11 Frontier Survival Hacks Worthy of Daniel Boone

Rich M.
By Rich M. October 15, 2019 10:02

11 Frontier Survival Hacks Worthy of Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone is an American Icon. An important part of our nation’s history, Boone is almost a legend, especially well known for his earlier years as a professional hunter, trapper and frontiersman. Yet that’s not all he did. Daniel Boone fought in the French and Indian War, on the side of the British (before the Revolution) and was a member of the Virginia General Assembly during the Revolutionary War.

Along with a handful of others, like Davie Crocket, Grizzly Adams and Jim Bridger, Boone was a part of opening up western lands and extending the reach of the United States from sea to shining sea. These were men’s men, who others looked up to and sought to emulate as the epitome of masculinity. They were also the greatest authorities on the wilderness and on survival our country has ever known. Armed with little in the way of survival gear, they lived off the land and prospered, with many of them becoming rich off their efforts.

Boone moved a number of times, always seeking to live on the frontier. Born in Pennsylvania, he led the first expedition to cross the Cumberland Gap, establishing Boonesborough, Kentucky. From there, he moved to what is now West Virginia and finished out his life in Missouri. Through these efforts, he was an active part in helping our nation to become as great as it is today.

For a man like Boone, survival wasn’t something you practiced for “someday,” it was something you did every day of your life. Between hunting bears and being hunted by the Indians, he couldn’t afford to come up second; not even once. His survival skills were obviously keenly honed or he wouldn’t have made it.

That’s not to say that Boone and his contemporaries couldn’t have made use of some of the survival tools, hacks and ideas we have today. While they were the best there ever was, there’s always room for improvement; and I’m pretty sure that Daniel would have welcomed these improvements.

Knowledge Trumps Gear Every Time

We’re too dependent on our survival gear today, expecting it to keep us alive. Yet Daniel Boone and his contemporaries went into the woods with much less than we would consider an “absolute minimum.” They didn’t’ depend on their survival gear; they depended on their wits and their knowledge to see them through.

When push comes to shove, it’s your knowledge, not the latest survival gadget, which will keep you alive. Many of the more esoteric survival techniques, such as starting fire with friction, aren’t intended for use as your primary fire starter, but rather for those times when you don’t have a fire starter to use. These emergency methods might be all that we have to rely on, when we have to rely on our wits and what nature has to offer.

Related: 25 Skills You Can Trade After SHTF

Follow the Wilderness Highway – Water

People get lost in the wilderness all the time; but Daniel Boone never did. That’s amazing, when you think about it. He didn’t have GPS, detailed maps or even a compass, but he never lost his way. That’s because he always followed the wilderness highway, just as many others traveling west did.

We can see this in Boone’s own diary, where he talks about how he traveled. Rarely did he talk about traveling through particular mountain passes or following a particular trail. Rather, he talked about following rivers and streams. Throughout history, rivers and streams around the world have been used as a means of giving directions. Traveling alongside them provides clear directions and a constant supply of water.

If you’re lost and you can find water, you can find civilization. All you have to do is follow that water downhill until you find people. It may take a while, especially in some parts of the country, but you will always find cities and towns alongside any watercourse.

Know the Game You Hunt

Hunting today has become about baiting the game with seed corn and waiting in a blind to shoot them. I seriously doubt that Boone would consider that hunting. He didn’t have seed corn to use and I doubt he ever built any sort of blind.

Instead, Boone understood the game he was hunting. He would know how they lived and their habits. Based upon that knowledge, he would know where to look for the game. All he had to do was stake out the animals’ food sources and they would eventually come right to him.

Always Cook Meat Well

They didn’t understand the causes of disease in Boone’s day. Louis Pasteur hadn’t done his breakthrough work on bacteria, nor had he developed the concept of pasteurization. People cooked and ate meat, along with whatever parasites that meat might carry. Sometimes they got sick and sometimes they even died.

The incidents of parasites in domestic meat has been greatly reduced through the years, preventing much of the disease associated with poorly cooked meat. But you can’t count on that with wild game meat that you hunt or trap yourself. Rather, you need to assume that the meat is contaminated and cook it well. Forget about medium-rare, we’re looking for well done here. The core of that meat needs to be over 160°F to be safe to eat. To make sure of that, cook it until the center is brown.

Related: The Ultimate Wild Game Meat Processing Charts for Preppers

The WAPI

11 Frontier Survival Hacks Worthy of Daniel BooneHere’s something that Daniel could have used, although he didn’t have it. The Water Purification Indicator (WAPI). This simple device was developed for use in third-world countries. It consists of a wax bead, encased in a plastic capsule. The wax melts at 160°F.

When suspended in a pot of water, this device can be used to purify the water, pasteurizing it, rather than boiling it. Once the wax bead melts, the water has reached a hot enough temperature to have killed off all the microscopic pathogens in the water, making it safe to drink. Since the water was heated to a lower temperature than boiling, it used less energy and will cool faster for drinking.

The Fire Pot

Starting a fire repeatedly can be a problem, especially in inclement weather and even more so if you don’t have a good fire starting method available to you. Back in Daniel’s day, they started a fire with a flint and steel, which is even harder to use that a Ferro Rod.

Rather than always restarting fires, many people carried coals from their last fire with them, keeping them in a fire pot, a clay pot just for the purpose. This pot often had a woven or heavy cloth cover, allowing it to be handled safely and hung off of a pack animal or wagon.

As an alternate, if a fire pot isn’t available, a cone can be made out of bark, with the rough side out. Wet the outside of the bark, to help keep it cool, so it doesn’t ignite. Then put coals in the fire cone to carry them. While this will only work over short distances, it does provide a means of moving a fire, if your campsite is being reorganized or moved a short distance.

Learn to Read the Animals Actions

Animals will often give us warnings about a variety of different dangers, such as earthquakes, approaching enemies or forest fires. Knowing the animals’ normal actions allows you to see when they are acting different.

Many an attack was thwarted in Boone’s day by nothing more obvious than the animals getting quiet. Sensing the danger, the animals would stop their normal chatter, thinking that they might be in danger. For those who were aware, that quiet was as good as an alarm going off.

Quality Guns Need Quality Marksmen

Boone lived in a time when the best gun of the day was the Kentucky Long Rifle. Compared to the Muskets so common in the Revolutionary war (and earlier), this was an engineering marvel, much more accurate at longer distances than anything else available. But compared to today’s firearms, the Kentucky wasn’t all that great. It didn’t have the power or range of our modern hunting rifles.

Nevertheless, Daniel Boone and other professional hunters typically made one-shot kills of the game they were hunting. That was a requirement for them, so that the Indians that wanted to hunt them down and get rid of them couldn’t find them. One shot is hard to pinpoint, but two will tell them where you are.

If we spent more time working on our marksmanship and less time on tricking out our guns, we could probably all become marksmen of the caliber of Boone. Yet most of us won’t spend that much on ammo and range fees, even while we are spending a fortune doing cosmetic work to our guns.

Keep Your Powder Dry

Keeping your powder dry was an absolute essential in Boone’s day, before the sealed brass cartridge existed. Damp powder, either in the chamber or the pan would either result in a low-energy shot or prevent the rifle from firing at all. They didn’t have shellacked-over primers, like military ammo does, because they didn’t have primers.

Thankfully, our modern ammo doesn’t have this issue. Nevertheless, we should still take care to keep it and our firearms dry, so as to prevent problems. Rifles can rust and moisture can leak into modern cartridges. Thinking otherwise is asking for trouble.

Related: How To Make Gun Powder The Old Fashioned Way in Less Than 30 Minutes

Wear Clothing that Sheds Water

The classic fringe on buckskin shirts and pants wasn’t there for decoration. Rather, it was put on the clothing to help it shed water. Considering the risk of hypothermia when out in the wilderness, that’s as big an issue today, as it was for Boone.

This doesn’t mean that you need to add buckskin fringe to all your hunting shirts. But you should always select and buy your clothing with the need to keep dry in mind. Whether we’re talking about your own perspiration or a sudden rainfall, you want to dry off as soon as possible, before your body’s core temperature can start dropping.

When in the Wilderness, Shed Your “Civilization”

Frontiersmen and especially mountain men were known for being a bit “uncivilized,” even though many of them were well-educated men who were no stranger to the finer things in life. But what we call civilization is nothing more than the actions accepted by a particular group of people. When we are no longer with that group of people, that set of actions no longer applies.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time overseas, especially in Mexico. Through that, I’ve found that the old rule of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” makes a lot of sense. While I there are lines I won’t cross; there are many things I do, which I don’t do when at home.

The wilderness has its own set of rules and those aren’t the rules of polite society. So, when in Rome… For Boone, part of that included fighting with the Indians, who saw him as encroaching on their hunting lands. He couldn’t negotiate with them or enter into a business partnership, he had to outfight them by their rules, otherwise he wouldn’t have survived.

Related: Survival Tips From Mountain Men

Be Aware – Expect the Unexpected

Nature doesn’t operate by a script, and if it did, it wouldn’t be a script of our choosing. You can encounter a constant string of unexpected occurrences while out in the wild. Many of those can hurt or even kill you, if you’re not ready.

Being in the wilderness requires constant vigilance. There are dangers all around, as well as simpler things which could make it difficult to survive. Your only protection, in many cases, is to see these things before they can cause problems.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. October 15, 2019 10:02
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39 Comments

  1. Pete in Wisconsin October 15, 14:13

    Enjoyed this artivle.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Prepper Me October 15, 14:58

    Good information, many people don’t think outside the box, and consequently are severely injured or sercum to medical problems that leave them in harm’s way.

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    • left coast chuck October 16, 02:57

      Why a thumbs down on this post? Did someone make a mistake and hit the wrong thumb? Or does someone really think that a lack of appropriate cognition is not a detriment in a survival situation?

      Reply to this comment
  3. Curt October 15, 22:30

    When I clicked on this, I was expecting to see an article about Urbanites moving to Paradise and ruining life for the locals. Where is it? I can’t find it. I enjoying reading your articles that are of interest to me and want to read what you have to say about this because I agree with you and want to know if we have the same reasons. Thanks

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  4. red October 16, 02:31

    Another cool article, thank you.

    As I recall from a misspent youth (but having fun) Dad used to make powderhorns from ow horns, and from the bull the base was wide enough to hollow out and use as a firehorn. A heavy layer of clay sealed it inside and it was capped with brass it. Punkwood slightly dampened would smolder for hours. it’s like making charcoal, little oxygen is allowed in, just enough to keep the fire from suffocating. Hike or ride horses to a new camp, and you had fire to make lunch or supper, then bank the night coals in a layer of ashes.

    I write, as well as edit. Every time something comes out, I’ll get a reader who asks why did I mention birds taking flight or the dog stared in a certain direction. Like, when I was very young, we had to watch out for pedophiles and bullies. You watch for signs of someone sneaking thru the brush. If you’re walking with a bunch of refugees and they disappear, you better, too. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike October 17, 01:07

      Yeah, the woods and parks in the 50’s and 60’s were popular with pedophiles. We all knew the score and were tough little Daniel Boones so they never seemed a threat, in fact as we got into Junior High and were a little bigger and tougher some of my buddies figured out they could lure pedophiles into the woods and beat and rob them. I don’t know if that was politically correct but there were more than a few family men and Priests making up stories about how they got their faces smashed in.
      Given the popularity of Angus cattle now I bet there ain’t a lot of cow horns being carved. My Uncle called his coon hounds with a cow horn Shofar it was the coolest thing ever. It’s hard to hollow one out, I remember my Dad slicing his hand about 10-15 stitches worth while working on one. This was one of my earliest exposures to blood and incredible curses flowing…

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 17, 03:55

        A son of mine raises Creollo cattle in Mexico. those are genetically T. Longhorns, but pure Spanish Retinta. People were buying all his calves to ship north, to the US for breeding. They loved how tame the cattle are. But, not one bothered to look deeper. The cattle are tame because they’re milked 6 months a year. They get treated like pets, and little kids can handle them on foot. Give it a generation away from people and they’ll be as crazy as were Longhorns. Angus are popular for bulls, but some of the bigger ranches are using Longhorns cows as brood stock. Polled cattle tend to run away from predators. Bossy Longhorn likes horn warmers. I like Pineywoods cattle, too. They tame easily but don’t take guff even from razorbacks.

        I lived 60 miles from NYC, 100 from Philly. Today, they can’t get judges to prosecute pedos. Vermont let some creep off 3 times, before he finally tortured a kid to death. Like Rome, we’re sinking into a morass. niio

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 03:15

          Red,

          Give it a generation away from people and they’ll be as crazy as were Longhorns. Angus are popular for bulls, but some of the bigger ranches are using Longhorns cows as brood stock.

          We have a few small farms with both longhorn cattle and Bison.
          The local Anheuser Busch brewery has a large area with long horn, Bison, and antelope. Driving along the interstate, it’s amazing to see those animals roaming free; but, behind a tall fence.

          Reply to this comment
          • red October 23, 01:49

            Definitely awesome. Bennet and Sieg’s buffs? Wood buffalo. The last time I was there they had a nice herd guarding the junkyard. We got one of our German Shepard pups from them. A year later, I was training pups for the police. Most went to help the blind. Both breeds of cattle are canny. they’ll look for a way out if only to see new places. A cousin with buffs in PA gave up trying to keep them home and fenced off a hundred acres. They stay close. When working in Colorado, a neighbor of the boss put in an antelope fence on a pasture, over a thousand acres. They don’t like to jump, but crawl under a fence. A year later, he went out to check calves in the pasture and found a small hole, maybe from a bear, coming into the pasture to eat from the grain feeders, and about 50 antelope were gone. Smart animals and smart looking. If you want mean, Brahma and crossbreds are the place to go. Unless trained, they’ll kill you as soon as look at you. there was a Santa Gertudis heifer down near Sidney that knocked a school bus off the road. I lost a good horse to a black crossbred down in Chihuahua and she nearly got me, too. Better her than the cops down there. Brahma are more humane towards us wetback workers 🙂 Ohio means the beautiful country, and she is. niio

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            • The Ohio Prepper October 23, 05:29

              red

              Definitely awesome. Bennet and Sieg’s buffs?

              So you know the place?
              I lived in Kenton from 1973-1982 only 8 miles from them and have lived here since then where they are about 20 miles to my northeast.

              Wood buffalo. The last time I was there they had a nice herd guarding the junkyard.

              Haven’t been past there in a few years; but, I suspect they are still there on patrol.

              Ohio means the beautiful country, and she is. Niio

              I was told it was Iroquois meaning “Good river.”; but, in any case, I found a wife and a home here.

              I’ve also been to OhioPyle in Pennsylvania along the Youghiogheny River
              As I understand it the name OhioPyle is derived from the Lenape phrase ahi opihəle which means ‘it turns very white’, no doubt referring to the falls there on the Youghiogheny. I did some white water radting on the Youghiogheny back in the 1970’s.
              So it appeared to me that ”Ohio” had something to do with water.

              Reply to this comment
              • red October 24, 02:56

                Pappy, my stepfather was cousin to one of them. His family was from W. Mansfield. B&S were always the go-to place for parts, and Pappy loved to tear apart old cars and tractors and rebuild them. Cars were donated to the church. It’s a nice area there, but flat. I could never get used to not having mountains around me, and trees. Here, I have both.

                The dogs they had were top line German Shepherds, but they lost some to poisoning, and people were robbing them. They got the buffs because buffs always watch, always are willing to investigate. Very intelligent for cattle. When some teenagers heard the ‘yard stopped using dogs to guard, they laughed at the idea of cows being dangerous. They went over the fence and in, and would up confronting a cow. She didn’t like their company and helped on over the fence and treed another on a junker. Their families sued the ‘yard for endangerment and dangerous animals. The judge threw the book at the teens and their parents, giving them the highest costs he could for malignant trespass, theft, and harassment of livestock. I’m pretty sure there were no more incidents, at least ones the owners found out about.

                Years ago, when the Kress junkyard hosted a get-together of junkyard owners from around the world (they have their own organization, cool, though, that they do this) and tour, one of the boys came in and I got to visit for a while.

                Yes and no. All rivers are called beautiful because they’re moving water. Ohio come from Orenda-beautiful/holy. Hi-(hee) land. Yo-Listen to (beauty). Niio, haw’ wa’. Heyo hey waya ordenda ming? Walk in beauty listen to Wolf. Listen to Wolf’s beautiful house. It’s my language. The same source also claims Wyoming, a valley in Penna, means beautiful mountains or some such. Wolf’s Sacred/beautiful Longhouse. If Ohio meant beautiful river, calling the Ohio River a beautiful river river would be an oxymoron. So, no. Beautiful Country. White is Kenkaeet. River is Ekoni.

                The Yuo geh nii River? And the Yough piley pahaa? Shawnee, not Iroquois. Washingtonn was the first to boat down the river, and few people in his time were literate. They spelled by ear.

                I lived and ran in Iroquois Susquehannock country, Penn State east to the Pokes, and south into Lenape country, Philly area, the flat lands, and parts of Jersey. Then, Ohio, where a lot of ancestors were run to from Susquehannock country by the dems. From the time I was a preteen, we took inner tubes down the Lehigh River, and that’s where whitewater rafting got its start. A friend in Tucson, a cousin from PA, owns Canyons Unlimited. niio

                Reply to this comment
                • The Ohio Prepper October 24, 04:31

                  Red,

                  Pappy, my stepfather was cousin to one of them. His family was from W. Mansfield.

                  West Mansfield is 8 miles due west of my location, which out here we consider just part of the larger neighborhood.

                  B&S were always the go-to place for parts, and Pappy loved to tear apart old cars and tractors and rebuild them.

                  They still are along with Brim’s imports & salvage in Kenton. Between the two places, you can find nearly anything.

                  It’s a nice area there, but flat. I could never get used to not having mountains around me, and trees. Here, I have both.

                  I thought the same thing; growing up in the mountains of western PA; but, the jobs were here, and also my wife, who grew up on a farm just 1 mile from here.
                  We can head to southern Ohio where you start to get some of the hilly terrain when you need a fix. LOL

                  The dogs they had were top line German Shepherds, but they lost some to poisoning, and people were robbing them. They got the buffs because buffs always watch, always are willing to investigate. Very intelligent for cattle. When some teenagers heard the ‘yard stopped using dogs to guard, they laughed at the idea of cows being dangerous. They went over the fence and in, and would up confronting a cow. She didn’t like their company and helped on over the fence and treed another on a junker. Their families sued the ‘yard for endangerment and dangerous animals. The judge threw the book at the teens and their parents, giving them the highest costs he could for malignant trespass, theft, and harassment of livestock. I’m pretty sure there were no more incidents, at least ones the owners found out about.

                  When were you here, since I know about that incident and have only been in the area for the past 46 years.

                  Years ago, when the Kress junkyard hosted a get-together of junkyard owners from around the world (they have their own organization, cool, though, that they do this) and tour, one of the boys came in and I got to visit for a while.

                  That would be Crestline and they still have a yard there; but, now all of the yards have an interconnected intercom so when one doesn’t have a part, they can quickly track one down if it exists. Even junk dealers have gone high tech, with some even keeping inventory and location on a computer.

                  It’s my language. The same source also claims Wyoming, a valley in Penna, means beautiful mountains or some such. Wolf’s Sacred/beautiful Longhouse. If Ohio meant beautiful river, calling the Ohio River a beautiful river river would be an oxymoron. So, no. Beautiful Country. White is Kenkaeet. River is Ekoni.

                  I like the sounds of native tongues that seem to just roll off the tongue. Is there now a written language that may be learned by others?
                  I know that Navajo was originally not a written language and was so used by the code talkers to befuddle and confound the Japanese.

                  The Yuo geh nii River? And the Yough piley pahaa? Shawnee, not Iroquois. Washingtonn was the first to boat down the river, and few people in his time were literate. They spelled by ear.

                  Good to know.

                  I lived and ran in Iroquois Susquehannock country, Penn State east to the Pokes, and south into Lenape country, Philly area, the flat lands, and parts of Jersey. Then, Ohio, where a lot of ancestors were run to from Susquehannock country by the dems. From the time I was a preteen, we took inner tubes down the Lehigh River, and that’s where whitewater rafting got its start. A friend in Tucson, a cousin from PA, owns Canyons Unlimited. niio

                  I’ve never been rafting east if the Mississippi; but, have been down the Youghiogheny, the Gauley, the Cheat, and numerous times down the New. I was much younger and stronger in those days now gone. niio

                  Reply to this comment
                  • red October 24, 14:47

                    Bah, you’ll turn 17 on your next birthday. A very wise old woman once observed, inside every 90-year-old man is a 17-yer-old yahoo waitin’ to bust loose. Stay young in the heart. It’s better to die of laughter than old age.

                    Kress has three yard, one down towards Philly. That one they were planning to sell and may have. Taxes are too high and the regs too hard for businesses.

                    I get to Ohio once or twice a year to visit family but never stay more than a few days. I lived there ten years, working down near Anna and then Sidney, and never got used to the flat land, the farmers on welfare (my government wheat! My government oats!). Or the hordes of mosquitoes (AKA Ohio state bird 🙂 No, the hills of Ohio are mostly clay, not good rock. One good thing came out of it, I started to write and got into editing in a big way. That brought me home to Arizona. Another was learning from farmers (natural farning) like Logsdon (Upper Sandusky area) and Bromfield how to work with clay/limestone soil as opposed to Penna’s sand. It correlates perfectly with my grandparents’ knowledge, and now with what Tohono family and others teach to those willing to listen and fertilize their crops with sweat.

                    According to Wiki, Navajo was first written in the 30s. My ancestors began using the Brit’s alphabet after being introed to it by Penn’s minsters and Messianic Jews that settled among us.

                    Keep teaching. What they taught us centuries ago is still viable today: knowledge isn’t just illuminating, but liberating. niio

                    Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 03:08

        IvyMike,

        Yeah, the woods and parks in the 50’s and 60’s were popular with pedophiles. We all knew the score and were tough little Daniel Boones so they never seemed a threat

        As kids we were told that; but, in our case it was the hobos riding the rails. My only encounter was very memorable.
        There were old unused railroad concrete buildings with empty cutouts for the doors and windows, and most of the roof gone. We kids would play in and around them; but, one day as I turned the corner into one, I saw an old man (I was 12 or so but he looked really old to me. He was sitting in the corner, wrapped in some old nasty winter coats, and I stopped in my tracks. Before I could say a think or move, he wimpered and tried unsuccessfully to hide in those coats. I had never seen a homeless man before that, and had never seen such fear in another human. I don’t know what happened to him; but, I told him not to be afraid and left. As an old retiree, I still cannot fathom homeless people or how they got into that situation.

        It’s hard to hollow one out, I remember my Dad slicing his hand about 10-15 stitches worth while working on one. This was one of my earliest exposures to blood and incredible curses flowing

        I’ve only done a few; but, I cheated with a drill press and a Dremel tool.

        Reply to this comment
        • red October 23, 02:34

          Horns? Boil them first, work while still wet. They cut a lot easier, and once past a layer of bone, they’re honeycombed, but it’s almost as hard as the outer plate. As I understand it, that makes them hard to break when the animals are playing or fighting. But, it has to be hot-wet to be soft enough to cut out with a handheld carving tool. It works best if you can get thru the bone, first. When making fancy ‘mountaineer’ knives for rendezvous, I cut the antler to size, first, drilled thru the bone plate in the antler (thank God for a good drill press!), and then boiled. The knife tang can be hammered in place fast. Once in, you’d have to break the antler to get it out. Yard sales were always a good place to find old files for the blade. Good charcoal and half an hour later, it was done and tempered, all but the tip, which had to be done last. niio

          Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 02:53

      Red,

      As I recall from a misspent youth (but having fun) Dad used to make powderhorns from ow horns, and from the bull the base was wide enough to hollow out and use as a firehorn. A heavy layer of clay sealed it inside and it was capped with brass it.

      It seems we had similar childhoods; but, in my case it was not dad; but, my uncle Blair. I learned a lot of cringe worthy things from that man.. Only cringe worthy from a parent’s perspective; but, lots of fun for a kid. It’s amazing the kind of confidence a kid can gain when given the chance to learn those primitive survival skills. Alone in the woods in the dark, is just a challenge, and not a fearful event.

      Punkwood slightly dampened would smolder for hours. it’s like making charcoal, little oxygen is allowed in, just enough to keep the fire from suffocating.

      Yep. That and a container with flint, steel, and charcloth, and you can get a fire going, or carrying it with you, since the charcloth is the only consumable item in short supply. Of course with a Altoids tin, and a piece of cloth, you can always make more. I now also carry a fire piston and a few variations of a Ferro rod; plus, a butane lighter,; but, you already know that. LOL

      Hike or ride horses to a new camp, and you had fire to make lunch or supper, then bank the night coals in a layer of ashes.

      We also heat our house some of the time with fire wood and those skills are transferable to more modern living, so they are never wasted, and allow the fire to be cooled down and kept at the ready when in between really cold days.

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 23, 02:19

        Dad is there to teach how a man should be, but uncles are more fun. It was traditional that when they reached the rebellion stage, sons went to live with uncles. Same attitude as Dad, but more relaxed and usually a friend. This gave a man two families and doubled his knowledge, not just one.

        You grew up surviving Pennsylvania and so did I. Mountain country used to be free and easy but there was always a Copperhead Road around, somewhere. We just had more than you did, living near Demons Road and the Demon Lands (Pocono Mtns., Fairview asylum, Crystal Lake, and an occasional Jason type). Everyone is family, every old woman ready to rat you out for those innocent misdeeds of youth. Our deer were mostly mountain deer, always hungry. Give them a field of corn and they wrecked what they didn’t eat, then had twins and triplets the next year. By mid-September, all the farms would collect salt blocks form the pastures and store them so no one could accuse us of baiting Bambi 🙂 Stupid, deer only crave salt in the heat, not the cold.

        Flint and steel, yes, but char cloth? When you run out, pine needles, shredded bark, ad so on. not an easy way to get a fire, but it beats a fire drill, but those are handy if you aren’t prepped. A skinny short branch and piece of string, you have a bow. A stick and piece of wood for the top, one on the bottom should be dry rotted, if possible. About the time your arm wants to fall off, sawing, you have a fire. It helps if the dog or one of the kids accidentally sneeze on it. Makes the fire burn hotter 🙂 Too many will get stuck without a lot of equipment, but yes, a fire-starter should always be in every vehicle. Here you can go 20 and 100 miles yet and never see a village. And, if a lighter, always a Bic. They’re not expensive, and, in SHFT, common enough if lost, no one would question finding it.

        No, old skills are never wasted. The nephews all stayed summers with us and learned like I did from uncles, and the cousins from Dad about survival. Like, how track, to set snares and traps, to sprout the maize for brewing… niio

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper October 23, 15:14

          Red,

          Dad is there to teach how a man should be, but uncles are more fun. It was traditional that when they reached the rebellion stage, sons went to live with uncles. Same attitude as Dad, but more relaxed and usually a friend. This gave a man two families and doubled his knowledge, not just one.

          I had not thought about it from this perspective; but, I see the point and think it has merit. I was lucky enough to have two loving parents and a host of other relatives in my early life. My mother was the youngest of her siblings, so I even had cousins old enough that I considered them uncles, with their kids, my cousins, my age. One of those older “Uncle / Cousins” introduced me to beekeeping at an early age.
          My father was in some ways my hero; and while he supported me in all endeavors, he was not quite the outdoorsman as some of my uncles. He could do nearly anything and took an electronic correspondence course after WW II on the G.I. bill. Around age 8 or 9 I discovered the course material, and with his tutelage, took that course, happily tearing apart old TV chassis’s for the components, I used to construct other things.
          He could do rough & finish carpentry, plumbing and electrical, and our house had a few years of nearly constant remodeling. Three years out of college I purchased my first house, and applied those skills on that inexpensive fixer upper, eventually turning a nice profit that paid off our current homestead.
          While I was not all that rebellious, I enjoyed time on the farm with my uncle and learned many things from him. He taught me about spontaneous combustion using a compost pile, showed me how to dispatch a few old laying hens who were no longer laying and how to harvest the string of tiny yolks in her, to make egg noodles, serve with that very same chicken for dinner. He worked with explosives in the mines, and showed me how when you break off a piece of dynamite and light it, it only burns, since it takes a blasting cap or other impact for detonation. As we watched the burning piece he did state that you would not want to hit it with a hammer at that point. Yep, I learn from both dad and uncles; but, the lessons were much different.

          You grew up surviving Pennsylvania and so did I. Mountain country used to be free and easy but there was always a Copperhead Road around, somewhere. We just had more than you did, living near Demons Road and the Demon Lands (Pocono Mtns., Fairview asylum, Crystal Lake, and an occasional Jason type).

          You were in the northeast and we did have both copperheads and timber rattlers; but, make enough noise and they avoid you. I only saw those snakes a few times, and they were always heading away from you.

          Everyone is family, every old woman ready to rat you out for those innocent misdeeds of youth.

          Yep and with no walkie talkies or cell phones, they somehow still communicated to your folks before you got home to explain.
          We used to talk about the 3 forms of communications: Telephone, Telegraph, and Tel An Old Woman.

          Our deer were mostly mountain deer, always hungry.

          Acorn fed makes for tiny deer. I didn’t realize that until I encountered the corn fed variety we have here in Ohio. Larger and better tasting; but, people still go to PA to hunt, I think because they can use rifles that may not be used here.

          Flint and steel, yes, but char cloth?

          Yep, and that char cloth also works well in a fire piston or event with a a Ferro rod or drill.

          When you run out, pine needles, shredded bark, ad so on. not an easy way to get a fire, but it beats a fire drill, but those are handy if you aren’t prepped. A skinny short branch and piece of string, you have a bow. A stick and piece of wood for the top, one on the bottom should be dry rotted, if possible. About the time your arm wants to fall off, sawing, you have a fire.

          A bow? That’s the easy way. LOL
          I did once make a friction fire with a hand drill, just to prove I could do it, and the bow makes it much easier. Perhaps that’s the reason I carry several kinds of flame making items in my kit at all times.

          And, if a lighter, always a Bic. They’re not expensive, and, in SHFT, common enough if lost, no one would question finding it.

          I have BIC’s and BIC minis attached to my paracord spool tools, along with 50-100 feet of various cordage, plis at least one Swiss fire steel ot other Ferro rods, a Habilis bush tool and my Off grid tools survival axe plus a few Mylar space blankets. As a kid, I could go into the woods with just a knife and Axe and build shelter & fire and as an older adult I could</strong do the same in a pinch; but, try to carry enough kit to not have to do so. I have more money, more common sense, and I’m less agile and more vulnerable than that teenager or 20 something thought he was.

          No, old skills are never wasted. The nephews all stayed summers with us and learned like I did from uncles, and the cousins from Dad about survival. Like, how track, to set snares and traps, to sprout the maize for brewing… niio

          I pay insurance premiums on my vehicles, and house; but, never want to collect on the insurance for an accident, fire, tornado, etc.
          Old skills are those premiums; but, usually a lot more fun especially when you are not forced to collect.

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          • red October 24, 04:01

            Thank you. It worked for hundreds of generations of respectable people, and there’s nothing more important than respect. Not even love can match, and, as the people say, without respect there can be no love.

            Copperhead Road wasn’t about snakes. Every county has a Copperhead Road. Screw around and they strike. While not a yuwipi man (rattlesnake priest), I respect snakes. I’ve never even been struck at, but by one toothless garter snake (in Ohio, while bass fishing; maybe it was reading my mind 🙂 No, those things are lightning. I told my brother and he yelled, go get it. I pointed at a pasture and said it went that-a-way. I do not go fishing to catch fish, but to relax. Catch and release, unless someone wants the fish, then they get them. All catches are by accident, anyway.

            Tell-an-old-woman is the fastest form of communication. Also tends to get the message garbled so by the time you get home from church camp, your mother thinks you were out getting drunk, doing hits, and robbing banks. If she were like some of the women I knew in eastern PA, she would demand her cut, or make you join the military, or knock you unconscious. God bless exciting women!

            PA was selling elk permits. Now Ohioans won’t have to wait for one to sneak over the line to feast on corn plants and beans 🙂 For decades, PA Game insisted there were only a few hundred elk. They wiped out of a lot of fields, so the Seneca in Kills Deer started to hold a feast every summer on elk. It was kept secret, but when word got out, the Game commission started to relocate elk in the northern tier of counties. Forest elk may not get as big as plains elk, but are still awesome. Tasty, too.

            Acorn fed deer look like goats. Not a lot bigger than a large goat, either. Corn-fed are closer to angus cows, and I’d rather run into an Angus than a deer. More padding, less damage to the truck.

            The squares used to clean the barrels make good char cloth. They shouldn’t be used again, as we all know, and like folks in aggie say, use it up, wear it out, then find a new use for it.

            I’ll stick with Bic and pine needles 🙂 Pocono comes from Pocasin, swamp on a hillside. If the wood is damp, sap in the pine needles do most of the work, and in that swamp, even dead limbs from the trees is usually damp and mossy. Most days, even a glass (eyeglasses, or magnifying lens) won’t start a fire because of the humidity and clouds. If it doesn’t rain for three days, everyone worries about a drought. If not for a week, it’s panic time. If the river doesn’t threaten to hit flood stage at least once, it was a dry summer. That’s why they stopped the feds from filling in strip mines. It collects flood water in the hills and stops flooding downstream. When camping, when it was time to hit the sack, we built a green brush shelter over banked coals and covered it with oil cloth.

            I wish we had mylar when I was a kid. Camping in January through March was a lot of fun, but cold, even when we built brush shelters and packed them with snow. Always have ins on the vehicles, yes, and always did. Old skills keep you alive long enough to rebuilt the new skills and get order back in place. niio

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  5. EddieW October 16, 02:45

    When I was a kid, in the summer time, I’d get a half loaf of bread from mom, and hike into the mountains to my cave!, my bread would last two weeks, so mom would never let me have more!! She knew when I’d be coming back!! I loved it in the mountains, and knew how to keep out of sight of problems!

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    • IvyMike October 17, 01:09

      We might not be a bunch of Daniel Boones around here but we are danged sure a bunch of Huck Finns!

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 03:25

      EddieW,

      When I was a kid, in the summer time, I’d get a half loaf of bread from mom, and hike into the mountains to my cave!, my bread would last two weeks, so mom would never let me have more!! She knew when I’d be coming back!! I loved it in the mountains, and knew how to keep out of sight of problems!

      This sounds a lot like me as a kid, in the Appalachians of western PA.
      I was more at home in those mountains than anywhere else, and knew them like the back of my hand.
      I lived in a big city during college; but, my first job after college took me to a small rural town and we now live rural and would have it no other way.
      I’ve been deep in caves with a carbide lantern, and not a problem; but, drop me in the valleys of an urban city jungle, and I cannot wait to get out of that version of civilization. Claustrophobia in those places is real for me.

      Reply to this comment
    • red October 24, 04:12

      My mother and grandmothers had a formula for runaways. If you said, “I’m running away!” They would pack an old pillow cloth with pieces of dried cake (ruk, it would be crumbled over oatmeal or used in cookies), maybe a piece of pie, hot dogs and a hamburger, and candy. By supper time, or breakfast, you’d be back and hungry. As a teen, you got a loaf of bread and foot on the bottom and Come back when you can’t stay so long. A month later, you came home and tried to eat them out of house and home. No fish, please. To this day, fish only tastes good if roasted over an open, smoky fire. niio

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  6. Wannabe October 16, 19:19

    Okay, the article states that hunting today has turned into a bait and wait game and was not how Daniel Boone did it in his day. Then it says he knew the animal he was hunting food source and then the animals came to him. I’m no genius but it sounds like baiting and waiting. He just didn’t supply the bait. But knew where it was at, went to that area, studied their path of travel and then waited. Hunting is about the animal not knowing you are there. If they know you are there they will go another direction away from you. Stealth is key. Hide your scent, be quiet and unseen. That is why blinds are used or a tall tree, or distance. I’m sure old Danny boy knew this and acted accordingly. Yes, it is usually a bait and wait.

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    • Hsnanchi October 17, 05:22

      I grew up on a remote reservation and remember quite a few things spoken about in the initial stories. ( hopefully not dating me too much). We hunted most of our food and were always aware of being respectful to any four leggeds that fed us. I don’t hunt anymore but I see the remains of hunts and am sad that a lot of two leggeds don’t understand what is was to depend on the Earth and the four leggeds that live on her. Most of the things that Danel Boone did are still being done today if a person spends a lot of time away from civilization. I think that is good. I’m not real apprecetive of the weekend warriors with their fancy rifles and treeing dogs, however, there is a lot of nice equipment that make it much easier to survive long periods of time away from everything. I just wish two leggeds would look a little deeper and ask themselves is it really necessary to do what they do just because they can. Not really sure why I got off on this tangent…quess the mood just stuck me. Anyway…love the dialog.

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      • red October 18, 02:53

        Thank you. Walk in beauty

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      • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 03:38

        Hsnanchi,
        I’ve been hunting for more than 50 years, and teaching hunter education for about 27 years, and the main things we teach are safety with your hunting tools.
        Shotguns, handguns, muzzle loading rifles, and certain handgun caliber rifles, plus bows and crossbows.
        Where we spend the most time is hunter ethics, explaining why we still hunt since the natural predators are all gone, and we are now one of the wildlife management tools.
        Proper game care is really stressed, explaining how to field dress your harvest, to keep it in good shape for the freezer and the pot.
        Our one big rule is that except in rare cases, we all eat what we hunt. Period!!!

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        • red October 23, 02:51

          I was 8 or nine. Mom’s a good cook and the pigeons weren’t bad at all, but I never shot another cat. If I ever do, it’ll be a whole lot younger. 🙂

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  7. left coast chuck October 17, 02:31

    I remember reading a letter to the editor of a hunting magazine by a self-professed hunter. He talked at first about how careful hunters are to cover their scent and not leave traces of human presence near their hunting platform. He said he was in a tree stand and had to pee and just didn’t feel like getting all unhooked and making his way down the ladder and away from the stand to do his business as it was getting toward the end of the day. He just let fly over the edge of his platform. Sat back down and he wrote in his letter that in less than fifteen minutes the sort of buck he was looking for came over to where he had let fly and started nosing around. So much for stealth, ehh?

    He wrote that he did not hesitate to harvest that inquisitive buck.

    You may draw whatever conclusions you wish. And take whatever action you deem appropriate.

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    • Wannabe October 17, 11:52

      Yes, his urine probably had a scent that made the buck mad or horny. Mad because he is thinking another male is in my territory or horny because it might be a female. The key is that he was hidden in the box stand. The deer didn’t equate the smell with a human. He was probably ised to seeing the stand because hunters generally put one up and it stays for months or years. I have used ground blinds(just a camo dome tent with no bottom) and cover it around with natural vegetation and the deer literally have walked within twenty to thirty feet of me. Not trying to mask my scent just being quiet and covered works great. Pay attention to the deers mannerisms and move when they are not looking in your direction and take the shot. I eat everything I shoot. My family loves deer. Beautiful animals, fun to watch and cuts down on the grocery bill. Not too interested in huge racks but if one walks out I will gladly take it because it means a big body and more meat. Same type of hunting that has been going on for centuries. Just with better equipment.

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    • Miss Kitty October 20, 13:05

      Maybe it was the salt in the pee that the deer smelled.

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 21, 03:16

        Missy: Male hormones. When in Rut, bucks will attack anything, but go after anything male, always. Bulls, men, boars. They’ve been know to charge hunters and mountain lions. They don’t need salt in fall and winter. We never saw deer near salt blocks when the weather got cold. niio

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  8. Wannabe October 17, 23:31

    You have to wonder how mean an SOB he was to have done what he did.

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  9. red October 18, 05:36

    Boone? Yeah, he was supposed to be part Rappahannock. You know how that friggin Raps are. Means, cruel, nasty folks–just ask any Susquehannock or Delaware. We can tell ya! (No, the Indian wars never did end, at least for us, they just cooled down–recently 🙂

    Boone grew up on the frontier, lived it most of his life, and acted like a free man. As I understand it, he took a lot of people under his wing and taught them how to live free. Most heading for the woods had some idea how to raise crops and cattle, but no great experience. He kept them alive and most families in Kentucky and Tennessee have him to thank their ancestors survived and even lived in peace, usually, with Native Americans. A great man, and no other nation would have produced him. niio

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    • The Ohio Prepper October 22, 03:52

      red,
      There is a modern version of Boone living in New Jersey of all places.
      Tom Brown Jr. is an American naturalist, tracker, and survivalist.
      He is an author and runs the Tom Brown Jr. Tracker School in New Jersey,. In his books, Brown claims that, from the age of seven, he and his childhood friend Rick were trained in tracking and wilderness survival by Rick’s grandfather, “Stalking Wolf”.
      I don’t know if the legend is true; but, I have all of his books and they are all worth owning. I would like to train with him; but, I’m getting too old for such things that far from home, or at least I thought that until I found he was a year older than me.

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      • red October 23, 03:00

        He goes to pow wows. Interesting man. His grandfather was Apache, Chihuahua or Lipan, I can’t recall. The apples are always on his case, but like a traditional, he ignores their bigotry. He said one of the weirdest things he had to teach about survival is how to pee in a bottle and not get wet. Some woman said, prove it. He grabbed a bottle and we all started laughing. I recommend the Foxfire Books, as well, for learning how to do traditional agriculture. There are still people in the southwest and Mexico who use dogs to trap wild hogs to mark and castrate. In Mexico, much of what Firefox teaches is still common. Country people anywhere are still preppers 🙂 niio

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  10. The Ohio Prepper October 22, 02:22

    Pretty good article.
    Knowledge Trumps Gear Every Time
    And Skill trumps knowledge. To really know something you need to have sufficient Knowledge, practiced Skill, and the proper Attitude. Falling short on any of these can be a problem,.

    Follow the Wilderness Highway – Water

    If you’re lost and you can find water, you can find civilization. All you have to do is follow that water downhill until you find people. It may take a while, especially in some parts of the country, but you will always find cities and towns alongside any watercourse.

    I once read a story about Boone where he said he was never lost; but, did occasionally spend time not knowing exactly where he was. The important thing is not to panic, and have those skills to survive until you find your way or get rescued,

    Know the Game You Hunt

    Hunting today has become about baiting the game with seed corn and waiting in a blind to shoot them.

    I don’t know where this is done; but, certainly not around these parts. Wile it is legal, Ohio has so many natural food sources, deer usually ifnore any bait.

    Instead, Boone understood the game he was hunting. He would know how they lived and their habits. Based upon that knowledge, he would know where to look for the game. All he had to do was stake out the animals’ food sources and they would eventually come right to him.

    I was hunting new property with a friend years ago, and we found some deer scat and looked through it with a stick. We found remnants of pine cone, so we knew where they were bedding and what they were eating. We were then able to successfully lay in wait between them and the local watering hole. These critters live in the wild and you need to think like them.

    Always Cook Meat Well
    We use a meat thermometer; but, without one, red can mean dead, so cook it thoroughly.

    The WAPI
    This is something new to me and a great invention. No need to boil unless you suspect VOC’s in the water.

    The Fire Pot

    Starting a fire repeatedly can be a problem, especially in inclement weather and even more so if you don’t have a good fire starting method available to you. Back in Daniel’s day, they started a fire with a flint and steel, which is even harder to use that a Ferro Rod.

    Actually, flint, steel, and charcloth are as easy as a ferrocerium rod with practice; but, you need to have that charcloth.
    In any case, a way to carry fire can be important, and another thing that helps is to find dry, punky wood that will smolder and hold a coal without burning. Damp punky wood can be placed by the fire to dry and then used as the coal carrier.

    Learn to Read the Animals Actions
    Keep in mind that this also includes the insects.

    Closely listening can also help you know the approximate temperature. To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, and add 40 to get the temperature.

    Quality Guns Need Quality Marksmen

    Boone lived in a time when the best gun of the day was the Kentucky Long Rifle. Compared to the Muskets so common in the Revolutionary war (and earlier), this was an engineering marvel, much more accurate at longer distances than anything else available.

    The reason and the name of the gun was because of the lands and grooves in the barrel that spun the projectile for more stability. This was of course, called the rifling.
    Here in Ohio muzzleloader hunting is commonplace for whitetail deer and extends the gun season, so this is not just old tech.

    If we spent more time working on our marksmanship and less time on tricking out our guns, we could probably all become marksmen of the caliber of Boone. Yet most of us won’t spend that much on ammo and range fees, even while we are spending a fortune doing cosmetic work to our guns.

    WOW!! I don’t know who your spend you time with; but, here, practice with old arms is rather common, since many people hunt deer and small game to put meat in the freezer and on the table.
    You are right though, in that many like to trick out their toys, and don’t spend enough time on the range. Lucky for me, I have a range in the back yard.

    Keep Your Powder Dry
    And your primers and percussion caps.

    MWear Clothing that Sheds Water
    We have so many options today, now that the Gore-Tex patens have expired.
    My go to is a slightly oversized pair of Frogg Toggs that are breathable; but, shed water like a, well . . . frog.

    When in the Wilderness, Shed Your “Civilization”
    While we don’t have to fight the natives, often finding shelter in a natural hole or log saves time and calories when out in the wild.
    Situational awareness is still as important as within civilization, since a simple walk in the woods can trigger a falling branch above you that can be deadly.
    That same Situational Awareness should also be with you in the urban forest.

    Be Aware – Expect the Unexpected

    Being in the wilderness requires constant vigilance. There are dangers all around, as well as simpler things which could make it difficult to survive. Your only protection, in many cases, is to see these things before they can cause problems.

    Once again, Knowledge, Skill, Attitude, and Situational Awareness.

    One final thing is that while old Daniel, was a public figure, he spent a lot of time with a more private contemporary. Simon Kenton.
    You can read about all of these real people in Allan W. Eckert’s ”The Frontiersmen: A Narrative”.
    I really liked this book.

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