Ahhhh! Nothing like the smell of genuine leather shoes, right?!

As you may know, shoes are my passion, or at least used to be, so I got to thinking, I wonder what people are going to do when there are no factories to make shoes? Or no stores to buy them?  I mean in a "no electricity, no water running world" we will still need shoes?  The ones we are currently wearing will most assuredly wear out over time and repeated use.

So, I'm watching this TV show called "Mountain Men". (I know my taste has hit rock bottom), and it hits me, these men are trappers, which I suspect we will be too if and when the ‘poo’ hits the fan.  Trappers trap animals for meat and for the pelts. These pelts, or the remaining hide will be our leather. 

In days gone by, Indians taught the trappers how to use ‘tanned’ pelts to make moccasins; a sturdy slipper-shaped shoe. 

As I watched the show, I thought to myself, I remember these shoes!  In the 1960s, the moccasin was a must have item for the flower child and the hippies.  Peace-out!!! (I must confess, now grant it, it was much later than the ‘60s, but I had a pair of these and wore them all the time!)

I started to research moccasins, and learned that they were hand-made by stitching the soft ‘tanned’ leather together with sinew.  Sinew, for the record was shredded fibers of animal tendon. (Gross huh?)  Later, hardened rawhide was used for the soles, which added durability, along with rabbit fur or sheepskin to line the inside for added warmth. Ah, my feet are smiling already.

During this same time, a heavier-duty boots called mukluks were made by the Eskimos made of sealskin, fur, and reindeer hide. I have a pair of moccasins by L.L. Bean and a pair of Sorel mukluks, and they have lasted forever - so far.

As you can see, we really don't have to be without our beloved shoes!  Moccasins and mukluks are sturdy, warm and fashionable and are man-made!

In my quest, I found numerous sites on the internet of patterns to make different styles of moccasins.  If you love shoes as I do, you are not going to be satisfied with one style!  So, my suggestion is this.  Print off the instructions for several different types of moccasins and place them away for safe keeping with your survival supplies. 

And, if you really get ambitious you can actually make a pair (fabric stores carry leather) for prosperity sake.

Oh, and good news!  You can buy artificial sinew by the spool (it might be wise to purchase a half a dozen or more spools, enough to ‘shoe’ the whole family, with extra to spare.)

Also, make sure you have the tools for sewing the moccasins, such as a sewing awl, a punch and sewing needles (a variety of sizes and gauges) to place in your survival sewing kit.

Just think! You can use your new acquired skill for bartering in the future! Just sayin".

- Survivor Jane


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