Most of the world has no idea about the incredible survival uses for bamboo. And this is a crying shame, considering that if preppers have this stuff growing in their backyard or near their house, it’s basically a goldmine of survival supplies.
The truth is bamboo is a pretty miraculous tree (although it’s technically in the grass family). And it can seriously help you out when the SHTF.
Before, bamboo was full of survival secrets that hardly anyone knew about. But now, the cat’s out of the bag. And you’re about to learn a ton of reasons why you’ll want this huge piece of “grass” in a survival situation.
Incredible Survival Uses For Bamboo
Use It For Water
Not many people know this, but many types of bamboo actually contain water inside them. To get the water out, drill a hole into a section and drink the water out of it.
In addition, of you look at a bamboo stalk, you’ll notice that it grows in sections. And, if you break a section in half, you’ll see it’s actually hollow inside. Therefore, these sections can make for an excellent DIY water bottle.
All you have to do is cut off a piece of bamboo, making sure to cut just above and just below the segment line on both ends so it’s still closed on the ends.
Then drill a hole in the top, and you’ve got a drinkable container ready to go. You can even attach cordage to it so that you can sling the bottle over your shoulder.
However, there’s one more important thing – you need to make sure that whatever water you consume is safe to drink. And, as many preppers know, one of the easiest ways of making water drinkable is by boiling it. Well, the amazing thing is you can boil the water while it’s still in the bamboo!
Once the bamboo section is full of water, put it by the heat in order to get it to boil. Keep in mind you’ll probably need green bamboo for this, as it will hold up to high temperatures in order for the water to boil.
You can even add some herbs, leaves, and berries into the water to make your own hot tea. And, if you add your survival food to the bamboo section and sit it by the fire, your food can heat up in no time. It’s truly an incredible plant!
Use It To Start A Fire
Dry bamboo makes excellent tinder, and burns very easily. However, you need to make sure it’s completely dry before using. An easy way to check this is to cut the sections in half to make sure there is no water on the inside. If you don’t check this first, the water inside the plant can boil in the fire, and can cause an explosion.
However, there’s so much more you can do with this miraculous plant. For example, you can make a fire saw, as well as a cooking pot! Check out how with this short video:
Like I said, there are a TON more survival uses for bamboo that we need to cover. Here’s some more info from Off The Grid News:
The Many Uses of Bamboo in Survival
Here’s why this common, unassuming grass could save a person’s life in an emergency situation. Bamboo fulfills the 3 most fundamental necessities in the preservation or extension of human life: food, water and shelter. Though low in caloric content, the tiny shoots of bamboo are edible, high in potassium and Vitamin B6. It can be eaten raw or cooked. (Some species contain a level of toxic cyanogen, though, and have a slightly bitter taste — both of which can be eliminated by boiling.)
Potable water can be found in the air-filled nodes or chambers of many species. Tap the sections and listen for a low, solid sound. (A hollow sound means no water.) Using a knife or pointed machete, you can bore a hole on the upper part of that node, tilt the stalk gently and pour into a container – or if you have a companion ask him to hold it directly over your mouth. Poles that have been split open can also make for good rain gutters or water collection systems.
A bamboo is an incredibly strong building material. It can be used to make all kinds of shelters, from the primitive and very temporary lean-to frames to the most complex and permanent structures, complete with roofing, flooring and sidings. Over a billion people live safely and satisfactorily in bamboo houses worldwide, across all the different climate zones right now.
After these 3 basic survival needs, fire-making comes in a close 4th. Shavings from dry bamboo are used for tinder, the sides of the split parts as fire saws to create friction and a spark, and the rest of the poles as firewood. Additionally, a section of a pole can be used as a cooking pot, rice steamer, water purifier, and all kinds of receptacles like a cup, a canteen, a bowl and a variety of eating utensils.
Bamboo has a myriad of other important uses in the wilderness. You can use it as a walking stick and a defense weapon (club, spear, bow and arrow, throwing stick, blowgun or dart), or fashion traps, a fishing rod and a raft with it. Dried bamboo slivers make ideal knife blades and sharp cutting tools.
In a survival situation, all you need is a machete and a bamboo grove and you’re already equipped with the basic necessities to survive.
Bamboo, the “Tree of Life”
I used to think the coconut was the tree of life – for its many wonderful, life-giving uses; but now I know it’s the bamboo. Although technically, bamboos belong to the grass family so they can’t be classified as trees. They are often referred to as “tree” grasses, though, because they have large, leafy stems that spread high (as much as 16 yards) and wide-like branches. They are known as the “plant of a thousand uses.” All around the world, bamboo is grown for a wide variety of applications, from housing construction to landscape gardening, furniture-making to musical instruments. Like wood, it is amazingly strong and rigid; but unlike hardwood, it is bendable, easy to cut and process, and lightweight—making it is easily transportable. Not surprising that some of the most modern bicycle frames are now made with it. (One top manufacturer says it’s their most crash-resistant frame!)
Bamboo groves can reduce soil erosion, catch runoffs from fields, prevent flooding in swales, and help contain overflowing rivers. They protect fields from winds and hurricanes. They are a safe, natural habitat for panda bears, birds and a host of other organisms.
In Asia, bamboo is used to treat various ailments like fever, bacterial infection and respiratory problems. Since ancient times, it has been used as natural food preservative. (I always wonder why Chinese restaurants serve dimsum in hot, steaming bamboo containers that never seem to look polished or brand-new, and yet never appear to go bad, either. Hmmm…) A mix of shoots, leaves, twigs and culm can be brewed into beer, ale and tea, which have a mild taste but are supposedly high in anti-oxidants and bio-flavonoids. Bamboo fiber, when pounded, treated and dried, is also made into specialty fabric and paper.
Story continues below video
The best part of it all is that bamboo is totally sustainable. It is perennial, doesn’t die with the change of seasons, so you don’t need to replant it every year. It just keeps on growing so it is 100 percent renewable. There are varieties that grow as fast as 3-4 feet per day, making it to Guinness’ Book of World Records as the fastest growing woody plant in the world!
There are two types of bamboo – those that grow in clusters and those that tend to “run” and spread wide and fast. Because of the latter’s potential for invasiveness, the American Bamboo Society (ABS) has issued guidelines on how to deal with hard-to-control overgrowth. Aside from yearly pruning, they recommend using concrete or high density polyethylene (HDPE) as underground barriers, or else digging a dry moat around the grove to contain it.
Of the 10,000 known species worldwide, about 200 are cultivated in the United States. The woody genus Arundinaria, for example, is native in southeastern USA. But there are over 30 cold-hardy varieties that can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees. One of them is the Phyllostachys, the most widely cultivated of the temperate bamboos. It is suitable for the climate of the North Central, Midwestern and New England states (Zone 4). Check with the ABS about which species would best thrive in your area.
The Usefulness of Bamboo in the Homestead
While it is said to be one of the greatest finds in a survival situation, bamboo also has many practical purposes in the homestead. It can be used for fencing, and fashioned as garden stakes, poles and trellis for vines and vegetables. It shields private property from public roads, dust and, when allowed to grow dense and thick, becomes a barrier impenetrable to deer, the neighbour’s dog, and the neighbours themselves.
You can use it to make cages for your small animals and feeding troughs for the big ones. The leaves make a good adjunct for hay, best at wintertime when the grass is dormant or droughts when most greenery dries up.
Many people don’t realize they can generate income from farming bamboo. Bamboos only take months to grow, so you should have new shoots to cut and sell by the next spring or early summer. Poles can be gathered every three or four years. It is said that you can safely harvest 20 percent of the crop and it will regenerate completely in just over a year. The website bamboofarmingusa.com can give you more ideas on how to grow and sell this multi-purpose, economical weed.
If you have enough space in your acreage, by all means grow bamboo now. Check local or state regulations if and how much you’re allowed to grow. It will be a wonderful asset to your survival stockpile.