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Discover the Ancient Survival Tactics Used by Native American Tribes on Your Next Hiking Trip!

Discover the Ancient Survival Tactics Used by Native American Tribes on Your Next Hiking Trip!

Hiking and Survival Have One Thing in Common: Preparedness

If you are planning a hiking trip soon, you are probably thinking about the essential items to take with you such as food, water, a map, and a compass. However, what about honing your survival skills just in case of an emergency? Survival skills are vital when going on a hiking trip, especially when things do not go as planned. The ancient Native American tribes have a wealth of survival knowledge that has been passed down through the generations. What can you learn from them to apply in your next hiking trip? Let’s find out.

The First Step of Survival: Finding Water

Water is life. Finding water is the first step to survival. Native American tribes knew that wells, streams, lakes, and rivers provide life water. They also knew how to dig and create wells, and how to harvest rainwater. Next time you are hiking, look for signs of water sources, and always carry a water filter or water bottle for purification. A water filter is an essential tool that can save you from dehydration and waterborne illnesses.

The Art of Fire Starting: From Bow Drill to Hand Drill

Native American tribes used different methods to start fires, including the bow drill and hand drill techniques. The bow drill is a more advanced method that involves a bow and drill. The drill spins by pulling back and forth a bow string, creating friction between the drill and the board. The hand drill, on the other hand, is a more basic method that involves rubbing the spindle against the board until the friction ignites the tinder. Rules for starting and maintaining a fire include selecting a secure and dry location, collecting dry kindling, and always supervising the fire until it is completely out.

Shelter and Clothing: The Basics of Survival

When facing extreme temperatures, shelter and clothing are vital. Native American tribes used several methods to make clothes and shelters using animal hides, bones, and sinews. Today’s hiking gear includes synthetic materials such as Gore-Tex, which provides exceptional water protection properties. Make sure to carry an extra layer of clothing even if the weather seems mild, as temperatures can drop quickly in mountainous areas.

Navigation Skills: Reading the Signs of the Environment

Native American tribes used their knowledge of the land to navigate various terrains and weather patterns. They knew that studying clouds, trees, and animals can help predict changes in the weather. They also created local maps by carvings on trees or pressed into clay. Today, you can use a compass and topographical map as well as GPS technology to navigate. However, do not rely solely on technology, but take the time to study your environment and look for signs that can help you anticipate the weather and terrain changes.

Conclusion: Survival Strategies From the Past will Help You Today

Survival is not only about having the right gear and being physically fit; it’s a matter of mental readiness and being prepared. Next time you are preparing for a hiking trip, think about these strategies used by Native American tribes, and incorporate them into your survival plan. The ancient wisdom of native American tribes can inspire you to learn more about the environment, hone your survival skills, and always be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

Native American Survival Tactics – FAQ

What are some basic survival skills used by Native American tribes?

Native American tribes relied on a variety of survival skills to endure harsh living conditions. Some basic survival skills include making fire, finding shelter, hunting and gathering food, and finding water sources. They also utilized their knowledge of the land to navigate in the wilderness, identify edible plants and medicinal herbs, and protect themselves from predators and harsh weather conditions.

What were some common tools and weapons used by Native American tribes?

Native American tribes utilized a variety of tools and weapons to survive in the wilderness. Some common tools included knives, axes, bows and arrows, digging sticks, and fishing nets. Weapons included spears, tomahawks, war clubs, and crossbows.

How did Native American tribes make fire?

Native Americans used various methods to make fire, including friction by rubbing two sticks together, using a bow and drill, and using a fire plow. They would also carry fire with them wherever they went by storing hot embers in animal bladders or dried gourds.

How did Native American tribes find shelter?

Native American tribes used a variety of materials to build shelter, including animal hides, bark, grass, and branches. They built teepees, wigwams, longhouses, and wickiups to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions. They would also build lean-tos or use natural formations such as caves or overhangs if necessary.

What did Native American tribes eat?

Native American tribes were skilled at hunting and gathering food. They hunted deer, buffalo, elk, and other large game animals, while also fishing and trapping small game. They gathered a variety of plant-based foods including nuts, berries, fruits, roots, and seeds. They also relied on trading with other tribes for food items that were not available in their region.

How did Native American tribes find water sources?

Native American tribes would search for water sources using their knowledge of the land. They would look for signs such as animal tracks, vegetation, and rock formations that indicated water sources were nearby. They also used water from rain, snow, or dew that was collected in containers made from animal hides or other materials.

What were some survival skills specific to different regions and tribes?

Survival skills varied among different regions and tribes based on their environment and available resources. For example, tribes in the deserts of the southwest would rely on finding shade and water sources, while tribes in the forests of the northeast would build cabins and hunt and gather food specific to their region. Tribes in coastal regions would rely on fishing and seafood as their primary source of food.

How can I apply Native American survival tactics on my next hiking trip?

You can apply Native American survival tactics on your next hiking trip by studying and understanding the land you will be exploring. Practice making fire using different methods, find natural sources of water, and learn to identify edible plants. Pack essential tools such as a knife, fishing gear, and a water filtration system. Be sure to always let someone know where you are going and have a plan in case of an emergency.

Are there any Native American survival skills that are still relevant today?

Many of the skills and techniques used by Native American tribes are still relevant today and can be applied in emergency situations. Fire-building, shelter-making, and finding water sources are essential survival skills that can still be used today. The knowledge of edible plants and medicinal herbs can also be useful in the case of food shortages or emergencies where medical aid is not available.

How can I learn more about Native American survival tactics and traditions?

You can learn more about Native American survival tactics and traditions through books, documentaries, and online resources. You can also visit museums or attend cultural events where Native American traditions are celebrated. It is important to respect and honor the cultures and traditions of Native American tribes and to seek knowledge from authentic and credible sources.

Related Products: Native American Survival Tactics

  • Native American Flutes – These instruments were commonly used by Native Americans for spiritual and healing purposes. They can also be used to attract wildlife, making them a valuable tool for hunting and survival.
  • Bow and Arrow Set – The bow and arrow were essential tools for hunting and warfare in many Native American tribes. Investing in a high-quality set can be useful for survival situations where modern weapons are not available.
  • Firesteel – Traditional Native American survival methods often involved fire-building techniques, such as rubbing sticks together or striking flint and steel. A modern firesteel can provide a reliable and efficient way to start a fire without matches or a lighter.
  • Birch Bark Canoe – Canoes made from birch bark were a common means of transportation for Native Americans in the past. Investing in a high-quality birch bark canoe can be useful for navigating waterways and even for shelter in emergency situations.
  • Dried Meat and Jerky – Native Americans relied heavily on hunting for survival, and preserving meat was a crucial part of their survival tactics. Dried meat and jerky are nutritious and can last for long periods without spoiling, making them a valuable addition to any survival kit.
  • Herbal Medicine Kit – Many Native American tribes relied on traditional herbal remedies for healing and wellness. A well-stocked herbal medicine kit can provide a natural way to treat injuries or illnesses while hiking or camping.
  • Handmade Moccasins – Native American footwear was designed for durability and comfort in rugged terrain. Handmade moccasins can be a valuable addition to any hiking or camping trip, offering protection and support for the feet in a natural and flexible way.
  • Survival Blanket – Traditional Native American blankets were often made from animal hides and furs, providing warmth and protection from the elements. A modern survival blanket can offer similar benefits, as well as a compact and lightweight option for emergency shelter.
  • Bushcraft Knife – Native Americans were skilled at using knives for carving, hunting, and survival tasks. A high-quality bushcraft knife can be a versatile tool for a variety of outdoor situations, from cutting rope to carving wood for kindling.
  • Bone Awl – The bone awl was a common tool used by Native Americans for leatherworking, sewing, and other tasks. Investing in a well-made bone awl can be useful for repairing gear or creating new items while in the wilderness.

Pros & Cons


  • Enhances survival skills: Learning ancient survival tactics used by Native American tribes will enhance your survival skills, making you better prepared for any emergency while on a hiking trip.
  • Connect with history: Discovering these ancient survival tactics bring you closer to history, connecting you with the way our ancestors lived from thousands of years ago.
  • Cost-effective: You can learn various hiking techniques from the internet but learning from native people won’t cost you anything and the knowledge you’d gain is priceless.
  • Perfect for families: Learning about the survival tactics used by Native American tribes is also a great activity for families. It is the perfect opportunity to teach kids the importance of survival and to respect other cultures.
  • Learn nature conservation: By learning the ancient survival tactics of Native American tribes, you also gain an appreciation for nature and the environment – this includes learning how to conserve and preserve nature, which is important in any hiking trip or camping activity.
  • Cons:

  • Difficult to find (in-person): It might be hard to find or access a Native American tribe that could teach you their ancient survival tactics for obvious reasons – not everyone wants their culture to be disseminated elsewhere.
  • May lack practicality: Some of these ancient survival tactics might not be practical to use in modern hiking and camping environments – especially since factories and other places have already replaced most natural resources used in these tactics.
  • Can be dangerous: Learning to survive in nature can be dangerous, especially if you are not prepared and trained. It includes knowing how to identify and avoid poisonous plants and which animals are dangerous.
  • May contribute to cultural appropriation: Before learning ancient survival tactics from Native American tribes, consider whether doing so is respectful or appropriating their culture. It’s essential to reflect on whether or not the knowledge you gain is for your benefit or for the survival of the culture.
  • Requires time and effort: Becoming skilled in ancient survival tactics requires time, dedication, and effort, and it isn’t a quick and easy process. It may take years of study, practice, and dedication to master these skills.

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