The Lost Ways is written/compiled by Claude Davis, a well-known prepper and survival expert. He has spent over 30 years learning and preserving the values and life skills of our great grandparents’ time. Davis is an old-western history expert, and his belief is that what was daily life 150 years ago may become so again if and when a catastrophe should disrupt all modern power sources and goods commerce.

Along with his recently updated The Lost Ways book, Davis offers preppers free advice through his website, Ask A Prepper. Davis’ goal is to encourage people to begin incorporating survival skills into their everyday activities now so that they will be prepared to maintain a quality of life for themselves, their family, and even their neighbors when disaster strikes.

Preparing for the Worst

If you live in an area where the possibility of extreme storms, earthquakes, or other natural disasters is an ongoing fact of life, or if you are concerned about the volatile political landscape of our time, The Lost Ways may be a resource you’d appreciate. The book covers skills necessary to survive without modern technology or other provisions we normally depend on to sustain life.

It’s important to have a plan and to practice basic survival skills with your family. These skills will save you from the panic that becomes prevalent in desperate situations. Knowing you’ve prepared for the worst can give you and your loved ones peace of mind going forward. This book covers many of the basic needs you should consider.

The book is a compilation of writings from experts in various survival skills, such as building sturdy, inconspicuous shelters, heating and cooking with wood, and gathering food for eating and herbs for healing. There are many suggestions of how to begin now to train yourself and your children. Most skills employ items on-hand or naturally gathered without having to spend money on survival gadgets or specialized products.

Although most people like to remain optimistic about the future and any possibilities of lengthy catastrophe, it is obvious there is no guarantee for the future. If you have found yourself wondering what you would do in a crisis, The Lost Ways is a good place to start making a plan and building survival skills.

Food and Water

This book will teach you how to prepare and stock up on nutritionally dense, easily stored superfoods using simple ingredients currently available in local supermarkets. Preparing and stocking these items now will be a buffer against shortages in the future.

It will also teach you how to forage for food in the wild. Recognizing edible plants and medicinal herbs growing in fields, forests, or any open spaces near you can be an important skill. Included in the chapters are delicious, nutritious recipes using natural ingredients not sold in stores.

You can learn to live a simpler life without depending so heavily on commercial stores and refrigeration. You can become more aware of what is immediately available around you that can be important food or medicinal sources for survival in emergency situations.

There is an important chapter about collecting and preserving clean water as sailors did aboard ships in past generations. You will then be able to acquire and safely store water for months at no cost. This is an invaluable skill during times of drought or after an environmental crisis.

In addition to preserving clean drinking water, the book teaches how to make other types of beverages such as ginger beer, so you don’t have to sacrifice variety in your diet. Knowing how to make alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine is also an advantage medicinally.

The book also covers various ways of hiding your stockpiles from prying eyes, whether it be a clean supply of water, food, tools, or weapons. Various storage ideas are explained that may be personalized for your own climate and location. There are even suggestions about how to organize local groups for the defense of shared goods in case of isolation or potential anarchy.

Cooking From Garden and Wilderness

The Lost Ways covers ways of cooking and preserving foods without electricity or modern conveniences. It presents instructions for topics such as building a traditional smokehouse for preserving fish and other wild-caught meat. There are suggestions for cooking different types of food effectively over an open fire or using a wood stove in winter.

Recipes include making traditional Native American Pemmican as well as traditional and survival bark bread. You will learn how to make a simple grain mill along with how to recognize and use natural herbs and edible plants for a truly wildcrafted table.

In addition to foraging in the wild, the book covers the most important garden crops for survivalists and suggestions for rotating crops for continued successful productivity. These skills can be important in the modern world as well, to help provide a nutritional, balanced diet without worrying about added pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It can also prove to be a boon to your household budget.

Other recipes included in the book are various soups and stews, cakes and pies, biscuits and bread, porridge and freshly caught meats. The book explains how to forage for and use edible wild plants and herbs in day to day menus. Using a variety of food sources will ensure a balanced supply of necessary vitamins and minerals for sustaining physical and mental health.

Hunting and Trapping

In the early days of this nation, trappers disappeared for months in the western lands. How did they maintain enough ammo for their expeditions? What kind of trapping methods did they use? How could they survive for so long without contact with multiple points of supply? You will want to know what they knew to help you in radically altered survival conditions.

The Lost Ways explains the types of guns used by our forefathers as well as the most useful, sustainable modern guns to have onhand. It includes a fairly comprehensive guide for manufacturing your own ammunition. Processes such as casting your own bullets, using lead and black powder, and using traditional methods for recycling to keep a continuous supply of ammo are all covered here.

Building different types of animal traps for year-round hunting of small game such as muskrat or beaver is also included, as well as natural tanning techniques. The skills covered are a good way to learn to provide for yourself and family effectively with as little waste as possible over an extended period. If you already enjoy hunting, there are many points to help you improve and expand your skills.

Obtaining and preserving meat is an important, year-round survival skill. Meat provides an important protein source in wilderness situations, especially in cold weather when plant sources may become scarce. Knowing how to read animal tracks and set the right trap for specific prey can be a life-saving skill, even if you don’t normally hunt or live in an urban area.

Shelter and Simple Tools

Learn to build a traditional shelter as used by Native American western tribes, or how to install a temporary wood stove in your existing home if needed in an emergency. Learning the basics of how to construct a protective, perhaps hidden, shelter will help you to be creative in adapting wherever you find yourself in a survival crisis.

Humans are set apart from other animals by their ability to build more complex tools. Learn how to make your own tools as your ancestors did. Many types of tools, from forging simple knives to constructing a water wheel, stamping mill, or sawmill are covered in this book.

Learn what equipment is needed for making alcohol, how to fabricate a directional compass, or how to make effective snowshoes. These useful details may be some of the acquired skills needed to save your life in critical times. These skills will enable you to control your immediate environment when faced with adverse natural or manmade conditions.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is important to overall health even in disaster settings. It is crucial to maintain an environment that is as free as possible from harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses that can cause illness to become epidemic without modern conveniences. Prevention may be your best policy, and steps should be taken to maintain pleasant conditions for psychological reasons as well as physical.

The Lost Ways covers topics such as making your own soaps, both for bathing and medicinal purposes. This includes plain cooked lye soap or may involve adding your own herbal mix. There are also recipes for making baking soda and several types of toothpaste. There’s nothing more painful than a diseased tooth, and diseased teeth and gums can become a life-threatening issue in survival situations.

You can protect the health of your household by learning these skills ahead of time and stockpiling needed ingredients as well as the finished product. You may even learn a money-making skill when producing handmade, natural soaps. Learn how modern ingredients can be used while they are available to make and stockpile these useful personal hygiene items for future needs.

First Aid

Learn from a former science teacher and chemist the lost art of poultice making. Poultice recipes for treating wounds, abscesses, and even upset stomach complaints are included here. Learn the antibiotic effects of this traditional medicine. It can be a lifesaving skill in an emergency. Many poultices are easy to make and can be a valuable asset for modern-day use instead of some store-bought remedies.

Recognizing and knowing how to use medicinal herbs growing in the wild is an elementary skill for serious survivalists. It is also a way to lessen the impact of chemicals and artificial ingredients on your health. This book is a great starting place upon which to build additional skills with ongoing dedication.

Your family and community will benefit from the application of natural first aid methods when there are no modern medical facilities or pharmacies available. Many common garden plants and some wild plants that many consider weeds can be as effective as any doctor’s prescription when used correctly. Proper use can only be learned through education plus experience over time. Don’t wait for a crisis and then try to ‘figure it out’ as you go.


This book has been called one of the most comprehensive and informative survival books available by some reviewers. It offers practical instruction for meeting a plethora of survival needs without modern technology. The knowledge is sourced from a variety of experts for the most accurate and sustainable applications.

This book was written to be a lifestyle guide, not just an emergency handbook. To reap the full benefits requires time and commitment. For those interested in adding basic, ancestral survival skills to their everyday life, the book is available in both digital and print form. The Lost Ways presents a model to be built upon through time and experience, preparing today for tomorrow’s uncertain world.