooring)
  • there was a power source
  • the a/c unit would be protected from elements and out of the sun
  • the garage would add to the efficiency and longevity to the cooler

Because we did have to prefab a lot of the interlocking panels to fit our space, custom build and modify a door, and run electricity to the cooler, I would give this DIY project a 4 out of 5 for carpentry skill level. If you converted an existing shed or room with electricity into a cooler using insulation and sheathing, then moderate carpentry skills could easily accomplish this project.

A CoolBot and household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk in cooler, saving you thousands versus a commercial cooler.

Which AC Unit Should I Use with a CoolBot?

After building the rest of the walk in cooler, we added our window unit. The size of A/C you need will depend on the size of your room.

Size of Air-Conditioner => Dimensions of the Walk-In Cooler

  • 10,000 BTU = 6′ x 8′ x 8′
  • 12,000 BTU = 8′ x 8′ x 8′
  • 15,000 BTU = 8′ x 10′ x 8′
  • 18,000 BTU = 8′ x 12′ x 8′
  • 24,000 BTU = 10′ x 14′ x 8′

You have to have an A/C Model with a digital display, because the Coolbot will not function properly without this feature. See “CoolBot AC Unit Size and Brand Recommendations” for more information.

Once you have your room or cooler well insulated and your window A/C in place you can install your CoolBot to create your walk in cooler.

How to Connect Your AC Unit and CoolBot for Your Walk In Cooler

Installing a CoolBot with your Window A/C (from storeitcold.com):

  1. Install any brand of window A/C unit which you’ve purchased separately. (See our A/C Selection Guide to make sure you have the right air conditioner for your space). Cut an appropriate-sized hole in the wall of your walk-in cooler, put the A/C unit into the hole, and then use some type of insulation, like foam sleeves for pipes, so that you can easily remove the A/C instead of having to carve it out in case you switch A/Cs in the future.
  2. Plug the CoolBot into a standard outlet – the CoolBot uses no more electricity than a cell-phone charger, so no special electrical connections are needed.
  3. There are three labeled wires coming out of the CoolBot:
  • The first (labeled “Room”) measures the temperature of the room. Let it hang free, but make sure it is not making contact with any metal and not in the direct pathway of the cold air coming from the A/C.
  • The second wire (labeled “FIN Sensor”) is placed into the front cooling fins of the A/C unit. Gently place the sensor as low as possible, but ABOVE the first horizontal cooling tube. Use a pen or pencil to widen a space 1-2 inches up from the bottom and put the fin sensor 1/3 of an inch in so it is not touching the coolant pipes behind them. It should stay there on its own. No tape or screws. You may need to gently pinch the fins closed around the sensor, but be careful not to damage the sensor.
  • The third wire (labeled “Heater”) attaches to the A/C’s temperature sensor. The temperature sensor actually comes out of the A/C; on a new A/C the temperature sensor will be mounted on small plastic brackets in front of the fins. Wrap the CoolBot “Heater” wire up with that air-conditioner temperature sensor using a small 1/2 inch by 1 inch piece of aluminum foil (included) to ensure a good thermal connection. Allow this foil pack to hang freely away from any metal and out of the direct pathway of cold air.
  1. The CoolBot comes pre-programmed to cool your room down to 42°F (5.6°C), however, you can set it to whatever temperature you want.

Does the CoolBot Cooler Work?

Almost one year after installation, and I can’t say enough about this product. It allowed me to expand our CSA business, increased our food storage capabilities, and – as an unexpected bonus – our walk-in cooler doubled as a shelter during a hurricane.

We recently went through Hurricane Matthew here on the coast of South Carolina and we were not able to evacuate in time. Our family took shelter in our cooler as the eye of the storm and heaviest winds passed over us. With the reinforced walls, concrete foundation and sound structure, it was the perfect safe haven for us to weather out the storm.

A CoolBot and household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk in cooler, saving you thousands versus a commercial cooler.

How Much Does a CoolBot Walk In Cooler Cost?

The cost of your walk in Cooler will vary greatly depending on many factors, such as:

  • Using an existing room or building new
  • Size of the room
  • Materials – flooring, insulation, A/C unit, CoolBot
  • Hiring a contractor or building it yourself

You can lower costs by watching for sales and buying seasonally. (Wood cost changes weekly, A/C are more expensive in summer than in winter and so on.)

Even with all of these factors in play, you can still build your own walk in cooler for a fraction of the cost of buying a commercial cooler by using a CoolBot. Our costs were as follows:

  • CoolBot – $330.00
  • Cooler Insulation and framing – $300.00
  • A/C Unit (we already had one to use) – $0
  • Electrical Supplies (wire, conduit, breaker, light) – $50.00

Total Cost $680.00

The CoolBot uses 40% less electricity than traditional coolers, which saves us hundreds of dollars per year. The cooler has also saved us thousands of dollars by preventing produce spoilage.

In northern climates you may be able to keep food cool in a root cellar, but for southerners and those who need to maintain a set temperature range (like commercial kitchens), a walk in cooler is a must for large scale cool storage.

Have you tried using a CoolBot or walk in cooler? Share your experience.

You may also enjoy:

A CoolBot and household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk in cooler, saving you thousands versus a commercial cooler.

Amber BradshawThis is a guest post by Amber Bradshaw of The Coastal Homestead. Amber is a environmentalist, homesteader, garden and outdoor enthusiast. She is a wife, mother of three. Amber owns a contracting business with her husband, was President of the local Herb Society for the last three years, a 4-H Leader, Blogger and runs a CSA. Amber strives to get back into nature with a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle that fits a busy schedule and a tight budget. She lives on the east coast with her family on a little over 1/4 acre and encourages others to do big things with small spaces.

When not out in the garden you can find her sharing her latest homestead tips at The Coastal Homestead, on Facebook, on Pinterest or Instagram.

Posts may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a commission to support the site at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Really good bread

It's Easy to Bake Homemade Bread with my New Book, "Never Buy Bread Again"!

This book will help you:

  • Save money
  • Avoid the preservatives and additives in commercial bread
  • Enjoy the amazing taste and aroma of fresh baked bread

But I Don't Have Time to Bake Bread!

Several of the recipes are bread machine friendly, and the yeast breads can be mixed with a sturdy mixer so you you can multitask in the kitchen. Just a few minutes to mix, let rise, shape, rise and bake.

The quick breads are even easier – just mix and bake! You can make pancakes from scratch in about the same time as using a box mix – without the mystery ingredients.

Click Here to Buy the Bread Book

What's in the Bread Book?

“Never Buy Bread Again – 20+ Homemade Bread Recipes” is the bread book designed for beginning bakers and those who enjoy quick and easy homemade breads. It’s also fun for those who remember recipes “like grandma used to make” and want to recapture that flavor in their own kitchen.

In this book you’ll find:

  • Troubleshooting tips so you can bake without fear
  • Easy everyday breads such as sandwich bread and crusty French bread
  • Quick breads such as buttermilk biscuits, corn bread and pancakes
  • Gluten free breads
  • How to Make a Sourdough Starter and Basic Sourdough Bread
  • Holiday and special occasion breads, like fruit filled kolache, Polish doughnuts and pretzel bread
  • How to store and freeze breads (before and after baking) for best quality
  • Fun bread "go alongs" like flavored butters and cheese fondue
  • Recipes to make with leftover bread

The book includes full color photos, so you know what the finished bread should look like, and stories from our family about the recipes and baking traditions. It has a spiral binding so that it lays flat on the kitchen counter for easy reading while cooking.

How Do I Get My Copy?

I'm self-publishing this ode to bread goodness, so I need your help to fund a print run.

You can pre-order your copy through Kickstarter (along with Kickstarter bonuses including an extra pdf copy) for $25. The pdf version is also available through Kickstarter for a $10 contribution.

The Kickstarter wraps up on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 11:59 PM CDT, and if I don't meet my funding goal, I get nothing, so I truly appreciate your help.

You get charged nothing unless the campaign is successful.

The post Build Your Own Walk In Cooler with a CoolBot Controller and A/C Unit appeared first on Common Sense Homesteading.

This Article Was Originally Posted at commonsensehome.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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