A few days ago I bought “The Lost Ways” by Claude Davis, a 350 page book that I’ve just finished reading today, and I can tell you that I enjoyed every page of it. It’s funny how after 15 years of prepping you still learn new things.
Of course, the ideas were new for me and probably for most of us, but these things are actually very old. But Claude Davis got it right: “The SHTF we all prep for is what folks 150 years ago called daily life.”
I’ve been looking for something like this for years, so, I wanted to thank Claude for putting together this book and making this lost knowledge available to every prepper and patriot at an affordable price. Yesterday I called him just to find out that we live only 200 miles apart. I said that I wanted to get to know the man behind the book. He said he also knew me from my website and wanted to meet me too, so I got my recorder and jumped into my van. For now, I’m aiming for an interview, not a product review.
When I arrived at his place, I felt like I had traveled back in time. Claude is and old-fashioned guy by any standard. He lives with his wife and two children in a log cabin he had built, cooks outside on an open flame in a cauldron most of the time, and all of his clothes are handmade.
He has a 150-square-foot root cellar stuffed with all sorts of homemade canned foods and goods and he raises cows, sheep and chickens. I thought several times to myself that this guy will never be troubled by any crisis. We chit-chatted a little bit then we sat by the fireplace and our interview began.
Me: Claude, how did you get the idea for saving the lost ways of our great grandparents?
Claude: Well, Alec, it all began when I understood that we are the last generation that can truly do something about it. As Americans, we are reaching a tipping point. For hundreds of years, we passed this knowledge from generation to generation. That had been the way until a few decades ago, when we found out that it’s a lot easier and a lot more comfortable living in a Big Mac era. But all these indulgences come with a price. We’ve sacrificed our knowledge, our health and our entire independent lifestyle..
America is changing, Alec. And I don’t think it’s for the better. That’s because people won’t change for the better. Just turn on the TV. We’re becoming a nation full of spoiled brats and super trendy metrosexuals. Where are the men and women who took matters into their own hands and who put their heads into work and turned this country into the world’s First Power? We need more people like that. America needs more ‘pioneers’! Now it’s the time to teach our children the lost values of our great grandparents.
Me: When I read “The Lost Ways” I felt that it also conveyed something a little more personal; something that the eyes can’t see, but that one can read between the lines. Am I right?
Claude: Yes! It’s probably the memory of my grandparents. I was raised by them and I cannot remain 100 percent detached while I talk about those moments. Even now, I remember that on winter days as a small child, I’d run home from school to my grandparents’ house, where there was always the most delicious, salty, thick bowl of stew you can imagine waiting for me. It seemed to contain every ingredient known to humankind. It had meat of some kind, barley and lentils, onions, potatoes and carrots. It was one of the most memorable tastes of my childhood.
I once asked my grandmother how to make that stew. She told me that it was the stew of paupers and was made from anything she could find. The meat was the cheap cuts from the butchers, or leftovers from previous meals. The vegetables she had grown herself and the lentils and barley were there to ‘fill you up’. The point is that my nanna knew how to maximize the use of food; to not waste food. Throwing out food was not even an option.
About a third of all food we produce is wasted and thrown away. As I wrote in my book: Feel what it’s like to truly starve and I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food.
Our grandparents had it right. And not just about food. They knew that resources are finite; that self-reliance is crucial to survival. No one knows the future, and in the dark place that our world has found itself in today, that future is certainly not assured. Now, more than ever, we need to learn the lost skills of our grandparents.
Me: Claude, what do you think is the most noticeable difference between our grandparents way of life and ours?
Claude: One of the most important changes is that of our attitudes and expectations. They were doers. We’re consumers. The ‘make do and mend’ attitude was probably the second most important survival tool that they had. My granddad bartered and swapped various items for meat, which was a treat for the family, rather than thinking of it as a daily entitlement as meat is now. Our grandparents’ generation would be both shocked and dismayed at their grandchildren’s dependency on others. The self-reliance that they had in terms of everyday living, puts us to shame.
Me: You said ‘the second most important survival tool’. What was their first?
Claude: Their survival knowledge. This is what I wanted to bring back to life in “The Lost Ways”. Not just their attitude, but some pretty interesting things that they did or built. And I didn’t want to just mention them, but to actually show people how they did these things, like in a DIY guide. This is how it turned into a 350 page book and almost 5 years of work.
Me: Was it worth it?
Claude: Hell yeah! I’m getting around 30 emails a day from people who thank me and ask me about “The Lost Ways”. Here, let me just read an e-mail I’ve just received: “Thanks for this wonderful book Claude. I cannot believe how many things we’ve lost along the way. The brilliance of your book is that it offers a proven way to achieve self-sufficiency without investing any money. This is by far the best survival advice I’ve read so far!”
How can you not be glad when you get a message like this? In fact, you called me to say thanks, right? Your phone call made my day! So I guess I can say it was all worth it.
Me: I know the feeling, Claude. I have the same feeling about “Backyard Liberty”. What about the bonuses, and especially “The Can Rotator”? What a great idea. Did you build it yourself?
Claude: Yes. Last year we had around 30 cans of food that had to be thrown away. We totally forgot about them and they passed their expiration date. If you do the math at an average of $2.50 a can, you’ll come up with $75 thrown away. Plus I have a problem with wasting food. So I decided to build a can rotator system with only $75, but it turned out I needed a little bit more. With $95, I build a system that will keep all my cans up to date and easy to maintain and verify. And it also looks pretty nice. You’ve seen it in the root cellar.
Me: I’m going to build one for myself. So, Claude, as you know, this interview will be posted on Survivopedia. Please tell me your last thoughts and why should people get “The Lost Ways”?
Claude: Well, first because now they can. I wanted to buy something like this so badly that I would’ve paid at least a few hundreds. Now it’s pretty easy and cheap. People are spending money on a lot of stupid things, but I really can’t think of something better and more useful that you can buy with $37. Can you?
Second, because it’s the most practical survival knowledge that you can find out there. I’m a prepper myself and I read a lot of survival articles and books, but there’s nothing like this! This knowledge has been tested for centuries and is proven to work not only in a crisis, but on a daily basis. This is why I call it “practical”.
Third, because it’s an investment. “The Lost Ways” will help you save hundreds of dollars every month starting from day ONE. You’ll save money on groceries, on electricity, on medicine, on ammo, and a lot more. Self-reliance will save you hundreds of dollars every year—while making you stronger, tougher, healthier, and wiser.
And fourth, because I feel that it’s our duty as Americans and to our great grandfathers to preserve their ways and not let them disappear forever.
Can I ask you a question, Alec? What was your favorite part of “The Lost Ways”?
Me: Hard to say. I liked it all. But if I have to name one chapter, it is probably the one with the sailors from the 18th century and how they preserved water and food on their ships, about the rum rations and the silver coins. I must admit that I’ll probably rethink the way I stock and preserve water. They did it better and easier.
Our conversation was a lot longer and we talked about lots of things, but it’s not the main focus of this article. I’m glad I met the man behind the book. He’s truly one of a kind, so if you’re interested in saving the lost ways of our great-grandparents, Claude has made a nice video that I’m sure you’re going to love.
Click on the image bellow and learn the 3 pioneer survival lessons that you should know.
This interview was taken by Alec Deacon for Survivopedia.