Periodically I encounter mountain man preppers who tell me about their plans to live off the land like the Native Americans. Now I am not saying that it is impossible, but preppers who can do this successfully are few and far between. I know a couple of people who are capable of doing it. However to many of the mountain man preppers I encounter are obviously mall ninjas.
I have been reading the book Eleven Years in the Rocky Mountains and life on the Frontier written by Frances Fuller Victor and published in 1877. It is an interesting book covering a number of experiences encountered by the mountain men. One of them is shown below.
In the 1820s Milton Sublette set out for the southwest leading a large party made of largely experienced mountain men. In the country between the Owyhee and Humboldt Rivers, the hunter failed to produce enough food and the men were reduced to famine conditions.
“The largest game to be found was the beaver, whose flesh proved to be poisonous, from the creatures having eaten the wild parsnips in the absence of its favorite food. The men were made ill by eating of beaver flesh”.
“The sufferings of the men now became terrible, both from hunger and thirst. In the effort to appease the former, everything was eaten that could be eaten and many things at which the well-fed man would sicken with disgust. I have, says Joe Meeks held my hands in an ant-hill until they were covered with ants, then greedily licked them off. I have taken the soles off my moccasins, crisped them in the fire, and eaten them. In our extremity, the large black crickets which are found in this country were considered game.”
Now as I said at the beginning most people who attempt to live off the land will not survive. I strongly recommend that you have at least a year’s supply of food in your storage and a backup plan. In addition to this, I suggest that you learn about the various edible plants and animals so that you can supplement your supplies.
Some mountain man preppers need to grow up and realize this is not a hobby or a game. It is a serious endeavor in which a mistake can kill you. If you think, you can live off the land, try it for a couple of weeks and see how you fare. Let me know how it goes.