Modern life is pretty amazing. We have the sum total of all human knowledge available at our fingertips, often in smartphones that we carry around in our pockets everywhere. We have food available on demand at grocery stores. We can buy clothes, medicine, tools, and everything we could possibly need at stores, and anything we can’t find in a store we can find on the internet and have delivered to our doorsteps, even from half a world away.
It’s all pretty awe-inspiring when you think about it, and our grandparents and their parents would doubtless marvel at the lives we live. But along with that convenience has come a great loss in the information we retain in our brains. Ways of life that used to be commonplace, and knowledge about how to extract utility from the world around us, have largely disappeared.
In a survival scenario, most of us today would struggle mightily to survive since we’ve become so used to the modern way of life and the creature comforts we all enjoy. And that’s why many of us, having come to that realization, are trying to do as much as we can to further our knowledge base so that when the time comes for us to be self-reliant, we’ll be able to do so with a minimum of fuss.
One of the things that has been lost in recent years is the knowledge of how to turn the plants around us into food, medicine, or useful supplies. Aside from the obvious wild foodstuffs and trees used for firewood, many of us will look at the plant world in befuddlement.
Take cattails, for instance. Did you know that there are over 50 different possible survival uses for them? Numerous parts of the plant can be used for food, and the leaves and fibers of the plant can be used for cordage, or for making chairs, baskets, and other useful tools.