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Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival

I’m certainly no stranger to dehydrated and freeze dried field rations. As a United States Marine, I lived on Meals Ready To Eat (MRE) for weeks at a time. So I understand the need for wise food storage.

The value of these MRE meals were that they provided a heavy dose of calories with very little, if any, preparation time required. When time allotted, we would use heat tabs to warm up our meals in order to make them more comforting. But regardless of how much tabasco sauce, salt, or pepper that we added to these MRE’s, the outcome was usually the same…the taste was horrible and our digestive system paid one hell of a price!

The fact that these meals could be stored almost indefinitely made them ideal for us Grunts (Infantry Marines.) However, the ingredients and preservatives that these MRE’s contained were less than desirable… To say the least.

MSG, super high sodium content and unpronounceable ingredients used as preservatives were all contained in this dark brown MRE plastic bag. I thought of these meals as more of a chemistry experiment than actual food. The appearance and texture of these MRE’s would make you think twice about feeding them to your pet. But it’s what we had so…it was what we ate.

I finished my tour as an active duty Marine and realized that certain events in the world just didn’t make sense to me, so I decide to step-up my preparedness game to be ready if a disaster were to occur. I was able to address my water, security and other key needs. But when it came to food… I was not satisfied with what I had stored away up until that point.

Wise Food Storage

I had enough experience to realize that nutrition is key in any crisis. If I wanted to perform at my best during any emergency, I needed to maintain my health and energy levels with proper nutrition. I was also aware of how a tasty meal can raise the morale levels for both me and my family. When SHTF, we need all the help that we can get to stay motivated.

I knew that I had to find a real solution for my long term food storage needs.

I decided to investigate the available options for long term wise food storage. To my surprise… Things had drastically changed since my days in the Marines and… for the better!

Due to the increase in number of people focusing on preparedness and emergency management, many companies decided to enter the market with their emergency food rations. I began purchasing samples from multiple companies and was extremely pleased with what I was reading and tasting!

Where the hell were these meals a couple of decades ago when I could have really used them as a young Marine?!

I was able to gather up some viable information that I want to share with you on why these long term storage meals may be a great option for both you and your family during a crisis.

So Let’s Get Started…

Long Shelf Life:

Most of the long term food storage meals have a shelf life of at least 25 years! I want to make sure that every dime spent on preparedness is justified. Stocking up on emergency food rations is a no-brainer. All that I needed to do was to purchase a bit each month, store it away, and I was good!

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival

Knowing that my food needs were addressed for my family instantly put me at ease.

There is no need to rotate your goods like other perishables. With this type of long term food storage capability, you can even store extra food that can be used as currency and bartering during emergency scenarios.

Can Be Used For On The Go Meals:

My primary purpose for long term food storage is certainly geared towards emergency situations. But with the options that are available to us these days, they have become a great source of on the go meals for me. I enjoy spending time on the trail and in the field, and I keep a few servings of my favorite dehydrated and freeze dried meals in my pack.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival on the go

If I’m out in the field for a couple of days training clients or reviewing some new gear, I do not need to worry about addressing food needs. In addition, if the fish aren’t biting, I know that I have backup food in my pack.

I may bring along some vegetables, nuts and fruits to complement the dehydrated meals, but I do not need to focus on a menu, which allows me to concentrate on the mission at hand.

Convenient To Prepare:

The majority of these long term food storage meals are dehydrated or freeze dried. So all that I really need to do is to boil some water, add in my meal, stir and eat.

Yes, it really is that simple!

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival easy to prepare

Many of these meals do not require boiling water. You can just add room temperature water to various fruits, cereals and other snacks in order to prepare your meal. This makes the long term storage meals extremely convenient.

When we are in the middle of an emergency scenario, there will be so many things that need to be addressed, and our stress level will be through the roof! It is comforting to know that preparing a meal for me and my loved ones will, most-likely, be the easiest part of my day.

In a crisis, we need to keep things as easy as possible. The simple process for preparing these stored meals make them a truly viable option for your emergency food needs.

These Meals Taste Great:

Going back to my U.S. Marine days… Our MRE’s tasted horrible! They all had different names but the general taste and consistency were the same. BLAND became a 4-letter word to us while we were in the field. Most of our meals consisted of hot sauce, ketchup, mustard or any other condiment that we could get our hands on. This certainly helped to mask the taste of these awful meals.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival taste great

Fortunately, the long term storage meals available today are tasty; Some are outright delicious! I look forward to my chow break while I am on the trail or even at basecamp. Simple preparation is one thing, but if the food tastes like crap… Who really cares how simple it is to prepare?

I mentioned earlier about how our group meals correlate with morale. With the choices available today, you and your group can look forward to a few daily positives with each meal that is served. Never underestimate the value of a tasty meal in an emergency situation. It may be the only thing that you and your family have to add a bit of sanity to an otherwise horrible situation.

These Meals Are Nutritious:

We are now aware that these meals are convenient and tasty but can they provide the right amount of nutrition required in a SHTF scenario?

Our immune system is going to be taxed to the max in an emergency. Our stress and cortisol levels will be high and we probably won’t be sleeping too well. In order to help our chances of remaining fit to perform and do work, we need to intake as much quality nutrition as possible.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival nutritious

Keeping that in mind… I teach my NTC Members to follow certain principles when it comes to food and nutrition.

One of those principles is to “Read The Ingredients.”

On each food item in the U.S. there is a USDA nutrition label. That label lists the ingredients contained in the package in order (most of to less of.) If there is an ingredient that you need a Master’s Degree in Chemistry in order to decipher and pronounce, than I would bet that it probably won’t do your body much good.

Luckily, there are a few good nutritional choices when it comes to long term food storage options. Now, I’m aware that we won’t be as picky when the SHTF situation is upon us. But just like everything else that we focus on, preparing now is the key. By adding as much clean food to your storage as possible, you will be well equipped once the emergency actually occurs.

Stay away from fillers, preservatives, GMO, MSG and other far from All-Natural ingredients. Make sure that your long-term storage food is grown and prepared in the U.S.A. The cleaner the food that you consume, the easier that your body can utilize and assimilate the nutrition.


The fact that most of these long term food storage meals are dehydrated, makes them relatively lightweight. This works well for me if I encounter a Bugging-Out On Foot scenario. This also adds to my reasoning for utilizing these meals while I’m in the field and on the trail. As long as I have access to water, I am good to go.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival lightweight

In the past I would lug heavy canned goods and other foods that would add a great deal of weight to my survival kit. In addition, I would also need extra mess gear to prepare these meals. With the new food options available to us, I can carry multiple servings of tasty and nutritious meals without, literally, breaking my back.

Easy To Store:

Long Term Food Storage meals do not need any refrigeration. You can basically place them in a water tight container and just forget about them. You want to keep them away from extreme temperatures but other than that, there is not much concern when it comes to storage.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival easy to store

Since the meals are mainly dehydrated, they pack really well and take up much less shelf space. If you are limited on space the same way that I am, then this is certainly a great plus! I have stored gear and goods all over my home. My wife is all in favor of preparedness as long as I stop taking up more living space.

I do get carried away at times. Not only do I want 1 of everything… I want 10 of EVERYTHING!

However, when it comes to long term food storage, I can just stack our meals in containers or buckets and store them in crevices that would otherwise be unutilized. And since the wife stays happy… I am able to gather more stuff! ?

Reusable Bags:

The best long term food storage providers pay close attention to detail. Besides them addressing all of the points that I brought up in this article, they also contain their meals in high quality mylar bags that are resealable. This allows you to use the servings multiple times without the fear of ruining or losing your food to the elements.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival reusable bags

As people focused on preparedness, we look for gear that has multi-purpose. The beauty of these mylar bags is that they can be repurposed once they exhausted their initial food-container application. These mylar bags can be used in a pinch to gather water and keep other items away from weather and critters. They can also serve countless purposes that are only limited by your skill set as well as your imagination.

Something For Everyone:

Regardless of your eating lifestyle, long term food storage offers something for everyone. Whether you are a vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free or vegan… There are long term food storage meals that will fill your needs.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival something for everyone

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!

I am well aware that in an emergency, when we are STARVING, we won’t be anywhere near as “selective” as we may be in our current situation. But as I stated earlier, I also use these meals while I’m camping, trekking and hiking. Having the varied options allows me, my NTC Members and family to incorporate these meals into our current lifestyle.

Wise Food Storage For Long-Term Survival practice makes perfect

Meals Are Affordable:

Due to the competition in the long term food storage sector, prices have become quite affordable. As a matter of fact, my food storage meals cost me much less than what I would spend on standard quality food. Since these meals are manufactured in bulk, there is a great deal of savings passed onto consumers like me and you.

There are even options to subscribe to monthly deliveries of your meals at considerable discounts. This allows you to devote a bit of your budget each month to food storage when bulk purchasing may not be an option for you.

One of my go to companies for this option is Valley Food Storage. They offer various subscription plans and excel at all of the points that I brought up in this article. They also offer meals containing multiple servings, starting at under $10. This allows you to sample and see if this type of long term food storage is something that would be an option for you and your family.

Bottom Line:

Prepping your own food is the preferred way to go. However, if that is not an option for you then take a close look at long term food storage options.

My reaction was one of surprise once I learned about and tested various long term food options. I have to admit that I was a bit jaded because of my MRE experience in the Marines. Luckily, the current options have far exceeded my expectations.

My best advise would be to experiment with what works best for you. But at the very least…

Be sure to actually address your emergency food storage issue!

If you wait for an emergency to happen, before you have your food requirements addressed, you will lose that battle!

Many of the companies that prepare these convenient meals tend to offer free samples. That right there should tell you something about the quality and taste of these newer products. These companies are obviously proud in what they have developed and are eager to gain your business.

Give it a try… I have a feeling that you will be pleasantly surprised!

Up Next: Going Nuts: A Rough and Dirty Field Guide To Foraging For Food

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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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