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7 Frontier Survival Hacks Worthy of Daniel Boone

March 12, 2018 in History

By A.J. Baime

A family of settlers building their own homestead following a move westwards to the American Frontier, circa 1830s. (Credit: Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Steven Rinella stands at a curious intersection in American culture. He’s an adventurer, a conservationist, a hunter, a TV host, a best-selling author with an MFA in writing, and a student of the history of frontier explorers like Daniel Boone. Not many figures can tell such eloquent stories about “eating questionable meat” in the wild and getting charged by grizzly bears—stories that are peppered with practical advice on how to handle yourself in the backcountry, based on the adventures of hunters from hundreds of years ago.

The 43-year old author of The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game volumes I and II and host of the television show “MeatEater” (you can see it on Netflix) has hunted game across Montana, Michigan and Alaska, among other places. His campfires have seared the meat of everything from bear and mountain lion to red stag and waterfowl.

We asked Rinella to distill his adventures and his reading on Daniel Boone into seven fundamental guidelines. Read up, then set out.

A family of settlers building their own homestead following a move westwards to the American Frontier, circa 1830s. (Credit: Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Wild Game Can Be Dangerous

What does trichinosis feel like? “Intense muscle pain,” Rinella says. “It can take a month to hit, and that’s why it is hard to figure out what is going on. The worms burrow out of your vascular system and into your muscles.” Rinella contracted trichinosis by eating undercooked bear meat in Alaska. That is a mistake he will never make twice.

Just about any omnivore or carnivore can carry trichinosis, and the way to kill the parasite is to make sure meat is cooked to 160 degrees. If you’re in the wilderness, you’re not likely to have a meat thermometer. Rinella cautions to cook meat so it’s entirely brown—not a hint of pink.

In the days of frontier people, he says, trichinosis must have run rampant. “Daniel Boone, in his hunting camp in one fall [circa the turn of the 19th century], once killed 155 black bears and prepared it to sell to markets. That was a lot of meat potentially contaminated, and people did not have the knowledge of what might have been in that meat,” he says. “I suspect people at the time had very high parasite loads.”

While trichinosis is pretty much gone from USDA-inspected grocery meat, it can …read more

Source: HISTORY

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