During the late 1700’s and on through the mid 1800’s, many people traveled west to help populate the new territories and states that were open for development. The journey that these many people took along the trail known as the Oregon Trail was a long and treacherous one. Traveling from Independence Missouri to the end of the Oregon Trail in Oregon was over 2000 miles and over many different mountain passes making it a long and dangerous journey. Through the many hardships the Oregon Trail travelers had to overcome proved that preparedness was extremely important then, and with today’s travelers.
Food and water are a necessity because we depend on them for our survival. For the Oregon Trail travelers it was next to impossible to supply their whole family with six months of food and water due to the amount of room in the wagon. Storage in the wagon was limited because it was also used to carry other supplies like clothing and the necessary tools needed for wagon repairs and to gather food. Many of these travelers went in large groups of families and hired people or guides to help them with hunting and replenishing their water supplies, by knowing where fresh water was obtainable. One of these examples of someone helping travelers along the Oregon Trail that the Bureau of Land Management’s Oregon Trail Interpretive Center talks about is Medroem Crawford, who helped wagon train parties
cross the Oregon Trail in the mid 1800’s (The Oregon Escort). Today this is also an important necessity when going on a long trip even though we can travel much faster over longer distances because we can still become stranded along the road. Water preparedness is also important even if we are traveling a short distance. I say this in regards to a personal situation that some friends and I found ourselves in where we had been driving around in the hills about 15 miles from the town we lived in and we became stranded with no food or water. It was around 7 am when we started to walk back to town. It took us around six hours to walk to town because no one would pick up four guys wandering along the road and the road we had been traveling did not have many travelers on it. The day we were walking home also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year being around 100 degrees by around 1 o’clock when we reached the nearest store and phone booth to buy some water and call a friend to get a ride the rest of the way home. After getting home, I and the others seemed to become sick with flu like symptoms for three to four days and later found out that this was due to being dehydrated. Whether in the pioneer days or today during modern travel of short or long distances having water with you is always important to have with you.
Another important supply to have during the days of traveling the Oregon Trail was the right tools necessary for the trip like extra wagon wheels, axel, jack, as, firearms, hammer, saw, etc. These tools proved invaluable to the...