Bamboo, A Gift From Nature
Most people know what bamboo is, but not everyone these days understands just what a resource it can be. It just so happens, that for a number of reasons, bamboo is most wonderful gifts that nature has to offer. In the world of plants, few if any bring as much to the table as bamboo does.
Anyone who has eaten at their local Asian restaurants very often has learned to use the fee chopsticks by now,. It does take a little more effort to make a set in the wilds than just opening the package and snapping the connection, but really not all that much effort. With a sharp knife a functional set of chopsticks can be whittled in a couple of minutes.
Because it grows as a segmented stalk, it lends itself very well to making spoon-like objects and digging tools. Just cut a section of one full segment with about an inch and a half of another segment still attached. Then split off half the partial segment lengthwise from the end back to the separation joint, sharpen then end a little, and there you have a handy spoon or small digging tool for digging up roots and tubers.
It can also be quickly whittled into a simple spear with one diagonal cut. A more complex gig can be made by splitting the end of a shaft into quarters, spreading the tines apart, and then sharpening the tips of the tines. The can work very well for gigging frogs or fish.
The inner lining of the segments is a very thin membrane that is much like rice paper. It can even be used to write on of course, just remember it can be fragile. However it also makes an excellent tinder material for starting a fire to cook the frogs or fish over.
Bamboo also has structural applications for building shelters and water collection systems. The segments can be used to make cups, bowls, canteens, and even pots to cook in. The shoots are edible, and it can be used to fashion numerous tools and utensils. In a primitive living environment, or even just is hobbies and crafts, bamboo is an amazing resource to have available.
Brian Griffin is an author, photographer, wilderness and survival skills teacher, knife enthusiast, outdoor gear researcher and product development consultant. He has a decades-long history of using and developing outdoor related tools and gear.
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