Life's Essentials in the 1830s

Use an Alamo history trunk to take your class on a trip to 1830s Texas and explore what it took to survive the frontier! 


You are about to enter Texas in the 1830s. You are wearing a shirt and pants and have a gun without the accoutrements (powder, bullets, etc.) In addition, you are only allowed to take 10 of the following items. Which do you consider essential, and which do you leave behind for easier times? 

  • Slouch hat
  • Fur hat
  • Brogans (shoes)
  • Bonnet
  • Belt
  • Sewing kit
  • Hunting frock
  • Fabric swatches
  • Apron
  • Chocolate
  • Green coffee
  • Horn cup
  • Tin cup
  • Eating utensils
  • Horn spoon
  • Candle mold
  • Compass
  • Hand ax
  • Powder horn
  • Bullet block
  • Flint and steel
  • Candle
  • Dried beans
  • Roasted coffee
  • Meat
  • Parched corn
  • Piloncillo
  • Skillet
  • Haversack
  • Brick tea
  • Wooden bowl
  • Tin plate
  • Gourd canteen
  • Hunting bag
  • Pot scrubber
  • Mirror
  • Bone toothbrush
  • Dice
  • Marbles
  • Coins
  • Playing cards
  • Corn husk doll
  • Lice comb
A gourd canteen.
Would this gourd canteen be part of your survival kit?
A replica 1830s compass.
What about this compass? Do you think it would help you to live on the frontier?
Replica 1830s coins.
Would you need money like this to survive on the frontier?
A replica powder horn.
How useful do you think this powder horn might be?
A bag of dried meat.
What food would you need as part of your survival kit? What about this dried meat?

Download Activity Worksheet