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Sustainable Survival – Making ‘Off-The-Grid’ as Green as Possible

So, you want to live off of the grid. The smell of civilization is starting to spoil in your nostrils, the crowds of people constantly surrounding you have jangled your sanity – the wilderness calls. And you feel the strong urge to heed its beckoning, to exercise some civil disobedience and start looking for sustainable survival options.

Sustainable Survival

I’m all for it. In fact, I believe that surviving in the natural world, off the fat of the land is a skill everyone should understand. Because those are our roots. It’s easy to get caught up in a world full of flashing lights, screens and browsers, social webs, easy access to food and energy, and to forget that at our core, we humans are animals that belong in the wild.

To this extent, everyone should try living off the grid at least once in their life – even if it’s just for a season or two. Because it teaches you a lot about yourself and your place in the world.

But here’s the rub: living off the grid can be extremely bad for the environment. If not done properly, your little home-stake in the wild might be coughing up a pretty massive carbon footprint. And for someone who escaped to nature, polluting and damaging it might conflict with your priorities. Don’t you want to take care of the environment in which you live? What’s the point of living in nature if you’re just going to kill off the magic that made your off-the-grid getaway beautiful in the first place?

Sustainable off-the-grid living is totally doable (and it can even save you money!) Unfortunately, it isn’t always simple or straight forward. And it almost always requires a little more effort. Sure, it’s way easier to overlook the fish and the birds and the grass and the trees and the air and water quality of the place you live in. But if you are just a scourge upon the land that supports you, if you don’t give anything back or make any effort to be a steward of your environment, then you might as well just spend your days in the filthy heart of some concrete jungle.

Sustainable Energy off the Grid

Last summer I was way up North, in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge helping a filmmaker capture the annual caribou migration. The arctic tundra is a vast wilderness, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – there is nothing up there.

The only way to get around is by bush plane or helicopter and the only camp/refueling station out there in that desolate wild, is Kavik River Camp, run by one Kavik Sue. Sue lives way off the grid. Sue is a total Alaskan badass. But Sue is incredibly unsustainable in the way she runs her river camp: she burns all her trash (which is a lot, because she hosts hunters, photographers, filmmakers, oil crews and government scientists most of the year), she dumps the contents of their outhouses into the Kavik River, and perhaps worst of all, she runs her massive diesel generator all day and all night, non-stop, constantly, rain or shine.

The point of this story? You don’t have to use a gigantic gas-burning generator to produce enough electricity to live by. Especially if it’s just you and a few family/friends. Sue needs her big diesel generator, because sometimes there are up to 75 people staying at Camp Kavik (although she certainly doesn’t need to run it as much as she does).

Even if you can rely 25% on sustainable forms of energy, that is something. Most people who use alternative sustainable forms of energy production, do so in combination with a gas burning generator.

Alternative Options

Geothermal Energy:

This is a form of sustainable energy that is growing in popularity. It harnesses heat from within the Earth and converts it into electricity that you can use in your home. The only downside to geothermal energy is it takes a lot of planning and a lot of technical installation. You have to be situated over a geothermal hotspot that you can tap into. So, many structures that use geothermal heat were built with that plan already in mind. Geothermal energy is extremely reliable, and pumps out a significant amount of energy.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Hydroelectric Energy:

If there is running water on your property, or near your off-the-grid getaway, you can harness that and create free electricity. You can build your own hydroelectric generator or have one installed professionally. Here is an extremely helpful guide to using hydroelectric generators, and understanding their survival applications.

Solar Energy:

Solar panels are widely available for purchase, and some companies even offer free installation. Obviously solar energy works best when you are in a place that get’s a lot of sun, and the Panels have to be south facing in order to maximize sun contact. Solar panels produce steady, reliable amounts of energy, and just a few small ones might be enough to produce all the energy you need at your off-the-grid getaway.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Wind Energy:

Wind is a little harder to nail down. Because big wind turbines are SUPER expensive and require teams of engineers to build and maintain. That isn’t an option for most people – but there are some smaller, personal and home sized wind on the market. Even in the last couple of years the technology has come a long way – the Micro Wind Turbine is just one of several types of portable wind turbines designed for backpackers. Wind energy is extremely sustainable, and in windy areas it is a very reliable source of electricity.

Sustainable Houses

Making sure your house is sustainable is first and foremost a matter of protecting your energy (and your wallet). If your house or cabin or hut can’t hold heat for crap, then you will constantly be wasting energy and money and polluting in the process.

So what can be done? Well, there are a lot of ways to make a structure sustainable. Here are just a few:

Earthships:

These are the most sustainable homes on the market. They are “the Ultimate green houses” and can be built anywhere on the planet. They use extremely creative recycled materials to build these homes – which function effectively to hold in heat in cold weather and keep it cool in hot weather. Earthship Biotecture is the company that invented these super-sustainable off-the-grid homes, and they can build one for you, to your specifications, with alternative electricity, potable water, and sewage systems included.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Adobe Homes:

Adobe houses are made from a mud and clay mixture, and they are extremely popular throughout the southwest US desert. The natives of that region have been using adobe for thousands of years because it is such a great building material in the desert. Its insulating properties make it perfect to handle the often drastic temperature shifts of those regions. Adobe is the perfect, natural, sustainable material for building off-the-grid getaways in the desert – but I wouldn’t recommend them anywhere else.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Hobbit Holes:

Believe it or not, Hobbits were onto something with their hole-homes. But they didn’t come up with the idea first – building residences directly into the sides of hills and mountains has been a common practice throughout Scandinavia for centuries. And (as we learned with Adobe) Earth often makes for the best insulating, sustainable building material. Hobbit holes are particularly good at retaining heat when it’s bitter cold out, and staying cool when it’s warm. Vikings commonly built homes and hunting huts like these, and the practice is just as effective today as it was back then. If you want to make a hobbit hole, just pick the right hill and make sure you build in a lot of support… it wouldn’t be good to have your hill collapse on you.

Log Cabins:

Log cabins are old school, they make for classic off-the-grid huts. Logs are readily available almost anywhere, and they insulate well. The only caveat I’ll maintain about building log cabins is this: if you are cutting down the trees to make your hut, do so sparingly. If you’re trying to be sustainable, it does no good to level an entire forest just to build yourself a personal six-bedroom hunting lodge out in the middle of nowhere.

Sustainable Food

Living off the grid requires that one either stocks, or grows/cultivates their own food. I believe in a healthy balance between the two: keeping a generous supply of canned and preserved goods in case of an emergency, while also growing as much fresh produce as possible. Putting all your eggs in one basket or the other will likely lead to issues.

If storing food is all you do, you’re spending lots of money and making lots of trips to the store, wasting gasoline to do so, and probably eating pretty unhealthily on top of all that. Growing fresh food and raising fresh livestock is important, not just for your wallet, not just for the environment, but for your health.

Aquaponic Gardening:

The first time I was introduced to this fancy type of gardening was at a Mahayana yoga ashram high in the Rocky Mountains where they exclusively cooked food for the entire community with produce grown in their greenhouse. The system is about as sustainable as gardening can get – a big tank of fish produce fish waste, which is then fed through pipes to the veggies, which use the nutrients in the water as fertilizer to flourish. Those flourishing veggies filter out the water, which is then clean and pumped back to the fish tank, where the cycle starts all over again. The fish provide the plants with nutrients and fertilizer, and the veggies provide the fish with fresh, clean water. And you get to enjoy all the fresh goodies they make.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Animals:

Animals are really good for the land. Cows and goats fertilize the earth with their waste, chickens aerate the soil as they peck through it in search of grubs and seeds, and bees pollinate the flowers and the trees… And having access to cow milk, goat milk, fresh eggs, poultry, and fresh honey is extremely beneficial for someone living off the grid. It’s a win-win situation: the land stays healthy and you stay fed.

Eventually you want to be growing and producing more food on your own than you are buying. That’s the end goal, but you don’t have to get there right away – start small with a greenhouse or a couple chickens, then work your way up to having an entire farm. Agriculture and animal rearing are essential to off the grid living, and when it comes to food, sustainable growth is the only way to go. Anything else just falls short. Your animals and gardens will be most productive when you are running them at maximum sustainability.

Managing Waste Off-Grid

Burning your garbage is a terrible idea. I saw it being done all over Thailand and Vietnam, and the smoke produced by it is absolutely toxic, and pumps so much pollution into the air. Sadly, this is how most people living off the grid choose to dispose of their waste. It might be impossible to eliminate burning garbage at your off the grid home altogether, but you can certainly minimize it by composting, reusing and recycling.

Compost:

Any and all organic material can be piled up into a compost pile. This mound of garbage will rot and decay and can eventually be used as fertilizer for gardens. This reduces a lot of what ends up getting thrown away, and repurposes it.

Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible

Reuse:

This one is pretty simple. If there is a glass jar or plastic container that you can repurpose and use somewhere else to some other end, do it. Reuse as much as you possibly can.

Recycle:

I know, it requires a lot of effort. But if you keep all cardboard, paper and tin/plastic/aluminum set aside, once a month you can make a trip to town and recycle these materials. This is the biggest reducer of garbage besides compost, and is an essential piece to sustainable living.

Sustainable Survival

There are a lot of ways to achieve sustainability. You don’t have to do them all, all at once. Nor do you have to drastically change your off-the-grid lifestyle all at once. But I can promise you that living sustainably in nature is far more rewarding, and far more enjoyable than living in nature only to destroy and pollute it.

And hell, maybe you don’t care about this “hippy-dippy BS”. Maybe you just want to run your generators, fell your trees, and burn your garbage all day long. I can’t stop you. But you live in the world you create – and if you make a toxic dump out of your off-the-grid getaway, it’s you who has to live there.

Up Next: 11 Amazing Tea Tree Oil Uses For The Natural Survivalist

What do you think of using living green off grid? Let us know in the comment section below.

Check out Sustainable Survival - Making 'Off-The-Grid' as Green as Possible at https://survivallife.com/sustainable-survival-off-grid/

If you’re looking for useful survival gear that you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!

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

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.

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

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

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

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

In this article:

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

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

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

1. Survival Hiking Stick

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

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

2. Survival Stick for Support

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

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

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

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

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

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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