Using Leaves in the Wild

Using Leaves: Mullein

Sometimes the solution is right in front of us all along.  Today’s post might save your life–certainly, it might make things easier on a camping, hunting, or hiking trip. If you find yourself on the side of the road with a long walk to the gas station–there is a use for leaves to help you out.  Please welcome James Smith, who wrote this article for Pantry Paratus, based on many of his own experiences.

Using Leaves in the wild
Using Leaves in the wild

Sometimes, life does give you lemons so big you don’t know how to deal with them but you still somehow manage to get out of that situation. If you have learned that the hard way (like me), then you should read this one ’til the end because you either can relate to this or can use all these hacks in your life, if you’re ever face with a similar situation. I was once traveling with a bunch of people when I got lost in the wild– and I also lost my stuff. Thankfully, I was not new to all this, because of my extensive camping, so I kind of knew how to survive with almost nothing until I find my way out.

Well, I had a lot of trees and leaves around me so I had this feeling that I am in good hands (Mother Nature of course) as long as some wild animal doesn’t decide to pay me a visit.

Here’s how I used leaves to make this place feel like home, for a while with what nature provided me in abundance – yes, leaves and a lot of leaves! File this info away in case using leaves might save your life one day.

Using Leaves–Nature’s very own Tin Foil:

You will at least not die of hunger if you know how to hunt. Wait, but even if I know how to feed myself, how and in what do I cook? You may or may not have any containers to cook in, so how about you use some burdock leaves and wrap up your survival food in it to cook them in the same way you do with a tin foil. Make sure you wrap it in enough layers (at least 3) so that the food doesn’t get burned.

Using Leaves: Common Burdock
Using Leaves: Common Burdock

Using Leaves–Leaf Insoles for Sore Feet:

If you’re a hiker then you’ll know this all too well. When you walk and climb a lot you get blisters on your feet and all you want is some comfortable cushion within your shoes that can also heal your blistered feet. Well, if you have a mullein plant nearby, there you have your natural healing insoles. The leaves of a mullein plant are fuzzy and thick, with durability being a distinct quality that you’ll need for your shoe insoles. The leaves have healing properties and will also prevent your feet from smelling bad. These leaves are also an effective napkin or toilet paper substitute.

Using Leaves–Hoarding Distilled water with leaves:

If you don’t have much water you can harvest some distilled water with nothing but leaves. If it’s raining then just arrange some broad and thick leaves in a way that they can harvest upon some rain water. Also, leaves are known to release water, the process commonly known as transpiration. You can store that water by wrapping a clear plastic bag around a branch with plenty of leaves. Make sure the plantation has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Although, this works most efficiently in full sun and requires time for your bag to be filled with enough water but that’s one of your best bet when you’re out of options.


Using Leaves–Making Rope:

We’ve all probably seen things like this on Nat Geo and Discovery, people like Bear Grylls doing things that probably might seem bizarre while in the comfort of your home. Well, the good and bad news is you might have to use these seemingly bizarre tricks. Like making a rope out of leaves which doesn’t sound as bad because that is something what people used to do when there was no such thing as a rope. So if you are in a situation where you don’t have a rope in your survival kit then you can make your own using leaves like: yuccas and cattail. The more fibrous or dead these leaves are, the better. You have to make thin threads by tearing these leaves and coil them together to form a cord; the stronger the leaves, the better.

Using Leaves–Natural Bandages:

We all know how certain plants have therapeutic qualities so while you’re out camping why not just get more connected with nature and use leaves instead of band aids for our camping or hiking wounds. Plantain leaves have anti-bacterial and inflammatory properties that can easily heal minor cuts and stings. Place mashed or chewed plantain leaves on your wound and then wrap a leaf around it.

Chaya adds, “if you need some natural ‘neosporin’, slice open the stem of a dandelion and wipe that juice on the abrasion–amazing stuff!”

Leaves can be used in numerous ways when you’re in a situation where you don’t have sufficient choices. Apart from all of these uses, campers, travelers and hikers have been using this gift of nature for eating, fire tinder or even kitchen ware. The more you explore, the more you’ll learn; after all, you can’t always be carrying everything with you so there should be some alternatives that can come in handy if you’re out of anything.

James Smith is an avid prepper and a homesteader. He loves to write about prepping and natural living. Follow @JamesSmith1609 for more updates.



Mullein by John Tann, cc

Burdock by Homer Edward Price, cc

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