No doubt about it, our ancestors in the 19th century had this survival thing down. They lived off the land, and weathered some really difficult situations through prayer, hard work, and perseverance. If you really want a realistic view of life in an off grid world, look no further than the history books. The good news is we can learn a lot from those who paved the way before us. Here are nine survival hacks we can put to use from Laura Ingalls’ generation.
Cooking from Scratch
Ma Ingalls didn’t go to the store and buy prepackaged food. She cooked it all from scratch. People back then made every single recipe with the basics: sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter. They baked enough bread to last them several days, and didn’t let food go to waste. They ate heartily, but they also worked hard, too.
Growing Your Own Food
A garden was a must have in the 1800’s. There weren’t grocery stores or farmer’s markets to go and pick up fresh veggies and fruits. Pioneers planted fruit trees and bushes and tilled a garden every spring. They canned their leftover produce to last them all winter. Growing your own food takes work and patience, but knowing where your food came from is priceless.
Using Natural Remedies
An important survival hack is knowing how to use natural remedies to treat minor (and major) illnesses. If you get sick following a disaster, you may not be able to get to a drug store and pick up some cold medicine. You’re going to have to treat it on your own. Learn now how to use natural remedies to treat sore throats, upset tummies, and even poison ivy, and you’ll be channeling your inner great great grandmother’s wisdom.
Building a Shelter
Our pioneering ancestors had to know how to build a simple shelter using things like wagon covers, branches, and other items, and it had to be one that would hold up to the elements. This skill will benefit you if you spend a lot of time outdoors hiking and camping, or if you find yourself needing to build an emergency shelter after a disaster.
How to Preserve Eggs
Most of the 1800’s crowd probably had their own chickens, but for those who didn’t, and couldn’t get fresh eggs every day, they had to know how to preserve eggs. They did this by burying them in salt, and not letting any part of the egg be exposed to the air. It preserved the eggs without refrigeration.
Know How to Shoot
In the 1800’s knowing how to shoot was most definitely a survival skill. You shot your food, but you also had to know how to shoot to keep safe. Learn now how to safely and accurately fire a weapon. This is a lifelong skill that can benefit you in so many ways, especially if you find yourself needing to hunt for food or protect your family.
Every boy and man in the 1800’s, and probably most of the women, too, knew how to chop and stack firewood. This beneficial skill will be super helpful if you heat your home with a wood stove, or become dependent on cooking over a fire for a time.
Many families in the 1800’s traveled by wagon train, so they had to know how to prepare meals over a campfire. If you’re in survival mode, this may be your only way to get a hot meal, so learning and practicing how to cook all sorts of food over an open fire will definitely be a help.
If anything, families in the 1800’s didn’t live frivolously. They found uses for everything. Whether it be saving seeds from garden veggies to use to for the next year, or passing down clothes from child to child, they wasted almost nothing. We can implement that life skill, too, by finding multiple uses for products, and finding ways to re-use things that others might consider trash.
As you can see, there are many things we can learn about survival from those who lived in the pioneer days. They certainly have paved the way for many. What 1800’s survival tips have you implemented?