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Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Native American survival skills included crafting their own survival tools and building their own shelters. They foraged for their food and hunted their prey, all by hand. It is astounding to think how well they survived and thrived based on necessity alone. Would someone like you or me be able to do the same if we were put into such a hostile environment? Probably not, and that it is why it is good to be aware of old-school Native American survival techniques. How did the Native Americans survive? How were they so deftly able to sustain themselves in the unforgiving North American wilderness?

It is very easy to forget, in our modern times of the Internet and instant heat, cooling, food, and shelter, that people use to live a much simpler and much harder life before the advents of these modern comforts. The Native Americans are the prime example of how people use to live off the land and survived the threats of nature with basic and cultivated survival tactics.

Native American Survival Skills We Can All Learn From

This list will highlight 25 of some of the more interesting Native American survival skills commonly used by the tribes of North America. Let this list be an insight into the lives of these fascinating people, an educational tool for our modern culture, a means of appreciating a society that is so rare and thin today and a reminder that the human spirit and will are much stronger than what we give them credit for.

25. Community

The tribal mindset and lifestyle of the Native Americans of yesteryear play a huge role in their survival tactics. As you probably are already aware, Native Americans distinguished themselves by tribes. You have probably already heard of the more common and prominent tribes like the Apache, Navajo, and Mohican. The sense of community, sharing of resources and wisdom and collective protection between tribesmen cannot be understated when considering how Native Americans were able to survive.

24. Footwear

Footwear | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

If you have ever worked a day in your life wearing the improper pair of shoes then you know how important footwear is to comfort and bodily health. Footwear was integral to Native American survival and moccasins made of tanned leather and sewn together were common in North American tribes. Although designs and cuts differed from tribe to tribe, features like rabbit pelt for added warmth and hardened rawhide for increased durability were common attributes of moccasins.

23. The Fox Walk

The fox walk was a method of tracking, traversing and hunting stealthily for Native Americans. This specific style consisting of wearing thin moccasins to feel the ground better, landing on the heel first and rolling your foot down, and traveling in lines to conceal your numbers was used in battle and in hunting.

22. Preserving Meat

Preserving Meat | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Meat got many Native American tribes through harsh winters, but there were no chemical preservatives or refrigerators back then. Instead, Native Americans would preserve meat by cutting it into lean strips, eliminating fat, and drying it in the sun. This is essentially what we know today as beef jerky. This thin, dried meat can keep for a very long time and was an essential food supply for Native Americans. We put together a guide to preserving meat in the wilderness.

21. Animal Hides

Animal hides were essential to Native American life and key to their survival. By honing a process of tanning and smoking, Native Americans were able to turn raw animal hides into moccasins, clothing, and even shelter.

20. Natural Observation

Being able to tell what kind of weather was on the horizon was a huge asset for Native Americans. They used the natural signs of the environment to predict weather and to prepare accordingly. They would study the behaviors of animals who have much keener senses for weather than we do and read the clouds.

19. Using Plants

How Native Americans were able to discern the healing powers of certain plants is an unknown but we do know that these practices were handed down from generation to generation so it was probably a case of trial and error. They would use plants, herbs, and other life found in nature to heal wounds and treat illnesses.

18. Artful Crafting

Artful Crafting | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Native American skills and crafts work with materials from their environment. By turning the crafting of basic survival tools and shelters into works of art, Native Americans were able to make the essentials of life that would stand up to the rigors of their environment. Native Americans took their time to craft tools and shelters thus ensuring their durability and overall quality and helping them survive in harsh conditions.

17. Body Paint

Before hunts, Native American tribes would paint their bodies so that they could blend into the natural scenery, as stealth was a very important aspect of survival in those times.

16. Clothing

Clothing | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Proper clothing is essential for anyone to survive in any situation, and the Native Americans had their clothing crafting skills down to a science. They used animal hides and smoked leather to create warm clothing for the cold winters. They also used certain colored clothing for stealth when hunting prey.

15. Camps

The Native Americans often built temporary camps for hunting excursions but they still needed to maintain a certain level of stealth. They would build these camps with earth-toned materials and animal skins and tuck them into the base of foothills or other strategic natural sites so that they would be hard to spot from a distance.

14. Blow Guns

Blow Guns | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

These have become something of a novelty in today’s day and age but blow guns were actually used for hunting and in warfare by Native American tribes such as the Cherokee. They would fashion these weapons out of cane or reed. The reed would be hollowed out to a tube wherein a dart would be inserted and propelled by a strong breath towards a target. Blowguns were used primarily to kill small game like birds, rabbits, and squirrels and were sometimes tipped with poison extracted from venomous snakes and even Gila Monsters.

13. Deadfalls

Deadfalls | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Deadfalls are a kind of trap that was used by Native Americans to kill their prey. A heavy rock or log would be elevated by rope or a lever made of wood over a piece of meat or food to entice an animal. The deadfalls usually had a trigger that when the animal touched it, would activate the primitive trap and send the heavy object crashing down on them.

12. Snares

Snares | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Trapping was one of the main ways that Native Americans caught their food and snares were among the most common types of traps utilized. A snare uses a vine that is tied in a loop and attached to a young sapling that is bent over and is fastened by tying it to a stick driven into the ground. The loop goes around a piece of meat to entice an animal and when the animal puts its head through the loop and tries to make off with the bait, the stick is dislodges and the loop turns into a noose around the prey’s neck and is suspended in the air as the sapling, free of its fastener, springs back into an upright position.

11. Trapping Pits

This is one of the more straightforward survival tactics utilized by the Native Americans. As the name suggests, this trap is simply a dug pit sometimes fitted with spikes at the bottom to kill or bleed the trapped animal. The dug pit would be covered up by branches and earth so that unsuspecting animals would walk over it and fall in.

10. Fishing Weirs

Fishing Weirs | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Fish is an indispensable food for Native Americans and among the ways that they would catch fish were fishing weirs. Fishing weirs are essential traps built by rock or wood that would lead fish migrating up or downstream to a corridor built to be narrow, ultimately trapping the fish.

9. Spearfishing

Spearfishing | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Another way the Native Americans caught fish was by spearfishing. There were different methods of spearfishing employed depending on the time of year. In the winter when the lakes would freeze over, a hole was cut into the ice and a lure made of bone was used to entice the fish toward the hole. Then, a spear made of wood for the shaft and copper or bone for the tip punctured the fish.

8. Hunting Tactics

It may seem simple now that we look back but many hunting tactics devised by Native Americans were learned over the generations and used to help them survive. Simple tactics like reading the wind and standing downwind from a target increased the chances for success of a hunt dramatically.

7. Nomadic Practices

Not all Native American tribes stayed in one place. After the Spanish visitors brought horses to the great plains, many tribes such as the Blackfeet, Crow, and Comanche adopted a nomadic lifestyle in order to hunt buffalo across the plains all year round. This supplied for them a stable food source and ensured, to a certain degree, survival.

6. Teepees

Teepees | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

Of course, there can be no survival without some form of shelter. The Great Plains Native Americans knew this very well and built teepees which are essentially tents. They were commonly made from buffalo hides and long wooden poles.

5. Dedicated Tribe Roles

A lost every aspect of Native American life was spurred by survival. This is even true of the gender roles of the Native Americans. The men were the hunters and to prevent any waste which could mean the difference between life and death in the North American frontier, the women were the cooks. They would prepare the meat that the men brought back immediately so as not to waste a single morsel and ensure that they had plenty of food.

4. Bows

Bows | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

An indelible image that most people have of Native Americans is the bow and arrow which was vital for the survival of all tribes in North and South America. Most bows were fashioned out of wood and strengthened with animal tendons. Bowstrings were made from animal tendon or yucca and similar natural fibers.

3. Axes

Axes | Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills?

There are certain tools that are as essential now as they were in the days of the Native Americans for survival. Among them is an ax. While Native Americans used axes for warfare, they were also used to chop wood that would be used for many different causes and to hunt prey.

2. Water

This may seem a simple and almost thoughtless aspect of survival but the fact of the matter is that if the Native Americans did not have sources of fresh water to draw from, they would have never survived. The plentiful rivers and lakes of the Americas helped sustain the Natives and they regarded water sources with great reverence.

1. Fire

There is no life without food and warmth and fire is number one on the list of 25 essential survival skills that kept Native Americans alive because it provided both. There were many methods of building fires among Native Americans but among the most common were striking stones like pyrites together to create a spark that would be caught be a pile of tinder. The friction caused by rubbing two sticks together also generated enough heat to combust tinder. Bow drills and fire pump drills were also common methods of starting fires. These contraptions used string wrapped around a stick and controlled by a bow to generate the heat needed to start a flame.

Check out this cool video from Tim Jones for some Native American fish trap idea:

Though the methods and practices of Native Americans varied from tribe to tribe, the innovation for the sake of survival was universal. They borrowed methods from each other and created ones unique to their tribe. They even borrowed from foreign settlers and visitors. The Native Americans were a group of humans that had to learn how to adapt and we are all the richer and wiser for their survival efforts. It is hard to separate the survival tactics we employ today from those introduced to us by the Native Americans. Thus, we owe a debt of gratitude to these people who learned how to tame the wild Americas and make them a place hospitable for human life.

Have you tried any of these Native Americal survival skills in real life? Share your thoughts about them with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: Homesteading and Sustainability – How To Become Self Reliant

Check out Beginner’s Guide To Having an Outdoor Herb Garden | Survival Gardening at https://survivallife.com/survival-gardening-outdoor-herb-garden/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 3, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

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

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

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

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

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

1. Stone Knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Core Rock

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

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

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

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

3. The Hammerstone

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

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

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

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

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

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

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

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

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

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

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

In this article:

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

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

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

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

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

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

Where Do Chiggers Live?

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

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

Identifying Chiggers Bites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

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

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

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

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

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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.

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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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