Sometimes all it takes to survive during tough times is to learn how our forefathers were able to leave through archaic times.
An example in this case is that of the mountain men. Amongst all the American west settlers that were tough and resourceful, mountain men were known to be the toughest of them all.
They survived as trappers and explorers and more or less lived in the wilderness. They only come to civilized society to sell pelts they harvested or sit out a hard winter.
Back then, all they needed to survive was a bed for the night and a saloon to buy a few glass of whiskey and maybe somewhere to restock their supply of
Gunpowder and bullets.
The mountain men were known for their survival skills. An example is the story of Hugh Glass that was mauled by grizzly bear and left for dead 1823.
After regaining consciousness he found out that his companions has left him for dead after taking his gears.
With a deep festering wound that exposed the bones in his back, he crawled more than 200 miles back to Fort Kiowa.
This journey took him 6 weeks as he was known to survive on roots and berries and carcass left by predators.
He rested for the winter to allow his wounds heal properly and by spring he was back in the wilderness.
From this story, you can see that mountain men survived by sheer determination an incredible level of willpower.
Having a strong personality is not enough to keep someone alive in the harsh weather of the wilderness. Some strong survival skills had to be honed.
These mountain men for example are known to grow up in a physical tough outdoor environment and Hugh Glass was known to be a sailor and briefly a pirate before taking up life in the mountains.
Mountain men already knew the dangers that came with harsh weather and environment and the learnt how to survive and overcome these situations.
Here are a few lessons you can learn from the lives of mountain men and how they’re able to survive such harsh conditions.
7 Survival Tips You Can Learn From Mountain Men
- They Always Dug For Food
More stories read about mountain men taught us that most of the time they survived on roots and berries. Some of them are poisonous but as long as you know the ones to avoid, you can eat the ones that can help you stay alive.
They understood the plants that are very nutritious and that can be used as herbs.
All you need is something to dig with – even a stick could serve as a tool to gain access to limitless source of food in almost any terrain.
- Dead Animals Are Edible Too
Nature takes its course and lots of animals who died at the hands of wolves, coyotes, bear and big cats.
Deer carcasses litter the landscape and they were sources of food for these mountain men.
For them, you might not get the whole prime steak off what a lion left behind, but there is enough nourishment in there to keep you alive and going.
- Lots Of Other Things You Can Find On The Mountains Can Serve As Food
Apart from carcasses left by lions and wolves, there are lots of other things on the mountain that you were edible for mountain men.
While in our present generation eating insects seems to be a disgusting thing, but the mountain men ate insects.
There are historical stories of people meeting the Indians and eating was they thought were weird tasty cakes but only to find out that these cakes were made from insects and sometimes worms.
An example is the case of Joseph Walker that came across an Indian village and was offered what he thought was crushed dried fish. He later found out that it was made with worms.
- Respect Nature Especially The Snow
Back then mountain men knew the importance of respecting nature most especially the snow.
That said, Mountain men knew that the thickest and richest pelts were harvested in winter.
Because the snow made life difficult for them and they couldn’t move around in it, they designed snowshoes to help them get around faster using less energy. This was important for them especially when long trap lines have to be checked.
During heavy snow, avalanches were constant hazards so mountain men learned to avoid open slopes.
- Sharp Tools Are Important For Survivor
Sharp tools like knives were essential outdoor tools and also served as means of weapon for self-defense.
They depended more on knives as a means of self defense as the gun they had with them were single shot and took a long time to reload.
If they came under attack by an animal or a warrior, if your first shot didn’t do the job, the next option is to drop the rifle and reach out for your knife.
Lock blades and multi tools are great survival accessories, but sometimes nothing can substitute the strong blade that is ready to do the job the moment it comes out of the sheats.
A Ka-Bar USMC knife, designed for fighting as well as utility work.
- They Carry Their Shelters With Them
Mountain men understand that even if they’re heading into the mountains for a few hours, they needed some form of shelter with them. You might be able to build one for yourself using natural materials.
In the mountains, having something that could keep the rain, snow and most of all wind away from you can be a lifesaver.
In the past, mountain men are known to carry diamond shelter, a simple square of time that you can quickly set up to protect yourself against wind.
If they could see Gore-Tex bivi bags of our time, I am sure they would have loved it.
- Hope is never lost
From the story of Hugh Glass, you could see that one of the survivor mindset of mountain men was that they never gave up hope until they draw their last breath.
As long as you could breathe and move, you have to keep moving and fighting to stay alive. Mountain men knew that as long as you could move, you have to keep taking steps ahead even if it means crawling a few steps an hour.
Every inch you moved, brings you closer to the sight of water, food and rescue.
Most times when they came under attack, their attackers are often the ones to retreat, not because mountain men we are always stronger, but because their resistance never slackened.