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Let’s have a little fun with our survival beliefs and resources. In this article, we are going to discuss essential survival materials and their relationship to wood and metal. Though this article might stir up a bunch of controversies. It is also a great way for us to think about the relationship between these two resources.
Still, each offers some unique benefits when they are put up against a survival scenario where things like repeatability, weight, and efficiency could mean your life!
Essential Survival Materials – Wood vs Metal
The Trapper’s Bible: The Most Complete Guide on Trapping and Hunting Tips Ever Trapping has got to be one of the most underutilized skills in the survivor’s playbook. I want you to think about how many people that you know who have experience trapping animals. It’s a rarity.
While you can go outside, right now, and make a snare it doesn’t mean you are a trapper. That just means you know how to make a trap.
Still, it’s the most efficient way to get protein into your belly on a regular basis.
While you can make traps completely of wood, they will never be what a metal trap can be. Wooden traps are very often single-use applications. When you are talking about long-term, that can be tough with wood. You see, not only do wood traps break down but animals can chew them.
The DF-4 deadfall trap is important to mention in this article because it takes a trapping method that has been given to wooden preparations, the classic figure 4 deadfall, but has been modified with metal to make it repeatable.
In the world of trapping, there may be nothing as important as repeatability. You are going to be able to set this trap over and over again without worrying about recurving triggers are starting from scratch. The DF-4 dead-fall is also able to hold more weight than a wooden deadfall trap.
Obviously, the weight of metal resources is more than wood. A bag full of metal has its downsides and the biggest is the sheer weight of it all. Now, if you are going on a short hike, the weight may not be as much a concern. However, if you are talking about a weekend or a week out in the wilderness that weight will wear you down.
This will put a strain on your water and food resources. You will have to replenish both more often. That could prove to be very difficult depending on what type of situation you are in. Water is always a struggle and food can be just as much if you are new to an area or if wildlife is sparse.
In terms of weight, wood is going to beat metal because it is a lighter resource. There is just no getting around that one.
While you might think that hunting is a matter for metal only, you would not be considering the wooden bow and arrows. Sure, the arrowheads are often made of metal, glass or slate. But you can fire harden wood points to get the job done on small game.
This is a very interesting one. It pits wood against metal in a very special scenario. With metal, you are going to be able to hunt longer with the same implement as it will hold an edge longer.
With guns, you are going to be able to make farther and more accurate shots.
However, with guns, bullets will run out. Wood is renewable. Bows and arrows can be made until there are no desirable pieces of wood left to make them from. That is very interesting when you start looking at things from a long-term survival standpoint.
One of the most underrated of all skills, in survival, is fishing. It is the most attainable protein source that you can get after a disaster strikes. Fishing is also interesting because you can make traps and baskets from wood, which can be very effective. However, metal hooks are devastating against fish and metal sinkers can set bait right where you need it.
Fishing, at its best, is a marriage of these essential survival materials. Like so many other things. While you might be able to use the large thorns from a honey locust to make hooks, they will never be what metal can be. And you can weave a metal crayfish trap!
It is hard to give the edge to either on this one as they are so important together.
This is another interesting and broad category to consider. While wood cannot generate sparks, you can make bow drill sets to create an ember. The ember is basically what you are trying to create with your sparks.
When it comes to fire its important to consider a principle we already discussed in this article and that is repeatability. Knowing how to create a bow drill set and use it is a great skill to have. It’s fun.
Still, it will never be as reliable as a ½ inch ferro rod with a good sturdy handle. Or even good old-fashioned flint and steel. You will be able to start a significantly larger amount of fires with a ferro rod compared to a bow drill, which is what really counts.
Maybe someday that ferro rod runs out. Well, make sure you buy 5 of them! They will likely outlast you! Especially if you start employing things like charcloth and next fire mentality. This can make all the difference in how long your resources last.
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The Relationship Between Essential Survival Materials
There are tasks that are exclusive to these raw materials. Cutting or chopping firewood, for example, is going to be the duty of metal because wood just cannot cut.
You can say the same thing about building things. Without the proper tools, you aren’t going to be able to build a structure from metal.
It might seem like fun to come out with a winner in some regard. The truth is, wood and metal are bound to one another. It is not a matter of which is better because you must have both.
They are synergistic. They are like the husband and wife in a good marriage. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but they truly shine together.
You need one to take advantage of the other. The wood coals are needed to make metal. The sharp blade is needed to sculpt, split and carve wood. It is really a magic relationship when you think about it.