One of the best things about learning survival or outdoor skills, especially the more primitive variety, is the fact that everything has a purpose. Nothing goes to waste. There is no such thing as garbage when you are working with natural materials.
Survival Value of a Dead Tree
In this particular case, we are going to talk about the many uses of a dead tree. Dead trees make excellent firewood, but can also be used for a variety of other things. Although you may not be able to eat the dead tree, creatures in the wild will thrive on it. There are plenty of bugs that live in the dead trees, which help feed several species. The dead trees also provide a home for things like raccoons.
As far as survival purposes go, the dead trees will usually provide some very basic necessities. The bark around a dead tree is typically very easy to pull off without the use of tools. This bark can be used as a roofing material for a shelter or a barrier against the cold and wet ground for you to sit or sleep on.
The thin layer of material inside the bark makes for some great fire starting material. It can usually be pulled off with your hands or scraped with a rock or knife. Use a knife to scrape the trunk of the tree and you will get some larger, dry chunks of bark that can be used for building up a fire as well.
It isn’t just dead trees you want to look at when you are thinking of survival. Try and open your mind to how you could use anything in your surroundings for your survival. If you needed cordage, what could you use that is available to you right now in your environment. The computer cord, your shoestring, somebody’s long hair and so on. Part of survival is learning to do with what you have.
When you are in the outdoors, really open your eyes and your mind and think out of the box. No matter what it is that you find, if you can’t use if for one purpose or another, it can probably be burned.
Craig Caudill is the survival instructor at Dan’s Depot. Among other things he teaches wilderness survival training. He is also the chief teacher at his Nature Reliance School.
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