We Had Everything We Needed...or Did We?
The truck carried our home, a cab-over camper, and pulled a 10-foot-long, enclosed wooden box trailer. The trailer contained a lot of camping and survival gear, such as tools, shovels, axes, sledge hammers and wedges for wood-splitting, saws, including a chain saw and several cans of lantern fuel and gasoline.
We had a 55-gallon water barrel along with several 5-gallon water containers. We had tarps, a dozen 5-gallon buckets, fishing gear, a .22 rifle, ropes, screen material, and storage containers full of canned and dried food.
Beans Don't Take the Place of Meat
If we had all that, then what did I need to know about survival? It never dawned on us to ration the food. We certainly didnt expect to spend the better part of four seasons in the woods. In three months we were eating bean soup, cooked in a huge pot over the campfire, for every meal. While I was thankful for the pinto beans, I craved meat and greens.
would have taken up less room and lasted the entire 10 months we were stranded...and it would sure have beat eating beans for days on end.
"I should have lived a Louis L'Amour book." B. Slaughter
Now, I was a city girl, but thankfully I had a husband who had spent a lot of time hiking and camping, and had acquired a wealth of knowledge about wilderness survival. He knew how to live in the woods and often made the statement that he should have been born 150 years ago. He taught me about safe handling of tools, how to skin a squirrel, chop wood and build a fire, find water and live in the woods.
The Best Books Were Those With Pictures
Prior to arriving in the mountains, I had acquired several books on wild edible plants, medicinal plants and outdoor cooking. Those books became my constant companions as day-after-day I tramped through the forest looking for edible plants, roots and berries, as well as mushrooms to throw into the soup pot.
"Perhaps even these things, one day, will be pleasing to remember." - Virgil
While I occasionally experience some nostalgia for the time I spent there, I dont relish the thought of finding myself reliving those wilderness survival stories again. However, Im grateful for what I learned, and I share my wilderness survival stories with the hope that you will learn something that may help you should you ever find yourself 30 miles away from, and 2000 feet in elevation above, civilization.