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Preparedness Tips: A Mother’s Wisdom

a mothers wisdom

A Mother’s Wisdom

What Mom Can Teach You About Being Prepared

I learned about preparedness and survival kits from my mother. She was wisdom personified and always seemed to know what to do, no matter what the occasion!

I truly regret it took me so long to realize it. As a fledgling Boy Scout, my troop was going on a long-awaited and unprecedented early spring camping trip. At last, I was going to join the older guys whom I not only admired, but secretly revered. The last thing I wanted was to be embarrassed by being unprepared.

Preparedness Tips Passed Down from my Mother

When I asked Mother what to take on my extended outing, she replied in her soft-spoken manner, “You need to wonder what could happen and be willing to pay the wages of going into the wilderness. Take some water, Wranglers®, weenies, wipes, warm clothing, weather protection, a weapon, a wayfinder, whatever, and keep a watchful eye…”

Did she ever have a way with words! Let me elaborate on her guidance. Evaluate these points in relationship to your own emergency preparedness.


preparedness, critical thinking, outdoor survival, survivial skills

Preparedness requires critical thinking.

Mother was suggesting I ponder what part of my intended experience I might not be able to control. It was the beginning of my education to learn to assess what problems might occur in the field (or in my life), such as:

  • to which wonders of nature (read: disaster) I’d be vulnerable
  • to what other creature––man or beast––I might encounter, and/or
  • to the kinds of personal problems I might have in the wilderness…

She wanted me to plan for the worst, hope for the best, and be able to deal (eventually) with whatever happened.


decisions, preparedness, survival skills, survival

Weighing your options and making informed decisions is the key to preparedness.

That meant that I must be willing to pay the price to make this trip––time, effort, and risk. From the available alternatives, was this the most practical, prudent, and provident undertaking for me? I had to decide if it was the most intelligent thing to do at that moment—and what about the longer-term consequences and implications of my actions? Even at that early age, I had already been made aware of the consequences of being unprepared. Mother was indicating the price of not being prepared for the future eventualities in my life.


water, hydration, preparedness, survival

Bottled water is one of the most vital prepper supplies you need with you at all times.

Mother told me to take water. She knew you can’t live very long without drinking water. She made sure I carried extra water and told me how important clean drinking water was to camping health. My WWII metal canteen my Uncle Jimmie brought back from the Army was my fountain of trail health. Mother made me repeat to her how to obtain and purify additional water for drinking and cooking. She was very certain I understood that daily water consumption was necessary for health and sanitation purposes.


preparedness, prepper clothes, jeans, wranglers

Sturdy, durable jeans like Wranglers are a prepper’s best friend

That meant having appropriate clothing for the occasion, depending on the environment. In my youth, jeans (we could afford the name brand Wranglers® only after the harvest was in the barn) were the working-class clothes in our ex-urban community. They were sturdy, longwearing, tough, easily maintained, and could be worn for man’s work––and that certainly included camping out! This admonition was also meant to include a regular change of underwear. I’m sure all of us were taught about that bit of hygiene….


survival food, preparedness, survival skills, outdoor cooking

Weenies, pork and beans, and other easy-to-make comfort foods help you practice preparedness while eating what you enjoy

That was a reference to the need for nourishment. My mother knew my penchant for hot dogs, potato chips, and pork and beans. Her instruction to me was to take food that I:

  • would eat even under the stress of being away from the well-spread table she prepared for the family;
  • could easily prepare in the boonies; and
  • would normally enjoy.

Personally, I would have opted for her barbeque pork and creamy cole slaw––but that would have been totally impractical for the camping environment. Mother packed a supply of extra food just in case of some unexpected emergency that required no cooking, was comforting and familiar, easily digestible, and stored well without great care under adverse conditions. She included some homemade beef jerky, nuts from our backyard trees, hard peppermint candy, homemade granola, and home-dried fruits. Having familiar food to eat gives us comfort far beyond the cost of the food. Don’t take anyone else’s opinion about your emergency food supply––store what you like to eat and you’ll eat what you’ve stored.


preparedness, wet wipes, hygiene, survival

Simple hygiene items like wet wipes are preparedness essentials

Intimated that if I ate during this camping trip, eventually the natural necessity for wipes would occur. Not to mention tissues for a runny nose from staying out overnight in the humid wilderness! Wipes were indeed essential then for any trip away from home––and still are! This was also meant to remind me about the need for good personal hygiene and grooming––a little soap and elbow grease to remove the dirt and smoke odor from my body. There is no greater comfort than being our best self––putting our best foot forward––handling whatever we encounter with panache and style.


fire building, outdoor survival, preparedness, warmth

Keeping warm with fire, blankets and other heat-producing items is preparedness 101.

How can anyone be prepared if the elements are ignored? Today we have modern technology––so many new fabrics for clothing and camping gear, equipment for and supplies to help in this life-saving necessity.Of course, let us not forget the need for fire to cook food, purify water, and provide warm water for bathing. I carried the supplies for starting an emergency fire in virtually any weather. Mother had some handy fire-starters: candles, chemical heat tabs, and some canned heat from her chafing dish. Fire-starters were essential for igniting wet wood quickly to make a campfire––especially in an emergency situation. With a butane lighter, wax-coated matches in a waterproof container, a magnesium match, some lint from the lint collector in the dryer, some blocks of wax-impregnated fire-starter, you could start a fire anywhere!

Weather Protection

tent, camping, preparedness, wilderness survival

A tent is a great way to protect yourself from the elements

This was the need for adequate shelter from the unpredictable spring weather in North Carolina––a tent and some waterproof matches. Mother also insisted on some kind of poncho or plastic cover to protect me from the rain and wind. Today, you’d probably opt for a large plastic trash bag with holes cut in the sides for your arms. Or, you could buy foil-like space blankets, those reflective emergency blankets that are never large enough to cover your arms and legs! It also meant having sunglasses, sunscreen for the lips and skin, and clothing for protection against the hot sun.


preparedness, self defense, swiss army knife, survival weapon

Preparedness means being able to defend and protect yourself at all times.

That meant a brand-new Swiss knife attached to my belt for all to see––talk about proud! Nobody was going to mess with me and the complete arsenal at my fingertips. I was prepared for even a bear! Besides, it was a miracle-making tool just waiting to be unleashed, whether for opening a can of beans or soup, shaving a stick for fire tinder, or carving an X on a tree to mark the trail. It was absolutely important––a veritable rite of passage––that every Scout have his own knife for first aid, food preparation, minor repairs, and a sense of proud ownership. Because they occupied little space, mother put extra shoelaces, safety pins, needle and thread, fine baling wire, extra adhesive tape (before duct tape!), a hank of small rope, and some razor blades in an old aspirin tin––just in case.


preparedness, navigation, map, compass

Navigation is an essential preparedness skill

This meant having the appropriate equipment, such as a wrist compass and a local area road map. At least I could find my way back to the camp, home, or anywhere on that map, should I become the victim of a snipe hunt with the senior scouts. Make sure you have maps of local streets, as well as maps of your destination, if you must depart from your home.

Today, you can go online and get a detailed topographic map of the area you plan to visit––and carry it in a plastic freezer-grade zipper bag. Add to your compass other navigational tools, such as a GPS receiver. At you can see it all from satellite––virtually live!

This category included the need to have a flashlight of some type, and because batteries and bulbs wouldn’t last forever, mother put spares of both in a little sealed plastic bag. Today, technology has made it much simpler––cheap battery-, solar-, and crank-powered lighting devices, so kerosene and propane are no longer the only lighting choices.

Watchful Eye

watchful eye, preparedness, emergency preparedness, survival skills

To be truly prepared you must be aware of your surroundings and know how to solve problems as they arise

This part was a little bit trickier because it was somewhat more philosophical, but I know it meant being prepared for any emergency. I practiced until I was compass-trained and ready to take the fifty-mile hike. I was also required to learn all the first aid information, up to and including how to cut the X for snakebite treatment. Thank heaven that treatment has been superseded since then!

It is indeed fortunate the Scouting programs put particular emphasis on first aid and emergency treatment. We always carried––and were trained to use––a first-aid kit. Likewise, we were also advised not to be lulled into an attitude of having a false sense of security. Mother was quite clear about staying away from danger instead of flaunting our bravery. Her take on that was a rule of ABC’s she repeated often, Avoid Bravado Constantly! That meant that I should do whatever was prudent to avoid injury or sickness in the first place.


preparedness, relaxation, survival

Preparedness is important, but it’s also important to relax with enjoyable activities like puzzles, games and books

This category was for anything I wanted to take that wasn’t in the proscribed categories previously mentioned––like my genuine silver-plated Duncan yo-yo!…or the latest Marvel comic book… or jacks and marbles––whatever was important for my comfort and pleasure!


first aid, preparedness, emergency preparedness, group survival

Preparedness isn’t just about you – it’s also about taking care of those around you

This meant caring about the others on the camping trip. This was a quality my mother had in bountiful supply––she really cared about others, constantly on the lookout for someone who needed a lift. Her good neighborpolicy was in full force at all times. She practiced the true spirit of caring about the community at large, the neighbors, and her family.

So, my mother’s instructions sent me scurrying enthusiastically throughout all three floors of the house (including the dark basement where all those veggies grew in Mason jars!), looking for the equipment I needed to impress the older Scouts in the troop. As the seemingly essential items were located, I placed all the pieces of equipment and supplies into little piles on my upper bunk, and then called her for approval. This is where I learned how to choose what is essential, and how to focus on economy, efficiency, and personal well-being. Mother regarded all the gear and paraphernalia I had assembled. I remember her saying quietly, “All that pep without purpose is piffle!” She gently (well, not so gently that I soon forgot!) instructed me to sort all of my stuff into three piles. I was to place in the first pile the items I couldn’t do without, a second pile for stuff I thought I might need, and a third pile for the things I’d like to take with me. After I had arranged my piles as instructed, mother looked at the three piles carefully and made a couple of corrections in my selection. She then told me to return the stuff heaped in the second and third piles to the drawers and closets––and to place in the camp bag only the items in the first pile.

You know, even years later, mother’s words were my guidance when I traveled more than a million miles as an international business traveler. What I eventually learned is that the quality of any trip is being able to do without a great deal of non-elemental stuff.

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

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

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

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

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

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

1. Stone Knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Core Rock

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

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

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

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

3. The Hammerstone

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

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

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

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

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

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

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

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

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next:

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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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**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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