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WAGONS HO!- Preparation


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Oh my, you are hurrying us, aren't you!


I'm bringing the lavender guineas. I have 5 so I can bring all of them. 3 females and 2 males.


I don't have any African Greys. Would you like the trio of Cotton Patch? Or perhaps a trio of Embdens or American Buffs?


Turkeys can indeed be herded, as can geese and ducks. Probably wouldn't want to be held back to a goose or duck pace though. A dog crate is a good size, one of the big wire ones.


I won't have time to dry all my meat if we are leaving so soon. Maybe I'll have to split the jars between everybody and we'll just eat them as we go.



Just like in the old days - if you waited until the last minute to prep for the trip you forgot things or didn't have the time to pack right. Things got broken as they were just piled in as time ran out. SO for some this will be a 'real' test as to WHY we need to be ready all the time. Good Job!



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I've tried to keep track but there have been so many posts, I might have missed it...but have we discussed weaponry and ammunition, etc.


We are in the process of gathering, learning and then DOING - reloading equipment, supplies, and tools. So this will definitely be coming with us. It could be a real benefit to have this ability.


We'll be bringing assortments of handguns, hunting rifles and shotguns, but also the three Black Powder Guns that we own, along with a supply of what is needed to properly clean and care for these important articles.


As a side note, we recently bought some gun carrying cases that float, so just in case, that is a good thing.


Trish, I plan on us eating out of our jars of canned food along the way as well, then hopefully I'll be able to refill them once settled...at least that is the premise!


Oh and I just remembered that I have quite a stash of those storage bags that you can remove all of the air out of after filling with clothing, blankets, jackets, etc... Talk about a space saver!!


That was creepy about the dogs and the worry about them turning feral, I had not heard about that before. Well, we'll take all manner of cautions against that.


And BTW, I'm no expert, but I have been attending classes with Aslan and am learning a fair bit about dog training, so I'll help others with that if they need it.


I'd also like to suggest that we have a Chaplain for this journey. Stress levels will be high, illnesses could occur and prayerful counsel is always a blessing. :pray:

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I decided to sign up my sister and her family. 2 adults and 3 teenagers. So they get 2 wagons pulled by oxen. They are bringing their flock of Nubian goats, herd of Dexter cattle, 6 horses, 1 Great Pyr, 2 cats, 1 rat terrier and a pair of African Grey Parrots (which they really should leave at home, but can't tell them anything. LOL)


They have some long guns and he reloads. He does carpentery (not for a living though). She home schools and is into Nourishing Traditions. They are just starting to do some prepping but I have set aside grains and beans etc for them and they can load those on their wagons along with all the livestock feed that they have on hand. They have turkeys and chickens and regular guineas and ducks that they can bring. Not sure what all she has for kitchen, but she collects old fashioned kitchen stuff and can bring all that.


Their teens can help with driving wagons and herding animals. I think they would be an assest to the train.


Guess I'm loaded except I need to go pick up those Angora goats. Just found some, about 10 miles from me in the town where my sister lives. I'll get a buck and three does.

Edited by CrabGrassAcres
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This is the original list added to at the bottom



As skills go, I have a few, but am more jack of many trades than master of one. (I suspect that Michael is that way as well) (by the way, I just caught the connotation of the assumed names AH, LOL)


I have a lot of years in teaching open fire cooking. I have also taught pioneer daily life skills, including making "do" with what we have, Herb lore and usage, food preservation in the past, old ways of producing light, staying warm, doing laundry, cheese making, and more.


DH and I and our kids did wildlife rescue (27 years of doing it) and the knowledge of wildlife habitats, how they react in given situations (not always possible as they can be unpredictable), and etc might be valuable.


I have some Fiber crafts knowledge (knitting, crochet, weaving, knitting board, spool weaving, and more).


I have knowledge and skills in small livestock handling and rearing, especially the old ways, and have some knowledge in herbal remedies for them.


I have lots of gardening experience, and some wild crafting knowledge.


I also have organizational and people handling skills, as it's what I did for years for a living.


I have also, as part of a life long love of pioneer living and a desire to learn first hand what it took to do so, lived for months at a time as our pioneer ancestors did. That is, without electricity, with no running water except what ingenuity rigged up, with only wood heat and cooking, and etc. They did NOT have it easy!


What I DON'T have is the physical ability to carry out some of these skills as I did in the past. What is it they say about those who can do; and those who can't teach! I'm probably closer to the teaching end than the doing end.


DH will be a great asset but in ways not specific most likely. He is a jack of many trades and can repair almost anything. He is a good make do carpenter. Even at our age (retired) he can outwork many younger than he. His middle name is Ingenuity, LOL. He is also a very good hunter.


Hopefully we'll have family coming with us. DD can do almost everything I can plus she is excellent with numbers. GKs are all versatile and willing to help. One GSIL knows hunting inside and out. SIL can handle any farm livestock there is and can not only drive teams but also can farm using them. He can repair almost anything, including farm equipment of the old fashioned kind.


DS #2 (#1 is in Thailand and won't be coming along) can do almost anything with metal, mechanics, and he is named after his father's middle name. LOL


Youngest son is an excellent and avid hunter and sportsman, welder, mechanic etc. His children, while young, are all willing workers. DDIL has an active mind and can shoot as well as any in the family.


I hope there are some things in this list of abilities that will make us good trail mates and useful members of our new community.


Okay, list:

If all the family comes on the journey we would probably be allowed five wagons. (Five families). Perhaps one would be a supply wagon if some family members doubled up. We will most likely be using a combination of horses, mules, and oxen for the teams but will have to sell many things to be able to afford them and the wagons. Two of the drivers would have to be trained.




Five Nigerian Goats [3 does, 2 bucks] maybe a kid or two if old enough

Two or three Jersey milk cows (to be purchased, we have access to them)

Two ewes, one ram sheep

Two geese in cage on side of wagon (or herded with livestock to graze)

Several chickens also in cages

Wouldn't mind a few small piglets

Three big dogs (two hunters, one Saint)

Like Mt_Rider, perhaps a couple cats for rodent problems (caged)

Several riding horses

Horses/mules/oxen for teams (to be purchased)

All necessary tack for horses and oxen

Buckets and containers for feed and water as needed (tied on various wagons)

Livestock first aid kit

Grain as needed for animals but will hope to find graze and natural sources of feed along the way.


Most of the extra tack and all the feed and supplies will be carried in the supply wagon with all extra gear for repairs to wagons and for farming/gardening (plow shares perhaps, various small parts, rakes, hoes, shovels and etc.).


The wagon might also contain the corn, popcorn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, Rice?, beets, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and other field seed but not all of it. Some field seeds, along with garden seeds, would be distributed among the other wagons to ensure safety of arrival.


Hand shears and electric shears (run from solar pack at first) for sheep for wool

Various wood working tools in box

Large toolbox with various mechanical and carpentry tools

Leather working tools

Two man crosscut saw

Regular saws for both carpentry and firewood

Hunting and fishing supplies and ammo (guns to numerous to mention, bows/arrows, sling shots, etc) We will most likely have them distributed to members of the family and in various wagons.


The supply wagon will most likely be our heaviest wagon and would need to be packed cautiously as to weight and distribution. It would have the heaviest team of oxen or mules.

Cooking: (some of these will be shared by family both on the trail and after arriving) The family has their own lists for their own wagons as well


For the Fire: Two pair of long cuffed leather welding gloves and two pair of short cuffed (we can make more later);

Two good shovels of different sizes;

Two sets of long handled BBQ utensils (one is wrought iron)

Folding reflector/oven;

One medium sized grate, and One or two med. Sized steel plate (makes cooking much faster and cleaner)

Two campfire ovens (one double and one single folding but depends on space)

Four Dutch Ovens with lids (two with flanges and feet)

Two large spiders (Big cast fry pans with feet and lids)

One cast iron chicken fryer (deep fry pan with lid)

Several cast iron saucepans and skillets

One large cast iron straight-sided bean cooker

Two or three lid lifters

Two lid holders (can be used to hold pans in fire as well)

Several iron trivets

Various odd cast items as space and weight dictates

Durable Enamelware dinner service for eight, (for use after arriving)

Stainless steel mess kits for each individual (for on the trail)

Various stainless steel pots and pans with lids (as room permits but not necessary)

Large SS turkey frying pots

Various stainless steel bowls, containers and utensils

Various Rubbermaid type bowls, containers, and utensils (most either nested or full of supplies for the trip)

Set of good kitchen knives plus many extras

Two water bath canners (more for large cooking and heating water)

Two pressure canners with extra gauges/weights/seals etc

Several boxes of canning jars with zinc lids and rubber seals (filled with dried foods)

Several boxes of bail lid canning jars with extra rubber seals (filled with dried foods)

(last two items packed with foam between as they are packed now in the motor home)

Various canning supplies as room permits, in canners perhaps

Foley food mill

Hand grain grinder

Hand operated blender

Hand operated juicer (with extra parts)

SS mandolin slicer/grater (large size will work to make kraut etc)

(Possibly various sized sharpened blades for making kraut makers, slicers and etc. after arriving)

Milk setting pans (for cheese and etc)

Two or three Ice Tea jars with spigots (used to separate cream easily)

Cream cans

SS milk storage cans

Several large plastic buckets, all full of food and well packed

Two metal mesh egg baskets with locking lids (many uses)

Dehydrator racks, plastic and metal (optional if room, we can use sheets and etc)

Two hanging mesh five shelf food dehydrators (material, folds into small area)

Butchering saws and knives

Milking buckets and other dairy equipment and supplies


Loom parts that can't be easily or conveniently built (metal heddles and beaters)

Rain collection barrel for outside of wagon, gutters to gather water from cover and later from roofs.

Various bare root fruit trees, herbs and plants, various cuttings as well

Large selection of garden seeds and roots.

Misc. medical/herbal/ID books that are not included in the Library

Medium sized pop up tent with screen house attached that is very small and fairly light to take along.

Foam mattress because I just can't handle hard though I'm sure it will eventually be replaced with wool.



Black folding solar shower (also SS shower head and hose for after arrival)

TP for trip and cloth squares and soaking bucket for later

Portable camping potty, Folding aluminum commode too.

Also have unisex urinal

Disinfectant wipes and four quarts hand sanitizer for trip

Towels and washcloths (will wrap around breakables where possible)

Twenty large bars well aged lye soap (used for shampoo, laundry, bathing, dishes)

Two gallon Vinegar for rinsing hair and etc (many uses)

Large tubs for laundry and bathing

Clamp on wringer for tubs

This is the new addition to the list. List has also been edited for readability. Various other posts with equipment or supplies was not added here to save space.

Clothing and personals


Jackets (down, denim, leather, one each)


Full rain gear each and extra rubber ponchos each


Several flannel shirts each


Several lightweight shirts each


"Unmentionables" (T-shirts, bra's, undies) (dozens as they will be difficult to replace as we know them)


Work pants, jeans, sweats


Sweat shirts


Socks both heavy and light (dozen pairs each, we can replace these)


Long heavy skirts, Calf length lighter skirts


All will be packed in the big vacuum sealed bags (Thanks Stephanie for the reminder)


Five pair shoes/boots each (various from army boots to sneakers for comfort)



Sewing and etc


Large supply of knitting needles; crochet hooks, yarn, tatting and tapestry needles; and etc


Large sewing kit (needles (LOTS they will be precious), elastic, tape measures, and a whole lot more)


Buttons, zippers, hooks and eyes and some velcro


Thread (carpet and regular and fishing line)


Material (modern poly or nylon and etc as we can manufacture woolen and cotton and leather when we get there) (both light weight and heavy used as padding on trip)


Drop spindles and parts for spinning wheel that can't be manufactured


Boxes of small nails to be used for small handlooms and knitting boards later



More Misc.


2-3 dozen diapers (Tons of uses)


2-3 dozen Flour sack towels (even more uses)


Rubber bands, wire ties, wire (various sizes)


Salt and pepper grinder, mortars and pestles (various sizes)


Large coffee pot


Folding camp chairs and tables


Wash board and clamp on wringer


Strike anywhere matches (waterproofed with wax and sealed)


Magnesium fire starter and Flint and Steel


Magnifying glasses (several)


A large variety of pens, pencils, paper and notebooks. Also journals.


A few special family photos


Food and supplies


Large selection of dried vegetables, fruits and meats (all vacuum sealed)


Various dehydrated soup mixes


Dried beans, wheat, rice, barley, amaranth, tapioca, millet, corn, oatmeal and oat groats, and other grains.


Variety of flours in sealed containers (rice, wheat, corn, potato starch, arrowroot, millet and etc)


SALT (canning, sea salt crystals, earth salt) 25 to 50 pounds as space and weight permits in small sealed packages


Pepper seeds for grinding


A large variety of sprouting seeds and sprouting equipment


A large variety of nuts


Roots as place is found (potatoes, parsnip, carrots, etc for on trail and later. Not the seed roots)


Sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup, and etc in small amounts for a treat


Molasses and sorghum


Ready to eat bacon, jars of bacon pieces, and fresh bacon and salt pork


Cured hams (it's still cool enough to keep some cured meats)


Fresh frozen meat in coolers with dried ice for first week or so on trail


Shelf stable summer sausages


Some canned veggies, fruits, soups, etc for ready to eat meals when needed on the road and at stressful times.


Various hard candies for treats and for instant energy


Baking powder, soda, cream of tartar, and yeast


Large selection of herbs, spices, and seeds (sealed in small packages and distributed through out various wagons with the garden seeds and etc) (medicinal and culinary)


Tea herbs (some but most can be found along the way)


Various cultures for cheese, yogurt, kefir, sourdough, and etc







We are pretty much ready to go except that I am a bit nervous about my health and my ability to handle this trip. We are seeing a lot of unrest in our area though and would not want to wait longer to leave. Still have to make sure that the rest of the family is ready. Will be doing that Saturday night and be at the meeting place on Sunday night. Until then we are setting guards as Mt_R suggests.


:bighug2: (Gosh I'm going to miss my computer)






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I have 25 cattle panels I want to bring. They are 4' tall by 16' long. I figured I can bend them over the top of wagons and fasten them to the sides. That still allows plenty of room above my barrels for lightweight stuff. If we distrubute them on my wagon and my sister's two they will be available at night or for longer stretches to make corrals for livestock. My sister also has a round pen. I'll bring some tposts as well and some rolls of fencing that I have. Might as well bring a solar charged electric fence too.


I'm going to put the jars of canned goods in the barrels of grains. As the jars empty they can be washed and repacked in the barrels with grain inside and around them. I figured the space left can be filled with grain from another barrel until that barrel is empty. Then the empty one can be used for a water barrel if needed or other items can be put in it for safekeeping.

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Annarchy!! Did you do that sketch?? Wow!! That is so cool!


Trish, that is a GREAT idea about the empty canning jars going into the barrels of grain.


This may seem like a 'not so important' detail, but I'm a good hair cutter, I have some good scissors (several pair) although I never did get around to buying a pair of those none electric clippers.


Is anyone bringing supplies to make the Goats Milk Soap?? Talk about a great commodity or barter/trade item. I'm not willing to go back to the days of no baths...if I have any choice in the matter! :D

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I'm bringing lye and coconut oil for soap as well as rendered lard. Also have several pounds of castile soap made up that I'm bringing. I've never made goat milk soap, I'd rather use the milk for cheese or drinking. Will we have the luxury of using goat milk for soap anymore?


I'm also bringing 3 top flight bird nets, 25x50' each for the tops of poultry runs.


Can I fasten a bunch of barrels to the outside of the wagons? I was doing some figuring and 12,000 pounds is 30 barrels that weigh 400 pounds each. I can't fit that many IN the wagon (only have 20, but I have a lot of grains and stuff in totes.) If I can fasten some of the barrels outside, I can put totes inside.


(Busily taking stuff out and putting it in. GONNA make it fit!) LOL



ETA Hey Stephanie, are you having your homeschooling class figuring out weights and how much you are putting on the wagons?


Mt Rider, I have a 1500 gallon cistern for the water wagon. Full it weighs 12,000 pounds.

Edited by CrabGrassAcres
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I'd also like to suggest that we have a Chaplain for this journey. Stress levels will be high, illnesses could occur and prayerful counsel is always a blessing. :pray:



If I can get it all together in time I will offer the services of 2 "Parsons". MrGee and I are both ordained. I will see if things can be arranged for us to join in the journey......



.............off to locate a wagon........and pack.



CeeGee rushing off muttering "now where is that......"

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Aren't I correct in that I can take 3 wagons? If so, I am going to add more cases of canned foods with t-shirts (that I found at the local IGA store for $1 each) wrapped around them to keep them from breaking and I got 3 packages of tube socks in which I can put a jar to keep it safe and have the extra socks when we get there. I am also going to get the lard canned up that I am rendering from the butchered pig. I will also add lye and my pot for making goat's milk soap. I forgot to add in before my binder with many instructions on the old ways of doing things. DH and I decided to can most of the butchered pig, so this will provide meat for the trip. I told DH to go ahead and get a deer soon, and I will make jerky from most of it and will grind some for ground beef for the trip. I also forgot to add in the axe, which we most certainly will need to chop firewood. I will be able to stick in my tote that is full of detergent makin' supplies as well. DH is adding in his extensive collection of nails, bolts, and screws. I am trying to decide if I dig up several of the blueberry bushes, grape vines, and gather some garlic bulbs and asparagus crowns and trim the tops off each of them and then put them in gallon ziplock bags with moist potting soil if we can get through the journey with starts for fruits, garlic, and asparagus? What do you think?


ETA: We will also stick the extra saddle and blankets and combs/brushes/medicines in the 3rd wagon.


Oh, no!!! I just got the message about being ready on Sunday night. We haven't even killed the pig yet. Well, I know what we will be doing tomorrow. Dh will pick up his final check in the morning, so we will work in the wee hours of the mornings until we get everything loaded and on the wagons. We gonna have to pick up that third wagon in the morning as well. We can't get another team of oxen that quick, so I guess horses will do for us on that wagon.

Edited by firegirl969
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firegirl, I think originally MtRider said you could have a second wagon if you had a family larger than four and could supply a second driver.


Then I...the problem child that I am :rolleyes: asked for three wagons, as we are a family of nine and can easily provide 3 drivers (two teenage sons and dh) with me as an alternate.


So....if you want to be a problem child like me...just present your case! :D

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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,

Added: artist, crochet, & accountant. (Jews Harp for me & a harmonica for my DH)

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 pan, casserole pan, and bread pan, a set of silverware, knife block, utensils ......

Added: Remove smoker & coleman cook stove w/fuel, due to room constraints. Can do the same with my sm BBQ or a pit. Removed the knife block but keep the knives, 1 ladle, lg. sieve spoon, 1 serving spoon. Added my Haro. Set of nested steel bowls, nested measuring cups & spoons, mortar & pestle, tongs, p-38, can opener, spray bottle, 2 insulated coffee cups and pressure cooker. 2 med garbage pails - multi use, dish soap & scour pads.

Health/sanitation: Lots of cotten towels, (more later) [...total 25 towels - packing material]

Added: 1 Case of TP, 1 sheet & 5 towels cut for wash clothes, 5 tubes of toothpaste, 4 toothbrushes, 20 bars and 1 liter of liquid antibacterial soap. Sun screen/bug spray, 6 bottles of ibuproprin (6,000) & 3-500 bottles of 800mg ibuproprin, 3 bottles of Vit C & 2 - 1000 bottles of Multi-Vit., fingernail kit, hair brushes, comb, hair ties, 3 bottles of alcohol, and 3 bottles of peroxide, and 2 large bottles of hand lotion. Also added a bucket, lysol cleaning liquid

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

Added: 3 1st aid kits, 2 sheets for bandages.

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

Added: Remove warm weather sleeping bags, added 2 med/sm wool blankets, 1 down comforter and 1 blue jean quilt. 3 rollup foam bed cushions.

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

Added: Removed most of the jackets. Kept: 1 waterproof drover, 2 windbreakers, 2 down jackets, 3 thick sweater, and 5 sweatshirts.

Sewing box: Multi sized crochet needles, sewing needles, seam ripper, tatting shuttles, and 35 spools of thread.

Daily Clothing:

For me: 2 broomstick skirts, 1 pair of overalls, 3 pair of jeans, 8 t-shirts, 2 bras & 8 pair of undies, 6 pair of warm socks. 2 pr of tennis shoes, 2 pr of boots, 2 pr of moccosins (1 cold- 1 warm), & 1 pr of sandals. 2 blue jean skirts.

For DH: 3 pair of jeans, 6 BDU sets, 10 t-shirts, 10 pair of undies & 10 pr of socks, 2 pr of boots, and 1 pr of sturdy shoes, 1 pr of flipflops.

(Fits in 2 suitcases.)

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

Added: Hand drill & bits, & 3 saws with whet stone for sharpening things. 1 hoe, 1 rake, 2 spades, 1 hand trowel & spade. 5 fishing poles, 2 tackle boxes, 1 re-curve & 1 compound bows and arrows, 1 crossbow & arrows. Several hand guns & rifles with some cases of ammo. Reloading equipment & supplies.

Lighting: 2 Coleman fluid lanterns, 5 Gal of fluid, 10 lbs candles.

Added: 25 Bick lighters, 5 boxes of matches, 2 magnesium fire starter kits, 3 small led lights, 1 solar flashlight.

Food/water: 120 gal of potable water & 100 gal of non potable. ((@8lb/gal=960lbs)+ (x 8=800) Total 1,760 lbs of water!!?) (Transferred 8-5 gal jugs to water wagon.)

Added: 1 Case of each (store bought): canned chicken ,canned tuna fish, canned vegetables, canned fruit, 50 lbs beans, 50 lbs rice, 5 lbs dried meat/jerky, 10 lbs mixed nuts, 5 lbs dried blueberries, 5 lbs oatmeal, 3 lbs dried milk, 1 lb creamer, 10 lbs instant coffee, 5 lbs ground coffee, 25 lbs flour, 25 lbs sugar, 9 Pkg yeast, 1 lb baking pwd, 1 lb baking soda, salt & pepper. Spices: allspice, caraway seeds, mace, dill, fennel, red pepper, basil, bay leaf, cayenne, cumin seeds, thyme, sage, rosemary, paprika, oregano, dried celery, garlic-clove/dried, onion-live/dried, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, curry, coriander seeds and lg. container of beef, chicken & tomato bullion. 2 gal olive oil, 750 sq ft of aluminum foil, crate of MRE's


2 mountain bikes with solid rubber tires, and DH wants to tow the ATV for recon activities and bring the generator..... :shrug:

I’ll have to add this up later but wanted to update my list. – Still working on it…. Since our weight limit is now 2,000! I’ve gotta re-evaluate the water…


Miscellaneous: 3 boxes of pint canning jars w/lids, 40 bandannas, telescope, wind up wrist watch, 4 tarps, rain gear, 2 pillows, 5 pair of gloves-3 work & 2 warm, binoculars and a box of rubber disposable gloves. 5 pair of reading glasses +2 +3 & +4, several sunglasses, a lg. plastic garbage can filled with extra ropes and bungee cords and 2 bottles of concentrated laundry soap, 1 potted pomegranate tree, 2 fold up chairs, 3 milk carton crates, 10 cans of sterno for the trip, 1 bullwhip and a tin of tobacco w/pipes for DH.



Well, I've probably forgotten somethings, but this will have to do.



Welcome to our convoy, CeeGee, looking forward to Sundays now.


Stephanie, MIL was laughing at me when I showed her the drawing, we were watching football and I was trying to see how it would look. I'd work on it, change my mind, erase and move something and show it to her again. She said it looked like a really slow motion picture 'cause I kept moving things around in the drawing. LOL (Anything to make her smile.) It was her idea for the bullwhip.

Edited by Annarchy
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Pretend you are a pioneer and about to make a long journey to the frontier. Make a list of what you would take on the journey, keeping in mind that the wagon will carry 2,000 pounds. Compare your list with a friends.


But did she mean it for our trip?


(Heading out to see what else I can throw into my wagon.... if it's still 15,000.)


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RE:weight....Course, Mt.R will have to clue us in for sure on this...but perhaps I can add a bit of historic information to this.


A Conestoga was a big freight wagon that was used primarily in the East for hauling. It was big and cumbersome but could haul up to 12,000 pounds at a time for short distances by up to a dozen oxen or teams of horses. It was consistantly sturdy and also heavy. Many pioneers started out (especially in the beginning) with these wagons but they soon found they though they might hold up, they would kill the team very fast and within a month or so would be leaving it behind or at the least would be jettisoning supplies and weight. In later trips most people used Prairie Schooners which were a smaller sized version of the Conestoga that would more easily travel in the wilds of the westward trail. It would haul about 5,000 pounds.


The Mormon list specified the 2,000 pounds limit I believe. That was simply because most of the Mormons had much smaller wagons and even small carts, some pulled by people. Most pioneer, according to diaries and journals, went west in prairie schooners or farm wagons and some even rode most of the way in carraiges with supply wagons following with supplies. Farm wagons would most likely be able to handle between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds fairly easily but remember, the teams pulled that weight day after day after day and it took a toll.


We are supposedly only going to be on the trail for two months but even at that, there is no way a team of oxen or mules or horses would hold up well pulling 12,000 pounds day after day without let up for rest and even then only with good feed would they make it. It would be akin to us trying to load our vans or vehicles today. How much can you concievable get into it and how much weight will it handle. A motor, like a team of horses, will only handle so much PULL before it dies. It needs gas, water and oil to survive and it can't be overheated.


I'm sure there were people who overloaded their wagons on the understanding that they COULD. There is no reason why we can't do the same. However, will your wagon and team make it the whole distance intact? THAT is the question. It is also a good lesson in survival if we really think about it and what this whole exercise is about.


It will be the same for all the livestock we are taking. Walking that distance it is doubtful that they would be very productive after a while. Milk animals will give little milk, poultry will stop laying, and even if riding only, will lose weight. Pregnant animals might miscarry or have trouble with births if pushed too hard. When the cowboys drove cattle on trail drives for two to three months at a time they knew that the animals would lose weight unless they allowed them to graze on the way and didn't push them.


Now for a few other thoughts that might have escaped others...

I have had a hard time trying to fit my entire list of items into my wagon even though I have several family members with their own wagons going along. Each of my families will be taking their own supplies and necessities along as well and it takes careful planning to get items in and still have access to those things you need on the trail. If you are taking tents you have to be able to get them out, set them up and have the bedding at hand without moving six dozen items first. They are often wet in the morning to be put back. Food, pans, utensils, towels, clothing, personal items and etc are all in need of being accessed daily. If you sleep IN the wagons it is even worse as all your bedding would be ON TOP of everything else in the wagon. There just simply is no other room there unless you hang hammocks from the bows, (CGA's bowed cattle panels might be sturdy enough for this) but in most cases, you don't dare touch anything to the cover or it will leak and water will run into your supplies. A wagon bed is normally not wider than four feet (A bit more at the top of the wagon bed for a big conestoga. A queen bed is five feet wide to give you an idea of size) and your bed would be smaller than four feet so as not to touch the sides.


During rainy weather there will most likely be people inside the wagons for a good share of the time, especially kids. It's as difficult to keep a kid occupied and still in a wagon as it is in a car for any distance. (Mommmmmmmeeee, I have to go to the bathroom AGAIN!!!) (actually, that would be ME LOL)


Wood for a cooking fire needs to be picked up all along the trail during the day normally and if it's raining there is often not any dry wood to be had. Wet wood makes for poor fires. Cooking in the rain makes for miserable cooks. Even using camp stoves might not be possible in the confines of a tent or wagon.


I'm not saying this to discourage anyone but to point out that loading the wagon is not something to take lightly. Sure, we can rearrange once we are on the trail to find a better way to do so but that is exactly why items were so often left beside the trail. I'd rather try to think it through ahead of time and have a semblance of organization before I'm wore out with trail travel and fatigue makes it difficult to decide what stays and what goes. As I said in an earlier post, I have drawn out an area in my home where I can visualize the space and have actually moved some things into it to get an idea. There is NOT enough room and I will have to leave several things home.


I thought about putting jars of veggies and meat in the flour and grain but for every jar I take I leave home an equal amount of grain or flour. Which will I need most? I love CGA's idea of repurposing the cattle panel as bows but I'd have to take into consideration that those panels are HEAVY and would take away from something else I might need more. I can make fences from wood when I get there from trees I had to clear for planting anyway. Still, might be worth it especially if I was going to be using them for framework for temporary shelter after we arrive.


I'm not counting on the 12,000 pounds though. I want to arrive at my destination, intact if possible. .... :D I'm going with the 5,000 or a bit more IF I can get stuff in.



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Oh my...so much to do; so little time left. I'm glad you all are taking precautions. OK let's see.....


RE: weight limits.... Ahhhh! I *finally* found where you quoted the 2,000 lb limit. No, that was just one example of an exercise for school kids to compute. {sorry for confusion} I'm going to defer to Mother's expertise here. I'd like to think we could take 12,000 lbs as the freight haulers did but....we certainly don't have a dozen oxen. We're not experienced enough [even with our recent instruction/practice] to drive a team of that many. But what we do have is the option to change out oxen teams. I've requested 6 oxen [3 teams of pairs] so that I can rest/graze some while others pull. Sooo, like the pioneers did, make your own choices based on the data.

Reminder of approximate wagon size: "The wagon beds were 16 feet long, 4 feet deep { plus the area above the wood under the hoop cover...but don't stack heavy things high or your wagon will tip! :o } and 4 feet wide and shaped like a boat. That's about 256 cubic feet of space." Go back to the first post and look at the pictures again.

RE: wagons/oxen or mule teams provided by our benefactors...... yep, like Stephanie reported. One wagon/team for a family up to four. Additional wagon provided for each additional four members IF a driver can be supplied by the family. However, if you want to obtain your own additional wagon [cart, carriage, buggy, hay rack,......] and can get the team for pulling it, there is no limit on what you can supply yourself.


I'm trying to convert some mountain bike wheels into a cart for donkey to pull.... Loaded with ducks/geese pen and food.


Another word about our wagons: Mother mentioned touching the wet canvas top and it will break the surface tension and cause a leak. [...any of us who are old enough to have camped in old canvas tents know this one] BUT...due to modern materials, our wagon covers are made with Goretex....breathable/waterproof. Lighter than the original cotton(?) covers...which would be very heavy when wet. Also the wagon bed is made from modern materials {...um, somebody help me out here...what WOULD we use in our era? A tough plastic? Light/strong/flexible metal combination? What would the hoops be made of? Fiberglass? Jointed/bungee-corded like modern tent poles? ..... :shrug: }

----The point of this is better durability AND...lighter weight. <----so we can pack more weight and get by with it. ;)


How else could modern migration be improved? What old ways will be better to keep? {Gotta love those wealthy underwriters of this project! LOL }



RE: Packing wet tents.... I've set hooks in the back of our wagon (still under the extention of the cover...see how it sticks out like a porch roof?) so that I can hang our tent(s) up to dry/air out. Or get very dusty..LOL And I'm having second thots about using the big canvas one until we arrive. Might just bury that in the load and use the smaller nylon ones. B)



CGA & Water tank: That's sounds perfect for our Water wagon...thank you! Lets start getting that filled...couple of the kids that needs to be kept busy can do that. [note to self, make sure the oxen teams for the water wagon get changed out frequently...especially in rough terrain. WE do have a trained driver for this wagon who can handle more oxen than two.]



LOL @ Micheal. :bounce:



Anarchy, what a wonderful drawing. I'll just bet the folks in history did some of that too.


CEEGEE, :balloons: Welcome....and hurry gal! Pack that wagon!



CGA & geese: WOW, I've spent hours looking up different goose breeds. I thot I knew a lot of them but....not! I'm really interested [iRL] in the Cotton Patch Goose and the Embdens [i'd heard of those at least] I'll definitely take you up on sets of both of them. Since the Embdens are so big, mebbe I don't need to deal with turkey's which I'm not familiar with. Bad enough the rabbits will be somewhat new...at least the butchering. :huh: Trying to simplify and reduce feed costs so we did not replace our geese as they grew old and died. Now...I find I miss our geese. I'm glad you're bringing guineas...they are great watch critters...setting up such a fuss from the safety of trees. LOL



I also spent a good deal of time today looking up European (lighter version than American) snath&scythes...IRL, cuz I want one to be able to feed goats/ducks. Pretty much a MUST-HAVE tool for our trip. IF we're going to be harvesting livestock hay and field plantings of grains.


Mother mentioned something we should have brought up before. Although we have the time [unless we're delayed by something] to take this journey slowly for the animals sake, the shift from normal will very likely set the poultry off their laying and ...I'd imagine, adversely affect the dairy critters too. Will we lose the milking entirely, Mother? Or can we build them back up to full milking once we arrive? That's something to plan for. Possibly needing to 'freshen' the milking animals before you get milk again. The poultry will need time to adjust and then they should lay again properly. SO figure this in to your food amounts. :(



Trivia note: Did you know that an "ox" is defined as a steer [castrated male beef-type cow] that is over the age of four years? Considered too tough for eatin' by then.





THANK YOU, Mother :hug3: for all the pertinent data!! Whew, do we know what we're getting into? Did our pioneer ancestors? ....prolly not. But we know what we leave behind and have hope that we will find better at the end of our arduous and dangerous journey.



MtRider [....sheeeeeesh, I'm not packed....too much delightfully interesting data to research.... AND I'm adding snowshoes [i made them years ago], and child's plastic tobbogans for dragging heavy loads [i use them all year] ...and snow shovels ...it's been snowing here! ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I have a lovely European Scythe, Mt Rider. I'll put it in. You should probably have one too, though. Be sure to get extra blades.


I want 3 teams of oxen too! My sister needs 3 teams for each of her three wagons. She has 5 drivers in her family, though the teens will probably swap out driving and herding on horseback. I like the idea of a separate wagon for poultry. It should be lightweight so can probably use one horse for it and let one of the neices drive it.


The cattle panels weigh about 20-25# each. I figured 4 for each wagon under the canvas and the rest over the canvas so they can be lifted off as needed. Three wagons can handle all of them.


The canned foods are heavy, however, they are already cooked so will save on fuel and cooking time. I expect they will be used up fairly rapidly shared among so many people. Remember that your calorie needs are going to go way up with this vigorous lifestyle. We will not want our crew to have poor energy or health due to lack of feeding.


I'm figuring 500# for clothing, blankets and yard goods. Another 500# for kitchen/laundry/tools.

500# of tposts.

175# (for each wagon) cattle panels.

500# fencing/cage materials, window glass and screen.

300# people. (Driver and passenger, since daughter has to ride most of the way.)

2000 pounds livestock feed. (5 barrels)

6000 pounds food and seed.


Before we leave, we are going to hit both feed stores in my sister's town!


My goats are due to freshen Feb 28, March 2, March 12. The other two aren't bred yet, but I expect to freshen in May and June. If the goats are fed properly, they will probably continue to milk, though maybe not as much as if they were hanging out in the pasture all day. I am concerned about them freshening while we are traveling.


The poultry will lay for the first week or two, then may take a break till after they are in their new homes for a few weeks.


Glad you are taking the Cotton Patch and Embdens Mt Rider. I'm going to take as many turkeys as I can. I have 4 breeds. I'll bring American Buffs and American Blues in the geese.

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Everybody that can, should add some fencing wire to their loads. Yes, you can build wooden fences after we get "there" but that takes time and energy and we will all be busy making homes and gardens and barns. There is a reason that people use so much fencing wire. It really saves time and energy because you aren't cutting so many trees and you don't have to designate someone to be keeping the herds where you want them. A good fence and LGDs make it possible to let the stock graze while the people are doing more constructive jobs.

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Well, I am back to the two wagons. A lady down the road has a wooden wagon with rubber tires. I am going to try to barter many of the items we have to leave behind for the wagon. If so, I will take the older horse and instead of using him as a pack animal, I will hook him to the wagon. I have two partial rolls of barbed wire and lots of staples. I will pack these into a 5 gallon bucket for safety and this will provide some temporary fencing material for the animals. I also have two rolls of hardware cloth, so I will pack these for rabbit and chicken pens and a brooder when we get there. DH is packing the chickens and rabbits in large traps that he uses with his job. Therefore, we can trap for predators and for animals to eat when we arrive. He has 4 of them. I hope to add in a small trap or two for smaller animals. We have a scythe as well, so DH plans to take it. We have lots of canned tuna, crab, and salmon. I weighed it, and should be able to take it and some jars of mayonnaise and relish. These aren't too heavy, so we can eat them along the way. I forgot last night to add several gallons of vinegar and the spices to make my good dill and bread and butter pickles. The one thing that I don't have is open-pollinated cucumber seed. Does anyone have any to carry so that we can have pickles next summer? I also didn't get a reply on the fruits, garlic, and asparagus? Should I waste my valuable time packaging them?


One thing I have learned from my preparations, is that we must, by all means, work together with our plans for this journey. I have some things and others have different things. I want to understand our goals up front. Are we going to agree to share what we have with others to some degree or are we going to barter for everything? I just want to understand everything going in to it. Blessings, firegirl

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Yes on the starts of asparagus, fruits and garlic! I'll bring some onion starts. I have plenty of OP seeds, including cukes.


Thanks for reminding about the traps. I'll bring mine too. I have one, that is very heavy duty.


On sharing, my thoughts are that people being what they are, it is best if all things are not held in common. However, when first starting out on something like this, it is good if people can be generous with one another but don't obligate others to share unless they wish.

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For a good light weight material for our wagons we should consider titanium. We have a bike that is titanium and it is soooo light! I am hoping that we can find room to bring it.





CeeGee rushes off to a family meeting to talk the kids into coming too.....

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Milk production. I believe that as long as the animals are still producing we should be able to pick them back up again though perhaps not to former production. You can use a cow in place of an oxen if needed but they most likely won't produce much if any at all until bred again. You can use a lot of animals in a team as is shown by a picture we have in one of our curriculum books. It shows a covered wagon coming into town pulled by a donkey, a horse, a cow and a goat. I bet THAT was a feat of driving....


I believe that we have an advantage over our ancestor pioneers as we can read what they went through and try to avoid some of it. I bet they woud have given their eye teeth for some of our modern inventions.


CGA does have the right idea about the fencing. I just can't imagine trying to keep livestock or even wild life out of my hard won garden while I'm getting my wooden fences up. Fields and gardens will have to go in first if we are to get a head start on produce for the year. Firegirl, your idea of the barbed wire might come in handy for sure. It got me to thinking about our solar fencer and deep cycle battery and a roll or two of wire. We have a ton of step in posts but they are plastic. Fine for something that is used to electric fence but not the best for a bull. They are light weight so might just bring them along but will add some fencer insulators for when we put in permanent posts. I'm liking the idea of using the cattle panels on the top of the wagon more and more. AND the modern leakproof material.


CeeGee, love your bike. all I could think about was that you could run a taxi service to AH's store once or twice a week maybe LOL. We have a nice folding three wheel bike with a big basket on the back. I believe it might hang on the side of the wagon. BTW, I'm looking forward to Sunday services. (and maybe a Bible study group?)


We found this recently and it seems sturdy enough to use for the journey. It would give us another wagon along. It is horse drawn and I believe we might be able to live in it after we get there at least until the cabin is built.




What do you all think? Cheating? It's not all that big actually.

Okay back to RE-packing. Fence, snow shovels, sythe, bicycle, roll up deer hauling toboggon, traps including a live trap,, (mother goes off mumbling to herself with tape measure in hand, two thousand, five thousand, 12,000, I'm liking the last one best)






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A vargo would be nice! I'm thinking we will live in the wagon till we have a cabin up.


I'm throwing in all the sandbags (empty) I have 2000, plus a bunch of plastic feed bags. ( I have these in case of needing a quick shelter from a nuke event.) They can be filled and stacked for an earthbag building. I'll have to toss in some barbed wire to go between courses.

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