Today’s survivalists have a big advantage over Americans who lived during the frontier days.
If survivalists today decide they no longer want to grow their own food, supply their own power, purify their own water, etc., they don’t have to. They can go back to living the way 99 percent of the population currently does.
But the folks who lived during a time when there were no supermarkets or electrical grids or water purification systems… they had no choice. So, they became very proficient at being self-sufficient.
Someday, however, a disaster may occur that will have all of us living off the land with no electrical power, no clean water and no food-filled grocery stores.
If and when that happens, we would do well to know how the people who lived during the frontier times did it.
A best-selling author known as a conservationist and an adventurer has studied the lives of people such as frontier explorer Daniel Boone to see how they survived.
His name is Steven Rinella. He has hunted game across Montana, Michigan and Alaska. And cooked meat on his campfires ranging from bear and mountain lion to red stag and waterfowl. Perhaps you’ve seen him on TV as the host of the MeatEater show.
Here are three of his lessons:
Wild game can be dangerous. That’s pretty obvious, especially if a bear attacks you. But Steven is referring to eating meat that isn’t cooked properly. He should know. He contracted trichinosis from eating undercooked bear meat in Alaska. Worms burrowed out of his vascular system and into his muscles, causing intense muscle pain.
Daniel Boone once killed 155 black bears in one fall. “That was a lot of meat potentially contaminated, and people did not have the knowledge of what might have been in that meat,” Steven said. He recommends making sure to cook meat at 160 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer in the wild, make sure there is not a hint of pink in the meat.
Marksmanship is paramount. Back when Daniel Boone was hunting, it was very important to accomplish a kill with a single shot. Otherwise, the hunter’s location would become obvious to Native Americans protecting their hunting grounds fiercely. “For hunters like Boone, marksmanship meant getting the job done in a single shot, for reasons of survival,” Steven said.
For today’s hunters, you don’t want an animal to suffer, so making the kill on the first shot is important. Steven said he was once charged by a moose in Canada after a “bad hit.”
Always pay attention to the direction water is flowing. Daniel Boone’s descriptions of his travels usually were filled with references to creeks and drainages. And the maps of that time emphasized waterways over land features. The way water was flowing helped people figure out where they were and where they wanted to go.
Today, people in the wild can use water and its movement to keep themselves from getting lost. “Small things are going to flow into bigger things,” Steven said. “Typically, settlements, habitations, roads and major trails are in river valleys and on bodies of water. If you are lost, your best bet is to find water and follow it downstream.”