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Thread: Salt

  1. #1

    Default Salt

    I read(My Side of the Mountain) you could boil hickory twigs to obtain salt for survival preserving or seasoning in the wild. Has anyone ever tried this how do you do it and are there any other ways to obtain salt in the wild?


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That's actually a great question. I can't answer the hickory twigs thing but I do know a bit about salt. It's actually a pretty common mineral in nature. The Midwest was, at one time, a shallow salt water ocean and once it dried up all that salt was left behind. Halite or rock salt is the salt left over from those oceans. As streams and rivers erode the landscape they uncover those salt deposits and you can find them as a surface crust or layer on swamps and wetlands or even dry lake and river bottoms.

    Animals are really good and finding natural salt. Deer will frequent a natural salt lick as will domesticated animals like cows.

    There happened to be a very large natural deposit in southeastern Illinois and a slave house located in Saline County used slaves to mine the salt deposit, which supplied Arkansas, Tennessee, part of Louisiana and Texas.

    Natural salt springs were also found in New York near Syracuse. Part of the reason the Erie Canal was built. They have also been found in the Appalachian Mtns and in Michigan.

    Of course ocean water is another source.

    Did you know the Mississippi River is actually a salt river? It is although it's salt volume is pretty low. About .002 percent. It picks the salt up from the various tributaries as described above.

    In some places in the U.S., salt deposits can range from 1000 to 3000 feet deep.

    So how do you find it in nature? Look for those crusty layers I described above or creek banks where there is evidence animals have been digging in the soil.

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    I think you can get more salt from licking your own armpit that getting it from hickory twigs.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I don't know about you but I physically could never lick my armpit and emotionally wouldn't want to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I don't know about you but I physically could never lick my armpit and emotionally wouldn't want to.

    What are you saying? You would if you could but you cant so you wont?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    No, I won't and I don't and I couldn't and wouldn't. I shudder at the thought and you know you shouldn't.

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    Actually ... I have heard that about Hickory twigs in several places (I also read "My Side of the Mountain", but have heard this elsewhere). If we are going to practice skills that could someday save our fannies, we should EXPERIMENT as safely as possible, but experiment none the less. I have heard that "Shag Bark" Hickory is the variety to look for when extracting salt. Having said that, I also must say I have yet to actually TRY it. As soon as I can, I will try this, and get back to you. NorthWind

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    Senior Member Smok's Avatar
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    Why not burn the Hickory first and then boil the ash seams it would be easier and more productive
    Do it with what you got and you want need what you don't have

  9. #9

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    I can find references to Hickory Smoked Salt online but no instructions on how to produce it. According to the "My Side of the Mountain" book it is produced as a black substance that coats the container used in the boiling as the water evaporates.

    "My Side of the Mountain" I first read this book in 8th grade and just bought it to read to my kids. Its a kids book but I think everyone on this site would enjoy it, so check it out.

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Why do you want to extract salt?

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    Tracker Beo's Avatar
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    To eat and dehydrate in a survivl situation rick... what are you thinking.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Well, silly me. There you go.

    I suppose if you wanted to acquire some for preservation of food stock but acquiring it from twigs and bark sure won't give you enough to do anything with. In a survival situation, you can get all the salt you need from the food you eat if your diet is reasonably balanced. If you're packing food then you probably have way more salt than you need.

    Salt depletion from water ingestion is possible is you drink too much but that's about the only thing I can think of that would require additional salt intake.

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    OK, three things.
    1. Save them little salt packets they've been throwing in with your drive through orders.

    2. Arborius..what's that picture in your avatar

    3. Rick, your first posting here made me think of a really long, boring installment of Jeopardy, could you have formed it all into questions? Well, maybe next time. (this major north american waterway is actually a salt river. What is the Mississippi? I'll take Hollywood Legends for 800 Alex)
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    I just read in Ellsworth Jaeger's book "Wildwood Wisdom" that a plant supposedly grows all over North America called "Colt's Foot" that some native tribes would harvest for the salt content. Interestingly enough, like Smok's suggestion, they rolled the leaves up and let them dry. Then they carefully burned the leaves on clean, flat rocks and used the ash for it's salt. I am doing more research to find out what these plants look like around here, and I'll let you know what I find out. NorthWind

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Any backwoods numpty knows his avatar is a fish trap. What a goober.

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    thanks Twink, nice to be reassured that I'm not a numpty. I don't trap fish
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by trax View Post

    2. Arborius..what's that picture in your avatar

    Its a fish trap to coral fish into a small area difficult to escape to make it easier to spear or net them

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
    Last edited by Arborius; 02-14-2008 at 07:51 PM.

  18. #18
    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    See? Twinkie? HUH? You see that? Nice explanation, nice clear picture, no bitterness, no acrimony, no namecalling (numpty, goober) Now isn't that a nicer way for people to get along? HUH? Isn't it? Shame, shame on you Twinkster.....You guys see what I have to put up with, just for asking an innocent question...? yeesh....goober indeed. Who's the goober now? HUH? You are that's who. Ha!
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

  19. #19
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    Cant we all just get a bong?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Tony uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BraggSurvivor View Post
    Cant we all just get a bong?
    Yes a bong, and being the nice, loveabal member you are Bragg you will send me one to
    A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.

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