How to Use Animal Bones for Survival

animal bones

Learning how to use everything you see around is important, especially if you are stranded in the wilderness or in a hostile environment. Sometimes the things that you consider as scraps and you normally toss in the trash can be useful.

The ancient man is the greatest survivalist – he had learned to use every material he found and fashioned it to something useful. Among the materials the early man used are animal bones. And even if you have very little chance of using bones in an emergency situation in this day and age, you should not rule them out.

Here are the different uses of animal bones for survival.

As Soil Fertilizer

Bones can also be used as fertilizers, because they contain phosphorus. Dry bones are the best to use, if you have fresh bones you can boil and bake them before using them as fertilizers. When you already have dry bones that are free from organic materials, hammer them into small pieces and then grind them into a powder, use a stone or mortar pestle. Make sure to use protective gears when hammering the bones.

Mix the powder with water, stir it well and then let it cool. You can now add the mixture into your garden soil.


People usually treat bones as scraps and as food for their pets. But, a lot people don’t know that bones are also nutritious. The bone marrow is an incredibly nutritious source of fats, proteins, and vitamins. Bones are also a good source of collagen that can help your body heal cuts and bruises. You can grill the bone in foil to trap the grease, or you can boil it in a stew to make a broth.


Bones can also be used as a fuel. According to some studies, ancient people who live above the Arctic Circle often had a little supply of firewood to use for fire. They will add animal bones to supplement their fires. Bones are no good to build a fire, but they can be easily burned once the fire gets going. Researchers also found out that the fire with animal bones will burn at a slightly lower temperature. But the fire will burn brighter and longer.

Finding the right ratio for bone to firewood is important. Some experiments were made with different ratios, to know the ratio that will work best. According to researchers a 50/50 mix of wood and bones would burn brighter and longer. If you are going to mix more bones that wood it will not combust properly. Smaller bones such as ribs and phalanges will burn faster. Larger bones such as femur bones will burn slowly.


Making a bone knife is easy. Look for a discarded animal bone and then grind it into a coarse stone to shape it into a blade. Bones from large animals like deer are often used because of their length. The best bones to shape as blades are the femur and shin bones. These will give you enough space to make a blade and you can still have enough bone to use as a handle. You need to be careful in making a bone knife because they can be as sharp as steel blades.

Sewing Needle

Ancient people did not use needles to sew, instead they used bones. They chip splinters from larger bones and then they file down the sharp edges using a stone and wet sand until the tip was the only part of the splinter that is sharp. After that, they drill a tiny hole at the end using a piece of sharp stone or rock. You can use any materials that you can see to drill a hole.

1 Comment

  1. megan on November 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Jeremy, I would love to talk to you about using this particular post on a TV show i am working on. Please give me an email so we can talk more. Thanks, Megan

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