This post may seem a long way from 18th century living history, but even in the 18th century some peoples were still living a very primitive lifestyle. In my opinion one needs to go back to one's rootes, or, to a primitive lifestyle to understand who & what we really are.
Some people find it easy to learn primitive skills & adapt to a primitive lifestyle. Others simply can't grasp it at all & are totally lost once they leave the city. Hunters & trappers are very much in tune with their environment & even foraging comes naturally to these people. These are the type of people who were able to survive in wilderness areas during the 17th & 18th centuries. Many of them may have come from the slums in London, but their attitude toward survival was primitive, they had primitive instincts.
Some survivalists today collect their modern gear & gadgets & strongly defend their choices of gear against more more primitive implements, claiming that this modern gear gives them an edge. Where as I agree that modern medicine is a definate plus & life saver, I still believe that the answere to survival lies in more primitve equipment that also teaches us a greater number of extremely important primitive skills.