A Look At What Sustainable Survival Means. Or, Learning From History.
The fur trade in America’s west lasted just 15 years, from 1825 to 1840. Why do I choose to use this place for this article? Because this event in this time period better explains the point I am trying to make.
These Rocky Mountain trappers did not travel on foot unless for some reason they had no choice. They needed a horse to get around & they needed more horses to carry the beaver pelts that they trapped & the steel traps themselves. The Rocky Mountains were & probably still are a formidable place. The biggest danger to the trapper’s survival was unfriendly Indians such as the Blackfoot, & the grizzly bear.
In this period of time the percussion gun became available, but the Mountain Men refused to use these more efficient guns because in the wilderness situation they were in, they were not reliable. Once a year traders would travel to the Rocky Mountains with supplies to trade for beaver skins, but they could not sell the percussion gun, there were simply too many things that could go wrong with this newer gun, & they were isolated for 12 months at a time. The flintlock however was reliable; it was one way or another sustainable. That flintlock was the only gun or rifle they carried although some may also have been carrying flintlock pistols.
The rest of their equipment also needed to be sustainable; they could not afford to carry anything that was not of the best quality. The ordinary butcher knife was their hunting knife, the tomahawk along with the hunting knife served as a working tool & for defence. The trade kettle served for the cooking of stews as a change from roasted meat. They carried flint & steel for making fire because again it was the most reliable & sustainable method available to them. They could also make fire using the lock of their flintlock gun.
So perhaps you might think about what equipment you have at the moment, or if you have not yet purchased any survival equipment intended for long term survival, you might consider purchasing the older style more sustainable items instead of the modern gadgetry that is not sustainable & will eventually let you down.
Difficult to say how many trappers actually survived until the end of this western fur trade, but we do know that some decided to stay in the mountains, & that others returned to the cities. History records that some of the notable trappers died in a very short time from catching a virus after returning to the city!