If you’ve ever had questions about what is was like to be a mountain man, the American Mountain Men organization is just what you’ve been looking for.
My favorite part of practicing primitive skills and learning about ancient ways is the insight it gives me into the lives of past people. If I sit down and make cordage, a friction fire, or a pair of moccasins, I am really sharing an experience with people of days gone by. Like I tell students in my history class, when you learn those skills, you could sit around a campfire with thousands of generations of people and talk about the experience.
In contrast, you could only sit down with people who’ve been alive within the past six years or so to talk about all the trouble you’ve been having with your smartphone.
The American Mountain Men are one group of men dedicated to preserving the knowledge of the past by walking in the moccasin tracks of the mountain men. This group is determined to pass on the knowledge of the mountain men by learning their skills and living their lives, for a time.
Watch this brief video of a few American Mountain Men to get an idea of what they’re all about.
As you can tell, passing on the history and traditions of the mountain men is much more than a hobby for these gents.
This organization is about more than just looking the part. They are a very exclusive organization, and new members are required to prove their mettle before being accepted. The group routinely takes primitive excursions into the woods and sets up mountain-man style camps, cutting no corners on traditional ways. I can imagine that if an AMM member sat down with Jim Bridger, James Beckworth, Milton Sublette, or Jedediah Smith, they would have more than a few things to share.
You can bet if you ever run into a member of this exclusive organization, you’ll be meeting with a man who truly understands what a mountain man’s life was like.