You can find Cattails anywhere in the wild, along lakes, ponds, riverside, and streams. Cattails are considered as wild edible plants. Aside from being a source of food however, this plant has other survival uses worth knowing.

Here are the six survival uses of Cattails.

Make baskets

Cattails can also be used to make baskets or small packs, which you can use for carrying items like food.

Get some Cattail leaves and cross them together to make a base. If you already have the size of the base that you like, fold the pieces upward. Weave around to make the sides, after that you can now weave a handle or a strap for your basket. Harden the leaves by drying them up, so that your basket will be strong enough to carry items.

Here’s a neat video on how to make a basket using cattail.

Make cordage

Peel strips from the leaves and then dry them up. Braid the strips together; you can use the braided strips for your fishing line or in making your shelter.

Learn how to make cordage here using almost any suitable material you can find in your immediate environment: How to Make Cordage

As fire Starter

You can use dry Cattail leaves to start a fire. The head of a Cattail plant contains a “fluff” inside when it has turned dark brown. You can use this fluff as insulation for your hats and shoes.

As food 

survival uses cattail

The roots, stems, and flower heads of cattails are edible. The stems of Cattails are young and tender during the early summer. Cut the stem a few inches from the ground and then peel them, you can boil the stems or you can eat them raw. The roots can also be eaten raw or you can boil them. Roast the flower heads before eating them.

Pollen will be collected on the heads during mid to late summer. You can use the pollen for making breads, pancakes, or you can add them in your gravy and sauce to make them thick. Harvest the roots in late fall or early winter to make a starch. Fill a container with water and then mash and soak the roots so that the starch will be released. You will see that the starch will settle at the bottom of the container like wet flour. Drain the water to get the starch. You can use the starch to make bread and soup.

Note that although the flowers and shoots are edible for humans, the cattail may be poisonous to grazing animals.

Material for making shelter

Cut the leaves and weavethem together to make shingle-like squares, use them to make roof for your shelter. You can also make a mat using Cattails; all you have to do is weave them into a mat.

It also has medicinal uses

Cattails can also be used for medicinal purposes. You can use them to treat burns, scrapes, insect bites, and bruises.

Burn Cattails and use the ashes to treat wounds and abrasions. The lower part of the stems of the plant contains a honey-like substance that can be used for treating small wounds and toothaches.

Cattail is more than just a common plant. It can have a number of uses that can get you out of a tight fix in a survival situation.


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