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HomeSurvivalHides

Animal Uses

by Frank Sherwood

Once you have taken care of the meat you can start using the other parts of the animal. Nothing should go to waste.

Fat - Fat is rich in calories and should be included in survival meals. The rendered fat can also be used as a lubricant, a fuel, and to make torches.

Feathers - These can be used as insulation, fletching for arrows, and for dangling from a string above a trap to attract predators.

Hide - Brain-tanned hides can be made into clothing, bags, moccasins, hats, mittens and gloves. Rawhide can be used for laces, straps, parfletches, pouches, containers, shields, and drum heads. The hair that was removed from the hide can be used as insulation, baskets, fletching for arrows, weaving, and cordage. The ears, tails, and scrotum make good pouches.

Hooves - These can be crushed and boiled into glue and neatsfoot oil.

Head - The tongue can be eaten. The brains can also be eaten or used to tan hides, and the skinned out head could be thrown into a stew pot.

Internal organs - These spoil quickly so use them soon. The wind pipe can be used as a blow tube. In areas that are not heavily polluted, eat the heart, liver and kidneys. Intestines can be cleaned out and dried, then used as sausage skins for food storage or twisted and pulled, making cordage for bow strings or thongs. The bladder and stomach make storage and cooking vessels. What little is left can be used as bait for carnivores.

Sinew - This is the strongest natural material and when dried and pounded can be made into excellent thread, fishline, bowstrings, lashing and snare line.

Bones - The fresh marrow can be eaten and the bones made into fish hooks, awls, needles, blow tubes, scrapers, arrowheads, knives, chisels, spear points, and barbs for fish spears. They can also be ground into bone meal. Antler can be used about the same as bone and can also be used for knapping tools.


From The Tracker magazine, Summer 1983, published by the Tracker School.
For more articles from The Tracker magazine, visit the Tracker Trail website.