You can do a lot more with plants than just eating them. Here are a collection of miscellaneous uses for plants.
- Make dyes from various plants to color clothing or to camouflage your skin. Usually, you will have to boil the plants to get the best results. Onionskins produce yellow, walnut hulls produce brown, and pokeberries provide purple dye.
- Make fibers and cordage from plant fibers. Most commonly used are the stems from nettles and milkweeds, yucca plants, and the inner bark of trees like the linden.
- Make fish poison by placing Walnut hulls in a quiet, pool of water. This makes it impossible for the fish to breathe but does not affect the edibility of the fish.
- Make tinder for starting fires from cattail fluff, cedar bark, lighter knot wood from pine trees, or hardened sap from resinous wood trees.
- Use the sap of trees for glue, adhesive, or as a weather sealer.
- Carve wood from trees to make buttons, sewing needles, or other tools.
- Make insulation by fluffing up female cattail heads or milkweed down.
- Make insect repellents by placing sassafras leaves in your shelter or by burning or smudging cattail seed hair fibers.
Whether you use plants for food, medicine, or the construction of shelters or equipment, the key to their safe use is positive identification.