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How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

Your livestock is your livelihood… Are you doing everything to protect your homestead from these 8 top predators that prowl your homestead?

No work day around the homestead is ever complete without checking for signs farm predators have been nearby. Most predators attack between dusk and dawn, making a late afternoon check of all pens and enclosures mandatory for any farming household that does not want to lose their animals or crop to eager and hungry wild animals both large and small. But What should you be on the lookout for?

The Top Predators Prowling Your Homestead

Livestock protection is a never-ending job on any homestead. The one day you decide you’re too tired to do a pen or fence perimeter check – after all, the critters have been present and accounted for every morning for months – is exactly when you will wake up and find feathers and bloody remains.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Be prepared to sit quietly in a hidden spot for hours to teach livestock predators farm avoidance or to put a permanent end to them using your homestead as a full-course meal.

Top 8 Homestead Predators

1. Hawks

Hawks | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

These deadly and persistent predators can wipe out a flock in mere days. Unfortunately, in most states, hawks are not classified as nuisance animals or predators – making it illegal to kill them. Just because it is against the law to kill hawks does not mean you can’t use our rifle to teach them farm avoidance. My chicks and ducks free-ranged for days on end without a single problem before I put them up at night in the Fort Knox of chicken coops and runs. Then one day, I walked outside with treats calling for them to follow me to their pen, I was short FOUR birds! I did “beak and bill” count three times, counted again by chicken and duck breed, sure enough, two chickens and two ducks were simply gone without a trace – a hawk had definitely been here.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Get in the habit of checking the exterior of the chicken coop and chicken run every night and each morning for signs of vulnerability and attempted entry. Check inside the coop to make sure no predators are hiding inside before putting a free range flock up for the night.

I really, really wanted to shoot one of the so-called “majestic” birds, but a huge fine was just not in my budget. So, a lesson in farm avoidance it was. I grabbed by .22 Henry, let the flock free (it took a lot of coaxing to get them to come back out the day after the carnage took place) and say quietly for several hours while they free-ranged – so not an easy thing for most women to do!

When a hawk, crow, or buzzard flew overhead, I fired off a round from my Henry. Surprisingly, my flock was unfazed, apparently, they have grown used to the sound of gunfire around the homestead. I never aimed my rifle at the birds, just in their vicinity, well below where they were flying, shooting into the hillside. I repeated this same action for the next three days. I then kept up the habit three times a week for a month. I have not spotted a hawk in a long time now, but I will still continue with my routine so the aerial predators never think it is safe to come back to my farm for lunch and teach their young to fly in a completely different direction as well.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Keep a rifle handy when monitoring a free ranging flock while legally teaching farm avoidance to birds of prey.

2. Mink

Mink | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

These nasty little rodents can get inside a whole the size of a half-dollar. Yep, that means the easily flexible chicken wire is not going to ever do any good preventing their entry. Hardware cloth, the wire commonly used on rabbit cages, is what chicken runs should be made from and used on the floors and around the base of a coop.

Mink tend to never stray too far from a water source, such as a creek, stream, or low area of the property where water puddles. Dog and cats are a good deterrent to mink, guineas are even better at warding off the little killers, but they are swift and stealthy creatures who can, and will, sneak past your furry guard critters.

We placed homemade snares around the chicken coop and duck hut and leave them there ALWAYS. I also set up a small trap nearby after spotting mink prints near the poultry pens. I covered the coop half way up with old metal sheeting and hardware cloth, but I still occasionally find mink chew marks at the corners of the coop where the mink must work diligently to nibble in between the hardware cloth square and the very small spaces between where the sides of the metal sheeting end just before each corner panel.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Can you see the wire snare trap? Not easily, and neither can its intended target – and that’s the whole point.

Learning how to identify both the tracks and droppings of the predators who roam near your homestead is one of the most essential parts of learning how to ward them away from your livestock.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
These are mink droppings on top of a hunt where the guineas sleep next to the chicken coop. Learn how to identify the droppings of predators so you know exactly how and when to trap or kill nuisance predators determined to kill all the livestock on the homestead.

Mink have been known to burrow inside bedding and nesting boxes in chicken coops and nap while waiting away the hours until their free-ranging dinner walks back home for the night. Always take a rake and/or your dog, and check the entire coop carefully if it is left open while the flock is free-ranging – or even it is kept closed just to be on the safe side. The sneaky habits of mink are exactly why I would never us a dusk-to-dawn automatic door on my chicken coop and duck hut.

When doing so is budget friendly, purchase an owl decoy, preferably a motion-detector activated one, and solar motion-detector lights to place around your chicken coop. The lights are also excellent at deterring other types of predators which venture near larger livestock in your pasture our barn.

3. Owls

Owls | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

They are truly beautiful birds, but they will kill your flock as well. It is illegal to kill any bird of prey, so don’t shoot owls either. Owls are patient creatures, they will sit for hours watching prey and waiting until it is truly safe for them to approach before attacking. Motion-detector lights – especially the type that emit sound, will deter owls. Keeping a cat around, as long as it has been trained not to attack your flock, will help keep owls from looking at your coop and run like a buffet as well.

4. Coyotes

Coyotes | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

This predator you can kill – at least in most states, when it poses a danger to your livestock. Guineas cannot kill a coyote like they can mink or snakes, but they will quickly and oh so loudly, alert you that danger has encroached upon your property. Donkeys, particularly mini donkeys, are the best coyote defense mechanism I have ever come across.

Mini donkeys treat the sharp-toothed predators as if they are a soccer ball. They will go out of their way to chase and kick – over and over again, any coyote that enters their domain. Keeping mini donkeys out in the pasture with cows, in the barn with the horses, and moved into a fenced area around the chicken coop at night should deter coyotes from coming onto your homestead or prepper retreat for a quick meal.

5. Fox

Fox | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

These sly little creatures are extremely agile and quiet predators. They are also easily startled. Motion detector lights, donkeys who are on guard against coyotes, guineas, and a good ole farm dog, will help prevent a fox from slipping too close to your livestock.

6. Weasel

Weasel | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

The weasel family, which includes mink but is also comprised of badgers, ferrets, and skunks, tend to kill multiple animals at one time – even if they don’t eat more than one of the small animals killed. They commonly attack with small bites to the neck or head – or just bite off the head and neck and take it with them to snack on once safely back to their hiding hole. Weasels often leave a pole of dead chickens or ducks stacked up in fairly neat piles before they run off with a full belly. Carefully hidden snare traps and cage traps set up near vulnerable livestock are the best ways to get rid of weasels.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Cage traps can be used to capture raccoons, mink, weasels, opossums, even a fox or small bobcat. These traps are great for folks who want to, or have to due to local laws, live trap animals and then call a government agency to come remove the unwanted nuisance.

7. Opossums

Opossums | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

These small predators are kind of lazy. They will always take the path of least resistance to secure a meal. Building a secure chicken coop and run will protect your flock. Possums often prey on weak young or injured large livestock. They have been known to bite horses and cows on the leg can spread the potentially deadly EPM disease.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Scrap wire is typically hanging around somewhere on a homestead or prepper retreat. Once you have determined what type of predator is lurking about, choose piece of wire sturdy enough to hold them and bend it into a simple slip tightening loop like the one shown and hang in an are the predator has left droppings, tracks, or tried to enter a pen or barn.

Motion detector lights on the exterior of barn can help deter possums from crawling into the stall. Typically, horses and large livestock are only hampered by possums if they get into their feed and spread disease. A trash can or plastic tub with a lid, or a barrel with a piece of wood and brick on top of it will not stop a hungry possum from getting inside. Keeping feed secure is just as important to livestock health and safety as building the perfect chicken coop is to prevent your egg-layers from getting slaughtered. Possums commonly begin eating the abdomen of its prey first, if you find a dead animal in such a state, you most likely have a possum on the property who got startled away before it could finish.

8. Raccoons

Raccoons | How To Identify & Stop The 8 Top Predators That Prowl Your Homestead

These crafty critters use their sharp claws to tear chicken wire, rip into feed bags, and to climb a lot higher than you would expect to get a bite to eat. They are smart as well. Any lock you place on a feed container or pen should be a two-step lock. A raccoon merely mocks attempts to thwart its hunger pains with a simple one-step lock. Put out snare traps or cage traps when you spot signs of either opossum or raccoon activity.

Top Farm Predators | How To Protect Your Livestock
Raccoons tend to like shades of red, so this trap was painted specifically to entire the animals into the cage and away from the flock. To prevent the coon from being able to reach between the bars and steal the bait, hardware cloth was wired onto the cage.

A little tip when dealing with “genius level” predators:

I attach some hardware cloth around any cage I am trying to bait a coon into because they will often simply reach inside the cage bars and pull the enticing food left inside to towards them so they can eat it at their leisure otherwise – possums try to pull this same trick, with a lesser degree of success. To increase the chances of luring a raccoon inside my trap I spray painted part of it red and put the bait on a red or pink tray. For some reason, raccoons, at least in Appalachia, prefer red, pink, and orange and consistently seem to be drawn to the colors.

Up Next: Leatherman Squirt PS4 Review | Survival Multi Tool

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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!

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***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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