How To Use Wood In A Camp Or During A Survival Situation

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Pablo Edronkin

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How To Use Wood In A Camp Or During A Survival SituationWood can indeed be used to start fires, but that is not the only way in which you could make use of it in the wilderness; on the contrary, there are lots of things that you can do with this natural resource.


Making fire is not the only use for wood.
Making fire is not the only use for wood.

Wood has been used since immemorial times in many different ways that prove the ingenuity and technical skills of primitive as well as modern humans. Today we have metals and plastics, and we shall not forget about forest fires, negligence, depredation and the misuse of natural resources, but keeping in mind that anything that comes from nature must be used wisely because if we don't, the environment will cause a painful reality check, let's say that wood is for the average camper or survivor, generally one of the most valuable resources available.


You can use it in all sorts of construction projects.
You can use it in all sorts of construction projects.

Of course, its use as combustible material is the first that generally comes to mind, but wood - if properly used and treated - could be also used to build shelters and cabins partially or completely, to build vessels, ships, beds and cots, to make tools, kitchen gadgets, backpacks, replacement and spare parts even for vehicles.


This beam supporting the roof of a survival shelter is an example.
This beam supporting the roof of a survival shelter is an example.

You can also make bows, arrows, spears, traps, firearm parts, moats and walls, trench obstacles and even aircraft: The Mongtolfier balloon was a contraption made out of cloth, paper and wood, not to mention the gliders of Leonardo Da Vinci, the Lilienthals, Wright Brothers and most WWI airplanes.


Weapons for defence and hunting like this psear could also be improvised.
Weapons for defence and hunting like this psear could also be improvised.

Depending on the kind of wood available, you can develop different "technologies" and ways to use the resource: In ancient Greece, the development of keel-based ship hulls was possible (and thus the surge of true naval technology as a whole) thanks to the existence of vast forests in the country, which allowed its primitive inhabitants to pass from the prehistoric canoe to a proper ship by means of adding planks in the correct fashion to increase the carrying capabilities of their original vessels. Thus, the canoe became the keel itself, and the added planks, the hull.


A table improvised with bark, along with wooden spoons and flour plus sawdust bread.
A table improvised with bark, along with wooden spoons and flour plus sawdust bread.

At the same time, at the other side of the Mediterranean, Egyptians became keen users of natural forces that could do most heavy jobs for them: They needed boats to carry loads along the Nile, and while they used its currents to travel from south to north, they came up with the invention of the sail in order to use the wind and return south. But since they didn't have big trees but palms and shrubs for the most part in their country, their vessels were weaker and consequently, Egypt never became a maritime power as Greece. However, they made the wisest use possible of their rather modest ships to carry what they needed to build most of their spectacular monuments.


This mug was made with a peach tin and a wooden handle.
This mug was made with a peach tin and a wooden handle.

These two examples prove that whether you have a lot or wood or not, you can maximise the advantages provided by natural resources at any camp or survival situation. You are not limited by nature - you never are -, but by your imagination.



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