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Saturday, June 24, 2023

6 Pioneer Skills: Incredible Lessons You Can Learn

 Original Article

By Linda Loosli 

Many have become pretty lazy and far too dependent on today’s technology to meet our every need. A number of crucial life skills that our parents and grandparents once knew have long been forgotten because some people feel they no longer are necessary. 

What if you were to wake up one morning and find that technology, along with its comforts, is no longer available to you? Would you still be able to provide for your family even when the rest of the world seemed to be forcibly shoved back into the dark ages? My guess is, probably not.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to keep reading to find out about great lessons that you can learn from pioneer skills. Because who knows, your family may have to depend on what the family skill set is to be able to survive.

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Pioneer Skills: 6 Incredible Lessons You Can Learn

6 Pioneer Skills: Incredible Lessons You Can Learn

Foraging for Food

Heaven forbid, but there may come a day when your local grocery store shelves will lay completely bare. Where will you turn to so that your family doesn’t starve to death? Foraging is an essential skill that all pioneers knew how to do and one that you should know about too.  

Start by learning what wild plants are edible in your area. This is vital because some plants can actually be quite poisonous if ingested. Once you have a good grasp on which ones are safe, start venturing out into the wild to see what you can find. You may be surprised at just how many edible plants are actually growing right in your own backyard.

Here in Utah, the early pioneers had a tough time generating enough food to survive. They were able to get through the years 1848 and 1849 by eating the bulbs from a native plant called a sego lily (species: Calochortus nuttallii). It proved to be such a significant lifesaver that it became the state’s official flower. The plant sports a beautiful flower, even after being cooked, so they added a special touch to colorful food dishes.

Check out these posts for some great ideas:

Hunting and Fishing

Of course, foraging isn’t just limited to plants. You can also learn how to catch fish and hunt large and small game so that you’ll always have a protein-rich meal on the table. Wild fish and game were two of the main staples in a pioneer’s diet and helped to keep them strong and healthy throughout their long journey, and as long-term sources of food once they reached their destination.

If you don’t have any experience with hunting or fishing, start by doing some research on the subject. There are plenty of helpful books and online resources that can teach you much of what you need to know. You may even want to take a class at your local community college or nature center or go on a hunting trip with a few friends or a guide who have experience. How To Make Heat In A Can For Hunting or Survival

Learning to Garden

Providing your own vegetables, fruit, and herbs for your family is not only a healthy solution, but it’s also a great way to save money at the grocery store. But in order to be successful, you’ll need to know how to properly plant and care for your garden.

Some preppers suggest you plant more unique and costly veggies and herbs in your garden so you can save even more money. As for me, I love to plant my tomatoes, squash, beans, some herbs, and other common plants that I have some experience growing and using in my meal plans.

Last year we supplied a number of families in our neighborhood with fresh tomatoes, and I know many bacon and tomato sandwiches were enjoyed all summer long.

If you’ve never had a quality garden before, don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can find plenty of helpful tips and tricks online or from your local nursery. With a little bit of practice, you’ll have a thriving garden in no time. How to Start a Garden

Canning and Preserving Food

Once you’ve grown your own food, it’s important to learn how to preserve it so that it will last through the winter months. Canning and preserving food was a common practice back then, but has become less popular today due to the time it takes. We loved canning as a family as the girls were growing up. I miss those good times in the kitchen!

There are two methods of canning, water bath canning, and pressure canning. Water bath canning is typically used for fruits, jams, jellies, and pickles, while pressure canning is reserved for meats and vegetables.

If you’re new to this process, there are plenty of instructional videos and articles online that can walk you through the steps. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to enjoy your homegrown food all year long.

Another skill is dehydrating food. Of course, it was done differently back in the day since pioneers didn’t have electric dehydrators. Most foods were dried by the sun and it took a while to learn and implement. I’ve dehydrated many different food products over the years and enjoy having them available in my pantry.

Cooking from Scratch

In today’s world, it’s so easy to just pop a frozen pizza in the oven or order take-out from your favorite restaurant. But what would you do if there was no electricity to power your oven, or if you couldn’t get to the store to buy food?

Cooking from scratch may sound daunting, but it’s really not that difficult. Start by stocking your pantry with basic ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, and spices. Then, when you’re ready to make a meal, you’ll have everything you need on hand. There are plenty of recipes available online or in cookbooks that can help you get started.

I close most of my daily posts with the admonition to teach our kids and grandkids to cook from scratch. I believe it is an important skill that should be passed from generation to generation.

Raising Livestock

Raising animals on your property may sound like a huge stretch for most of you, and I totally get it. You would be rewarded with meat and eggs to provide protein for your family if you have the space, the zoning allows it, and you have the know-how. You don’t need to go all out and start raising a bunch of barn animals right away. Start off small by getting a few chickens. Not only will they provide you with fresh eggs, but they’re also relatively low-maintenance.

If you’re interested in raising larger animals like cows or pigs, there’s a bunch of work involved. But if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with fresh meat that’s free from hormones and antibiotics. Yes, there are upfront and ongoing expenses, but if done right, it can prove to be pretty cost-effective in the long run.

Basic First Aid

Accidents aren’t going to stop just because doctors and skilled professionals are no longer available in an emergency situation. You need to learn about basic first aid so that you can handle minor injuries and illnesses on your own. An untreated injury that becomes infected could prove disastrous for one of your family members if you don’t know what to do.

Fortunately, there are plenty of instructional videos and articles available online that can teach you what you need to know. You may even want to take a first-aid class at your local community center or Red Cross chapter.

Herbal Remedies and Herbal Medicine

Herbal remedies and herbal medicine were the only kinds of medicine available back in the day. While modern medicine has come a long way, there’s still a lot to be said for using herbal remedies to treat common ailments. For starters, they don’t have as many negative side effects as modern medicine has been known to cause. The Best Herbal Plants to Grow for Homemade Tea

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, there are plenty of books and online resources that can teach you everything you need to know. Another thought is that you may even want to grow your own herbs so that you always have them on hand.

Carpentry Skills

Should you ever be forced to evacuate your home, would you know how to build a shelter to keep your family out of the elements? Having basic carpentry skills would certainly come in handy should you ever find yourself in that situation.

Even if you never find yourself in a survivalist situation, learning how to build things with your hands can be incredibly satisfying. There are plenty of instructional videos and articles available online that can walk you through the basics. There are also plenty of volunteer jobs in your community that could provide you with the hands-on training that you need.

What are pioneering skills?

I quote, Wikipedia, “Pioneering skills include knot tying (tying ropes together), lashing (tying spars together with rope), whipping (binding the end of a rope with thin twine), splicing (joining or binding the end of a rope using its own fibers), and skills related to the use, care and storage of ropes, spars and related pioneering equipment.”

Of course, there was much more to being a pioneer than learning rope skills, such as the things we’ve outlined above.

What skills did pioneers need to survive?

They planted a garden, did blacksmithing, milked their own cows, raised chickens, woodworking, made candles, and had to learn to take care of their own waste.

What are some of the most important tools a pioneer needed?

Here’s the deal, every pioneer had a gun, ammunition, ax, traps, fishing line, and hooks. They basically had a hoe to turn the soil and keep the weeds under control by breaking up the soil.

They would hunt for meat and tend to their crops or garden, as we call it.

What was life like for early pioneers?

Now, remember families were large back then and only one child would inherit the family fortune or home and land because that would have been the item worth inheriting. Families had to leave the area if their crops failed or if they had a harsh winter. They would move on to a new frontier hoping for a better life.

What did pioneers do for a living?

Pioneers had some unique skills as blacksmiths, trappers, hunters, and tanners, but also some common ones you see today like carpenters, loggers, farmers, and ranchers. The number of people involved in agriculture was significantly higher than what we see now.

How did pioneers live?

If you think about it, they had to find land near a river, stream, or lake, so they would pull up their covered wagons and make tents or lean-tos as temporary shelters. They needed water from the source nearby to survive for hydrating, bathing, cooking, and growing their crops. We all know storing water should be the number one item we store, even if we live by a quality water source. Just like back in the “old days”, water can become scarce or contaminated. Be sure to stock up on water!

I’ve written dozens of posts about water storage, filtration, and various sources to consider. Check out my archive and get the info you need.

Why You May Want A Dutch Oven

Here are my thoughts on having a Dutch oven. You can boil water, make a peach cobbler, and even make a pizza in on. I highly recommend a 6-Quart Dutch Oven. It’s not too heavy to lift and carry and you can stack other Dutch ovens on top and bake two meals at a time. 6-Quart Dutch Oven

Final Word

Pioneer skills are a great way to become more self-sufficient and prepared for anything life throws your way. And with just a little bit of practice, you’ll be an expert in no time. What are some other pioneer skills that you’ve learned that would be important to know that you’d be willing to share with others? I’d love to hear from you! May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Canned Food AdobeStock_211844185 by pamela_d_mcadams

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