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Wagon Ho - Things I should have packed

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Like Mother there are things I have been so tempted to say that "Oh look what I found"


Other than the obvious - more dry food


Some things I wish I had researched and prepared for...


pumping water


wire - barb wire, hog wire etc for fencing - I did pack chicken wire but no where near enough


Screen wire not only for doors and windows but drying racks also - I thought about that for windows but will need it for drying food.


DUCT TAPE - n'uf said


more hand tools - files, more and better saws,


So what are some of the things you forget and left behind


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Oh excellent, Mo3b. I'd thot of this topic too. Now that we're not traveling but actually trying to civilize and settle in, I've been thinking of things that didn't occur to me when getting my packing list done. Actually, due to leading this thing, *I* never DID get my list done. I know in my head which things I would have tried to pack [one wagon and a donkey cart cannot hold nearly all I'd have liked] so I'm basing my story on that.


But what made me think of starting a thread on this topic was that some of you are coming up with some ideas that I've never even thot of . Many times things I COULD have packed! VERY good. [ :lol: NEXT time I pack for a wagon train, I'll know! :P ]


So I'll post in here when I have the chance....but going to bed now.


Thanks for starting this one. It's going to show some of our learnin'. :)


MtRider [ ...what a blast this has been.... :bounce: ]

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I think we would have needed a second wagon to bring all that we wanted to. I would have liked to have had a bigger wood stove, more fencing, solar panels NOT on order LOL, more corn for the unexpected animals, couple more stands of lard and some extra dried meats/ canned foods,


I could go on and on. But like I said, in order to bring all that for just the 2 of us, it would have taken a whole nother wagon!



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I agree,,, GREAT thread....


We DID have more wagons but we also had more people to provide for and thanks to my IRL family, we made a good list...(they have been 'playing' along in the back ground) BUT...there were so many things that would be difficult if not impossible to get.


I mostly keep thinking of IRON or STEEL things. My family are all welders and we could manufacture so many inovative and helpful 'gadgets' with various pieces but the weight was just too prohibitive.


Paper, paper, and more paper. We CAN make paper but the way I would want to be writing it would be a full time job. If we were really writing journals in the BV, and I would probably do that, I'd have to learn shorthand. :o (can you all read shorthand?)


I would have brought more Stainless steel buckets and items for their longevity and ease of sanitation.


And sealed storage containers. We can make barrels and buckets and etc but it's hard to get an air tight seal on those things and still get in and out of them daily. I know now why the pioneer had trouble with spoilage.


I'm avidly reading your replies here because I know they are going to remind me of all the rest of the things I forgot. :rolleyes:


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Basically we all had to downsize what we used everyday to make the trip, but this was a good way of 'making us do without'. Also most of the people had to leave behind eclectic things like TV, Computers, toasters, radio, etc. - can you just see what would have been packed if there was power in the Valley. LOL


The Pioneers had it a bit easier as they 'didn't have too many things to leave behind (sold most to get money for supplies). Plus didn't have to 'relearn' things as they didn't have the modern things we do. Still it was very hard to leave loved one behind as we all are finding out, and when they got there (for the most part) there was nothing but grass, grass and more grass. Some trees so they could build homes and like us in the valley the first time plowing it was not 39 area in 3 days as the sod was thick and it was a single blade plow, But they knew (as we did) get that garden going because your live depends on it.


There you go - Michael's two cents worth of posting. LOL

Edited by Amishway Homesteaders
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So I tried an experiment. I bought a slab of bacon and could not slice a decent piece of bacon to save my life.


your knioves must be very sharp to make thin cuts.

and they are safer too as a dull knive will slide and cut you.




Take your 'chunks' of bacon and make soup or just cook and add to egg omelets. :thumbs:




PS I bet the Lodge has one you can use?


if not there is one at our place ( hand cranked of cause).

Edited by Amishway Homesteaders
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We have one at the "Hobbit Hole" too, hand cranked but unless I'm cutting a whole lot for freezing or ? it's not worth the clean up.


We found that partially frozen bacon worked best with either the knife or the slicer. We had an old slicer at the museum and it was basically just a sharp curved knife on a pivot that you pulled down to slice through meat, cheese, and such. They were used in the old general stores. Surprisingly enough, when it was well sharpened, it worked fairly well on bacon but cut across, like Canadian bacon might be, making it into rounds.


As I write my posts I'm coming up with a lack of time and energy versus the amount of work that really would be necessary to this style of life. The amount alone that it would take to carry and heat water for just the cleaning and sanitation of milk pails, strainers and cloths, and etc., TWICE A DAY, is about three times as long and as difficult as just turning on a tap and having instant hot water. Add to that the amount necessary for doing dishes and bathing. I can see why the pioneer bathed in the creeks or infrequently. (I haven't started thinking on laundry yet. We don't have an infant so no diapers but what about those substitute toilet paper cloths?)


Another thing I'm missing already is enough 'containers' for everything. It's amazing the amount we use daily that we don't even consider. Buckets, baskets, bottles, bowls, jars, boxes, and etc. There wasn't enough room in the wagons to take all that and the necessities too.


We need to get busy with basket and barrel making and pottery before the winter harvest BUT.... when do we find TIME And ENERGY with all the other work....


They are both a precious commodity I wish we'd brought more of. I'm not sure there was room in the wagon for those either... :rolleyes:





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Michael these are very sharp knives. You could cut a finger off and not realize it until afterwards. (it is the only kind of knives I have in my kitchen)


The problem is I can't cut a straight line it was thin on one end thick in the middle and I am not even sure it had another end to it. LOL


I tried cutting long ways with the grain I may do better cutting it from the short end across the grain.


This is my first attempt at cutting slab back ever, I have always bought sliced bacon. If I ever have to buy slab bacon we may just have to have it served in chunks.

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Things I should have packed:


I should have bought another ax so I could have brought two.


I should have brought more food supplies.


I should have brought yeast, vinegar and cheese starters.


Off to find solutions.......

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Annarchy, Yeast can be sour dough. It can be made without commercial yeast and a good one can be shared, frozen, or dried for later use. Potato water, flour, and a bit of sugar will make a great sour dough.


We brought cheese starter among a few other cultures (kefir, yogurt, sour cream) and they can be shared as well but cheese has been made for centuries without a commercial starter. The problem is, getting a good tasting cheese to begin with and then propagating the culture that caused it. A bad or unwanted culture can be propagated just as easily though as most of them can be airborn. Like me making blue cheese with a culture once and all the cheeses I made in that kitchen turning into blue cheese for months after despite meticulous sanitation. :o


Vinegar,,,,well that takes longer for sure though it can be made from several different sources... Let us know what you find about those and the other things you mentioned.





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I brought some mother-of-vinegar: red wine and apple cider. I got them from a MrsS member originally [iRL ] So I can share that.


Also some dry yogurt starter [Lehmans]

Lots of yeast, of course




So some Sunday-at-the-Lodge, all the families can share their starters? Or begin to develop a specialty product? :yum3:



I needed back up tools, I think. The thot of breakage or loss....each tool is so needed. I tried to back up things like the jiggling thang for Sherman [my canner]. I certainly brought a lot of various knives. But until our society gets more skilled in the fabrication of such things [Michael and the other metal workers?] these initial tools need to be take care of.


I think we need a big two person cross cut saw. Extra ax...but not really for me. :0327: MORE spare blades for any saws we brought.


More pairs of work gloves....again, until we have goat hide and sewing folks with "gloves-capability".


I'd guess by now even my excessive amount of bandaids will not be a year's worth. Strips of cloth tied into place may or may not stay in place. :lol: I'm a klutz!



[Anyone learning about something they need to stock IRL due to this exercise?????????]




MtRider [when's that next mule train due..... overdue? Bummer! :( ]

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I found that there is so much to making the great outdoors habitable & sustainable.


Gloves, leather work I can do. But it takes time, time that is being used to make a home, care for the animals, cook, and maintain some type of sanitation. I can guess that it would be a year or two before things were able to calm down enough to sit in the house and watch the world go by. Nothing like what we live in today, all the modern convinces that cause us to become complacent. Storm fronts move through and disrupt the normality of it all and people don't know what to do. They panic because they were not prepared.


I noticed when I went to the store to do my shopping that most of the people got instant this and that, looking at me strange for getting the basics that I can make 4 meals of the same thing of instant, for the same price. I caught myself getting double/triple of something to restock/rotate my stores. :happy0203:


I have learned several 'back woods' tricks to doing things from people we know, and after researching their information found it to be legitimate , and have found a wealth of memories bubbling up on many of the 'how to' things that are happening. Awwww, the memories.


I do wish I had pre-planned what we were getting into better.

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Well it sure is pulling a lot of things from my way back memories of how my grandma used to do things. Especially the herbal stuff she used to use for medicine, some of the edible greens and things that naturally occur out there for food. Some of them maybe better off left in the dust bunnies of the mind too, like dandelion greens wilted with bacon grease...yuck! :wacko:


I think we should have brought more Plexiglas up under the wagon for a green house. Right now, we just brought enough for a cold frame.


As to stocking up from this, yes. I have went way back to the basic flour, salt, sugar type things. I had one lady ask me in Kroger the other week what I was going to make with a 25 lb bag of sugar, a stand of lard and 25 lbs of flour lol. I told her that hubby loves biscuits. She looked at me and her mouth just hung open hehehe. Or I will grab three or four of something if they have it, not knowing if there will be more there when we come back. It has made me think seriously of how to store things here to get the most use for the space we have available.



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  • 2 months later...

Now we have the advantage of knowing what you all wish you had packed :) Someone mentioned window screening so I added that to my list. I had thought of lots of containers. I have lots of 5-gallon food storage buckets but I'll have to see how many I can fit into our allotted wagons. Also some 30 gallon pest-proof barrels. I'm still trying to get my list organized. I'm measuring things and weighing the smaller items, trying to be as realistic as I can.


Wagons Ho has been an enlightening experience for me. I was a little surprised at how much my family got into it. They've been suggesting things we need to pack. DH and DS have talked about building log cabins and tools they would need.

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  • 10 years later...

Life does change, Daylily, but IF we had to actually live that scenario we'd still be facing the same issues.  We might have more choices of more modern, more light weight but sturdy items like Stainless Steel, but I believe we'd still be facing a lot of the same issues with isolation, transportation, food, and shelters.


I'm just grateful that this was NOT one of Mt_Rider's Unreal scenes that turned into an actual one.  Her's have a way of doing that, you know!   :behindsofa:


Daylily, I am so disappointed that I couldn't interact with you on that thread.  You were pretty brave to take on that challenge.  Did you ever continue the story?  

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No, I got really busy about that time. My mom decided to move in with us because her eyesight was getting worse. Her sense of smell is is really bad and she was tasting moldy food because she couldn't smell it or see it, and many other issues. So we had a lot of rearranging and purging to do.


It was fun how everybody worked together to tell the story. I could hardly wait for the next episode from whoever decided to contribute!  Were you a member of Mrs S then? I was thinking you were but I can't remember who all was.

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Yes I joined in 2005.  I was a moderator of the Pioneer Living forum and was one of the coordinator of the Wagon's Ho thread along with Mt_Rider and Michael of The Amishway Homesteaders.  My Mom actually was 88 at that time and 'played along' with that thread.  She loved it and was still thinking of things for and about it when she died at age 96 three years ago.  My DH and three kids included in the story were consultants as well.  They loved it.  Our oldest son was in Thailand at the time and didn't get to 'ride along' LOL.  


Did you read my recent post 'Wagon's Ho Revisited'?  I would love to see some sequels to this thread.  

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I read each post every day to my Mom and when there was anything involving her it was usually at her suggestion.  I remember one day I was ready to make a post (which I also read to her before hand) and I'd come up with a couple different things for us to do on a nasty rainy cold day.  She said, "I'll stay in the kitchen and make biscuits.  It's too cold for me out there. You can go out and take care of the chores."  :laughkick: Like me she had insomnia and sometimes she would call first thing in the morning with something she'd thought about adding or some comment on a post that she'd thought about in the night. At that point she was still baby sitting for two of her GREAT grand kids full time, one a baby and one a toddler, at age 88. (I couldn't do that now at 74) Later, when she was bed ridden the last year of her life, she was still thinking of things we could have put in or done.    I remember at one point we were talking about your contribution and about your diet.  She said she thought it would actually be easier in some way in the summer but a possible hardship in the winter if the garden didn't do well or there wasn't enough stored in the winter as the calories expended on finding food might exceed the calories needed to sustain you.   She really did love the story. :)  

  • Like 1
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Maybe we should do another Wagon HO.... You know we could throw in the pandemic, power grid down, migration from the south oh let's not forget the great TP shortage. What do you think Mother and Mt.Rider? Up for another adventure?

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