The American Mountain Men

The Mountain Man's life was one of skill. Not only was he a trapper and woodsman without equal, he was also a trader, blacksmith, horsewrangler, teamster, doctor, gunsmith, tailor, explorer, packer and guide.

There was little room for softness in the life of the Mountain Man. He had to be as hard as the elements he lived in. Although today's "historians" often attempt to picture him as a careless ne'er-do- well, there was really no room for carelessness or timidity in his life. He had to be constantly alert for signs of danger and ready for immediate action. As long periods of time might, and often did, pass without his seeing another man, it was necessary that he be self-sufficient, able to live from what nature provided. The Mountain Man had to possess that spirit of adventure that makes a man wonder just what is up the river and over the mountain, then go and find out, regardless of time or danger.

Perhaps most important of all, the Mountain Men had the complete loyalty toward one another that can be found only in a brotherhood of rugged men of like spirit. To quote Kit Carson, "There is alway a brotherly affection existing among trappers and the side of danger is alway their choice." The Mountain Men were strict individualists. They seldom asked for help when danger threatened or a Brother was in need. Asking was just not necessary.

Today most of this spirit has been lost. The life style of most of today's men has changed to total dependence upon society and on others of us being forced by law to assist them through life. The American Mountain Men have little interest in these social concepts. We are trying to preserve what is left of the spirit of the original Mountain Men and bring back much of what has been lost. We want men who are willing to step back in time, to attempt for a short time, at least, to live life as man was meant to live it, as Free Individuals and true Sons of the Wilderness.

You won't be asked about your politics, religion or private life. These are your personal concern. You can expect, however, to be asked about your outdoor experience. You can expect to be questioned about your feelings toward firearms, hunting, trapping, camping alone and getting along with others during a primitive encampment or jornada. We don't ask that you have a lot of experience. We do ask that you have a sincere interest in what we are doing and that you are willing to learn and teach that which you do know. The learning experience will often be under primitive conditions. If your stick floats this way, we suggest you contact:

The American Mountain Men