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WAGONS HO!- Preparation


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Alright all you loyal MrsS folks. Here is an opportunity to gather together and start a new life in the wilderness. [OK...sometimes I am REALLY into escapism... :shrug: ] Who wants to join me?


Then begin packing your Conestoga wagon. Since we will be a community when we arrive, some things won't have to be duplicated unless you want to. Mother just left on a short jaunt but will be invaluable for data on what those pioneers were likely to find necessary as they traveled into the new wilderness. We might try a few modern conveniences BUT........


The Conestoga, often in long wagon trains, was the primary overland cargo vehicle over the Appalachians until the development of the railroad. The wagon was pulled by six to eight horses or a dozen oxen.[citation needed] The wagon is shaped like a boat because it keeps the goods from falling out. A toolbox is attached to the side in case of repairs. The wagon bows is a cloth that protects passengers from heat, rain, and snow. The wheels helped the wagon from getting stuck in the mud. The average Conestoga wagon was 24 feet long, 11 feet high, and 4 feet in width and depth. It could hold up to 12,000 pounds of cargo. [More about the size below from another source]


The Conestoga wagon was cleverly built. Its floor curved upward to prevent the contents from tipping and shifting. The cracks in the body of the wagon were stuffed with tar to protect them from leaks while crossing rivers. Also for protection against bad weather, stretched across the wagon was a tough, white canvas cover. The frame and suspension were made of wood, while the wheels were often iron plated for greater durability. Water barrels built on the side of the wagon were used to hold water and toolboxes held tools needed for repair on the wagon. The Conestoga wagon was used for many types of travel including passage to California during the Gold Rush.

magnify-clip.png 180px-Transport_Wagon_USArmyTransMuseum_ magnify-clip.png



The term "Conestoga wagon" refers specifically to this type of vehicle; it is not a generic term for "covered wagon." The wagons used in the westward expansion of the United States were, for the most part, ordinary farm wagons fitted with canvas covers.[2]




So you see, we've chosen the largest model. However, take note of how big your Conestoga wagon is and TRY to stay within that limit. :) That 11 feet high included the wheels, btw, not just the wagon bed. Horse or Oxen team [you choose] provided. If your family group exceeds four, and you have another driver, you may have a second wagon. If you personally own a real wagon or something of the pioneering equivalent, you may bring that provided you have a driver. Ahem...driver training will be provided too. :P [NO, you may not pull your Winnebago with your team of oxen. :tapfoot: ]



Now you can bring anything you really currently own but you can be very creative on how it's used. Livestock will be driven along in herds with us. Remember tho....we are going out to stark, bare, [beautiful!] wilderness with forests, meadows, creeks & streams, a river or two..... No infrastructure. But hey, no taxes either. :happy0203:




****For clues on what the pioneers brought, check out these sites or others.



and a Grade 4 homeschooling project nearly like I'm doing here:



another school project [4-7th]:



And another....



A puzzle to keep the kiddos busy while on the trail..... ;)





Now if you are coming along, list your people/animals/and supply list. Go back and edit your supply list if you think of more things. Just use one post and we can check out additions to each other's lists. [sound workable?] ALSO LIST the skills you have to contribute along the wagon route or once we've gotten to our wilderness.




  • People: MtRider & DH
  • Skills: .........
  • Animals and supplies: ...........
  • Kitchen: .....
  • Health/sanitation.....
  • Medical...
  • Shelter....
  • Clothing.....
  • Tools...
  • Lighting....
  • Food/water......
  • For when we arrive......(like seeds, plow,)

Or whatever you think of....





Conestogas came in different sizes, but the average one was nowhere close to the Pod size. The wagon beds were 16 feet long, 4 feet deep and 4 feet wide and shaped like a boat. That's about 256 cubic feet of space. By the way, Wikipedia gives much bigger dimensions for the Conestoga. (conestoga-wagon-bw.gif24 x 11 x 4). That has to be measuring from the ground up, and the length of the conveyance with the harness.


Another quote: "You would need to consider that the wagon is so bumpy that most of the time you would be walking beside the wagon during the day and then sleeping in it or under it throughout the night. You would be traveling 10 to 15 miles a day if weather permitted. It would take you 5 to 7 days to get to the point where it only takes you an hour to get in the 21st century. If you were walking this much for months, you can bet that your family would be very hungry when they stopped to rest and eat a mid day meal and a supper just before dark (and don't forget breakfast which was eaten well before 7:00 a.m.)." More information on pioneer food at this site: http://www.tusd.k12.az.us/CONTENTS/depart/...oodpioneer.html




MtRider [.....even in escapism, we will be learning...cuz if we EVER had to live simple, could we do it? :shrug: ]


Edited to add more links, quotes of data, and a really good picture of a Conestoga wagon.

Edited by Mother
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:bounce: Fun! Fun! Fun!


A couple of questions ... naturally...


Since I have more than 8 in my family, can I have a third wagon? :happy0203:


And, am I reading this right? We are suppose to only take things we already own? :shrug:


BTW those links are grand, thanks, can't wait to show them to the children. They used to play 'Oregon Trail' quite a bit, so they're familiar with the concept of weight limits and such.


Thanks for the neat scenario! Should be interesting. :hug3:

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OH! we are sooooooooooo in on this one. :-)


People: Michael and Lori (aka - Rusty and Emma)

Skills: .........WOW, you name it Michael can do it (other then hunt).

Animals and supplies: ...........2 oxen, 1 horse, 1 milk cow

Kitchen: ..... coleman wagen Kitchen (we own one), Dutch oven, Coffee pot, cooking grate

Health/sanitation..... our wooden comode chair (yes we do use it now and then)

Medical... some pills mosty herbs (packed) and herb book (gift from church when we starteed this trip)

Shelter.... The wagon both in and under, feather tick mattress, Canvas (for whe we get there)

Clothing..... Michaels treadle sewing machine, cloth, buttons, sewing kit. We make our own anyway)

Tools... WOW! Michael has all hand tools and a box to keep them in - we are all set.

Lighting.... our Lanterns, matches, flint/striker (own 2). fuel

Food/water......canned jars of food, 1 barrel of water (to start), dried beef,beans,etc.

For when we arrive......(like seeds, plow,) Hand plow (know how to use) and shovel (2), scarrett runner beans, some seeds given to us by friends when we left. axes and saws,


*this is just a part of what we can / will take with us.


Hope you know that is is just what Michael and Lori like to do.

When we role play at the Museum or are doing 'pioneer weekend" here at home we are known as Rusty and Emma Nailes. So for the most part we are set to go.



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Ok Steph. If you can provide drivers, you've got a 3rd wagon.


And, am I reading this right? We are suppose to only take things we already own?


Yes, this helps us think of the things right in front of our noses in different ways. Like: the BBQ tools make good fireplace/campfire tools. The disability commode makes a good privy.



I'm still working on my list.....



MtRider [waves to Rusty and Emma.... :wave: ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Thanks for the three wagons !! Yeehaw!! :D


I'm sure either of my two teenage sons could handle the wagon better than myself, so they and dh would be the drivers, I'd be an alternate if necessary. ;)


This is the first part of my list and I'll edit this post as I can add to it.


We would be taking my goats and chickens and dogs (and even my pet parrot). Every animal has it's uses except the parrot who just flat out brings us joy and entertainment, and he doesn't eat much. So, Jonah will be traveling with us. :)


The goats are 2 wethers, 2 does and 1 billy. (I'll be able to increase my herd now that he has arrived.) They are Nubians and Mini Nubians.


I'm not sure how many of the chickens I could take, but, I'd take as many as possible. I'm thinking some type of cage attached to each wagon? and in one cage would be my bantams, all six of them would fit easily. I suppose my alpha roo (Black Astralorp) and three of his hens. Then finally my Americaunas and one more roo, probably my Lakenvelder? My bantams would provide good setters, and I should be able to hatch more eggs with my roos and hens upon arrival.


The dogs are three different breeds. My little Jack Russell could be useful in hunting, the Border Collie/Sheltie mix is a great help with herding the goats, and my Anatolian (Aslan) will help with security.


Our party -


Ma and Pa and seven children ranging in age from 5 yrs old to nearly 15, all of good sturdy stock and in good health.


Our combined skills -


Fire starting, campfire skills, animal husbandry, basic first aid, successful egg hatching, basic gardening, physical strength, Spiritual strength, trustworthy, team players, hunting, fishing, goat milking, cooking, child care, teaching of basic educational skills, music abilities, basic carpentry, hair cutting, ... enough for now.


First edit to add...


A few things I wouldn't want to leave home without. :)


My Wonder Junior hand crank Grain Mill, and every bit of grain, beans, rice, oats, corn, flour, cornmeal, honey, baking soda, yeast, sugar, and everyone other dry good like pasta that I have squirreled away . It's a lot, but I'll be wishing I had more. These staples will be divided evenly between the wagons, not wanting all of my eggs in one basket, nor all of the weight in one wagon.


My Berkey Light Water Filter and extra filters as well as the three Berkey Sports Bottles with included filters.


Every piece of cast iron that I posses. Griddles and casseroles and skillets and muffin tins and etc...!


All our camping supplies, tents, campstoves, and fuel, mess kits, sleeping bags, lanterns (both solar and oil), extra tarps, etc... This would be great for along the trail and for temporary shelter when arriving.


BOOKS - there are a few that I would insist of taking, Several copies of the Bible, the McGuffey Readers, my many Readers Digest how to books, food preservation books, herbal books, at least a box of books per wagon. :) Yes, I think they are that important.


My home canned goods. These would be difficult to pack and transport, but I would try to take them if at all possible. Not only would they provide substenance, they would provide canning jars for future food presrvations.


Canning supplies, would take as much as possible, all canners, lids for replacing and other equipment.


Also any dehydrated foods that I have gathered, these are light and convenient for eating on the go. :)


More later....

Edited by Stephanie
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Ok, I think I have a chance to get this started. I'll add to it later. We've still got time....we can't leave on our trip until Mother gets back anyway. But she'll know exactly what she wants to pack...having done all those reenactment deals.



Participants: MtRider & MrMtR



chiro/health care/herbal/acupuncture/First Aid

knowledge of horses, goats, ducks, dogs, cats....including some vet care.

gardening experience

minor canning experience

campfire cooking experience

some wildcrafting experience

lead women's Bible study..& dh knows Greek

some hunting/fishing

some constructing of shelter/building




I'll chose an OXEN team for our wagon. Sturdy, strong, steady.....(are they as dumb as they seem?)


1 horse,

1 donkey,

------and equine tack, brushes/hoof picks, blankets, water buckets, packs & saddlebags


a dozen ducks in a cage strapped to the side of the wagon

------water dishes, buckets of feed for layers, egg cleaning "buff" glove, waterglass bucket to preserve without refrigeration,


4 Nigerian dwarf milk goats-does [need to breed them before we leave...or Steph, is your buck a dwarf/mini??]

------5 gal bucket with birthing supplies, picnic basket with normal milking equipment, minerals, some grain/alfalfa for milkers, hoof trimmers,


guardian BIG DOG

-------Dog's BOB, harness, collar, lead rope, chews, bed cover (can be stuffed with dried grass for her to sleep on),


cat has to come for rodent control when we get there

-------Cat's BOB and carrier, food, dishes, string toy,......and earplugs cuz she'll be howling her unhappiness the whole way. :rolleyes:





--Lots of cast iron...but I don't have any larger fire pit dutch ovens for the communal kitchen. Fry pans to share tho.

--Family [manual] grain grinder...with 4 attatchments: grinder, veggie slicer/dicer, meat grinder, grain cereal flaker.

--Sherman [the tank] canner....all implements, and a tote full of salt, pickle spice, canning lids, etc. And all canning jars padded with all my towels and sox stuffed inside.

--Stock pots - I'd select the SS ones if I had no room for the enamel ones [they chip/rust].

--Two wooden box set of kitchen storage. Like the back end of a chuckwagon. Custom made for me loooong ago. Stuffed with the basics of flatwear, utensils, camping pot set, spices, etc.

--bakeware: bread pans, muffin pans, etc

--mebbe the long, fold-up table?

--Hmmm....thinking of the weight... can I afford to bring the coal/wood kitchen stove that resided in my garage? I think it would be EVER SO useful when we got there. [i can see that we won't have room to sleep in the wagon bed at this rate.

--ALL of my kitchen knives.

--I think I'll forgo the "china" that the ladies usually insisted on. Or even Correllware. I'll opt for my several pie plates, 1970's tupperware glasses [indistructable], and a couple of modern insulated hot beverage mugs. [bring Your Own Mug around the nightly campfires!] [i might try to sneak in a pair of authentic German steins for use when we're settled...and not as likely to break them.]



More later.....

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People: Annarchy & DH

Skills: Knowledge of cows, chickens, pigs, gardening, campfire cooking, hunting & fishing, free diving, 1st aid, DH is also a weapon expert.

Animals and supplies: 1 ferret, leashes & 10 lbs food, after that he can eat his natural small critters.

Kitchen: Lg. Double boiler, 2 cast iron frying pans-1 sm, 1 lg., 2 sm pots for boiling. Sm BBQ, (if I have room, a BBQ smoker.) Coleman cook stove w/fuel, muffin pans, casserole pan, and bread pan, a set of silverware, knife block, utensils ......

Health/sanitation: Lots of cotten towels, (more later)

Medical: 1st aid kits, snake bite kits, sting & poison relief kits, sheets for bandages, & a pair of adjustable crutches.

Shelter: 8 Sleeping bags-warm, cold & freezing weather, a tent.

Clothing: At least 15 Jackets-warm, cold & freezing weather

Tools: DH's tool chest with most everything for the home and for weapon repairs.

Lighting: 2 Coleman fluid lanterns, 5 Gal of fluid, candles.

Food/water: 120 gal of potable water & 100 of non potable.


More later.......there is so much more I could bring... I'll consider how much I can fit in my wagon and be back later.....

Edited by Annarchy
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Note: my initial post edited to add more links, quotes of data, and a really cool picture of a Conestoga wagon. You can see from that one why they called them 'boats'.



snake bite kits
:0327: Anarchy....did I forget to mention that our route will NOT take us into any {gasp} snake country? Yeeeee-iiiick! :frying pan: <------for snakes!


Speaking of which, PCS, you'd better get yourself well enough to join us too! More expertise needed! :grouphug:




MtRider [...what else would I need for the rest of my life?? ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Mt. Rider, is this just stuff you have now or can you just say what you estimate you need if you are short of what the supplies would really be as some of us are on a shoestring and things come slower to us? or havent been prepping that long yet to have accumilated all that much?


I like this scenario and I agree, no snakes, although that certainly is realistic as a danger and PCS has been personally stricken and I pray she is recovering better and better each day! We probably would not have antivenom in our own first aid kits generally anyway. ;)

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Any of those do, BluegrassMom?

Edited by Mt_Rider
Leah's request cuz one wasn't working...
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I just gotta jump in here.....


I actually DID travel from Colorado to Mexico by mule-driven covered wagon train.


Here are a few notes from the trail:


The wagon train started in AZ with 17 wagons. Traveld up thru TX into Colorado mostly on paved roads, but as much as possible, on back roads and thru Indian Reservations. Arrived back in AZ at the border of Mexico after 1 yr, with 4 wagons, in bad shape. They shook apart on the PAVED roads.


We got bogged down in deep mud in Colo, finally had to call for tow trucks.


No way to get across "Wolf Pass" safely. A very deep/steep valley. Again, had to break the rules and truck everything over.


We stopped once a week at whatever local High School was near by to shower in the gym. Nevertheless, I got a badly infected thumb, and a horrendous case of Athletes Foot. Once a week is not enough! And Pioneers didn't even have once a week!!


Someone had to watch the mule line at night. They were tethered usually in a nice enough pasture area, but were often loose and scattered in the morning. A couple of times the lines became very tangled and we had mules panic. One night a mule was bitten by a brown jumping spider and died. No need for an alarm clock, they would start "calling" for breakfast at first light!


We had one run-away wagon, no one hurt, but wagon destroyed. Very dangerous.


On the Ute reservation, some Indian men and boys came into camp and offered to talk to us about their lives. The women made fresh fry-bread for the whole camp. A gift.


In the "Land of the Dine" (Navajo Reservation) Indians occasionally rode in by horseback, very friendly. One night they brought 2 truck loads of produce as a gift to us.


I did the camp laundry at Medicine Hat trading post in AZ. Using washing machines and dryers it took me 3 days. The trading post was the hub of the Rez. I was invited to a wedding, and blessing ceremony at Shiprock. I carried laundy for a very old lady one day, and she called me "daughter"


When given "leave" occasionally from the wagon train, (a van would take us to whatever town), most of the men would "whoop it up" and get very drunk in town. A few times had to be bailed out of jail.


Personal stories were our main source of entertainment on the trail. No electronics for entertainment. One morning I was sitting around the morning fire with a couple of teenage boys who had helped me feed the mules. It was first light, and there was a red glow on the horizen. The boys got into an argument about what the red glow was. One boy said it was pollution from town. The other said it was the sun coming up. Finally they asked me what I thought. I told them "Well, that red-ribbon has been around a long time, even before pollution from town. The old Cheyenne would say that it's the shining moccasines of the Dawn Boys, come to tell the stars it's time to end their journey across the sky, and time for Grandfather sun to don his shining headress and climb the blue stairs of the sky " They both looked at me in stunned silence!! I had to laugh, but Sunday morning we let those boys sleep in. One of them came running up to me looking like he just jumped out of his bedroll and he was very uspet. He found me finishing up my breakfast and breathlessly exclaimed "You forgot to wake us up to see the sky!!"


I was on the wagon train for 6 months. It was one of the great adventures of my life. It was tough even with modern conveniences, and I often thought about how double-tough our acestors had to be to make it.


Thanks for letting me share!

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WOW, gulfcoasttruth! What a wonderful experience and how kind the people along the way were.

One of the things I want folks to think about, is that when these very heavy wagons are moving, no one steps down from them or tries to get up on them, because they can fall and get run over. This will lead to broken bones and internal injuries, and yes, you get a runaway wagon, and its going to be a mess, like what happened to that one wagon.

You had some major assistance getting over certain difficult places along that trail but usually, they rigged ropes and tackle, pulley systems and used weight and strength to get over the really tough inclines on these western trails all over the West.

When it rained, you had bad mud and by hand , the wagons had to be pushed, dug out and pulled by maybe a double team of mules or oxen as well, with every able bodied grown person helping out and getting massively muddy and dirty as well.

One of the things in the military is that we are taught to take care of our feet. If your shoes get wet , using those burning tabs inside the boot actually helps if its so humid they wont dry, fresh spare socks, which you wash out at night and hang to dry overnite. If you have enough water between places to do any washing.


We also have the benefit of the hygienic wipes now and that cuts actual water use down. In the military, you tend your feet, some of us may want to be checking them at each break, doctoring any soft or sore or blister areas properly and watching others. We mostly have soft feet because they are protected so much now by smooth surfaces and shoes that are very durable. Starting out walking all day long is rugged at first. But you do get used to it. I really enjoy the movement of walking and its glorious outside now so I enjoy my walk even more and I see how different it is outside. But I am still not able to walk all day, admittedly although I would like to get back to at least half that as a matter of course and am thinking of getting a foldable manual treadmill so I can get into walking when its too cold outside to keep building up my legs and feet again this winter. I consider exercise that is consistent extremely important right now because I know I am not capable of that at this point and there may well come a time when I have to do some extremely long travel if things keep going badly for us and get alot worse to get to where my son lives, several states away, in any kind of weather and conditions as it would be.


My walk last weekend and the one before that of about 3-4 miles after being totally a computer chair potato for so long sure tells me how tender my feet are. Add fibro for effect, too. It takes me about two solid days right now to get over that pain, but on the journey, you would not have that and would have to keep walking.

The real reasons most folks walked was that it took extra weight off the livestock hitched to the wagons to pull them over the terrain. As well as the discomfort of being knocked around going over rough territory on a daily basis. We are lucky that there are so many roads now. You might be able to take a few rides to give your feet a break as you adjust but it puts alot of strain on the mules or oxen.


It would be really difficult to pack canned goods ( home canned in jars). The weight alone is difficult for the mules or oxen. Horses would only be good for individuals who would be scouting ahead, safety and hunting further off as needed. Or for disabled folks. Most folks don't even have horses anymore. Pulling the Conestoga is too much for horses on a long term basis and they will wither away, so mules and oxen are better and eat less particular feed. Back to jars, perhaps foam rubber from pillows or if you have some stored could be cut out to house jars in crates or boxes that would stand up to the lengthy travel. Something like bubble wrap would eventually lose its ability cause the bumps and such would cause it to pop too much, or extra linens or straw in the crates for them... but it limits the amount of room you have to store everything unless you have a couple extra wagons like Stephanie would have with so many in her family old enough to drive the wagons. Some in her party will be having to deal with the livestock on the ground and encouraging and controlling the teams on the ground. Children learned early how to drive wagons too, for the most part as it was an integral part of their lives from the start back in the pioneer days and on the farm.


Me, I would have one wagon... and honestly wouldn't want one of the really long ones and I am thinking my dry supplies that I have been gathering that are condensed so well will be my best choice and a minimal amount of canned foods. I know I am still lacking in having a bunch of seed too and thats a big spot to fill still for me.


For me, it would be difficult to choose which books to take, but I have several technical books and college algebra books that tell in great detail how to do the problems so it would be useful for teaching others algebra, which is useful in many things like constructing things on a practical basis. Just don't ask me to teach it, I have a hard time fathoming that kind of stuff and figure out what materials I may need by a simpler process I can understand. I have certain books on things that I am interested in that are helpful to others as well , although they are not something some folks even understand, but their purpose is good and useful as it deals with Eastern methods of healing and I would take those too, along with a good selection of other instructional books. I wish I had a collection of the emergency health care books like surgery in case of emergency and such and a much bigger supply of herbs and supplements to aid myself and others with, and a much bigger amount of antibiotics to treat different illnesses and infections.

I wish I had some good anatomy and physiology books and such too... but I know I need to stock more food and utter basics right now. Inflation is just around the corner and I have a limited budget each month now.

I would be doing alot of snaring of small game along the way and probably hurrying through chores and trying to fish any water ways we came across to supplement and if it was warm seasons, foraging during the day if I could share the driving of my wagon with someone else on the journey. I have paper and pens and pencils and some art supplies too and those would be brought along for journaling and education purposes, and drawing out plans for building projects once we get to the place we settle in.

I would take sewing supplies and make extra towels and a bunch of hot pads for the camp cooking because cast iron and campfires are hot to work with. Sewing and materials and buttons and notions to make more clothing by hand. The electric sewing machine would be carefully packed into a wooden crate and brought in hopes that we would have electricity again, one day. My knitting supplies and knitting books would be taken as well, they are easy to learn from and give great examples of how to work with it all to make it very nice and neat too. One could work on that skill sometimes on the journey as well. Also teach it to others. My knitting looms would go as they are simple to use and make things quickly.

I would bring quite a few novels and such books too because books are big entertainment and help literacy stay alive when you have nothing electronic and the chores are done and they stimulate the mind and heart as well, certainly all my bibles and any thing Christian oriented in the way of literature. Still there would be alot of decisions have to be made about what are favorites or the best of the best when it comes to my bookshelves.

I would carefully pack and waterproof my family photos and albums and I would pack away securely my flashdrives and discs holding pics and documents. I need to get a printer and make up notebooks of hardcopies of so many things from MrsS, still, for instruction and recipe books. There is such a variety of knowledge. I would have to make more bolts for the crossbow and be very careful with what arrows I have for the compound bow and try and make more arrows. I totally lack firearms but have more hand to hand type weapons and those would all be going and I need to make sheaths for some of them, like the machete and would get used to carrying that. I have my moms jewelry for bargaining purposes once we settle, or for supplies if possible on the way.

There is alot I am still lacking, but there are also many things I would be able to take that are here already.

I have enough cooking pans and such and utensils and table ware but I have no metal plates and wish I did. I would probably carve a plank for a durable plate and bowl. Like the old trencher set up , the bowl is in the middle and is deeper than the plate surface. I also do have metal cups at least and messkits that do provide somewhat durable eating ware and extra small pots and pans at least and those certainly would go. I have wire for snares and can remember how to set simple traps and snares and usually review them on youtube occasionally or with the help of someone who does remember more clearly if I have a blank brain about a certain part of snare building at the moment. I have a single burner coleman stove and some propane cannisters ( small) and those certainly would be good for inclement weather or no wood available for a campfire to cook on.

I would bring all the plastic and tarps I have and rope and cord ( parachute cord, string , twine).

I have a few games like checkers and cards and there would be a small game bag going in the wagon.


I would bring enough well padded wine making supplies as you can use bread yeast for it if you must and I have that. Wine can be used in cleaning wounds and surgery if you have nothing else to use.


All my tools and nails and screws would be packed up to go in a bin. Its not much but its better than nothing. I dont have gardening tools and know I am lacking in that and would have to borrow them to work a new garden as my back couldnt take just using the Army shovels as little as those are, when we settle somewhere, well, if I had to, I would use them. ( I live in a place I cant garden at, although I know I could swipe them from MHA, lol... but thats a twelve mile trip......but I do know where they are and there are full propane tanks for the gas grill there too.... can we swipe stuff???, LOL.... )


I have soy wax in a big block and I have tuna cans and wicking and would be making up all of them as 3 wick emergency candles. I have some other candles too that would be used and candle holders that are small enough to pack carefully and use and a couple oil lamps and several quarts of lamp oil that would all go.


The linens and the blankets and sleeping bags and all the BOB and day packs I have would be utilized for BOB and for kits, like hunting and snaring gear and the first aid day pack, all stored and ready to grab out of the back of the wagon or by the seat in front to grab right away. I have one fire steel and wished I had a spare and a couple bic lighters right at the moment and matches, they all would go. I would keep the blankets in plastic bags to guard against dirt and the linens, one sheet would become a sleeping bag liner or bedroll liner as it will help keep the blankets from getting dirty and sweaty and smelly and can be washed in a stream or boiled in a pot over a fire. Bungee cords would be great! I have some and wish I had more. They would certainly be used for anything they can help with.


Ive got a bigger french press now, that came in my amazon order and it supplies enough coffee for me for a morning breakfast fire. Im thinking the coffee grounds would be good for Wormguys worm bin along the way! After they are used up of course.


Five gallon buckets would be great but you will want some padding under and around them because wagon hauling is a bumpy experience and you don't want the cracking to pieces and ruining the food supply, so my extra big zebra stripe blanket, fleecey stuff would be used for that and washed when I got to where I settle. A small innovation but seriously needed to secure the buckets. If i had rubber matting I would use that. Like the playground, garage flooring stuff, if any of you have that, would be terrific to line the bottom and sides of the wagon with. Or storing sacks of grain underneath might work if you have your small livestock and mule feed with you would help alot in that part of packing it. Cut grass would work in a pinch too.


( I just am trying to brainstorm some innovations with what there could be to work with. I've got plenty of grass hay fields around me to go cut some grass from or swipe some of a round bale for that purpose, feed for the mules ya know? Well I still have enough money to buy a bale too, so that would at least be more honest. ) LOL.


If you had some mountain bikes those could be tied to the side of the wagon and used for scouting and hunting trips that were some distance away from the wagon train too. For herding the loose livestock too.. Also alleviate sore feet as people get used to walking or its just easier for them. I do not have one and would be responsible mostly for getting my wagon forward most of the time anyway, so this is just a thought for others.


Ok, I better toss this out there , its plenty long anyhow! Good luck ! be creative !!!!

Edited by arby
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WOW, gulfcoast! I'd like to listen to your stories for hours. I've always wanted to take even a short wagon trip [...lol, can you tell from this scenario?] but never got an opportunity. I think my old muscles are gonna ACHE even in this 'virtual' wagon trip. :o [that's why I'm here typing on a sunny Saturday...I'm SO sore and tired-stooopid! :sassing: ] Anyway, step right up and post some reality checks for us, since you had a long term experience.


[MtR is none too sure of all the STUFF she *thinks* her oxen are gonna pull in her wagon... ]




Arby, about taking just stuff we have..... Hmm. One thing we might just do is holler out if we know we are short on something. See if others have it. An exercise in "community". Like those anatomy/physiology books you mentioned. MrMtRider has that covered. Mebbe the community will provide a driver for certain occupations and the stuff [books, equipment, etc] it needs. Like having a medical wagon? [...sure glad we can dream a bit in our UNreality scenarios... :shrug: ]



TAKE NOTE: I'm not gonna tell ANYone that they have to absolutely tell the truth/whole truth/nuthin'-but-the-truth on what they do and don't have for preps. Let's just kinda assume that safety feature from the beginning. We're just practicing and we KNOW what we're short or plentiful in. We can conjecture a bit on our short areas. Reveal only what you are comfortable with. 'K?




Also Arby, some great thots on the walking [as opposed to the bone-jarring ride], foot care, etc. Let's put your wine making supplies in the medical wagon. [Medicinal use, right? lol ] And I never thot of 5 gal buckets cracking...but if tossed hard enough, yeah. Padding my rice and wheat!



Ack, can't get that pesky little covered wagon pic to hop onto my post. :(


MtRider [working on my list..... :pc_coffee: ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
being fussy...lol
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Well, I can tell you that we women started out keeping up our makeup, washing our hair and brushing our teeth from the water wagon, and stepping around mule apples, but that didn't last long. Wear a hat to cover up that greasy hair, fresh washed make-up free faces started to look not so bad, chew on a blade of grass, and pretty soon you don't even notice the horse & mule do-do.

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Heck, that middle icon stopped showing.

Could a moderator please delete that icon for me? We can't do that any more.

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Now if you are coming along, list your people/animals/and supply list. Go back and edit your supply list if you think of more things. Just use one post and we can check out additions to each other's lists.

Did I miss something? I don't see the 'edit' button anymore on my original post.


Edited to add: able to edit this post.... :shrug:

Edited by Annarchy
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.........um....mebbe it's a mod function? On previous formats MrsS has used, we've always been able to go back even 6 months later and edit one's own posts. As mod I can edit anyone's in RURR, of course.



Let me know....can you edit within a certain time limit and could we change what that limit is??? :shrug:




MtRider hollering for Mother to return or ....Cat? Got a question for someone.... ;)

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Well, I looked all over and it appears that after a certain amount of time, members may no longer edit their own posts. :(


I can't find where to change it, if it can be, if it should be, so we'll have to wait for Darlene to come in.







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Gee, yea, the edit button is gone! Wow..... we need that!



Ok. thanks Mt Rider........ how far are we going? and yet, thinking more, you want at least enough food to get you through on basics as much as possible til First fruits from gardening will come in.

Wow. Im not even there yet! Ok...... I admit. I will cheat, but thinking hard on quantities will be a good mind exercise. I am actually only beginning to really grasp that and how much I use say in a few days or a week depending on what I am fixing for myself out of homecanned or dried foods. Also since I have been baking some, I have a better idea how much flour and bakin powder and salt and sugar I need. ( I spent a long time renting only a bedroom and gettin back to cooking for myself and realizing how much it takes, and the screwed up schedule I have most months can make it difficult for me to get everything I really need, so its beena challenge, but now I am getting more keen on it and that will help. Be a good math exercise, lol. I will work on that , hopefully by sometime tomorrow. And I do think I will just consider certain 'thangs' in my environment , um, er, resources! lol... well its, um, innovation! And Im clearing out in the wagon anyway. ( Not that I am a stealer in real life at all. nope, not me! I hate thieves...)


seriously, I will try and do enough math on several types of items and make a list to post. Good ideas about a medicine wagon. Does anyone have splints? I do have a snake bite kit, now that I dont need one for this scenario! ( But do for my region! ).


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Sorry, haven't read the whole thread (will when I have time :) ).


Thought ya'll might be interested in this. Real life wagon traveler.




One of the regular customers at the restaurant where I work met this guy. He stopped and helped him bale hay and spent the night at his place. He brought me in a newspaper with a story about him in it. Really cool. He has a blog on his site about his travels.

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Bravo Mt_Rider. A wonderful tool to make us THINK!!! You come up with the neatest ideas. Thanks for this one.



Okay, first, I just got back from five days of travel in a motor home and am a bit tired yet so will have to add to this as I get my brain in order. Please my forgiving as I ramble here with thoughts in no particular order at this point.



Trying to take along even enough food for the time it would take us to reach our destination would take up a lot more weight and space than you might imagine. If you add to that enough food to last us until we were established you could have the wagon over half full right there. Add to that all the supplies and materials that you would need to set up housekeeping and provide sustenance and a living after that would be very challenging.



The Belknap diary, referred to in one of the links on Mt_Rider's first post, is one of the most famous records of how a family prepared for the trip. There were other diaries as well, all good sources of information, but many were written before the trip started when an idealistic belief was still very strong. The actual trip was not nearly as wonderful as most people were led to believe.



If I read Mt_R's scenario right, she is suggesting that we are going to be starting a new community that does not include electronics and perhaps very few modern inventions. Those you do bring along will have to be durable or expendable for life will not be all that easy despite the beauty and wonders of the "wilderness" to which she is leading us. While you are preparing for this exercise, I suggest that you not just read what is written as much as think through what would be the realities of travel in this way (thanks Gulfcoastruth for your taste of reality) and base what you are taking along on the fact that you will not be living as you do now if you take this journey and in fact, it might be years before you would have any of the niceties you have now.



She is also telling us that we can take along only what we "already have". That could be even more challenging than what the pioneer had as they often sold everything they owned that could not be taken along and bought what they needed. Food alone will be a challenge for many as a lot of us store food in the form of frozen or home canned. Food in jars is not appropriate for wagon travel as they are shaken way too much to be either safe from breakage or from spoilage. Canning equipment, likewise, might seem a necessity and indeed, it could be, especially the big water bath canners or heavy pressure canners but more for heating water for use in bathing and etc or hauling water from a stream. It might be possible to bring along enough jars to use in canning once we get there, but how much space and weight would they take up? Do you have the old-fashioned reusable zinc lids and rubber rings? Again, remember the weight and space limits.



How many have cast iron cookware? You can take you lightweight cooking gear but let me assure you it will hold up little better than the tin of day's past when used repeatedly over a fire but then again, how many cast iron pans can you take and still remember the weight and space limits. Cast was usually carried in containers made for them and attached to the outside of the wagons but the weight was great and had to be figured in. People soon learn on the trail that it would be much better to throw out Grandma's beautiful dresser rather than the cast iron pot they need daily for cooking.



Okay, just a few things to think about. I'll be posting the list of supplies recommended by the Mormons for those people journeying to Salt Lake City.






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