Arm yourself with a survival stick, get savvy with it, but first, find out why as you read on!
In this article:
- Survival Hiking Stick
- Survival Stick for Support
- Fetching/Reaching Things
- Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense
- Gauging Depth
- Carrying Gear and Supplies
- 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
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.
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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.
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.
When 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.
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.