The Greenhorn's Guide To Surviving

By: Jessica Preisler & Ashley Fenton

Start Being Prepared

The Oregon Trail is a difficult journey that not many were prepared for. Here are helpful hints on how to survive the Oregon Trail.

1) Don't Listen To Everything You Hear

Many places have economies that depend on you emigrants passing through. So they will send people, hired agents, to talk bad about other cities. They might tell you some place has disease devouring the city, but most the time that is not true. Do not listen to them if they say the Native Americans are dangerous. Most of them will help you along the way and even trade with you.

2) Never Wander Too Far

It is always better to stay close to the people you are traveling with so you don't get lost. Some of the cities you may be passing through could be busy. If you get lost, your trip will be delayed because you family or companions will have to spend time looking for you. If you wander far you could be eaten by bears or taken or killed by Native Americans. So make sure you follow your wagon.

3) Always Bring Enough Supplies

Always having enough supplies guarantees your survival. Without it you might as well have fun living in a grave. Make sure you have clothes for both winter and summer as well as good walking shoes. Bring plenty of food so you don’t starve on the trail. At least 200 pounds per person. Make sure you bring a rifle for hunting and plenty of ammunition. If you want to cook those freshly killed meats you better bring your cooking supplies. Also, make sure you 2 or more oxen. If one dies, you will need another one to keep your wagon moving along.

4) Don't Overpack

It is really important that you be completely prepared for this journey but don't be too prepared. Over packing can cause you a lot of problems. All of the things that you over packed of can cause you to move slowly. If you do over pack your only solution is to throw all that extra stuff away, which really means just throw if off your wagon.

5) No Need To Worry About Native Americans

If you are worried about Native American attacks there is no need to be. If anything the Native Americans could be the people who help you if you ever get stuck along the way. There are two tribes that people worry about, the Cheyenne and the Pawnee. The Cheyenne are in the North and the Pawnee are in the South. These two tribes are no threat to you and neither is any other tribe. Most of the time encounters with the Native Americans are business. They are good trading partners you can trade with them in exchange for horses.

6) Be Careful With Your Guns

Many people do not realize this but gunshots are one of the main causes of death while on the trail. If you are not careful with your gun you could kill someone. It goes both ways, so if you are around someone with a gun make sure that you stay out of the way or you could be shot. There is the possibility that for some reason you are handling your gun incorrectly and accidently harm yourself, so in all don't be mindless with or around a gun.

7) Watch Out For Signs Of Cholera

One of the biggest problems while on the trail is Cholera. No one understands this disease and have no idea how to cure it. It is disease that can sneak up on you and kill you within hours. Sometimes if you become too sick people will abandon you to die. The disease is so mysterious that people don't even notice they have it until they are too sick to survive any longer. So watch out for dead bodies on the side of the trail and the disease that comes with them.

8) Try To Stay Clean

I know that staying clean is hard on a long journey like this but it could help you in the long run. Poor sanitation is another main cause of death while on the trails. Poor sanitation can cause all kinds of diseases. So even just washing your face could help your health and sanitation.

9) Keep Children In The Wagon

Now you probably know by now that there are a lot of things that can cause death on this journey. Well, here is another thing you should be aware of and if you have kids you should pay special attention to this. The wagon that you are traveling in is not always the safest thing. They could fall under the wagon wheel and die instantly. This type of accident is prone to children so keep a close eye on them.

10) Watch The Weather

Watching a weather is very important during this time because you have no shelter to take cover in. So if you see a huge dark storm cloud heading your way it is best that you find the safest spot. Considering that you are out in the open most of the time it could be hard but you have to at least try. You could be killed by lightning strikes and giant hail. Also your wagon could start to leak from the rain but that might be the worst of your problems if it is raining giant hail. Also you could be stopped by a blizzard. So make sure that if there is a blizzard, you remember where your trail is.