History shows that after the Europeans established colonies in what would eventually become the United States, many of the Native Americans were killed as a result of disease and war. Entire tribes were driven from their homes or turned into slaves. What history teachers often fail to mention is that the Native Americans were a truly remarkable. Every single tribe demonstrated a wide assortment of skills that any prepper would do well to learn. Let’s take a look at some of the survival lessons that we can learn from our Native American ancestors.
Long after the Europeans were relying on trade and stores to provide for them, the Native Americans continued to go to the Earth for everything they needed. This gave them a sense of independence and self-reliance Europeans had forgotten long ago. Studying the ways of ancient Native American tribes will provide you fantastic insight into the different uses for skins, woods, and reeds. You’ll learn hot to live completely off the grid, how to find food, create your own clothes, and build a sturdy shelter.
Culturally, there were lots of differences between the Native American tribes, but the one thing they all shared was a healthy respect for nature. They knew that nature would provide them with everything they needed, but it could also take it away. Native Americans spent their entire life striving to strike a perfect balance with nature. This respect and harmony made it possible for them to survive tragic events like floods, droughts, storms, and even earthquakes.
Pass on Skills to the Next Generation
Over the years, as a culture, we’ve developed an almost hands off approach to parenting. We put kids on a school bus and entrust their education to strangers. We hope our kids learn what they need to thrive as an adult, but we rarely invest a lot of time in teaching practical life skills. The Native Americans had a different approach. In most tribes, the parents spent a great deal of time with their kids, teaching them the most basic survival skills from birth.
As a parent with strong knowledge of how to survive when the SHTF, you owe it to your kids to pass the information on. Even if you aren’t an expert survivalist, you can still teach your children some practical skills like how to find water, forage for edible plants, or build a basic shelter. If you’re a newbie prepper, that’s okay. Enlist your kids to come alongside of you and learn together.
Only Take What You Need
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Native American lifestyle was how good they were about only taking what they absolutely needed. They were never wasteful. When archeologists unearth a buried city or camp, they rarely find any sign of a landfill or trash heap. Taking time to study exactly what the Native Americans did with things like internal organs, bits of bark, and herbs, goes a long way towards providing you with the skills you need if you ever have to live off the land.
Don’t Rely on Others
Take a long look at your past week and think about how many of the things you’ve used or eaten that you made by yourself. For most of us, food comes from a supermarket. Clothes come from the mall. Warmth comes from the electric company. Water comes from the faucet. We rely so heavily on modern conveniences that the vast majority of people wouldn’t survive for even a few weeks if SHTF. Borrow a page from the Native American book and vow to spend more time learning how to make things for yourself. Making your own food, soap, and clothing not only provides you with the skills and knowledge needed to survive when the SHTF, but you’ll also enjoy an enormous sense of accomplishment.
One of the reasons that the Native Americans were able to survive as long as they did when the European settlers decided to drive them from their home was because they were masters of being aware of their surroundings. They knew when someone was approaching based on how local wildlife behaved. They knew the best hiding places, when the weather was about to change, and recognized all the warning signs that we would miss. Learning to quickly access your surroundings and have total situational awareness is an important skill for every prepper.
The best time to start mirroring your lifestyle after the ancient Native Americans is right now. If you are really serious about learning to live off the land, plan a trip to one of today’s active reservations. This is an incredible learning opportunity that far too few ever experience.