Eskimos, or Inuits, are indigenous peoples who lived in the far north, who survived a very harsh, cold climate. They survived in areas with low light levels for part of the year, with extreme wind chills, and temperatures reaching minus 30 or more.
It’s at this point you might be thinking, “how did they ever survive?”
It’s a fair question.
Inuits were extremely resourceful, creative and determined. They are a fantastic example of self-reliance.
While we may not want to recreate their exact lifestyle, every Prepped Survivalist can learn something from them.
Take a look at how they lived, and try to think about what you can take away from their experiences…
The Inuit people consumed a diet that was perfectly suited for the environment in which they lived. During the summer, the Inuit would move inland, away from the coast, and hunt caribou, which, like the Plains tribes, provided them with almost everything they needed.
During the short summers, berries were gathered, birds were caught and the meat dried, eggs were enjoyed, berries and herbs were gathered and stored. Fresh water fish also were caught from lakes or streams. The Inuit diet consisted almost entirely of meat, with only the few plants that could be found during the very short summer to add some variety.
During winter, dogs were invaluable hunting partners. The Inuit stayed close to the coastline. Before the sea edges froze, seals would often sun themselves on the sand or rocks. Killing a seal during these times was a challenge and took real teamwork.
Using the food that was available to them to their best advantage was one of the Inuit’s secrets to survival.
Before you can get around, you need to know your way around! The Inuit used the stars and sun (when it was available) to navigate, especially on the water.
The Inuit used sleds made from whale bones with skins stretched over them. Dogs would pull the sleds through the snow. On the water, kayaks were the usual means of transportation, but when moving larger families or supplies (such as whale meat) larger boats, called umiaqs, were used.
One of the best-known traits of the Inuit people was their wintertime shelters, called igloos. Igloos were houses made of snow and ice and were the best winter shelters, as snow causes air to be trapped, making it a very good insulator.
A typical igloo could be built in less than one hour by two men with sharp knives. After the blocks were cut and stacked, the snow was packed on the outside for further insulation. Sometimes, several igloos would be connected via tunnels, enabling large families to have some privacy, but still stay together.
Summer shelters usually were made of whale bones lashed together and covered with hides. The floors also would be covered with hides for insulation and comfort.
Almost all clothing was made from seal and caribou hides. In the coldest winter months, two layers of clothing were worn. The one next to the skin had the fur turned inward; the outer layer had the fur facing outward.
Caribou hide has natural air pockets, which make it super-insulating. Parkas often were made from caribou hides, with the fur inside, and waterproof seal hides on the outside.
You can read more about Inuit life and survival at Off the Grid News.
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