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Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

There seems to be a never ending list of gear and items that are required during an emergency situation. There are so many factors that are difficult to address due to the unknowns. If you were to ask ten different survivalists for a list of their “Top” preparedness items, you’d probably get 10 different answers.And that’s perfectly OK! Every individual has a different location, climate, season and experience level to deal with. However, food and water supplies certainly position high on that list for all of us. This is why growing your own food from heirloom seeds is highly beneficial.

Heirloom Seeds: Preparedness Plan Essentials

When it comes to food, there are many valid methods that will work well during an emergency scenario. I have peers that prefer storing food utilizing canning and pickling techniques. There are others that choose to store freeze dried and dehydrated foods. What we do have in common is that we all tend to keep our refrigerators and freezers well stocked. This will let us ride out any emergency that lasts 5-7 days. But we are fully aware that if the crisis lasts longer than a week, we will have to dip into our food storage.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Vital Nutrients

During an extended emergency situation, I want to have access to fresh vegetables. I may have a good amount of calories in storage but I need to couple that stored food with fresh vitamins and minerals. This will go a long way in keeping both me and my family healthy and working at optimal levels. Our immune system will be taxed enough with all the added stress brought on by the emergency. Consuming as much nutrient rich food as we can, will keep us on track to accomplishing our mission.

Many of us that are focussed on preparedness have fresh vegetables growing in our homes. We have outdoor gardens during the warmer months. I also utilize indoor planters that are growing vegetables and herbs all year round. In addition, I personally enjoy the taste of various sprouts and have a new jar, sprouting, every week. They are highly nutritious and a good example of food that can be grown indoors at any time.

Growing sprouts from seeds is an excellent way to keep your nutrition and food supply levels up, but what about growing other foods from seeds?

Getting The Right Seeds

When it comes to storing seeds for emergency preparedness, there is definitely no shortage of vendors. As with most things in the preparedness world… The more options, the more confusing that things tend to get. Growing food from seeds was a skill set that I was lacking in. Like most people, I tend to practice what I am really good at and forgo the things that I am ignorant in. Well, since I am always preaching for everyone to get out there and learn new skills- Let’s just say that it was time to diversify my knowledge by adding in some gardening techniques.

As I began my research, I was really getting confused. At first, I learned that any of the seeds that were GMO (genetically modified) were not what I wanted to plant in my garden. Genetically modified seeds are unstable compared to what we will find in nature. That makes harvesting seeds from your initial crop virtually impossible. Plants grown from GMO seeds lack in taste and offer inferior nutrition. On the flip side… Heirloom seeds are old-time varieties which are open-pollinated and handed down through multiple generations. So I knew that heirloom seeds were the way to go.

The germination rate is another important factor that I was unaware of. It basically is a percentage of the seeds that are expected to grow from that specific batch. If I were to plant 10 seeds and 8 1/2 of the sprouted, the germination rate would be 85%. This is extremely important because if you have a low germination rate, you would have to store and plant many more seeds than you would need to with a better germination rate. In the meantime, we are wasting crucial supplies in the form of land, labor, water and even our preparedness budget.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Lastly, there was the pollination criteria. From the options that were available, open pollination was the preferred method for me. Open pollination is when pollination occurs via insects, birds, wind, humans, or other natural means making the plants more genetically diverse. This allows plants to slowly adapt to local growing environment and climate, maintaining their consistency year after year.

Once I digested this information, I began gathering and storing the best seeds that I could get my hands on. More importantly, I began working the gardening skill set. Just like any other skill, the more practice that I put in, the better that I will fare when I am called upon to use those skills. Getting food from seeds is not a simple process. I know that if I do not devote time to understanding the why’s and the how’s of gardening… I will just be another gear collector crossing items off the list as I throw them into a go bag.

There is a plethora of valid information on growing food from seeds. A few clicks on the Google search engine and many credible sources come up in the results. As of right now, I am still in my “information gathering” stage but things have been going quite well. I have grown some tasty food and I am becoming aware of what it will take to replicate the process in an emergency situation. I realize that my current garden can easily be taken out by another Hurricane Sandy; It has happened before. I may also need to move out on foot and establish a garden in an extended stay base camp.

What I would like to do is to share a few of the reasons that I feel everyone focused on preparedness, should have heirloom seeds as part of their survival plan.

So Let’s Dive Right In!

They Can Feed Your Family For A Lifetime:

The good thing about following the guidelines that I mentioned above is that you can gather seeds from the vegetables that you grow. In theory, you can gather a better harvest of seeds each year. The plants get used to your climate and soil (with a lot of work on our end) and all things being equal, provide a better harvest each year.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Please keep in mind that this requires skills developed through experience. But if our ancestors were able to do it, while virtually being cut off from society… It is a hell of a lot easier for us; With access to resources such as Google and YouTube. Practice your gardening skills now, while conditions are ideal. In an emergency scenario, ideal is usually a four letter word.

Feed Your Whole Group:

With the right amount soil, sun and water, you can easily feed your whole family or group with less than half a pound of quality seeds in your kit or (seed bank). This will work well whether you are hunkering down with a home garden or if you have to be on the move searching for a more suitable location.


Carrying extra weight that may not help your cause is always a downer, but when it comes to heirloom seeds… The weight is light and well worth it. Seeds will react differently depending on the season, climate and other conditions. Being able to carry a variety of seeds will go a long way in making sure that you are continually prepared.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

With an ample supply of seeds, you can do well in providing food for your family even if the germination rate is less than ideal. Once again, there are many unknowns in a SHTF situation, we need to continually be prepared for the worse case scenario.


When it comes to purchasing quality heirloom seeds, even the best quality seeds are relatively inexpensive. Luckily, we are currently in a competitive market. To us, that means better pricing, but it also means that there is a lot of inferior product in the market. We need to do our research but also put the seeds to work. Only then will you truly know if your seeds are sustainable or just a false sense of security.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Grow Indoors Or Out:

As I mentioned earlier, being able to sprout from seeds gives you tasty and nutritious food. It takes less than a week to get your seeds to sprout. The best part is that you do not need soil, it doesn’t require much space and you can make it all happen indoors!

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Tomatoes are another plant that seems to work well indoors. There are plenty of other vegetable varieties that can be grown indoors as well as out. An outdoor garden is usually the best bet when it comes to getting the most out of your seeds. However, in an emergency scenario, the key to survival is having options. The fact that many varieties of seeds can be turned into food in both indoors and outdoors gardens makes, them a great addition to any preparedness kit.

Clean Food Source:

Plants are easily assimilated by our digestive system. In a survival situation, keeping stress to a minimum -including our digestive system- is imperative. The fact that our bodies can extract nutrition from plants, with minimal stress to our system, makes them an ideal food source for when SHTF.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Growing these plants from heirloom seeds that are non-gmo and not from hybrids, keeps the vitamins and minerals gained from these plants, at their highest values. Keep that in mind when choosing your seeds.

Stores For A While:

Many of the seeds that are meant for emergency preparedness are packaged for long term storage. Some manufacturers package them in mylar bags while other opt for plastic containers, which are commonly referred to as seed banks. As long as the heirloom seeds remain in their packaging, kept away from heat and remain dry, 5 years in storage is about average. You will certainly lose some of the germination rate each year so that needs to be factored into your plan

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

If you choose to collect your own seeds, the same principles apply. Keep them labeled, individually sealed and in a dry container. Store them in cooler temperatures and they will retain maximum value. Some people even opt to store their seeds in their freezer.

It is always a good idea to keep rotating the seeds in your storage. As you practice your gardening, rotate the seeds in storage with fresh seeds of the same variety.

Use For Bartering:

Once you put in a bit of time and learn to collect seeds from your harvest, you basically have an endless supply of seeds. In an emergency scenario, these seeds will give you great bargaining power. Not everyone is going to put in the effort to become a good gardener. If you choose to master this skill, you will have an endless supply of viable currency.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Our paper money is going to have very little value when the SHTF. Developing skill sets, and having sought after items to barter with, will keep you in good standing with others in your community.

Bottom Line:

When an emergency occurs, we need to have various food sources. Hunting, trapping, snaring and fishing are all options that we hope to have access to. But what we store is truly the only option that we can count on. Having various food storage options is a must but we also need to possess the ability to grow our own food.

Heirloom Seeds: Are They Part Of Your Preparedness Plan?

Having a good heirloom seed bank is something that everyone focused on preparedness should have. But possessing the skills to grow the seeds both indoors and out, in diverse climates, is something that we all need to add to our preparedness plan.

Up Next: Tactical Pens: They “Ain’t” Just For Writing

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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.

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

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

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

In this article:

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

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

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

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

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

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

Where Do Chiggers Live?

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

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

Identifying Chiggers Bites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

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

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

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

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

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


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

2. Cold Compress

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


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

3. Baking Soda

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


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

Another remedy using baking soda:

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

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

4. Oatmeal

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

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


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

5. Olive Oil

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


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

Another option using olive oil:

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

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next:

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

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

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

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites |

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

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

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

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

In this article:

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

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

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

1. Survival Hiking Stick

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

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

2. Survival Stick for Support

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

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

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

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

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

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

4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense

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

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

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

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

5. Balance

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

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

6. Gauging Depth

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

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

7. Carrying Gear and Supplies

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

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

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

8. Club

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

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

9. Fishing Rod

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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