A Prairie Schooner on the Cariboo Road or in the vicinity of Rogers Pass, Selkirk Mountains, c. 1887, by Edward Roper (1833-1909).

As many of us are busy stocking up with supplies that we think we’ll need if asked to shelter in place, I was interested to find an article titled “Hints to Sportsmen” that outlines supplies needed in an emergency circa 1913. This resource gave a short description of practical advice and also outlined what would be considered an appropriate amount of rations for two men for one year. I’ve transcribed the information below so that it can be viewed on a variety of devices at a comfortable text size. The article was written in a different time and as such uses the language of the day. If my calculations are correct $172.80 went a lot further in 1913 than it does in 2020. Hopefully you’ll find this as interesting as I did.

Hints to Sportsmen

From “Buzzacott’s Masterpiece or The Complete Hunters’, Trappers’ and Campers’ Library of Valuable Information” by “Buzzacott” 1913.

The sportsman can, if need be, in stress of accident or misfortune, forego nearly every appliance of civilization, and having learned the ways of the savages, live and enjoy life as the savages do. The skins of animals he slays, or the bark of the birch or the hemlock will make him a shanty; pieces of fresh peeled bark supply him with cups and plates which need no washing after use, as they are thrown away. Cedar roots and tough long grasses supply twine and rope, a spindle of hard dry wood rapidly revolved with the hands upon a soft pithy wood, or with an ordinary bow with a single turn of the string around the spindle, will obtain a fire; he can bake his fish and bread in the ashes and broil his meat on a stick; and provided he has only sufficiently warm clothing, a trusty gun, a hatchet, knife, matches and compass, he has the measure of his necessities full.

Ration Outfit for Two Men for One Year

(with costs approximated)

  • 4 barrels best flour, at $6 – $24
  • 200 pounds granulated sugar, at 6 cents – $12
  • 200 pounds navy beans, at 4 cents – $8
  • 100 pounds of corn meal – $2.75
  • 250 pounds of breakfast bacon, at 12-½ cents – $31.25
  • 75 pounds of island rice, 6 cents – $4.50
  • 2 cases condensed milk – $17.50
  • 20 pounds salt – 35 cents
  • 25 pounds best Mocha and Java coffee – $8.75
  • 10 pounds best tea – $4.50
  • 8 pounds soda – 70 cents
  • 20 pounds baking powder – $9.20
  • 25 pounds dried apricots – $2.50
  • 25 pounds dried peaches – $2.50
  • 2 boxes candles – $5.00
  • 1 box pepper, 25 cents; soap $1 – $1.25
  • 3 boxes yeast, 25 cents
  • one-half tin matches – 50 cents
  • 1 Yukon stove complete – $6.00
  • 1 double-bladed ax complete – $1.50
  • 13 oil sacks, 50’s and 100’s (rations) – $7.55
  • 1 coffee mill – 35 cents
  • 12 pounds condensed onions – $5.00
  • 10 pounds evaporated spuds – $2.50
  • 40 pounds rope – $5.00
  • Toilet soap – 50 cents
  • 6 tin plates – 50 cents
  • 3 granite cups – 50 cents
  • 1 coffee pot – 40 cents
  • Whetstone – 20 cents
  • Awls, shoe thread, wax, bristles, etc – $1
  • 2 Fry pans – $1
  • fish line and hooks – 50 cents
  • 6 assorted files – 60 cents
  • Oil blacking – 50 cents
  • 1 package chocolate – 30 cents
  • 2 miner’s candlesticks – $1
  • 24 pounds raisins, 10 cents – $2.40

NOTE FROM LOST WITH AND WISDOM: Stay safe and look forward to more research from Lost Wit and Wisdom as we dust off resources and wisdom from the past.

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