The Coureur de Bois Lifestyle

In the past centuries, thousands of men traveled along the waterways and into the deep forest of North America to search for beaver skins and pelts. These men were known by different names, depending on the period and their actual status: coureurs de bois, voyagers, pedleurs, the men of the north, the eaters of the lard, and the trappers. As fur became a big part of European fashion, coureur de bois were basically fur traders, they were considered to be unregulated traders in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The life of a coureur des bois was very dangerous at that time, considering that they weren’t recognized traders by the French authorities. They also travel as far as 2,000 kilometers, or more from home just to make trades. These traders were very determined and even the regulation by the French authorities did not stop their transactions.

These traders lived off their lives ofthe beaten trails and they had enjoyed a great deal of freedom. They have lived on the fringes of the French colony running through the woods. The coureurs des bois were often wet, could be a result of a heavy rain, sweat, or during times that they get out of their canoes. This is also why they had preferred to wear fabric clothing instead of the skins since it actually dried better. Their outfits often include cotton or a linen shirt including a knee-length canvas pants. On their heads are often wool toques or a scarf so they could keep the sweat off their faces. They also wore those brightly colored wool belts, where they hang a cup or a bag that has pipe or tobacco and a lighter. During cold days, coureur des bois occasionally wore a coat made of moose or a woolen capote. They had well-sealed horn where they store their black powder. They also carry knives and sometimes a gun for protection.

Since they were far from most civilization that often had poor hygiene and healthcare. The United Medical Education has done extensive research into finding out exactly how the health of the coureur des bois was handled. While United Medical Education usually performs training in ACLS recertification online, they also do extensive study on the past history of medicine in certain civilizations. Besides teaching ACLS recertification online they also teach PALS certification and BLS certification.

They set up camps every evening and some other evenings they sleep under the open sky. They would lit the fire and prepare their meal. They used overturned canoes covered by tarpaulin for their shelter. One man is always in charge to watch out for the fire and their merchandise, and is also in charge in waking up his companions before dawn. And when winter comes, they would bundle up to sleep close to the fire. Every now and then they also dig holes under the snow to seek for protection, and then they would cover the ground with pine branches. During dangerous times, they would pray and make vows, this they all respect.

The coureur des bois spent twelve to fourteen hours every day just moving ahead, making sure they get down with their merchandise, they only stop when the weather permits, surely not a job for a lazy man. Even if they wanted to, they could not afford a delay to make sure that they will arrive at the meeting point and will be able to return before winter comes.


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