What is The Lost Ways?
In The Lost Ways, what we in the 21st century would call a catastrophe is what people in the 1850s would call “daily life.”
It is not meant to be demeaning.
Instead, it shows that when the rubber hits the road, when the apocalypse comes, humanity already has a wide range of survivalist methods and techniques at its disposal, since that’s how we used to live for centuries.
Claude Davis has compiled these techniques in a nearly 400-page book (available as a PDF download or a physical copy for an additional $8.99 shipping fee) that focuses on several key survival subjects
- Water is the most important element for survival besides oxygen. Claude demonstrates how to find water, verify the quality of your drinking water, and detoxify potentially hazardous water, among many other critical water survival skills.
- It’s almost like a mini-cookbook. Claude discusses 25 lost-to-history superfoods that are ideal for stocking up for an emergency. As he explains, certain foods do not need refrigeration, which is certainly a valuable skill in a survival situation.
- Cooking focuses on how to build certain cooking instruments (such as smokehouses) which are useful in preparing food for survival situations.
- There’s got to be food! You’ve gotta dress yourself! Claude shows you how to create your own hunting and fishing methods from scratch, enabling you to hunt game in order to survive and thrive.
- Home Building
- Claude spends considerable time teaching you how to construct shelters large enough for your family-the pinnacle of which is a subterranean roundhouse rooted in Native American traditions.
- Poultices and other medicines
- In this lecture, Claude shows how to create organic medicines that can be used to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and for a variety of other purposes.
This information is presented to you to help you survive in extreme circumstances.
The Lost Ways feel certainly like a workbook—a collection of tips along with specific guides to help you execute necessary survival techniques in case of a severe emergency.
Who is Claude Davis?
Claude Davis is a survivalist. His survivalist experience was influenced in no small part by his grandparents who survived the Holodomor in Ukraine.
As an owner of askaprepper.com, a popular website dedicated to apocalyptic preparations, he has a unique perspective on what it means to “prepare”.
It’s not merely a hobby for the ultra-rich to construct million-dollar bunkers. Anyone can and should prepare for the worst.
He believes that everyone has the ability to learn necessary survival skills for a worst-case scenario.
Does he know what he’s talking about?
Claude doesn’t just rely on his own expertise. He consults with a variety of different experts to deliver a well-rounded, valuable survival book that tackles nearly every possible element of survivalism.
He consults with:
- Erik Bainbridge: a Native American who explains how to build subterranean survival shelters that can house up to five people
- Patrick Shelley, a hunter who walks you through various traps
- Shannon Azores who teaches you how to preserve your water
- Susan Morrow: a chemist who shows you how to use homemade + organic medicines
- Lex Rooker, whose investigation of Native American cooking has allowed him to compile a list of long-lasting, nutrient-dense superfoods.
These experts, along with Claude himself, work together to craft nearly 400 pages of expert advice on preparing for a survival situation.
In other words, Claude does his homework, and it really shows.
What does The Lost Ways teach?
The Lost Ways teach survival skills. I touched on briefly what the book covered, but I figured that I’d go into a little more depth about three topics The Lost Ways covers: fire, food, and Donner Party.
One of the structures that Claude covers is the self-feeding fire.
It’s early on in the book, but it’s a neat concept. In essence, you build a “v” out of two flattened pieces of wood that hold a series of logs of wood above a fire. Claude shows you how to load these logs so that they will gently fall into the fire as the fire needs to be fed.
It’s a pretty clever concept that has a strong element of “why didn’t I think of that” once you see it in action.
The food section is a neat division between traditional American recipes and survivalist-based foods. There’s an entire section dedicated to making food from cattails—something I had no idea was possible.
Claude explains that the roots of cattails have 10 times the starch of potatoes, and he spends considerable time showing you how to extract this starch before going into a lot of different recipes that utilize cattail as a primary ingredient.
Another recipe that Claude goes into an explanation about is Pemmican. Pemmican is a type of dried meat and rendered fat that can keep for years if stored properly.
It doesn’t sound exactly the most appetizing, but hey, it’s survival! This falls into the general theme of the book: that your survival is paramount. Pemmican is a high-density food that holds a lot of nutrients and keeps for a long time.
If you’re trying to figure out how to make your food last a long time? The Lost Ways is a great solution.
Claude’s case study of the Donner Party was a bit different than the rest of The Lost Ways. He actually takes a few pages to talk about what led to the Donner Party disaster, and then parses each decision and how it impacted their chances at survival.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Donner Party, it was a group of pioneers who made a series of fatal miscalculations on their route to California which resulted in nearly half of the 87 members of the party dying. Several resorted to cannibalism.
Claude then spins this tale into a bunch of lessons that you can apply in survival situations—some more specific, some more general.
Some of these lessons are:
- Survival depends upon weather
- The Donner party got stuck in serious snow due to their delay getting to the mountains. This proved fatal.
- They also were in the Great Salt Lake Desert while the sands were wet, not dry, costing them precious days and eating into their resources.
- Stress leads to anger
- A member of the party killed a man out of anger. Not good for survival chances
- Know when to turn back
- Sometimes you need to cut your losses
It’s an interesting approach to apply his survival skills to a historical incident and then dissect the mistakes that were made along the way.
While we can agree that hindsight is 20/20, it’s important to see how we can learn from history, and Claude certainly works to impart those lessons to his readers.
How much does The Lost Ways Cost?
The Lost Ways come in at a surprisingly affordable $37.
For this, you get a 350+ page PDF. Included, you get three additional texts dedicated to growing survivalist foods, surviving an EMP attack, and building a can rotation system. So, you wind up with a considerable amount of information for a pretty reasonable price.
If you’re interested in getting a physical copy of the book, that runs $37 plus $8.99 for shipping and handling.
It’s not that often that ebook guides like these have a physical copy available as well, and the price differential is pretty negligible, so if you’re a physical copy collector, you can rest easy knowing it’s an affordable purchase.
Is The Lost Ways worth it?
Before I jump into this, let me walk you through who this book is good for.
The Lost Ways is good for:
- People interested in early American history, cooking, and living
- Those looking to learn survival skills—particularly cooking, water purification, and fire preparation
- Preppers or survivalists looking for an authoritative text on skills you’ll need for a real emergency
- Folks were curious about getting back to nature and learning forgotten trades.
Claude’s book is an excellent introduction to a variety of survival tactics, drawing inspiration from American explorers who lived much more difficult lives than we do.