Colorado Mountain Man

Life as a Mountain Man

The life of a mountain man was rugged. They explored unmapped areas. Bears and hostile tribes presented constant physical dangers. Mountain men had to use their senses of hearing, sight, and smell to keep themselves alive. When they were sick, they would use whatever herbs they had to try to get well. If game was scarce, they would go hungry. In summer they could catch fish, build a log cabin and roam in search of fur. Cabins were built near friendly Indians. But in other areas, most camps were just temporary. Most winters were brutal. Heavy snow storms or extremely low temperatures keep men in their cabins. But no matter what the season, there was always danger. Many men did not last more than several years in the wilderness.

With the exception of coffee, their food supplies generally duplicated the diet of native tribes in the areas where they trapped. Fresh red meat, fowl, and fish were generally available. Some plant foods, such as fruit and berries, were easy for the men to harvest. They traded with the tribes for prepared foods, such as processed roots, dried meat and pemmican. In times of crisis and bad weather, mountain men were known to slaughter and eat their horses and mules.

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Colorado Mountain Man