Primitive Survival Skills That May Save Your Life

There is no wrong way to survive, but some survival tactics are more effective.

When you’re in the wild, you do what you have to do to make it to the next day.

Below you’ll find the most ingenious, occasionally shocking, extreme survival tactics employed by native peoples across the globe.

Grab a frog and squeeze it, these are the most awesome native survival techniques on earth.

Borneo Saltlicks

Find the salt licks, and you’ll find the prey.

Salt licks provide minerals that can’t be found elsewhere in nutrient-deficient environs such as the rain forests of Indonesia. 

Animals such as grizzled langur monkeys congregate around natural salt deposits, and when they lick, they don’t pay attention.

Local hunters know salt time is primetime for knocking out preoccupied prey. It might be some of the easiest meat you’ll find in the jungle.

Of course, you have to find the salt lick first.

Native American Stealth

If you’re not afraid to take your shoes off, then practice the Fox Walk, a way of maneuvering in the wild long espoused by native tribes across America.

Press down into the earth heel first, shifting the weight of your foot around to the ball and push off with your toes.

Watch out for twigs, and tripwires, too. 

The Fox Walk is perfect not just for stalking prey, but also for raiding the supplies of a fellow human wildnerness dweller.

Native American Wide-Angle Vision

Training one’s eyes on the big picture is one of the most useful arts & sciences developed by American Indian tribes during the past 10,000+ years.

John at Off The Grid News describes wide-angle:

In order to practice Wide-Angle Vision, move your hands out directly in front of you. Then, separate them slowly until your arms are stretched out all the way. Then, wiggle your fingers. If your peripheral vision can pick up both hands, then you have entered into Wide-Angle vision.

Once you’ve got it down, take it into the wild. You’ll notice more than you’ve ever noticed before.

Hadza Honey

Fewer than 1,000 Hadza currently occupy the earth, with the total population living around Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. Like the Pharoahs and Winnie the Pooh and everyone in between, the Hadza like honey.

To find it, they follow the song of the honeyguide, a drab but fascinating bird that likes to gorge on bee grubs.

Communicate with a honeyguide and there’s a good chance you’ll find that sticky gold Smoking the bees out is a whole different and perhaps trickier trick.

Cucumber Root Fishing

Marah fabaceus, aka Manroot, is a deadly plant native to California and Mexico used by the Kumeyaay to knock fish cold.

The Kumeyaay, also known as the Tipai-Ipai or Kamia, traditionally ground the plant’s occasionally massive tubers and mix the mash into rivers and streambeds, where an active toxin is believed to bind to gills, suffocating fish.

Count to 66 and watch those fish float.

Airhole Hunting

If you ever end up alone in the arctic, with no idea how you got there, panic.

Once, you’ve got your wits about you, find shelter in a crevasse or evacuated polar bear cave and rediscover the will to live.

Do so by discovering the urge to kill.

Then, lay flat near a hole in the sea ice and deliver a death blow to whatever seal, narwhal or whale comes up for air.

The Inuit use bow and arrows, spears and harpoons. If you packed light, get ingenious and strike accurate and hard. Your survival will depend on it.

Ostrich Water Eggs

an ostrich and its egg
Photo Credit: lutramania / Flickr.com
Kalihari Desert Bushmen are some of the greatest water finders on earth. They dig up tubers that carry water and avoid those shriveled and filled with poisonous sap.

As a backup, Bushmen save during rainy days, sealing water in ostrich eggs and burying them for the dry season.

And that’s just how they drink. You can read how they track, hunt and eat over at National Geographic.

In the meantime, know that this is a good way to preserve water when you know there won’t be any to spare in the foreseeable future.

Poison Dart Frog

golden poison dart frog
Photo Credit: Tim Stadelmann / Flickr.com
Of over 175 species of poison dart frogs, only 3 species are used to tip darts. One of those is the golden poison frog, the most poisonous frog on earth.

A golden poison frog can kill your dog just by walking in front of the mutt. One frog carries enough alkaline nerve toxin to kill 10,000 mice or 10 to 20 humans.

The Embera tribes of Colombia extract the poison by holding the frogs to a campfire, scaring the animals into secreting their toxic sweat.

Then they scrape blowdarts, stalk monkeys, tapirs, and other prey and bring home the bush bacon.

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About the Author

Rick Coleman
Rick Coleman
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona Rick Coleman is a Lifeofadventure.com featured contributor who has written for a wide range of international travel publications. He loves the outdoors and has covered thousands of miles in the pursuit of his next adventure.
Rick Coleman
Rick Coleman
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona Rick Coleman is a Lifeofadventure.com featured contributor who has written for a wide range of international travel publications. He loves the outdoors and has covered thousands of miles in the pursuit of his next adventure.
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