Using the Past to Survive the Future
Kevin Felts 04.13.17
A few weeks ago one of my older cousins told me about a place he used to go squirrel hunting. As he described it, there was a stand of hickory trees on the side of a hill. During the fall there were more squirrels in the hickory trees than you could count. This got me to wondering, in the past had the area been an old homestead?
I wanted to find this stand of hickory trees and see it for myself. My TravTac Onyx daypack was loaded, the dogs were called, and away we went.
Old Homestead Places
Settlers wanted certain things where they built their homes. In the past, they needed access to water, ability to dig a well, and flat land to garden and have livestock on. As I find these old homesteads, I look the land over and try to figure out what drew the settlers to that location.
One thing I look for is the old hand dug well. However, a lot of those wells were lined with boards to prevent them from caving in. Over time the boards would rot and the well would eventually cave in. Some settlers had a cement top poured around the well, or a top built with bricks. If you are able to find a well, you know it was a homestead and you can move onto looking for other things.
A lot of settlers planted pecan, fig, and pear trees. Some types of hickory nuts are edible. Hickory and pecan are long lived trees and the nuts can be stored for months.
If you able to find the old home places, there maybe be pecan and hickory nuts that can be gathered.
Do not confuse hickory nuts with buckeye nuts, as buckeye nuts are highly poisonous.
I did not find any signs of a homestead. The hickory trees were on the side of a hill and was not suited for a home.
Native American Artifacts
While walking through the woods or dirt roads, I am always looking for arrowheads or pieces of pottery.
Around here most of the Native American artifacts are found on flat pieces of land and near a source of water, such as a stream. However, the artifacts are not found too close to the stream. The Indians knew the streams could flood after a heavy rain, so the villages were built uphill from the stream.
Just as settlers picked a place for their home, so did the native Americans. They knew there was food and water in the area.
Using the Past
When prepping for a collapse of society, let the people from the past help in your adventures.
What made settlers pick a certain piece of land? Why did Native Americans have their villages in a certain area?
Use that information to help you plan a bug out location, or even buy land in a rural area.