The Survival Value of Dead Trees by Craig Caudill


Another article from my friends at Dan’s Depot illustrating the goodies that can be salvaged from a dead tree. If you don’t have the stomach for live bugs, like Bear Grylls or Cody Lundin, you can try boiling or roasting the grubs.  If you have a bit of rice or beans you can cook them in your grain to add protein value to your survival feast.  It doesn’t hurt to carry a small bottle of all-purpose seasoning to make your catch palatable.

The Survival Value of Dead Trees by Craig Caudill

One of the best parts about learning primitive skills, is the realization that everything has a purpose. In the modern world, we wouldn’t look twice at a dead tree or dried grass. In a survival situation, those two things alone can mean the difference between life and death. An important part of outdoor skills training is the ability to look at everything in your surroundings a little differently. What was once “garbage” is now a useful resource.

Dead trees may not look very pretty, but they serve a very good purpose. One dead can tree can give you what it takes to survive. Bark is easily peeled from a dead tree. This bark has several purposes. For one, it makes a nice roof for a shelter. It may not be super comfy, but it can prove to be an effective barrier against a cold, wet ground when used as a sleeping mat. The possibilities are truly endless. Open your mind and think out of the box.

Underneath the bark, there will likely be some dried fiber material. That makes a fabulous tinder bundle. It is easily scraped away with a knife or even a branch from the dead tree. See, you are always looking at every piece to find a good use for it. Use your knife to peel bark from the tree. This makes an excellent addition to your tinder bundle. Finally, anything that does not serve an immediate purpose can be used as firewood to keep you warm.

In any given situation, you should be able to look around you and think of alternative uses for the things in your immediate surroundings, including dead trees. Other items such as shoestrings, hair, and electric cords are just some things you wouldn’t automatically think of as ideal
substitutes for rope or paracord. You will be amazed at what you really see once you adjust your
way of thinking to survival mode.

Craig Caudill shares his survival skills training at Dan’s Depot and also at his Nature Reliance School.


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