Cowboys had it good when they were in camp, and they had easy access to everything they needed on the Chuck Wagon, but when they headed out on the trail, it was a different story.
On the trail, it was just them and what they could carry on their horse. A lot of the survival items they carried would be considered old school today, but if there’s one lesson we’ve learned from history it’s that the old ways endure.
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Let’s take a look at what a cowboy took out on the trail. In the following video, Sensible Prepper talks about 10 items cowboys took with them on the trail. Here they are:
1. Cowboy Hat – The cowboy hat that’s so familiar to all of us didn’t show up until the 1800s. It was made of wool and the wide brim protected a cowboy’s head and neck from the sun. The hat was warm in winter and the brim helped to shed the rain.
2. The Bandana – A cowboy wore his bandana around his neck to protect it from the sun. It also helped keep him cool in summer and warm in winter. He could also pull the bandana up to cover his mouth and nose to protect from dust.
3. Cowboy Boots – These were designed for rugged use and rough terrain and also protected their ankles and calves from brush.
4. Canteen – Cowboys always had a 2-quart canteen and sometimes two of them hung across their saddle horns. They were often covered in fabric, and when the fabric was wet, it would help keep the water cool.
5. Cookset – The camp cookie didn’t hit the trail with the cowboys; they were on their own and they always brought along a coffee pot, frying pan, bowl, and cup.
6. Sheath Knife – A sheath knife worn on the belt was a standard tool usually 5 to 7 inches long and carried in a leather sheath. It was used for everything from cutting rope to skinning and butchering animals and was the only utensil at every meal.
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7. Tinder Box – A tinder box was the usual fire-starting tool and consisted of a closeable metal box with flint and steel, char cloth, waxed jute, and loose tinder inside.
8. Strips of Rawhide – Cowboys always had a rope, but they also carried strips of rawhide to fasten and hold everything that needed fastening or holding.
10. Rifle and Pistol – A rifle was used for hunting and self-defense, and a 6-shooter was the standard pistol if a cowboy could afford one.
And Oh Yeah – There’s one more thing. Actually two. But you’ll have to watch the video below to learn about them. You’ll want to watch it anyway because he goes into a lot more detail about these 10 survival items.