If you love watching old Western films, you have most likely pictured yourself living in the days of the Wild West. If you’re like me, you probably have even made statements such as, “I was born in the wrong time; I should have lived in the 1800s when cowboys still roamed the land.”

The West has been glamorized in many films, leaving people wishing they had grown up in a different era…but what was it actually like to live in the days of infamous outlaws? I did some research!

1) Diseases were rampant, as hygiene was severely lacking.

2) Living near a water supply was a necessity, but also a hardship, as mosquitos would be a constant battle for settlers.

3) Common items that people in this day and age take for granted did not exist. Shampoo? Nope! Toilet paper? Nada! Fly spray? No way!

4) Women were known to have it especially hard in the Old West, and often self medicated with alcohol.

5) The cowboy life was not how it is depicted in movies; most cowboys continuously traveled from state to state, seeking out employment for scarce wages.

6) Being a cowboy was not as common in this time period as one might think. Many people that lived in the Wild West actually took up jobs in mining, rather than spending their days working with livestock.

7) Living in this time period was lonely. There are claims that some people actually went crazy from the isolation of living in the West.

8) Horses led difficult lives in this era. A quote from Al Jones states, “The accurate observation that the West was heaven for men and dogs but hell for women and horses is broadly true.”

Do you think you could have survived in the West?