I've been heavily involved with our church pioneer trek reenactment during the past many months. We were able to trek the actual Mormon Trail near Fort Bridger, Wyoming. We just returned a couple of weeks ago. I haven't experience many things quite so humbling as to strip away many of our conveniences for several days and survive without.
It was hard! I had some medical inconveniences that resulted in my only walking about half of the projected 17 miles. I was tired and worn out - even though I regularly walk several miles up and down hills. We survived two thunderstorms with torrential rain (which had to be bailed out of our tent because there was so much water). I was reminded about just how dependent we have become on technology and modern inventions. I loved taking a shower at the end of our trek experience. It was so easy to just turn on the water - hot and clean. I almost cried when my husband told me he had just put fresh sheets on our bed.
I couldn't have survived like my past grandparents did - because I don't have the skills that they had. Our water was trucked out to us - but it often ran out faster than it was available. My grandparents had to look for their water and then hope it was clean. Wyoming seemed devoid of life and food. I was grateful for coolers full of food and refrigerated trucks instead of a measly 1/4 cup of flour a day like my two grandmothers had.
We have so much! But we rely heavily on others for it.
Just another argument for self-reliance!