The only guarantee of being stranded in the wild is that you’ll be surrounded by dirt and rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. So it stands to reason that you should know what to do with them.

Granted, it’ll take some doing, but with the right rocks, you can kill your dinner, light a fire, and even set a nice table for two.

You might be dumb as a rock — if you work it at, maybe you can be as useful as one, too.

Prevent Exposure

When you’re in a survival situation, gusting winds can be a serious problem. Build a stone wall that blocks the wind. It will keep your fire burning strong and protect you from chilling gusts.

If you’re lucky enough to find a large boulder, then no building is necessary. Simply sleep on the leeward side.

Kill Something

A rock makes a pretty good, if rudimentary, weapon. When you think about it, a bullet is more or less just a really, really great rock. Kind of.

Anyway, throw rocks at things! You can kill birds and small rodents this way. If you use a leather or cloth strap as a sling, you can hurl rocks even harder.

If you tie a rock to a stick, now you’ve got a club. Go club stuff!


Trap Something

One of the best ways to kill with a rock is to build a deadfall trap.

A deadfall trap consists of a large rock that’s been propped up over a piece of bait. When an animal triggers the trap, the rock falls and crushes it. Dead simple (literally).

You’ve almost definitely seen an example of a deadfall trap while watching Looney Tunes. If you’ve never seen Looney Tunes, then we’ll assume you grew up under a rock. In that case, we trust that you’re well-versed in deadfall traps, if nothing else.

Start A Fire

A classic fire-starting technique is striking a piece of flint with a piece of steel, creating sparks.

While there are now manufactured materials that are referred to as “flint”, flint is a naturally occurring rock. It’s harder to use than store-bought products, but still effective if you’ve got the survival skills to use it correctly.

If you’re lucky enough to find some flint, making fire is one of the best things you can do with a rock.

So is everything else on this list. That’s why it’s called Here’s Why Rocks Are the Most Versatile Survival Tool.

Craft Practical Survival Tools

If you find a rock that will cleave into layers, you’ve got a great piece of rough material for a tool.

Chip away at your rock by hammering it with a larger, stronger stone. On the right rock, you can chip a blade that’s incredibly sharp.

Secure it to a handle or stick and you can make a knife, a spear, or even an axe.

Boil Water

If you want to drink water without getting a parasite and you don’t have a fireproof container, you’ve got two options. Either quit being so picky and embrace the worms or use some rocks.

By heating rocks and adding them to a full container, you can boil and purify your water or even cook food. This will work in a water bottle, bucket, or even a hollowed out log. Have patience, though – you’re going to need a lot of rocks.

Important safety note: Rocks that contain even trace amounts of water can explode when heated. As we hope you realize, incidents like this are direct obstacles to your survival. Only use completely dry rocks for this, and test them by heating them on a fire that’s very far away from your face and internal organs.

Campfire Cooking

Cook Your Food

When cooking food, you might not immediately think about digging it up from a hot pit of dirt and rock. However, roasting food in a pit produces succulent, moist meat and fish.

To use the pit technique, dig a hole, line it with rocks, and light a fire. When the fire has burned down and the rocks are hot, put your food in and bury everything.

Cooking in a pit is a time-tested technique that’s used all around the world. It is not, however, used all around the sea, for obvious reasons.

As you’ll be heating rocks for this technique, keep in mind that the same safety recommendations for boiling water apply.

Set Your Table

Now that you’ve made a fire, boiled water, and stabbed a boar through the neck, it’s time to get classy.

Rocks are a great material for making bowls. All you have to do is find a constant drip of water, center the rock beneath it, and leave it alone. If you can’t find a constant drip and you’re really sad about that, crying for hours while bent over the bowl will work, too. You’ll just have to be willing to commit to many sessions.

Over time, the water will hollow out a bowl that can be used for eating, water collection, or putting out a bowl of your trademark “survival potpourri” when guests come over. It’s up to you.