I Tried Eating Like a Pioneer for 100 Days

I Tried Eating Like a Pioneer for 100 Days

I Tried Eating Like a Pioneer for 100 Days and This Is What Happened


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat like a pioneer? To survive on the go with limited resources and the need to rely on what nature provides? Well, I recently embarked on a personal experiment where I tried eating like a pioneer for 100 days. This journey allowed me to gain valuable insights into the challenges faced by our ancestors and discover some useful tips that can still be applied today. In this blog post, I will share my experiences and discuss the lessons I learned along the way.

Stockpiling the Essentials

The first step in eating like a pioneer is to stockpile essential foods that won’t spoil easily. When the pioneers were heading out West, they knew the importance of having a reliable food source on their long journeys. Here are some of the staple foods they relied on:

  • Dried meats: Pioneers would often carry dried meats, such as jerky, that could last for months without refrigeration.
  • Hardtack: This simple, hard bread was made from flour, water, and salt. It had a long shelf life and provided much-needed sustenance.
  • Dried beans and legumes: These were a valuable source of protein and could be easily stored and cooked over a campfire.
  • Preserved fruits and vegetables: Pioneers would preserve foods through canning or drying, allowing them to have a taste of freshness even on the go.
  • Flour and cornmeal: These versatile ingredients were used to make bread, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Living off the Land

In addition to the stockpiled foods, pioneers relied on the land to provide them with additional sustenance. Foraging and hunting were essential skills that allowed them to supplement their diets with fresh food. During my 100-day experiment, I tried to replicate this experience by foraging for wild edibles and occasionally hunting for my own meat.

Foraging for Wild Edibles

Foraging can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Here are some common wild edibles that pioneers would have sought out:

  • Wild berries: From blackberries to raspberries, wild berries provided a sweet treat and a valuable source of vitamins.
  • Edible greens: Pioneers would often gather wild plants such as dandelion greens, chickweed, and lamb’s quarters to add some variety to their diet.
  • Nuts and acorns: These were a great source of protein and healthy fats.
  • Wild mushrooms: While pioneers had to be cautious and knowledgeable about the types of mushrooms they collected, edible mushrooms provided a delicious addition to their meals.

Hunting for Meat

In order to truly experience what it was like to eat like a pioneer, I tried my hand at hunting for my own meat. This involved learning basic survival skills, such as tracking, trapping, and bowhunting. While it was challenging, I was able to successfully catch and cook my own game on a few occasions. It gave me a deep appreciation for the resourcefulness of our ancestors and the hard work that went into each meal.

The Challenges

While the experience of eating like a pioneer was enlightening and brought me closer to nature, it also came with its fair share of challenges. Here are some of the difficulties I encountered during my 100-day experiment:

  • Limited variety: Pioneers had to make do with the foods they had at hand, leading to a limited variety in their diet. This meant eating similar meals day after day, which could become monotonous.
  • Lack of refrigeration: Without modern refrigeration, pioneers had to rely on preservation techniques to keep their food edible. This meant no fresh produce or dairy products, except for what they could find or trade for along the way.
  • Time-consuming preparations: From drying meats to preserving fruits, the pioneers spent a significant amount of time preparing and preserving their food. This required planning and careful execution.
  • Physical demands: Living off the land and constantly being on the move required physical stamina and resilience. Pioneers had to be resourceful and adaptable in order to survive.

My 2 Cents

While my 100-day experiment of eating like a pioneer was challenging, it was also incredibly rewarding. It gave me a unique perspective on the hardships faced by our ancestors and the resourcefulness required to survive in those times. Here are my key takeaways from this experience:

  • Appreciation for modern conveniences: We often take for granted the easy access to a wide variety of foods in our modern society. This experiment taught me to appreciate the convenience and abundance that we enjoy today.
  • Importance of preparation: Stockpiling essential foods and learning preservation techniques can be valuable skills in any emergency situation. Having a well-stocked pantry and the knowledge of how to make food last can provide peace of mind in uncertain times.
  • Connection to nature: Foraging and hunting allowed me to reconnect with the natural world and develop a deeper understanding of our relationship with the environment. It reminded me of the importance of sustainable practices and respecting the resources around us.

In conclusion, eating like a pioneer for 100 days was a challenging yet enlightening experience. It gave me a glimpse into the past and taught me valuable lessons about survival, resourcefulness, and appreciation for the comforts of modern life. While I may not be ready to give up grocery stores and restaurants entirely, I will certainly be incorporating some of the pioneer lifestyle into my own practices.