Packing for the Oregon Trail
It cost between $800 and $1,200 for migrants to outfit
themselves for the trail. This included food, clothing, equipment,
cooking supplies and tools. "The Emigrant's Guide to California,"
published in 1849, suggested Western-bound travelers equip themselves
with the following supplies:
|3 pairs of pistols||$45|
|5 barrels of flour||$20|
|6 sacks of bacon||$30|
|Salt and pepper||$3|
|Candles and soap||$5.30|
In "The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland
Expeditions," published by the U.S. War Department in 1859, Capt. Randolph
Barnes Marcy recommends purchasing wool clothing to protect travelers against
the sun, rain and sudden changes in temperature.
supplied the following list for one man traveling by foot on the Oregon Trail:
two flannel overshirts, two woolen undershirts, two pairs thick cotton
drawers, two pairs thick cotton socks, four silk handkerchiefs, two pairs stout
shoes, three towels, one gutta-percha (a sort of natural latex) poncho, one broad-brimmed
hat, one comb and brush, two tooth brushes, four pounds of soap, one belt-knife,
stout linen thread, large needles, beeswax, buttons, paper of pins and a thimble
for making clothing repairs."
July 7, 2004