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Book Review: "The Lost Ways" by Claude Davis

Today, we're going to start a new category for the site for book reviews. We've been collecting books on the subject of family preparedness for years. Recently, we bought a hardcover copy of Claude Davis' "The Lost Ways." It retails on Amazon for $49.00 and contains a wealth of information.

Now, let me tell you, I know a thing or two about being prepared, especially when it comes to family. And this book, has got some real lessons that were new to us that could come in handy in a bind, not to mention some old-time recipes that we are excited to try. This book is not about growing your own garden or stocking up on canned goods. The title is an apt description of what it covers, and could easily be called "How Our Ancestors Lived."

Davis has done his homework and found some old-time tips and tricks that our great-grandparents used to get by in life. Things like how to start a fire without matches, how to build a shelter with natural materials, and even how to make your own medicine out of plants. Now, I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty nifty.

But don't go thinking this book is just full of folksy anecdotes and such. Davis has also got some practical advice for modern-day folks like us. Tips on how to stretch your food budget, how to store water safely, and how to defend your home in case of an emergency. And let me tell you, if you're in the Southern United States like we are, that last one is mighty important.

Keep in mind, this is a reference book, as opposed to regular non-fiction. Each chapter is dedicated to a particular skill you can learn, and is written as such. Where there are some historical accounts about how different groups from our past were able to survive and thrive in the face of tough conditions, mostly the book reads as a "how-to" manual. Here's a short list of topics that Davis covers in this book:

  • Step-by-step guide on how to build a smokehouse the pioneer way

  • Well drilling/digging technology used by the pioneers

  • Edible plants you can find in the wild

  • Trapping and tanning

  • Deer hunting

  • How to make charcoal and activated charcoal and its uses

  • Our ancestors' guide to root cellers

  • How to sharpen your blade like the Samurai did

  • How to wax cheese

Now, some folks might say that Davis' ideas are a little out there, but I suppose that's just because they've never had to fend for themselves. Us regular folks know that being prepared is just part of life. And honestly, with all the craziness and world events happening lately, I think it's better to be safe than sorry. Besides, all the author is doing is passing down ideas from the past, so you know they've got some merit.

All in all, "The Lost Ways" is a book I'd recommend to anyone looking to be more self-reliant or just wanting to learn something new. But even if you're not the preparedness type, it's still a good read. Who knows, you might just find yourself putting in your own smokehouse after reading it.


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