There are some great examples of non-metal hinges, in what we might call a "peasant" category, in the junkpole fencethread. One utilizes a chunk of wood with a depression carved into it, which serves as the bottom hinge point. One concern was that the bowl thus created would collect water, leading eventually to rot and decay.
I went out this morning to start a gate for the fence around our garden, and lo and behold, there sat a brick in the very spot I needed the bottom hinge.
The inside (hinge side) post of the gate was whittled on each end using a chainsaw, resulting in a crude sharpened-pencil point at top and bottom. The bottom point was stuck in the middle hole of the brick, which was anchored with a short piece of rebar that was bent into what amounts to a giant staple. (See last photo.) The top point was inserted into a depression in a small chunk of wood (made with a 1/2" drill bit, wiggled around to expand the hole size), which itself was screwed to the adjacent walnut tree (see second photo) which serves more or less as my hinge post. The gate basically floats between these two hinge points, so that it can be lifted slightly to open; when closed the 'latch' end of the gate simply sits on the ground.
As is evident in the first photo, only the frame of the gate is completed; I'll add the uprights (1x2 lumber) shortly. The entire thing is made of eastern red cedar.
I'd love to see other similar gate hinge ideas that don't require purchased materials, or specialized metal- and/or wood-working equipment.
And the second gate of the day is finished, this one a bit different than the first.
For the hinge, I reused two bent up screw-in hinge pins from a gate-less post in the corral. Those were screwed into the hinge post, and the horizontal rails of the gate were drilled from underneath, with the holes set on top of the pins. Like the first gate, the latch end just rests on the ground. Likely I'll devise some sort of wire latch that just slips over the top of the latch post to keep the gate shut.
Great reuse of resources. We have used an upside down bottle that has thumb hold in it to hold the base of the gate as you use the brick. We dig a hole and place the bottle in upside down. Backfill being careful not to break the bottle. Leave the base about 2"(50mm) above the ground level. The top we use a piece of hoop strap.
Failure is a stepping stone to success. Failing is not quitting - Stopping trying is
Cut pieces of tires make good hinges also. If you use the tread, they are stiff enough to hold gates that aren't extremely heavy. On heavy gates, you have to put the bottom of the gate on something as the OP did. You can use the tire tread for the top hinge.
"People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do."