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Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

My first experience with a gas mask was on Parris Island, when I entered United States Marine Corps boot camp. We had gone through various classes on how to operate our gas masks and were properly fitted before we were issued our personal mask. We also received instruction on other issued gear in order to have better protection against various NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) attacks.

-This post was originally published on Gun Carrier and has been shared with permission-

Do You Have A Gas Mask in Your Survival Kit?

Once we completed hours of instruction, as well as practice with our NBC gear, it was time to put our equipment to the test. I heard about the dreaded “gas chamber” well before I ever stepped off the bus that brought me to where U.S. Marines are made. None of us mentioned the gas chamber in detail, but we all held in that bit of fear from the tales that we were told about the infamous gas chamber.

We were taken to a location that looked like most of the other buildings on Parris Island. I remember lining up in formation with my gas mask, alongside my fellow recruits. One of my drill instructor’s began to brief us on what was expected, once we entered the gas chamber.

Nerves began to set in as I realized that… This Was It!

We were instructed to don our gas masks as we began to enter the building in a single file. At this point… We filled in the gaps as we faced the center of the room, with our backs against the wall. We could see clearly as the gas began to fill the room. Then, we were told by our instructors to begin performing side-straddle hops (jumping jacks.) As my heart rate began to climb, I was told to get on the ground and begin performing pushups.

Besides being nervous, I was able to breathe quite effectively and even wondered if the CS gas in this chamber was actually working correctly. I certainly didn’t have to wait much longer to find out how effective CS gas really was. The next command from my drill instructor was…

Remove your gas mask Now… MOVE!

As you can imagine, we were all quite reluctant to remove our masks… but let’s just say that we really didn’t have a choice. One by one we began removing our masks. It was probably the slowest movement that I had seen from my fellow recruits up to that point. I heard one recruit cough followed by a symphony of other coughs. Some recruits were doing their very best to hold in their breath, but it was just a matter of time until the exposure to the gas set in.

Our drill instructor was still wearing his mask when his next command was for us to begin singing The Marines’ Hymn. Some of us began to murmur the lyrics as our D.I., screamed, for us to Sound-Off or we would be repeating this process all over again. As we began belting out The Marines’ Hymn, at the top of our lungs… That’s when all HELL broke loose.

Some of us were coughing while others were vomiting. It felt as if there were streams of mucus coming from every orifice on my face. At this point, none of us could see due to the irritation the CS gas was causing our eyes. Everyone was having trouble breathing and the sounds of panic and pain drained out the further instruction from our D.I. We began pushing at the recruit in front of us, in shear panic, nudging them closer and closer to the exit.

Finally, the door to the gas chamber flung opened and we all came charging out. We were told not to rub our eyes with our hands but unfortunately… Some recruits did; Just out of mere anxiety. This made things worse because we were transferring the CS gas, that had landed on our hands, back onto our eyes. Some Marines were hunched over and gagging, while others were dousing their eyes with the water from their canteens.

I gained a lot of respect for the gas mask and it’s capabilities, within that training session. Once again, experience seems to have been the best teacher. I realized that if I were ever caught in a situation, where I needed to operate in an area where tear gas was being dispersed… Donning a gas mask, first, was a must!

There are a lot of falsehoods when it comes to gas masks. Learning the proper uses for the gas mask, as well as its limitations, is crucial if you plan on using your gas mask during an emergency. Your mask can easily become a liability and cause you serious harm if your understanding and experience with the mask is limited.

As I previously stated, there are countless options when it comes to choosing a gas mask. Prices range from inexpensive military surplus, to others that can cost you a small fortune. As always, there is never a one-size-fits-all. You need to find what works best for you and if adding a gas mask to your kit… Is even something that you should consider.

Everyone has an opinion on the subject. It is up to you to gather the information to make a proper decision for both you and your family.

Let’s get into a few considerations when adding a gas mask to your kit.

Fitting Your Gas Mask:

I have a gas mask as part of my survival kit. However… I currently have a beard. What that means to me is that if I don my mask while having a beard, there won’t be a proper seal formed between the mask and my face. This will render the mask useless during an emergency scenario. This is something that anyone with facial hair needs to be aware of. My current go-to mask is the MSA Millennium. MSA states that any beard, longer than ½ inch, is a no-go. Other manufacturers have even more stringent requirements.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

A mask needs to fit properly in order for it to be effective. Many of the SWAT police officers that I work with state that they have to get fitted (certified) twice per year when it comes to their gas masks. If this wasn’t such a great concern, I’m sure that allotted time and money would be invested in other, more pertinent, trainings.

Gas masks are generally useless when it comes to fitting well on children. I have come across various models that are designed for children but the more research that I did, the more that those claims became debunked.

What Will Your Gas Mask Protect Against?

Unfortunately, the protection offered by your gas mask is more limited than most are aware of. Depending on the filter that you use with your mask, not all types of attacks will be covered. Some filters only protect against tear gas while other, very expensive filters, can protect against nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical attacks. But you must keep in mind that even the expensive filters are only protecting your eyes and lungs. When nerve gas such as Sarin, leaches onto other parts of your body, you will still be exposed to it’s harmful effects.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

When it comes to biological concerns such as Anthrax, you can be exposed to it for days without even being aware of it’s presence. So unless you are donning your mask 24/7, you are still exposed to the threat.

There are plenty of reasons where I feel that my gas mask will serve me well. If you have followed the news in recent times and see how governments around the world are reacting to their citizens. Whether it’s a public demonstration or march, CS and other tear gas are utilized in order to control the public.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

Keeping that in mind, my gas mask will still allow me to operate effectively in those conditions. In addition, during a crisis others may try to get into my home in order to gain supplies. Attempting to clear my home by utilizing tear gas, which is easily gathered these days, may be a threat that my gas mask will protect me against.

Staying Hydrated:

You may not think much about hydration while donning a gas mask. But if you have spent extended time, wearing a gas mask, you will quickly realize that this is a concern. Not only does the labored breathing contribute to dehydration but it also causes me to sweat. If you are performing work while wearing your mask… Having access to water is something that has to be factored into your plan.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

Luckily, many of the quality masks available in today’s market come with a hydration hose. The hose is designed to be affixed to a canteen or other water container. The water containers need to be designed for this specific purpose but even my old, military issued canteens, can fill this niche. I can fasten the hose on my mask, to my water container, and drink through a water spout contained inside my mask. It is similar to the process used when drinking out of a hose from a hydration reservoir.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

Effective Communications:

Another facet of wearing a gas mask, that is often overlooked, is the ability to communicate effectively. If you have heard someone speak through a typical gas mask, it is a cross between listening to someone talk underwater and Darth Vader giving a speech.

In an emergency, there will be plenty of noise that will prevent your communication from being effectively understood. Add in the labored breathing caused from doing work as well as struggling to get air through your filter… And verbal communication may be impossible.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

Luckily, there are voice amplifiers that can be easily affixed to your gas mask. The downside is that these amplifiers cost as much, if not more than, the actual gas mask. Working with your team on hand signals as well as other body-language communications is something that needs to be addressed sooner than later.

Where To Stage Your Gas Mask:

As with any other piece of survival gear, if you do not have immediate access to your mask during an emergency, it is basically useless. Where we stage our gas masks is half the battle if we hope to bode well during the crisis. Many suggest that having multiple gas masks staged with your go bags is ideal. I would certainly agree with that if you have an endless budget.

Today’s quality gas masks are expensive. When we add in filters, amplifiers and other components, we can easily exceed our budget. If we need to replicate the process with additional masks… Well that may not be an option for most of us. You can also get a great deal on military surplus masks but please keep in mind that you will get what you pay for.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

I keep my gas mask attached to the molle webbing on my main go bag. If an emergency were to occur, I can easily gain access to my mask. If I have ample warning, I will keep my gas mask fastened to my leg, where it will be, At The Ready.

Practice Often With Your Mask:

There is a small percentage of people that will feel claustrophobic when donning a gas mask. The one way to best see how you will react when wearing a gas mask is to practice various emergency scenarios while wearing a gas mask. Just sitting on your couch and watching tv with your gas mask on will tell you a lot about your comfort level with your mask. Taking it up a notch by performing real work while donning your mask, will give you a better grasp on how you will operate during an emergency.

Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit?

Every task will become that much more difficult while wearing a gas mask. You need to train with your firearms as well as any other self defense tools that you plan on using in an emergency situation. If you wait until the actual crisis to experiment with your gas mask, or any other piece of survival gear for that matter… you are not only putting yourself at risk but also deterring from your family’s chances of surviving when SHTF.

Bottom Line:

The gas mask is a piece of gear that I feel will add to my chances of performing well during an emergency. It is not the answer for every type of NBCR attack that we have the potential of facing. But as the guy that my friends and family will look to for help during a crisis, I will take any advantage that I can possibly get. If it is an extra hour or even just an extra minute… The added benefit of having a quality gas mask is well worth the price and effort, at least for my needs.

Will you add a gas mask to your survival kit? Let us know in the comment section below.

Up Next: How To Skin A Deer Correctly

Check out Should You Add a Gas Mask to Your Survival Kit? at https://survivallife.com/add-gas-mask-survival-kit-survival-life/

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

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

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

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

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

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

1. Stone Knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Core Rock

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

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

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

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

3. The Hammerstone

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

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

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

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

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

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

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

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

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next:

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

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

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

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

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

Steps:

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

2. Cold Compress

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

Steps:

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

3. Baking Soda

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

Steps:

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

Another remedy using baking soda:

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

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

4. Oatmeal

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

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

Steps:

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

5. Olive Oil

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

Steps:

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

Another option using olive oil:

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

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Next:

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

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.

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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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