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Hurricane Season: Survival and Preparedness

Properly preparing for the Hurricane season can mean the difference between survival and complete catastrophe. In this article, I will break down the most important steps to take for Hurricane preparedness and hopefully tips to improve your survival.

Andrew, Ike, Katrina, Harvey, and Sandy..… These are the names of just some of the most memorable hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. For those in their chaos inducing path left to sift through the carnage of their wake, they utter the names of these storms under hushed breath for many years after landfall. However, out of these menaces only Andrew makes the list of most deadly. In 1900 a hurricane struck Galveston Texas and is to this day the deadliest with a staggering 8,000 deaths left in its path of destruction. Seven years prior, in 1893 there were multiple hurricanes devastating enough to make the list. One left between 1,000 and 2,000 dead in South Carolina and Georgia while another struck Louisiana and caused another 1,100 to 1,400 deaths. In 1928 a hurricane struck Lake Okeechobee Florida leaving a terrifying 2,500 people dead and we will never forget the 1,800 deaths caused by hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricane Tracking Throughout Time

Someone developed the first hurricane models in the 1950s on the back of major technological advancements made in the 1940s. This is probably why we have seen such a dramatic decrease in hurricane death toll since that time. Once aircraft reconnaissance of hurricanes began in the 1940s, we understood these storms so much better and could create more accurate models of where they may end up. As computer technology took off so did hurricane modeling and forecasting. To this day there are advancements every season further reducing the potential for loss of life. We have come a long way since Popular Mechanics dramatized the life and experiences of the earliest typhoon hunters in the early 1950s.

Another important development stemming from the 1950s is how we name storms. Hurricanes were first known by the order in which they developed in their given season. For example, they would refer to the eighth named storm as hurricane number eight and so forth. They also used the phonetic alphabet for a short time before the 1953 season when storms had women’s names. Women’s names would be easier to remember over men’s, but these names lead to meteorologists using what many thought of as sexist terminology such as, flirting, teasing. This inevitably lead to men’s names being used in 1979.

Hurricane Categories

Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson lead one of the most important innovations in the 20th century in 1971 when they developed the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The scale uses the average wind speed over a one minute span. There are five categories and used to determine the amount of damage and flooding brought when a hurricane makes landfall. According to the National Weather Service, the categories break down is:

Category One will have winds ranging from 74 to 95 miles per hour and bring limited damage to building structures. Loose outdoor items will become projectiles and there will be many power outages. A recent example would be Humberto in 2007.

Category Two winds will range for 96 and 110 miles per hour and will bring widespread damage from strong winds. Broken windows from homes and high rises will become projectiles. Hurricane Ike in 2008 is a good example.

Category Three brings extensive damage from dangerous winds ranging from 111 to 129 miles per hour. It will destroy small structures and mobile homes. Power outages will last several days to weeks.

Category Four storms are dangerous because of their devastating winds ranging from 130 to 156 mile per hour winds. Widespread total roof failures will be common and electricity will be unavailable for weeks.

Category Five is a catastrophic storm where complete building failures and small buildings being completely blown from winds over 156 miles per hour. Power outages ranging from weeks to months.

Hurricane Alerts Explained

The NWS also uses three alerts to explain the escalating conditions that make hurricanes more likely. It is imperative you understand these three and know how to respond appropriately.

  • Advisory – Conditions will cause inconveniences that may be hazardous, but if we use caution, they do not consider these conditions life-threatening.
  • Watch – A tropical storm or hurricane is highly likely in the next 48 hours. You should pay close attention to the storm and prepare for power loss.
  • Warning – Expected storm in the next 36 hours. You should make final preparations immediately in case they force you to leave.

Should I stay or should I go?

The scary part is it may not be up to you. Regardless of your plan, mandatory evacuations could happen for your area which will force you to leave town at the worst time imaginable. During mandatory evacuations, thousands of motorists get stranded on roads and streets and forced to ride out the worst parts of the storm in their car. Whether you stay or go, your level of preparedness will ultimately determine your likelihood of survival.



Evacuation should always be your first plan so let’s start with evacuation preparation. The first and most important thing to consider when preparing an evacuation plan is communication. The individuals traveling with you all need to be on the same page on the meeting point and what their responsibilities are. It would also be a good idea to communicate your route and destination to someone that isn’t traveling with you if you get stranded.

In the vehicle, supply needs will vary from group to group, but my personal in-vehicle supplies heavily focus on water, food, security, and shelter. Bottled water and a method for purifying natural sources need to be the first thing to reserve a spot in the vehicle. Because of their compact packaging and nutritional content, I would recommend MREs or similarly packaged items for your food source, but there are several products on the market that would make great choices.

Everybody has their favorite “truck gun” but for me, it is a matter of size, power, and capacity. Choose something you are comfortable with and I would have at least 200 rounds in a dry box and a cleaning kit.

Just because you start your journey with a roof over your head doesn’t mean your vehicle will ultimately get you to your destination. In a nightmare situation, it may force you to abandon your vehicle. I recommend a small tent or materials to construct a temporary shelter. To avoid this, you may pack maintenance items or extra fuel reserves. DO NOT load fuel reserves in the cabin or truck of the vehicle. Fuel reserves should only be in trucks or vehicles with areas for exterior storage of fuel. Extra clothes, rain jackets, and boots are also a good idea to have in the vehicle.

Bugging In

If you are adamant about staying home you are facing a two-phase threat. You will need to be ready for both if you plan on surviving.

Phase One: Before the Storm

Before the Storm

High winds will turn anything not physically tied down into flying projectiles traveling at a velocity capable of breaking windows, damaging exterior walls and causing serious bodily harm, possibly even death. Rain can come on quick and your city and neighborhoods drainage system may not keep up. Here, leaving your house may become impossible unless you are in a boat. High winds can also knock down power lines creating a dangerous situation even while you are in your house. This will also mean you are without electricity and the clock is ticking on all of your frozen and refrigerated food. None of these will be your biggest concern though. Storm surge is the most dangerous of all and can be highly unpredictable. You can go from high and dry to seeking refuge on your roof in a matter of minutes.

Phase Two: After the Storm

After the Storm

You will most likely be without electricity for an extended amount of time. Any frozen or refrigerated preps you have will rot every second that ticks by and public water supplies may be undrinkable. Chances are your entire community will face the same dire situation you are so police, fire and medical will be extremely limited. News and updates will be slow coming and you will only know for sure what you see with your own eyes. Down trees and power lines will make roads impassable and any remaining storm surge will add to the danger. Wildlife scared, confused and ready to attack so alligators and snakes will be a huge danger. As things correct themselves, the looting begins. Do not sit on your high horse and advertise your self by posting signs such as “you loot we shoot”. This only brings unneeded attention. Most likely there will be groups and gangs of looters that may not be easy to defeat. Regardless of what anyone says, I have been through hurricanes and you will need to plan for a minimum of two weeks with no one providing even the most basic service. This means stocking food, water, and any needed medicine for two full weeks. Hopefully, your supplies survive and you still have a roof over your head but it guarantees nothing during a hurricane which is why ultimately my plan is to leave. That is why understanding what an advisory, warning, and watch are and having an escalating plan based on each is so important.

Before the Storm Preparation

Storm Preparation

Before the season begins, ensure that you have plenty of plastic sheeting, plywood, and sandbags. Covering windows and doors with plywood will help your home withstand damages caused by high winds. We can also use plywood and plastic sheeting to secure the roof and seal any potential gaps. Sandbags are a great way to keep rising storm surge out of your home and away from your property, but it will take a large amount of bags to properly protect your home using this method. I am not suggesting that you don’t do it, but the time and resources you will use you should allocate elsewhere. If you don’t have gutters and drains, request a few quotes from professionals in this industry and seriously consider having some installed. If you already have them and are not keeping them clean with the drains clear of debris, they are practically useless. CLEAN THEM! Installing check valves on your sewer lines will keep storm waters from backing up in your drains. If your home has a basement, install a pump and water alarm. In some areas where flooding is common, the government may even require that you raise your home to a level more resistant to flooding.


Another invaluable resource in the time of a hurricane is flood insurance. In most cases, coverage is relatively inexpensive and is a must-have if you live in storm-prone areas because your homeowner's policy will not cover damages caused by flood waters. You can purchase coverage If you own your home, live in a rental and even for your business. The most important thing to consider when looking at flooding insurance is that it will not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase it. I highly recommend you get serious about it way before the season starts.


Ultimately, it comes down to knowing what you are up against and having a plan. Having a life raft when an F5 tornado is within striking distance will do you about as much good as being in a storm shelter when a category 5 hurricane makes landfall and brings in a 20-foot storm surge. In the modern age, we know so much about these storms and have gotten to a point where we can accurately predict where they are going, but their most dangerous aspect is their unpredictability. Plan early and do not wait until your area is under a storm advisory to get ready.

For more Hurricane survival tips click here and if you would like to read about how other survivalist withstood a natural disaster in their area click here!

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

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

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

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

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

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

1. Stone Knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Core Rock

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

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

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

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

3. The Hammerstone

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

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

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

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

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

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

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

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

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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