Survival tools

by Wakien
(Washington State, USA)

Some survival tools you can make with to make life better:


Take a large dried log about 2-3 feet long and about as big around as a basketball and stand it upright on one end where you want your fire for cooking or for light.

Cut/split the top end down about ten inches or a foot into the log in a six piece "pie shape" formation and stuff the cracks with some dried bark and small twigs and tinder. Light the tinder.

You can set your pot right on top and cook as soon as it is burning well or just leave it burn for a candle/light source that will last at least an hour. This will not cause a lot of smoke after it gets started.


Throw out everything you have learned about making a fire.. and this time... put your largest logs on the bottom.. then the next smaller.. then the twigs and then the kindling.

Get your kindling burning and feed it a little bit with a few more twigs.. and let it go. You don't have to baby it as it will keep on feeding itself as it burns down.


Find a nice sized conk (those shelf funguses that grows on trees) and place it level in a pile of sand, gravel or dirt with the white underside up.

Use your knife to score a pattern on the white underside...I like a spiral myself... Pour on a little melted pitch or lighter fluid, fat or even cooking oil and light it. You can place your pot or can on top like a burner on your kitchen stove, and it will burn a long time.


Another simple way to make a forked fishing spear is to simply split the tip of a sturdy pole into four parts... and stuff a bit of bark or stick into the cuts to force the tips apart. Sharpen the tips.


Dried Mullien stalks make excellent arrows as well as a good fire bow drill. A sharpened stick will stick just as far into an animal as a commercial arrow.. but won't make the animal bleed as much as the commercial arrows or arrows with a stone tip do.

The stems of the thimble berry bush are also good strong and light weight and straight for use as arrows.

Speaking of the thimbleberry.. you can make a decoction out of the leaves and roots for a soap substitute that is good for your hair as well.

Prepare to be a wilderness survivor.

Comments for Survival tools

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

a reply to Mike
by: Winyan Staz


Thanks for that information. I agree a smaller one makes a great torch.
I have also seen something simular used for a quick meal. A smaller torch made by sticking closely together into the ground, equal length branches to form a close "square".
Stuff and stack leaves, twigs and pinecones into the middle and out the edges of your little square, put your pan on top and light your fire from the bottom.
Doesnt take much twigs or leaves etc to make a quick and very hot fire that has little smoke or light.

great information re: pith as lures...
by: Winyan Staz

Thanks for the great information regarding using pith as lures. While I did know the pith of fireweed is sometimes used to make wild soups..I didnt know about using Mullein pith or raspberry pith for lures.
Its something to keep in mind :)

One good lure tip deserves another.

While along the banks of rivers and streams, take the time to run your fingers over the edges of rocks along the rivers edge..just below the waterline and try to feel for rough little bumps.
If you peel one off the rock you will find that bump is actually a whole lot of little tiny rocks that have been glued together to form a worm-like casing.

If you break it open a little bit you will find it contains a periwinkle (that is the name I was taught as a youngster)..which is a bug...and the fish love them, especially trout.

More about Mullein
by: Winyan Staz

The Mullein stem dries very straight and still is very flexable while being light-weight and extremely strong.
They were used by Natives to make arrows and also spears. (some mullein can grow 8-9 ft tall or more)
That is also the reasons it makes for such a great fire-drill as well.
Mullein is also good for weaving into walls of shelters while still fresh. Then when it dries, it will add a lot of stability and strength without adding a lot of weight.
When you pick Mullein for harvest, only pick the second year Mullein which is the taller plant with the stem. First year stays a rosette of leaves..and if you pick them the first year you wont get a good harvest next time..
Never take more than 1 out of ten of the plants you harvest. Leave plenty for the next person, the next harvest and to reseed as well as to help the wildlife.
By the way, I have to add that whenever I post about herbs, I am not telling you to take them.

I am sharing what I know and use for myself.

I am also required by law to tell you I am not a Doctor..and to please see a Doctor if you are ill.

Peace to the planet.......

Pith is very good for crafting fishing items
by: silysavg

The dried pith can be harvested and used for lure / fishing item crafts like elderberry pith is used. It is lightweight and strong and has a similar feel to elder pith. It will remind you of balsa wood. Floats, thick and thin wagglers, quill avons and popping bugs and bobbers are a few uses for mullein pith.

more about mullein..
by: Winyan Staz

Mix your mullein leaves with equal parts coltsfoot to make a tea to make the flem go away and to move it on out of the body. Mullein is said to be of much value in diarrhea. Be sure to strain your tea as the tiny hairs of the mullein can irritate the mouth.

Also drink teas made of oregon grape roots..1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped roots to one cup of water. Nature's best tools for colds, bronkitis etc.
A dried mullein stem is one of the best tools for a firebow stick you can find.

Here is a link to more uses for mullein. A great plant for wilderness survival:

More about mullien
by: Wakien

I will add a bit more about mullien as this is such a great plant to know in the wilderness.
Find last years stalk with the seed head still on it or pick some mullien, and hang it upside down after stripping the leaves off and dry it for a while (best if dried all the way but will also work if not so dry as long as there is wax or tallow.)
Drip the wax from old candle butts, kids broken crayons, canning wax etc in layers over the seed head.
If you dont have wax you can dip them in tallow.
If you have no wax and no tallow, remember the sap of trees will make a great torch as well when used on a mullien stalk.
The oil in the stalk and head and the dried down acts like a wick.
You can also just scrap off that down to make an easy firestart material which of course is even better dried.
These torches of the wilderness have been known as Haglights, witches candles, candlewick plant, and hag taper among other names.
If you wish you can also add essentual oils of lavender, lemon balm or other herbs the bugs dont like or citrine to make the bugs stay away.
The custom of using mullein stalks as torches dates back at least to Roman times.

I forgot to add.....
by: Anonymous

When making a fire, a cooking log, using a conk for a stove or making a torch etc....dont forget that resin makes a great fuel and firestarter.

by: mike

thanks for tips. Saw the forrest stove on Ray Mears, been using for a couple years. A scaled down version makes a good torch. I put a couple around my camp for a few minutes of extra light during a late meal. Like the self feeding fire idea...similar to the Pyramid Fire in the Army Survival Manual.

Always learning something new....
by: Anonymous

Thanks for that info Bill W. :) I had not heard of using the mullen although I have heard of using garlic.

Great info!
by: Anonymous

This post has great info. I know folks who've used garlic and mullein ear drops for their kid's ear infections for years, and swear by the results. They say it works faster and relieves pain better than the antibiotics that the doctors give out, but without making the organisms resistant to the drugs.

Great info.

Bill W.

you are correct :)
by: Anonymous

Yes it is a very remarkable plant and a great survival plant to know.
And lets not forget....the leaves are soft and velvety...and are great for emergency bathroom needs...not to be gross..but they work and one needs to be aware of what one is using as some plants can make you very sorry if you use them by mistake .. ;)

by: Rob

Mullein can also be smoked to alleviated respiratory problems, or the flowers can be steeped in a tea to accomplish the same benefit. The tea also helps relax you.

Mullein also goes by the name 'Aarrons Rod' and grows wild in most fields. You can see the flower stalks in mid summer a good ways away since they shoot upward of anywhere from 4 - 6 feet high. Stalks are heavily budded with pretty yellow flowers. In addition, Mullein is a perenial and will come back year after year and is easily cultivated in the garden.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Wilderness survival tips.