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Packing Your Covered Wagon
Little House Crafts & Activities

Pioneers traveling by covered wagon had to be very careful of their wagon's weight. Even a few pounds heavier could mean the trip would be much more difficult for the oxen or horses. This is why the men and women would walk beside the wagon instead of inside it.

The typical journey by covered wagon was five months long, and they would need to pack enough supplies and equipment for the entire five months.

Below are the supplies that a typical Pioneer family traveling west across the United States might take on their covered wagon journey.  Pretend you are a pioneer planning your long journey to the frontier. Make a list of what you would take in your covered wagon, keeping in mind that the wagon will carry only 2,000 pounds before the weight becomes too much. When you are done, compare your list with friends.

Be sure to pack enough food for each person in your family. Click here to see the recommendations of food for each person, then see how much weight you have left for everything else!

Tools Weight in Pounds
ax 15
shovel 12
hatchet 9
hammer 7
hoe 3
anvil 150
grinding stone  75
animal trap 15
rope 4
Personal Items Weight in Pounds
doll 2
jump rope  1
marbles  1
family Bible 2
books 2
hunting knife 1
bag of clothes 40 
fiddle 2
snowshoes 8
rifle 10
pistol 7
first aid kit 3

Food Weight in Pounds
flour 150
tea 10
salt 50 
sugar 50
coffee 100
bacon 40
dried fruit 100
dried beans 100
cornmeal 10
spit peas 100
oatmeal 8
vinegar 25
pickles 50
dried beef 25
salt pork 5
assorted spices 5
barrel of water  350
vegetables 5
Household Goods Weight in Pounds
coffee grinder 5
rug 40
bedding  20
mirror 40 
dutch oven 70
butter churn 40
table and 4 chairs 200
piano 900
organ 2000
baby cradle 75
wooden bucket 10
bedpan 2
butter mold  1
rocking chair 50
pitcher and bowl 5
cooking stove 700
cooling utensils 2
stool 10
spinning wheel 80
lantern 4
clock 1
10 candles 1
set of dishes 40




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