If you want a versatile, strong plant that has a huge amount of uses look no further than bamboo.
Bamboo is a grass that most people assume can only grow in warmer climates (like zone 5 or above) but some of the 1,500 plus varieties are perfectly happy to grow in cooler and even cold regions surviving down to -20!
Many bamboo varieties contain cyanide and therefore none of the uses listed below includes food as I don’t know enough about which varieties are safe to eat.
Okay, here we go:
- Dry bamboo burns well and is considered a sustainable fuel source.
- Leaving a few stems on the plant encourages them to grow larger which makes them far more useful for use as containers.
- Containers: cut above one joint and below another gives you a bamboo tube that is sealed at one end and open at the other. It will hold water or anything else you decide to put in it.
- Bamboo actually fills up with water when it rains and that water is drinkable, and in large stems there can be enough for you to pot up for later.
- It’s strength and flexibility makes it idea for crafting fishing rods.
- It sharpens well and fishing spears are easily fashioned from a slim stem.
- Dry bamboo is relatively easy to sharpen and it takes a point very easily. A bamboo knife is sharp and ideal for self-defence should the need arise.
- Bamboo floats and can be fashioned into fishing lures.
- Still on floating, a couple of stems on the surface of a pond or lake, anchored with a stone on a rope to stop them floating away will keep the water from freezing, maintaining your water/fishing hole.
- Lashing larger stems of bamboo together can make fencing, defensive barriers and even rafts.
11. Bamboo can be used for a variety of traps due to its flexibility and strength.
12. Pukat are traditional bamboo fish traps. The video shows you how to make one.
13. Cage traps lend themselves very well to bamboo.
14. As a means of defence punji sticks were used to great effect in the Vietnam War.
15. If none of those appeal to you can always use your plant for a free supply of garden canes.
Bamboo has a really bad reputation for invading gardens and turning them into impenetrable jungles – and not without good reason but not all bamboo’s are invasive.
Clumping varieties are widely available and they still grow fast but leave the rest of your garden vacant for other uses. It’s quite easy to contain bamboo if you want to have the even faster growing spreading varieties and you can find instructions on how to do that here.
Bamboo is one of the most versatile and useful plants on the planet and in a survival situation it’s invaluable.