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How to Make Elderberry Wine and Identify Wild Elderberry Bushes

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

How to make elderberry wine – it’s something I’ve wondered about since watching Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail many years ago. ? (“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”) It turns out that making homemade elderberry wine is pretty easy, as long as you have elderberries. If you don’t have wild elderberries nearby, you can buy plants and grow your own. (Seeds are not very reliable. I wouldn’t waste my time or money on them.) I also make up elderberry jellies and syrups, too, but this post is all about the finding the berries and making wine.

How to Find Elderberries

Elderberries like moist soil, so you’ll find them in ditches, along the edges of wet woodlands, near lakes and rivers, and other damp ground. They are native to North America, and can be found throughout most of the US and Eastern Canada, except for in the northwest (see USDA elderberry range map).

We went foraging for elderberries along country roads here in northeast Wisconsin. My friends had scouted out the area in previous years, so they knew where to start looking. The plants don’t look very showy, but you can watch for the clumps of berries near the top. Here’s an elderberry patch we spotted on the side of the road.

How to find elderberry bushes and make elderberry wine.

Be careful to make sure you have a positive identification. Elderberry is sometimes confused with water hemlock, inkberry, or pokeberry, but if you look closely, these plants are quite different.

You can see the elderberry berries are the top of the post. They grow in clusters that stick out above the foliage. If you look closely at the photo above (click on it to enlarge), you can see dark blobs in the shrubs. Elderberry leaves on soft green stems in pairs.

How to find elderberry bushes and make elderberry wine.

Alternatively, if you can’t find elderberries in the wild, some folks are now raising them for sale (but you normally have to buy in quantity, unless you can find them locally).

Berries are most easily harvested by snipping off the clumps and gathering them in a bucket. They will stain if smashed, so trying to strip off individual berries is asking for a mess. I like to tie a bucket around my waist and wade right in.

How to find elderberry bushes and make elderberry wine.

How to Clean and Process Elderberries

Once you have enough berries, they should be stripped from the stems before making the wine. A few stems is fine, but you don’t want a lot of them because they contain cyanide-inducing glycoside (a glycoside which gives rise to cyanide as the metabolism processes it). They are also very sticky – like glue – and will coat your hands and your fermenting vessels. Elderberry stems are bitter, too, and high in tannins. A few bugs tend to hitch rides in the bucket as well, and you don’t want them in the wine.

The boys preferred to comb the berries of the stems with a wide-toothed comb, I just used my hands. Some site suggest freezing first to make them easier to strip, but this worked fine with the modest amount we had (about two five gallon buckets full).

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

I put the finished berries in my over the sink strainer and gave them a rinse before starting the wine. Here are the cleaned berries for two 1 gallon batches of elderberry wine.

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

How to Make Elderberry Wine – 2 Recipes

Both of these recipes are adapted from the book “How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen“, which is out of print but worth tracking down.

Elderberry Wine Recipe (Sun Extraction Method)

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts loosely packed elderberries (be sure they are dark ripe)
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • 6 cups cane sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped raisins

Directions

This recipe is made in stages. In stage one, you steep the elderberries in water; in stage two, you add the sugar and raisins.

Remove elderberries from stems and pack in a gallon glass jar. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Make sure your jar is warm (you can set it in a tub of warm water) to prevent breakage. Pour the boiling water over the elderberries. Leave a healthy inch of space at the top, because they will swell and expand.

Make a plastic liner for the metal cover. Put the cover on loosely (enough to keep the bugs out, but loose enough that it can vent). Set in a sunny place outside for three days.

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

After three days, strain the berries through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible.Pour juice back into the glass jar or one gallon crock. Stir in the sugar, making sure it is all dissolved. Add chopped raisins. Cover loosely and keep in a warm place indoors to continue fermentation for three more weeks.

At the end of this time period, strain through several layers of cheesecloth (a flour sack towel or old cotton t-shirt will also work). Siphon into clean, sterilized bottles. (See How to Clean and Sterilize Bottles and How to Siphon Wine.)Cork lightly at first (or put a balloon over the top). When your balloon doesn’t inflate or you see no bubbles on the bottle walls, cork tightly and store on their sides. Seal with wax for longer storage. Keep for at least one year before drinking.

Elderberry Sun Wine Notes

I set mine in a sunny window, then out on the deck in various spots, and then brought it inside at night. We have a groundhog that’s been visiting the deck at night, at I didn’t want it getting in the hooch. The liquid should be bright red in color after three days in the sun.

You’ll note that this recipe has no added yeast. This made me a little nervous, since wild yeast can be less reliable. Mine didn’t start bubbling right away, but I cheated a bit and used the same spoon to stir both batches of wine. (The other recipe has commercial wine yeast.) Spoon sharing got the fermentation going. If you don’t see bubbles within a couple of days, it’s probably safer to add commercial yeast so your wine doesn’t spoil or turn into vinegar.

Sun Extracted Elderberry Wine 2016-09-01 23:55:52 An easy elderberry wine with just four ingredients, brewed in the sun.

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6963 calories
1751 g
0 g
12 g
20 g
1 g
5573 g
267 g
1288 g
0 g
8 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
5573g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 6963
Calories from Fat 103

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 12g
19%

Saturated Fat 1g
3%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 267mg
11%

Total Carbohydrates 1751g
584%

Dietary Fiber 168g
671%

Sugars 1288g
Protein 20g

Vitamin A278%Vitamin C1398%
Calcium116%Iron246%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Does this look wrong?

Ingredients

  1. 4 quarts loosely packed elderberries (be sure they are dark ripe)
  2. 2 quarts boiling water
  3. 6 cups cane sugar
  4. 1 cup of chopped raisins

Instructions

  1. This recipe is made in stages. In stage one, you steep the elderberries in water; in stage two, you add the sugar and raisins.
  2. Remove elderberries from stems and pack in a gallon glass jar. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Make sure your jar is warm (you can set it in a tub of warm water) to prevent breakage. Pour the boiling water over the elderberries. Leave a healthy inch of space at the top, because they will swell and expand.
  3. Make a plastic liner for the metal cover. Put the cover on loosely (enough to keep the bugs out, but loose enough that it can vent). Set in a sunny place outside for three days.
  4. After three days, strain the berries through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Pour juice back into the glass jar or one gallon crock. Stir in the sugar, making sure it is all dissolved. Add chopped raisins. Cover loosely and keep in a warm place indoors to continue fermentation for three more weeks.
  5. At the end of this time period, strain through several layers of cheesecloth (a flour sack towel or old cotton t-shirt will also work). Siphon into clean, sterilized bottles. (See How to Clean and Sterilize Bottles and How to Siphon Wine.) Cork lightly at first (or put a balloon over the top). When your balloon doesn’t inflate or you see no bubbles on the bottle walls, cork tightly and store on their sides. Seal with wax for longer storage. Keep for at least one year before drinking.

Notes

  1. I set my elderberry sun wine in a sunny window, then out on the deck in various spots, and then brought it inside at night. We have a groundhog that’s been visiting the deck at night, at I didn’t want it getting in the hooch. The liquid should be bright red in color after three days in the sun.
  2. You’ll note that this recipe has no added yeast. This made me a little nervous, since wild yeast can be less reliable. Mine didn’t start bubbling right away, but I cheated a bit and used the same spoon to stir both batches of wine. (The other recipe has commercial wine yeast.) Spoon sharing got the fermentation going. If you don’t see bubbles within a couple of days, it’s probably safer to add commercial yeast so your wine doesn’t spoil or turn into vinegar.

Adapted from How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen
beta

calories
6963

fat
12g

protein
20g

carbs
1751g

more

Adapted from How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen
Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/

Heavy Elderberry Wine Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts of loosely packed elderberries
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 8 cups of cane sugar
  • 2 cups of raisins, finely chopped
  • 3 shredded wheat biscuits or 1 cup Wheat Chex – OR – 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient (to aid fermentation)
  • 1 package of dry granulated yeast, or one package wine yeast

Directions

Place elderberries in a large stockpot with 4 quarts of water. Boil for 30 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm.

Strain elderberries through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing until the pulp is very dry. Note: this will coat the towel with blue/brown sticky “ick” that is very hard to remove. I’ve washed mine twice and it’s still tacky.

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

Pour the juice into a crock or large canner kettle. (I used my 3 gallon crock for a double batch.) Stir in the sugar, making sure it is all dissolved. Add the finely chopped raisins. Break the shredded wheat over the surface; or, if using Wheat Chex, sprinkle whole over the surface. Note: If you are gluten sensitive, you may wish to substitute two teaspoons of yeast nutrient for the wheat products.

Distribute the dry yeast over the surface; allow to hydrate and then mix into wine.

Cover with a flour sack towel and put in a warm place to ferment for three weeks. I keep the towel secured with an old hair band to keep fruit flies out. (They love wine.) Stir gently twice a week.

At the end of this period, strain through several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Return to kettle or crock to settle for two days more. Siphon off into clean, sterilized bottles and cork lightly (or cover opening with a balloon). When fermentation has ceased, cork tightly and store for at least one year before drinking.

Heavy Elderberry wine 2016-09-01 23:59:13 A sweet elderberry dessert wine with a pleasant kick.

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Save Recipe Print

10102 calories
2407 g
9 g
63 g
48 g
14 g
8328 g
2132 g
1781 g
0 g
41 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
8328g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 10102
Calories from Fat 557

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 63g
97%

Saturated Fat 14g
69%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 18g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g

Cholesterol 9mg
3%

Sodium 2132mg
89%

Total Carbohydrates 2407g
802%

Dietary Fiber 180g
718%

Sugars 1781g
Protein 48g

Vitamin A283%Vitamin C1404%
Calcium205%Iron319%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Does this look wrong?

Ingredients

  1. 4 quarts of loosely packed elderberries
  2. 4 quarts of water
  3. 8 cups of cane sugar
  4. 2 cups of raisins, finely chopped
  5. 3 shredded wheat biscuits or 1 cup Wheat Chex – OR – 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient (to aid fermentation)
  6. 1 package of dry granulated yeast, or one package wine yeast

Instructions

  1. Place elderberries in a large stockpot with 4 quarts of water. Boil for 30 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm.
  2. Strain elderberries through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing until the pulp is very dry. Note: this will coat the towel with blue/brown sticky “ick” that is very hard to remove. I’ve washed mine twice and it’s still tacky.
  3. Pour the juice into a crock or large canner kettle. (I used my 3 gallon crock for a double batch.) Stir in the sugar, making sure it is all dissolved. Add the finely chopped raisins. Break the shredded wheat over the surface; or, if using Wheat Chex, sprinkle whole over the surface. Note: If you are gluten sensitive, you may wish to substitute two teaspoons of yeast nutrient for the wheat products.
  4. Distribute the dry yeast over the surface; allow to hydrate and then mix into wine.
  5. Cover with a flour sack towel and put in a warm place to ferment for three weeks. I keep the towel secured with an old hair band to keep fruit flies out. (They love wine.) Stir gently twice a week.
  6. At the end of this period, strain through several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Return to kettle or crock to settle for two days more. Siphon off into clean, sterilized bottles and cork lightly (or cover opening with a balloon). When fermentation has ceased, cork tightly and store for at least one year before drinking.

Adapted from How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen
beta

calories
10102

fat
63g

protein
48g

carbs
2407g

more

Adapted from How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen
Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/

Savoring the Harvest

Both of these wines are rich, sweet and fruity. Heating the elderberries really brings out the berry scent, and once the yeast kicks into action it fills the kitchen with earthy, yeasty goodness. To me it smells like abundance. If I have enough fruit to ferment, then it’s been a bountiful year. I’m not much of a drinker, but it’s nice to have the option to share a special brew with friends and family. Wine is quite forgiving, and so far my home wine making results have been pretty good.

Two recipes for old fashioned elderberry wine, plus tips for finding elderberries in the wild, and cleaning and processing the elderberries with less mess.

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Originally published in August 2012, updated in 2016. The boys have gotten much bigger.

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The post How to Make Elderberry Wine and Identify Wild Elderberry Bushes appeared first on Common Sense Homesteading.

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

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

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

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

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

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

1. Stone Knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Core Rock

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

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

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

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

3. The Hammerstone

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

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

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

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

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

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

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

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

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

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

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

In this article:

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

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

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

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

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

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

Where Do Chiggers Live?

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

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

Identifying Chiggers Bites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

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

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

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

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

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

Steps:

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

2. Cold Compress

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

Steps:

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

3. Baking Soda

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

Steps:

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

Another remedy using baking soda:

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

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

4. Oatmeal

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

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

Steps:

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

5. Olive Oil

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

Steps:

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

Another option using olive oil:

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

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next:

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

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

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

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites | https://survivallife.com/5-home-remedies-for-chigger-bites/

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

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

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

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

In this article:

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

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

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

1. Survival Hiking Stick

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

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

2. Survival Stick for Support

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

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

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

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

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

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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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