Going off the grid may be enticing to a few, but some of us are perfectly content camping out in the comfort and safety of modern campgrounds and their amenities. As a result of our playing it safe we miss out on the chance to test out all of those crazy survival tricks and techniques you see in on backpackers blogs and in scout manuals. We’ve rounded up five survival skills you aren’t likely to use on your next camping trip with the fam, but are good to know in the rare case you find yourself in need of a pine needle toothbrush.
1. Arrow Making
Sometimes we scurry out the door so fast we forget to pack snacks for our hike or camping trip. If you find yourself with a case of the rumbles that few wild berries or mushrooms won’t satisfy, you might want to consider taking up small game hunting as your new favorite hobby. First, you’ll need to get yourself a hunting license, because it’s illegal to just go around willy nilly shooting and stabbing things just because you’re hungry. Next you’ll want to fashion yourself an arrow like this one found on Outdoor Life’s blog. Made entirely of scavenged materials, this field arrow is relatively easy to procure and assemble, and the end result is rather sturdy and effective as a primitive hunting tool or plaything.
Most of us go into panic mode when we leave our toothbrush at home, whether we’re out in the woods or just chowed down on a particularly aromatic meal on our lunch break, so it’s nice to know we’d have options if ever we found ourselves out in the wild without our usual dental devices. This pine needle brush is an all-in-one breath and teeth saver, with scrubbing powers and a sweet, piney scent that will tame wild mountain breath.
For all of those pescetarians out there who prefer surf over turf if given the option, this next tip is for you. While the cord and netting needed for this impromptu fish catcher isn’t something you’d just find in the woods, it beats some of the other skills on our list in practicality, because making your own net allows you to customize it in size and strength according to the fish you encounter. Suddenly we’re craving fresh fish tacos!
Remember how we said it wasn’t likely that you’d just happen upon cord or rope while out in the wilderness? Well, we were fibbin’…sort of. Survival Magazine shows us how to fashion cordage out of hardwood fibers, which looks it might actually be fun to do if your life wasn’t depending on it! Any backpacker or outdoor enthusiast knows that rope is one of the most versatile and handy things to have on you while voyaging through the unknown, so while making your own may seem a little cuckoo, it’s nice to know you could if it came down to it.
Cell phones are lifesavers in more ways than one, even when they’re dead or broken they still may mean the difference between surviving and succumbing. This Grit List guide shows us how to use an out-of-commission cellular device as a means of survival in ways beyond that of texting or dialing out. From circuit board spears to magnetic compasses, you’ll be surprised to see what busted phone parts can become in the wild. The Smartphone just got a whole lot smarter!