How our ancestors used moss

A few fun facts on the uses of moss by indigenous peoples, as well as survival uses of moss.

One use that will probably remain forever among field personnel is that of toilet “paper” (Open-Air). Sphagnum is particularly suitable, both for its absorptive properties and its antibiotic properties.

Since it has antibiotic properties, and is absorbent, it can be used to cover a wound and stop bleeding.

Alaskan Native Peoples have used blades of grass, rubbed together until soft, mixed with peat moss and squirrels’ nests to line a cradle as a diaper (Kari 1985).  Michigan’s Chippewa Indians used Sphagnum for this purpose to keep babies clean and warm (Crum 1973).

Moss has been used by indigenous people in daily housekeeping:  to stuff pillows, mattresses and toys for children.

Since moss holds water, you can put a layer of moss on your shelter and it will absorb the water and keep you dry.  It can also act as an insulator of both heat and cold, to be used in a variety of ways. Again, lining your shelter with moss can help provide adequate insulation, or you could line your clothes with moss if you were ever in a dire situation and were in need of insulation.

Moss is also absorbent so it can be used to gather water.  You can wring out the moss to get some water; if you have moss on your shelter, you can use it to absorb any rainfall, which you can then gather and drink.

If you can find dead moss or have the time to pick some and let it dry, it’s extremely flammable and is great for starting a fire. Since it’s lightweight, you may even want to add some of it to your homemade fire starters or just carry some raw.

So, moss is amazing stuff!! Not only is it beautiful, it can be useful as well.

See this article on the survival uses of moss