In popular culture, Native Americans are often depicted as wise people who are in tune with nature in a way that makes them powerful beyond measure.
While these movies and television shows are likely exaggerating some aspects of Native American life, there are a few things they do get right — most importantly that there’s a lot we can learn from studying indigenous cultures. Here are five lessons of survival that are taught by Native Americans.
As a blanket statement, being respectful of nature is one of the most important lessons that Native Americans taught and continue to teach today. Having a firm understanding of weather, plants and animals can make life much easier and more enjoyable to get through.
In survival situations, it’s almost always smartest to find shelter near running water. You never know when areas will dry up and faucets will no longer provide you with a method of hydration. Setting up shop close to a dependable source of water is extremely important unless you constantly want to be on the move.
Native Americans utilize everything in nature and look down upon letting anything useful go to waste. The ability to craft a tool out of virtually anything — or find uses for something you would otherwise disregard as garbage — is an excellent ability to have. In a survival setting, it could be a matter of life and death.
Being able to hunt with traps, guns, knives and arrows are vital skills to have in order to survive in the wilderness, but knowing when, where and what to hunt is also important. Depending on your setting and target, your approach may be entirely different. Having the physical tools to kill an animal doesn’t matter if you don’t have the mental ones as well.
Most importantly, being able to protect and care for yourself is one of the most vital tools to possess. Whether it be in a survival setting or life in general, having to rely on others is extremely dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with having comrades — they can often be incredibly helpful — but knowing how to take on the world without them is of utmost importance.