Clark the Carver specializes in carving bears, but did you also know that he carves several other personages into recycled wood? One of the many images he carves into wood is that of the mountain man. Today Carve Me a Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to talk a little about the history and origin of the mountain man. This rugged, manly man of the early American West has quite the history to tell.
Who Were the Early American West Mountain Men?
Mountain men were mostly known to live in the North American Rocky Mountains from about 1810-1880. They were known for their trapping and exploration skills that helped settlers traveling through the Rocky Mountain area. They were key in widening numerous Emigrant Trails, which were widened wagon trails, that helped settlers from the east make it to the far west to settle new territories. They used their brute strength to improve trails that would help improve their fur trade industry.
Mountain Men and Fur Trappers Trade
Mountain men don’t fit any stereotype. They came from many different backgrounds and religions. There were many “free trappers” (mountain men that sold their pelts to the highest buyer and didn’t answer to anyone) but most of them worked for large fur companies and had to answer to whomever was the head of the trapping party. Fur trapping peaked from 1820 through 1840 but then started to collapse. As this took place many of the trappers changed jobs and ended up being excellent guides and scouts.
What Does a Mountain Man Really Look Like?
When you envision a mountain man, most people see a man dressed in buckskin with a coonskin cap. You may even imagine a man with a burly beard and giant knife. While these images may not be far off, many mountain men worked in companies and wore cloaks and hats made out of wool with Native American-style breeches and shirts. They always had a pair of heavy duty boots with them, but most of the time they wore moccasins on their feet.
Mountain Men Had Survival Stories
Mountain men don’t get their rough and tough reputation for nothing. They lived a very rugged life and had to be true survivalists. They had to use their senses just to survive the circumstances in which they lived. They faced diseases, injuries, horrible weather, and exploring unmapped territory. They had to set their own broken bones, and learn how to use the nature surrounding them to cure illnesses. They were the definition of survival.
Mountain Men & Native Americans
Mountain men spent a lot of time with several Native American tribes. Some tribes were friendly and they could exchange information about the land and other survival tips. Other tribes were hostile and they had to do their best to avoid them. They had a diet much like the Native Americans and were able to trade often with different tribes.
Custom Mountain Men & Other Chainsaw Carvings Made in Las Vegas, Nevada & Helena, Montana
There is no doubt that the life of a mountain man was one that not everyone would be able to survive. Their knowledge of the land is what kept them alive most of the time. If you have any ties to mountain men or just respect their guts and glory, Clark the Carver and Carve Me a Bear! Chainsaw Carvings has carved many mountain men and would love to carve you a unique work of art.