There have been several survival scenarios built on the premise that we have to leave home and survive in the wilderness. In some circumstances with a large enough group of people you may be able to retire to your retreat, your small farm in the bush. But many worry about raiders once the food supplies run out in the towns & cities. Of course if this is an invasion by a foreign power, then you will have to leave your retreat and move further into the wilderness.
Think about that scenario, travelling to a new area to start from scratch. The journey, dangers, tools & equipment required, the skills needed, the ever present threat of attack, the need to grow your own food, to hunt & to trap. The constant work involved in just living, especially when you are first setting up. I think this is what Karl was saying in his recent post, many hands make light work. But if you are alone you will be working long hours until you get it all up & running.
Does this remind you of another time in history when people had to travel into the wilderness to settle? Yes, the settlement of the New World. Someone many years ago wrote in a popular US magazine that if anyone stood a chance of survival after TSHTF, it would be 18th century living historians. Why? Because this is what we do. We interpret & recreate that journey into the wilderness through Historical Trekking. We learn & practice the skills required to live in the wilderness. If we are a part of a group, then that group is our support, we all leave together. No fuss, no panic. We have done this a hundred times before. We are trained, skilled & fully equiped. That is why we stand the best chance of survival.
What if it never happens? Personally I hope it never does. Meantime I am having a lot of fun.
This is a list of basic skills in which I personally would expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with.
• Flint & steel fire lighting
• Wet weather fire lighting
• Fire-bow fire lighting
• Flintlock fire lighting
• Flintlock use, service & repair
• Field dressing & butchering game
• Blade sharpening
• Tomahawk throwing
• Making rawhide
• Brain tanning
• Primitive shelter construction
• Cordage manufacture
• Moccasin construction and repair
• Axe and tomahawk helve making
• Reading sign
• Woods lore
• Primitive trap construction & trapping
• Open fire cooking
• Fireplace construction
• Clothing manufacture
• Drying meat & other foods
• Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation
• Knowledge of native foods & preparation
• Basic first aid
Some of our group member's skills go beyond this list, some do not meet these requirements but have other skills which we need. One is a bowyer & knife maker, another is a nurse. Two are ex security & others have managerial and organisational skills. We have weavers & knitters, gardeners, seamstress, archers & skills instructors. This is the advantage of being a member of a well established group.
New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760. http://eighteenthcenturylivinghistory.freeforums.org/