Multiple Uses for Bear Fat
Bear fat is probably one of the most versatile substances known in north America. The early Europeans used it, the native Americans used it centuries long before the first white ever set foot on this soil.
Don't overlook this addition to your survival kills or the yummy addition of making the best pie crusts or pastries you'll probably ever bake. I'm jumping ahead here.
As any bear hunter will attest to, even an average sized blackie will have a couple inches fat on it if the year hasn't been too dry and their food sources were plentiful.
There are some guidelines I've always used in regard to using bear fat. The main one is, don't take a bear that's been feeding all summer on fish if your main goal is using for cooking and baking. Man, but it may end up stinking like dead fish, and the meat may also, and the fat for sure.
Try to get away from the fish filled bears and try for a berry fed one. I'm not saying all coastal or salmon run fed bears will not have good fat or meat, I'm just saying in my experience, the ones full of berries and other vegetation taste, and certainly, smell better.
So what can you use bear fat for besides cooking?
1. to condition and waterproof and treat leathers
2. oiling down your gun and other mechanical parts in emergencies
3. a skin ointment for minor burns, chapped or dry skin.
4. it has even been used to prevent head lice by working it into the hair because the nits can't stick to it for long term, hardcore, survival situations
5. you can use it to make small dish candles - put it in a tuna can, roll up some cloth strips and make you a little wick, light it and it'll burn just like a little oil lantern will.
6. mixed with good medicinal herbs, it can be applied to treats insect bites, cuts, scrapes and other injuries.
7. makes a good fire starter if it's raining
8. use it to make soap in place of pig lard
9. use it as a barter item
10. use to feed your pets or stock.
So nature provides yet another multi-useful item.
Once bear fat is rendered down, it can be stored in just about anything, doesn't have to be refrigerated, can be frozen and still keeps it's consistency when thawed.
It can also be rendered down lower to produce a good oil with same and similar uses.
It'll pay to remember bear fat as a good addition to your backwoods knowledge chest.
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