Avert your gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and look at how folks 150 years ago did it. If you want to be able to control your own destiny and take care of your family in a crisis without a fortune of modern stockpiles, turn your gaze instead to the unique men and women that are miraculously still practicing the survival skills that have been lost to most modern Americans for generations. Recently, this survival knowledge has been collected together in a great reference book called The Lost Ways.
Who are these folks we’re talking about? Who preserved and perfected these ancient skills? The First Nations people across America, as well as the new American pioneers that set out to explore this country, depended on survival knowledge that was passed down from generation to generation for centuries. New techniques and materials informed that knowledge every generation, but the skills themselves were continuously used, and so continuously preserved –until now.
Decades of relative economic stability, luxury and national peace have driven these valuable survival skills into the dark. In the technical progress and economic surplus that swept across the US in the wake of the Second World War, it seemed like many of these skills could be safely behind, and not passed on to the next generation. In just 60 or so years, these valuable skills that were common and necessary knowledge among First Nations cultures, pioneers, settlers and dustbowl-era survivors were forgotten.
But these “lost ways” have been saved just in the nick of time, written down, in authentic detail and as much as possible in the words of those unique elders who are still practicing these skills. Editor Claude Davis didn’t write this book. The people interviewed aren’t professional writers, and they often aren’t professional teachers. They’re just regular folks who were lucky enough – or had enough foresight – to preserve skills they learnt in their youth from older generations who had to know how to do this stuff right in order to live. Some of the techniques discussed in the book are actually taken from accounts dating back as far as 150 years ago, found in a dusty drawer in an old house somewhere. It’s been reprinted with a beautiful old-fashioned design that really honours the old-fashioned wisdom you’ll find within its pages.
What kind of wisdom? Let’s start with pemmican, a long-forgotten secret that helped our ancestors survive famines, wars, economic crises, diseases, droughts, and anything else life threw at them… a secret that will help you do the same for your loved ones when America crumbles into the ground. Pemmican is an incredibly long-lasting ration that provides all the nutrition you need for long hunting trips and explorations. How long-lasting? Well, put it this way: some of this stuff was found fifty years after it was made and stored in the early 1900’s, and fifty years later, it was still edible. This recipe for pemmican was perfected by the western pioneers, based on a method they observed First Nations peoples using. It offers protein, essential minerals, plenty of fat for calories, and vitamin C to keep scurvy at bay. As this DIY video shows, pemmican is so nutritious, you’ll never have to stockpile another food again.
Want to know how to make a self-feeding fire? If you’re ever short on night watchmen or desperate for sleep, or need to keep a low fire running all night long to cure jerky without someone tending it, you’ll really appreciate this method for set-and-forget fire starting. The self-feeding fire is another good example of the survival skills you’ll gain from reading The Lost Ways. Click on the link bellow to find out how the early pioneers – who had a long hard journey ahead – built the Self-Feeding Fire in order to take a much needed refreshing nap (no need to add logs).
This book is full of pioneer lessons that will not just improve your chances of survival in a disaster, they’ll improve your life right now. Pioneer lessons that will ensure your children will be well-fed when others are rummaging through garbage bins.
A word of caution: this book isn’t just tips and dry suggestions. The lessons of wisdom inside it were hard-earned, and the lessons are sometimes presented alongside real-life stories of survival. In places it can be emotionally heavy – in other places it reads like a horror story, with true tales of violence and cannibalism, like the true tales of violence and cannibalism that occurred during a famine that the editor’s great grandfather had to live through. You can read all about it on the introductory page here: just scroll down to below the video and you’ll see Claude’s Three Pioneer Lessons, all available online for free.