Friday, 17 February 2012

18th Century Woodsman Survival Foods.

Food supplies from what I gather were pretty basic for the 18th century woodsrunner. If you are going to pack authentic food on your back on foot, then be prepared for a pretty bland diet. Dried peas, dried beans, maybe some dried corn, flour and tea. And you will not be carrying much, because it all adds to the weight.

Daniel Boone was a number of things in his time, he was a waggoner's helper in the French and Indian War and was with Braddock when he was defeated by the French and Indians. He was an explorer, always looking for richer lands to hunt and settle in. His family looked after the farm as Boone was away from home most of the time. When not hunting for meat for the table, he was hunting for deer skins. On one of his deer skin hunts he was left alone whilst his brother went back home to fetch horses and more supplies. He later said that he was left "without bread, salt, or sugar, without company of my fellow-creatures, or even a horse or dog". http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/8/daniel_boone/chap5.htm

So I think we can safely assume that for Boone at least, bread, salt and sugar were important supplies when away from home for any length of time. Salt makes meat tastier, sugar for some may improve black tea and help make a decent biscuit when mixed with flour and water. Bread is filling and tasty and if you are carrying your own flour you can make your own.


Craig Meade said...

Excellent post Le Loup and nice use of deduction. One of my great, great, great, something grandfathers used to sit on Daniel Boone's knee and listen to his stories when he was a an old feller. What a place to be.

Gorges Smythe said...

Sometimes, we lose track of what should be obvious.

Le Loup said...

Wow Craig! That really is something.

Le Loup said...

I agree Gorges. One can spend a lot of time looking for more, a magic recipe. And it just is not there. What you see is what you get. It was all pretty basic. Boone was happy with just his bread, sugar & salt & the deer meat, end of story.
Different people may have carried different foods, but they all would have been pretty basic.