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Friday, March 8, 2013

Masters of their environment



Often I think back to the Native Americans who used to roam the North Country. They were masters of their environment. Take a small village of natives. They could be dropped naked in the wilderness and before long they'd have food, shelter, and clothing. It's not the tools on a person's back that matters but the knowledge between their ears.

I've always been a fan of canoes. Modern canoes can be made of plastic, yet still trace their inspiration and even their lines back to native boats. It's the perfect boat for the rivers and lakes. A good canoe was transportation, and also critical for fishing and hunting.

A canoe can be carried from one body of water to the next. What if the waterways were very far apart? No problem. They'd abandon their canoe and build another one when they needed it. I've built canoes, but not like them. They constructed their boats using all native materials, with few tools, working outside, and they built them fast. My canoes don't paddle any better than theirs did.

Few modern humans have the old wilderness skills. To be fair, for most moderns it can only be a hobby. For the natives it was their life. Even so, learning a few practical skills can be a life saver. We don't have to be able to recreate a functioning native village. Being able to acquire the basics, food, shelter, and water from the environment is good enough. It doesn't have to be pretty.

We can get a huge boost up the survival ladder with just a few modern tools: good steel knife, an ax, a fire steel, and a waterproof tarp are big technological jumps above native equivalents. Acquire the skills to use them to their full advantage and you've got something.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. I need to do one or two things like collecting firewood or water each day in order to get back to basics. A day without getting back to basics is not a good day...

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    1. It does reconnect to what's real, doesn't it?

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  2. One of the reasons I'm leaving my area is that the frackers have done considerable damage to the area. Secondly is all the new people to the area with their ideas that the own everything. I have to go farther into the woods to hunt and I been pushed into the marginal places. Modern humans would starve around here. But, I've made walkabouts that lasted months. I don't skip any meals either. The Euro-centric ideals of civilization is stupidity. The SHTF some years back and folks are to stupid to get that through theys head. Me I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. There maybe about a dozen folks in this county who know how to live like our ancestors would have. Considerably less than were alive when the europeans showed up.
    I can make it with a tomahawk, Bow and arrow, A piroque. I made a 50 cal sash pistol, lock stock and barrel some years ago. And there is plenty of sulfur, nitre, and charcoal about. I would use my bow for four leggers and the pistol for the two legs trouble makers. The one thing that natives knew to well , is not to stay to long in one place. One of the best examples of their technology is the fish trap. Both a trap and a live well, fashioned to let the little fish go while saving the bigger fish for dinner. If you know how to make one, you'll never go hungry... EVER! 3 sisters and tobacco. If you can grow this, just shoot yerself right now.(never plant all your seeds in one place,) It helps to know about the myths and wives tales too. Don't waste the whole fish to fertilize yer corn. Use the left overs of the fish and don't forget to put some away in a jar or container to ferment into a killer lure for fox, coon, and what have you. Never waste anything. Look at your preps with new eyes. I know I'm preaching to the choir again, Oh well. : )

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    1. I'm lucky that there's no oil or gas in the ground in these parts. As it is, almost all the places I liked to hunt have been logged flat.

      Fish and animal traps are great as they work while you are sleeping or doing something else.

      I know we can't all go back to the old ways, but some of those old skills are life savers.

      The collapse is here now -just not evenly distrubuted.

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  3. When it comes right down to it, the most likely survivors of any big mess will be those who live in Appalachia. Cityfolk are goners for sure.

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    1. I don't have the full skill set for city life now, never mind during a big mess. There are hill folk who wouldn't notice anything different for months.

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  4. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I knew most of the etable wild plants and of course, I loved to hunt, fish, and eat what I bagged or caught.

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    1. Seems to be a way of life that's dying out.

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  5. Making do has always been the true sign of success, as far as I'm concerned!

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    1. I can't fault doing whatever works.

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  6. I think we'e spoiled these days in a lot of ways. So many of the skills of living in the wild are lost on most of us.

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    1. Fortunately, with a little work, some of those skills can be relearned.

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