The Oregon Trail Walkthrough, Hints and Tips for PC Games.

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 The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail
 _______   _    _   ____
|__   __| | |  | | |  __|
   | |    | |__| | | |__
   | |    |  __  | |  __|
   | |    | |  | | | |
   | |    | |  | | | |__
   |_|    |_|  |_| |____|
  ____    _____     ____    ___      ____    __    _
 /    \  |  _  \   |  __|  /   \    /    \  |  \  | |
|  /\  | | |_)  |  | |__  |  /\_\  |  /\  | |   \ | |
| |  | | |  _  /   |  __| | | ___  | |  | | | |\ \| |
| |  | | | | \ \   | |    | ||_  | | |  | | | | \   |
|  \/  | | |  \ \  | |__  |  \/ /  |  \/  | | |  \  |
 \____/  |_|   \_\ |____|  \___/    \____/  |_|   \_|
 _______   _____       _     _   _
|__   __| |  _  \     / \   | | | |
   | |    | |_)  |   / _ \  | | | |
   | |    |  _  /   | /_\ | | | | |
   | |    | | \ \   |  _  | | | | |
   | |    | |  \ \  | | | | | | | |___
   |_|    |_|   \_\ |_| |_| |_| |_____|

Table of Contents
[INTRO] Introduction
[START] Getting Started
[WALKT] Walkthrough
[QUEST] Frequently Asked Questions
[NOTES] Tips on Various Matters
[CHART] Charts and Tables
[RECRD] Vinny's Records
[VERSN] Version History
[COPYR] Copyright
[CONTC] Contact Information

Easy Navigation: Hold down the Ctrl key and press F to bring down a search bar.
Then type in the code for the section you want to see (for example, [VERSN] for
the Version History section).

Introduction                                                           [INTRO]
Giddyup, pardner! I know that this isn't really a cowboy game, but that's OK.
This is my tenth strategy guide, and this one is for The Oregon Trail 5.0. To
use an early 1990's word that isn't much in favor any more (thankfully), The
Oregon Trail is "edutainment." This is my first guide of that genre, unless you
count SimCity 3000. The Oregon Trail is a lot of fun and does a good job of
teaching its players about an exciting time in American history. The graphics
and music are pretty cool, and most of the people, clothes, and landmarks seem
authentic. The replay value is excellent, too, as you can change the year you
travel, the route you travel, and other variables. While this is aimed at kids
between the ages of 8 and 14 years, anyone should be able to get something out
of it. And who knows? Maybe you'll learn some things along the way, and perhaps
you'll even learn how to manage money and dispel the national deficit!

Getting Started                                                        [START]
Once you've installed the software, I recommend that you take a good look at
the manual. It's possible that you may have received a printed manual, but I
think all versions of this game include a manual on the CD in PDF format.
Anyway, once you start the game up, an opening sequence will be shown. I always
press ENTER to skip the company name screen and the opening sequence, but you
might want to watch them. At this point, you should select the NEW GAME option
(or Quick Start if you want the computer to randomly assign information like
names and occupation).

---The Character Creation screen---
It's easiest if you carry a small party (3 or 4) instead of 6 people. Traveling
in a later year and choosing a wealthy, high-skill occupation (like doctor)
also make things easier while reducing your final score. Rookies might also
want to be a Greenhorn, as Adventurers and Trail Guides have to make important
decisions (like choosing routes) where mistakes can cause you to leave course
badly. May is the best month for departure.

You'll also probably want to change the names and/or ages of yourself and your
traveling companions. Keep in mind that younger people have increased risk of
measles and scarlet fever, but diseases like dysentery are more deadly in older
people. Maybe you can find someone like Atlanta Braves first baseman Julio
Franco, whose age is unknown and doesn't ever grow old, or one of those Kokiri
kids from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

---Player skills---
Click on the Skills tab at the bottom of the Character Creation screen to
select the special skills for your character. Each skill is worth a certain
number of points, and you have 120 points available. The more useful the skill,
the more points it costs (for example, medical skill is more valuable than
Spanish). You don't have to use up all your points, and unused points will
increase the final score at the end of your game. Some occupations, like
doctor, have some skills selected automatically, which are not deducted from
your 120-point limit. Personally, I think medical and cooking skills are the
most valuable.

---Buying supplies---
When you first leave the opening screen of Independence, you'll be offered a
package deal that includes most of the supplies you need. I elaborate on this
in a later section, but I recommend you accept the 5-month offer. Then go to
one of the general stores (Wilson & Clark or J.S. Stone Dry Goods) and
supplement the package deal with a few other goods (like salt).

---Buying livestock---
Near the back of Independence is a store marked "Henderson Stables." This is
where you buy animals to pull your wagon. I recommend buying eight oxen,
although I provide more information in the Tips on Various Matters section.

---How to start your journey---
When you're ready to hit the trail, head to the front of Independence and click
on the City Hall when the cursor says "Exit." Choose a wagon train (preferably
one of moderate size) to join and you're ready to go!

Walkthrough                                                            [WALKT]
I'm not going to take note of every single landmark on the trail, especially
since landmarks will vary depending on when you choose to travel. For example,
if you travel in 1857, there will be many little trading outposts with a small
(but useful) selection, but those won't be available in 1841. Also, not all
forts exist in all years. Your guidebook will have information pertinent to
your year, although my walkthrough covers all of the most important points
mentioned in the guidebook. My focus is on the more stable and more significant
locations, especially rivers, forts and locations like the Barlow Toll Road.
I'm assuming you're going from Independence to Oregon. And lastly: If a route
contains a word like "Shortcut" or "Cutoff," you know it'll save mileage but
will go through rough or unpleasant conditions or bypass a fort.

This is the "jumping-off" spot of most Oregon Trail pioneers. After buying
supplies, make sure to visit Henderson Stables to buy livestock. It's also a
good idea to visit the stores to buy some supplies (like salt), even if you
didn't buy the package deal.

---Blue River---
As with all rivers, save your game and select the "Check River Conditions"
option before making a decision on how to cross. This river isn't usually too
deep, so you'll often be able to ford it without travail.

A suburb of Independence. This town can safely be skipped, along with the
nearby New Santa Fe, unless you want to visit the Pioneer Saloon, Barber Shop,
or Morton Fester (the undertaker). Neither town has many supplies, and even if
they did, you wouldn't find them to be too useful yet.

---Kansas River---
There may be a ferry available for $5.90.

---St. Mary's Mission---
A decent spot to buy a few supplies at a good price.

---Red Vermillion River---
Rather wide. If it's available, pay $1 to use the bridge.

---Big Blue River---
Potentially dangerous. Several scenic landmarks are up ahead.

---Fort Kearny---
You've now gone 330 miles. Consider resting a day. You'll want to buy a few
supplies, because although things are pricier than they were in Independence,
the prices will only be going up at future forts. I should also say that we're
not in Kansas any more.

---South Platte River---
The South Platte River was your friend for many a day, but now you have to
cross it. It's usually about half a mile wide, but it's not too deep.
Definitely save before trying to cross, because this is one of the most
hazardous rivers on the trip.

---California Hill---
Your first hill! Unfortunately, many more are coming very soon. You're going
uphill here, although you won't usually have to take any special precautions.

---Windlass Hill---
A steep descent that comes soon after California Hill. Anchor the wagon, lock
the wheels, or use a rope or chain. Because of the risk of tipping, I recommend
that you save your game before traversing any slopes, especially when they're

---Laramie River---
A bridge ($2.50) was built in later years, but this river usually isn't much of
a problem.

---Fort Laramie---
This fort is known as Fort John in some years. Prices really start going up
soon, so stock up on anything you need.

---Independence Rock---
Pioneers could see this landmark for several days before actually reaching it.
If you can reach here by the Fourth of July, you should make it to Oregon
before the onset of winter.

---Three Crossings---
Here you must choose between the Three Crossings Route and the Deep Sand route.
The former requires you to cross a river thrice, but it's often a better
alternative to the Deep Sand route, which has lots of quicksand that slows you
down. Both are similar in terms of distance and travel time.

---Parting of the Ways---
This is where you make one of the most important route decisions on your Oregon
Trail journey. There are two options: the Road to Fort Bridger and the Sublette
Cutoff. The Road to Fort Bridger is fairly safe and takes you to a fort. If you
need supplies, select this option, although Fort Hall isn't too far away. The
latter option saves about five days on your trip. However, you'll be traveling
over a rough trail through desert wasteland. If you opt for the Sublette
Cutoff, make sure to save your game at the Parting of the Ways, because taking
the Sublette Cutoff can be very dangerous in a heat wave. If you choose the
Fort Bridger route, make sure to steer clear of the Salt Lake Cutoff.

---Green River---
The $10 ferry is so expensive you might consider using the caulk and float
method. This river appears on the dry Sublette Cutoff, so you might want to
stop here for a day or two to rest.

---Hudspeth Cutoff---

---Fort Hall---
Stuff is expensive here - $0.45 for a bag of flour! However, it very well may
be your next-to-last chance to buy supplies before Oregon.

---Raft River---
This river usually isn't too tough.

---California Trail Junction---
This is where you must decide whether you're going to California or Oregon.
Really, you made that decision back when you started your game, and if you
settle in the wrong location, you're not going to achieve a very high score. By
the way, it was said that the Oregon Trail fork was marked by a sign, while the
way to California was supposedly indicated only by a small gem. They said if
you could read, you'd go to Oregon. In reality, not all of the settlers in
Sacramento were dunces, and some were quite bright (especially those who were
more interested in the land than the gold).

---Rock Creek Gorge---
Very steep downhill. This is when you start hoping that they'd hurry up and
build a railroad here. But don't worry - you'll be in Oregon soon!

---Rock Creek---
An easy-to-manage creek.

---Three Islands---
This is another fork in the road. I recommend the South Alternate Route,
despite the deep sand you'll face. You can also take the Road to Fort Boise,
which is another place to buy (expensive) supplies, but visiting the fort adds
about 35 miles to your trip.

---Breneau Sand Dunes---
Soft sand can be a problem on this section of the Three Islands route.

---East Cow Hollow---
This is where the South Alternate Route and Road to Fort Boise converge.

---Malheur River---
This river isn't usually too tough.

---Grande Ronde River---
Another not-too-dangerous river.

---Umatilla River Trail Junction---
Take the Umatilla Shortcut, which cuts off about 60 miles from your trip,
unless you can really need the supplies at Fort Walla Walla.

---McDonald Ford of the John Day River---
An ordinary river.

---Deschutes River---
A ferry may be available in some years.

---Camp Dalles---
Here's your last chance to buy supplies. Flour is more than twice as expensive
($0.50 per bag) as it was in Independence. There's also a doctor if you have
anyone needing medical attention. This is where you make one of the most
important decisions on the trip: how you'll get to Oregon. There are three
options. Consider carefully (and save) before making a decision. First, you can
take the Barlow Toll Road - an extremely mountainous road that costs $5.60 to
travel. Second, you can raft down the Columbia River (I discuss this in its own
section). Third, you can pay someone $80 to raft you down the river.

---Barlow Toll Road---
You have to pay $5.60 to use the Barlow Toll Road. Although you're very near
Oregon, this is one of the most demanding sections of the trip, as there are
steep slopes, and the trail is frequently blocked by fallen rocks.

---Laurel Hill---
Very steep.

---Toll bridge---
This bridge costs $0.50 to cross. It's the final obstacle between you and
Oregon City! If you don't have the 50 cents, look for someone to trade with to
try to get that final cash.

---Oregon City---
Woo-hoo! We've reached the land of opportunity and utopia. Stake a land claim
(the claim will usually be bigger in earlier years), see your final score, and
see what happens to your character later in life (frequently you get a plaque
from the President for helping widows and disabled veterans).

Frequently Asked Questions                                             [QUEST]
Q: What's the most important tip you have?
A: SAVE OFTEN! Especially before crossing ANY river or, most of all, before the
raft excursion. If something bad happens, you can simply select "End Game" and
re-load your game from the last place you saved.

Q: How can I get the highest score possible?
A: Be a teacher, artist, or pastor. Take only two or three people with you. Get
to the destination quickly and efficiently. Don't use any of your skill points.
Don't waste money on frivolities. Don't take ferries or toll bridges, and save

Q: What wagon should I choose?
A: Almost certainly the Large Farmwagon. The Conestoga wagon is too big and
bulky for the Oregon Trail, and the Small Farmwagon is too small for most
people's needs. However, you could try using the Small Farmwagon if you have a
small group or if you're going on a shorter trip (like Salt Lake). You could
also consider the Small Farmwagon if you don't have much money.

Q: Why don't I have as much money as I'm supposed to according to the
Occupations screen?
A: The price of the wagon is automatically deducted from your total cash.

Q: My wagon tipped over while fording a 2-foot river. What did I do wrong?
A: Sorry, but on the Oregon Trail, nothing is guaranteed, especially when
rivers are involved. My advice is to start over from your last save point if
you lost a lot of supplies.

Q: I seem to be going in a circle. What did I do wrong?
A: It's possible you selected the "Turn Around" option on the Main Travel
screen. More likely, you were at a place where a fork converged and chose the
wrong option. For example, let's suppose you were at the Road to Fort
Bridger/Sublette Cutoff fork. You took the Sublette Cutoff. When these two
roads converged, you then selected "Road to Fort Bridger" instead of "Road to
Fort Hall," taking you back where you started. To correct this problem, restart
from where you last saved or use the Turn Around option.

Q: I'm going really slowly because of rainy conditions. Is there anything I can
do to speed things up?
A: You could try increasing the length of time you travel per day, but you can
also try restarting from your last save point. Rain and mud appear randomly, so
next time you might get better conditions. You can also use this as a chance to
take a day off once you reach a river or landmark.

Q: One member of my party got sick and died. I started the game from my last
save point (before he became ill) and he still got sick and passed away. What
went wrong?
A: This is kind of sad, but sometimes it takes a while for non-professional
physicians to diagnose an illness. By the time the disease has displayed its
characteristic symptoms, it may be too late to save the patient. An alternative
explanation is that this death has been preordained and that there wasn't any
way to avoid it from the beginning. The same thing happens in SimCity 3000;
there's no way to avoid a natural disaster. In short, if someone dies, either
start the trip over or keep going. And please give Nellie a decent burial so
the coyotes don't have her as their lunch (or maybe their FourthMeal). Of
course, it's also possible that you selected the wrong treatment for the
patient (a rest of 3-6 days is generally most effective).

Q: What do the different health ratings mean?
A: Good means that the person has no illnesses or injuries. OK usually means
someone who has suffered an injury like a sprained ankle or who is recovering
from a major illness. This rating can also mean that a player is tired from
intense travel or hungry or malnourished (try increasing rations). Fair often
means the patient is in the beginning stages of a potentially serious illness.
Several days of rest is generally the most effective remedy. If the health is
Poor, Bad, or Critical, the patient will usually die pretty soon unless you can
find a doctor. You know what the last rating (Dead) means.

Q: Why is it that only my partners get sick?
A: The leader of your party can't get sick, although accidents along the
Columbia River can be fatal. The other party members can become sick or die for
any reason.

Q: Why haven't I ever been attacked by Indians?
A: Skirmishes between the Indians and the white settlers were still very rare
when the Oregon Trail was in use. The manual explicitly states that Indian
attacks aren't included in this game. However, you can trade with or talk to
some Indians in this game.

Q: Why can't I write in my journal on all days?
A: You can only make entries in your journal on days where you reached a town
or landmark, or when you encountered an obstacle or adverse condition (like fog
or an illness). I should also note that some lines in your diary (frequently
mentioning Nick Tillman or Miss Whitney) are randomly added by the computer and
can't be deleted.

Q: Why couldn't I buy an item at a shop?
A: There are two possibilities. First, you might not have enough money to make
the current purchase. Secondly, keep in mind that quantities at stores are
limited (check the second number from the left on the Max column, which shows
how much of an item the store has in stock).

Q: Why don't my supplies ever go down?
A: You'll consume them eventually. Some things, like flour, are measured in
bags or sacks, and you can't tell how much food is left in a bag.

Q: Why are small streams, say 50 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep, sometimes
described as being dangerous or tricky?
A: When you check river conditions, don't pay attention to the game's
description; heed the numbers. As I state elsewhere, save your game before
crossing a river, and don't try to ford any river that's 3 feet or deeper.

Q: What's the best way to deal with deserts, like the Forty-Mile Desert?
A: Deserts are more of a problem on the California Trail than the Oregon Trail
and are among the most dangerous sectors of the trip. I recommend that you
hurry through deserts, especially if temperatures aren't too high. You may want
to rest when you find a place that has good water and grass (check the bottom
of your screen and the guidebook). Having a water keg or canteens is very
helpful when you reach a place that has no water or bad water.

Q: How should I handle fallen rocks?
A: Fallen rocks sometimes block the trail, mostly in the later part of the
trip. Select each option (continue over the obstruction, try to clear a path,
etc.) until you have to select "Wait for conditions to improve." Usually
another group of emigrants will clear a path about four days later. If not,
restart from your last save point.

Q: If I'm buying everything individually, should I buy the spare wagon parts?
A: I would unless I was very poor or had a very large party. These spare parts
are bulky and more expensive than some things, but if a wagon part breaks
(usually in the mountains), you'll have to trade for a replacement if you don't
have that part. And usually you'll have to give up something valuable (like an
ox) to get that replacement. Also, it's hard to avoid breaking a part or two
during the trip, even if you save frequently.

Q: I'm going on the California Trail. Should I take the Carson or Truckee
A: I only cover the Oregon Trail in my walkthrough, as the other trails overlap
with most of the Oregon Trail and don't include many major route decisions. The
Truckee route is 38 miles shorter, a little rougher, and probably the better
option. However, the Truckee route also has a few places where you can get
turned around or go in circles, and a few of the sub-routes (like Beckwourth)
increase your distance. It's really up to you.

Q: Occasionally a message like "Strangers in the Distance" will appear. Is it
safe to approach them?
A: Yes. Nothing bad will come from such a meeting, and you might find someone
to trade with. Random violent crime wasn't a problem in 1850.

Q: Can I go in the attorney's office?
A: The law firm Dewey, Cheatum, & Howe (sounds like a lot of 21st-century legal
experts) operates above another building in Independence, and unfortunately,
you can't go inside. But don't worry; you should be able to write a will
yourself (about 10% of the emigrants on the Oregon Trail didn't make it to
their destination alive).

Q: How can I participate in a wagon council meeting?
A: You can't. Wagon trains' systems of government are discussed in the
guidebook - basically, a democracy, anarchy, or monarchy. However, no system of
settling disputes or making decisions exists in the game. I think you're forced
to go with anarchy, although you might get to be the monarch if your role is
Trail Guide.

Q: Will buying a skirt at one of the clothing stores affect at the gender or
any of my characters?
A: No. Clothing in this game seems to be pretty unisex, and there's no way to
determine the gender of any of your characters.

Q: Is that cholera drug, laudanum, a form of opium?
A: Yes.

Q: How can I view a journal file without using the Oregon Trail program?
A: Just use Notepad or Wordpad to open the .OT5 file. There will be a little
bit of gibberish, and you won't be able to find out the entry dates, but
otherwise you should be able to understand it.

Q: What other tips and notes do you have?
A: Here are a few things that didn't fit anyplace else:

* Try using different combinations of jumping-off spots and destinations. Can
you make it from Kanesville to Oregon?
* In real life, this 2,000-mile journey typically took approximately five
months, although it's taken me as little as four to seven months.
* At shops, supplies are always limited, but the quantities are random. For
example, if you visit a fort there could be 43 pounds of salt pork in stock,
but if you re-load your game and go to that fort again, they might have 339
pounds of salt pork available.
* Spending exorbitantly on intoxicants (such as whisky or brandy) is a recipe
for disaster.
* Wagon dust is a bigger problem in later years and in larger wagon trains.
* You can usually cross a frozen river safely, but watch for thin ice. This is
a very rare condition that shouldn't happen if you use sound strategy.
* Watch the map screen and you'll sometimes be able to view photos of regional
wildlife. This can also inform you of rattlesnakes or other hazards in the
* I usually press ENTER to skip the cutscenes that appear at certain locations.
* Your save/journal files are stored in the My Documents folder by default,
although you might want to create a special subfolder to store them in.

Tips on Various Matters                                                [NOTES]
This section contains advice on a variety of issues relevant to players of The
Oregon Trail: Fifth Edition.

---Abandoned Wagons---
Chances are, you'll come across at least one abandoned wagon or building during
the course of your journey. If you come across one, and you've saved recently,
inspect the wagon or building to see if there's anything good inside. If you
like what you find, proceed as normal. If it contains something you don't need
(like a grandfather clock), just dump it or re-load the game. Don't feel bad
about looting these wagons; their occupants were able to hitchhike to Oregon
(or maybe they just joined the Indians or kept the buzzards fat).

At the start of each game, you'll have to visit Henderson Stables (or similar
places if you're starting someplace other than Independence). This is where you
can buy livestock. As for pulling the wagon, you have three options. If you're
going to Oregon, choose oxen without hesitation. Buy eight of them, especially
if you have at least $800. If your destination is California, Salt Lake, or
south Oregon, you may prefer mules. You can also choose horses to pull your
wagon. I don't care if there are any horse-crazed 10-year-old girls reading
this; horses aren't a good option because of their price and the special care
and equipment they demand.

A few other domesticated animals are available at the stable. I very frequently
buy three or four chickens to supply eggs for at least some of the trip (and
while they usually end up dying along the way, they can still be useful for
fried chicken). I haven't bought a pig before, and they're not too useful on
the trail. They provide meat but are heavy, and I've heard they often get lost.
If you're rich, consider buying a milk cow as a source of nutritious and
delicious milk. Cows sometimes stop producing milk during the trip. If all else
fails, the milk cow can become food or even a draft animal.

---Diseases and Injuries---
I've found that most diseases, even serious ones like cholera, can be cured
pretty reliably with four or five days of rest. Keep an eye on the patient's
health rating during the illness, and if it starts to drop again, rest another
day or two. Even snakebites can be fatal a week or two after the incident, so
be careful and check the health status frequently. "Immobilize affected joint"
is usually a pretty option for sprained ankles, and similar options work well
for most other injuries. Snakebites are a little iffier; I've sometimes had
excellent success with the tourniquet/suction method and antiseptic, but you
might also want to rest a while. The best solution for any medical problems is
to see a doctor, available at many forts. However, there isn't always a fort
nearby. Most importantly, try to prevent illnesses from happening in the first
place. Having medical skills helps prevent and cure medical conditions, and
keeping people well-fed with a balanced diet also helps.

Personally, I haven't had any luck fishing.

Select the "Gather" option on the Main Travel screen to look for nearby edible
plants. Afterwards, make sure to use the "Look it up" option on each plant
before deciding whether to keep it or throw it away, because some plants are
poisonous or harmful. I wouldn't gather too often, but try doing it once or
twice along the trip.

First of all, I don't recommend hunting unless you're fairly low on supplies or
if you don't have much money. Hunting can be dangerous to humans and livestock,
especially if you shoot someone else or wound (but not kill) an animal. And if
you hunt too much in a certain area, you'll deplete the game for future
settlers and any local Indians. Yet another reason hunting isn't too useful is
that you usually bring too much meat anyway. But if you're going to hunt, focus
on larger animals from close range, and make sure to click on your gun after
each shot to reload. Careless shooting can scare game away. Your mouse cursor
is the crosshair, and your left mouse button is the trigger. One good thing is
that successful hunting boosts morale.

Later in your trip, you'll have to negotiate some pretty nasty slopes. When you
reach a hill, first check the hill's conditions. On most uphills, proceed as
normal. If it's very steep, try double-teaming the oxen. Downhills are a little
tougher. I get the best results with the "Anchor Wagon" option, especially on
steeper descents. Remember that rain and mud can make hills much harder and
more hazardous. Because of the risk of tipping and losing a lot of supplies, I
recommend that you save your game before traversing any downhill slopes.

---Pace of Travel---
If you don't have eight, maybe six, oxen, you should probably stick with 8
hours of travel per day. If you have eight oxen, 10 hours is best. I probably
wouldn't go up to 12+ hours, except maybe to breeze through certain deserts.

---The Package Deal---
The first time you change screens in Independence, you'll be offered a package
deal containing all the basic items you'll need for your adventure. Unless
you're a very experienced player, I recommend that you accept this offer -
specifically, the 5-month one. You won't save any money by buying everything
individually, and you could end up forgetting an important supply. If you're a
teacher or another of the less-wealthy occupations, you might want to buy
everything individually and not buy things like the spare wagon parts, and
richer people might leave out hunting gear. The main drawback with the package
deal is that it usually saddles you with large quantities of bacon (308 pounds
with a four-person party). Also, you could end up with a very heavy wagon if
you have a large party (the quantities included are based on the size of your
party). You might want to visit the store to supplement the package deal with
important items like salt (I'd buy a couple of bags) and small amounts of
certain spices and medicines. If your character has musical skills, buy a
musical instrument so you can take advantage of those skills. In addition, I
would strongly consider buying a water keg and/or canteens, which add weight
but can be a lifesaver in the desert (especially on the California Trail). One
more thing: You'll have to buy slightly less food if you have cooking skills.

I'm not here to rehash the contents of the instruction manual, but the manual
sums it up extremely well:

"Filling: Eat three hearty meals each day.
Meager: Eat just enough to take the edge off of your hunger. Your supplies will
last longer, although you may not.
Bare Bones: Eat barely enough to stay alive. If the people in your wagon party
eat less, your food will last longer. However, your party may suffer from more
illnesses and lower morale."

I strongly recommend Filling rations except in desperate situations. If you're
running low on food, try trading something expendable like a spare wagon tongue
for flour or salt pork.

There are several options available when you reach a river. If a toll bridge or
ferry is available, take it unless it's very expensive, you're low on cash, or
if there are delays of more than a day. Otherwise, you have two options. If the
river is 2.5 feet or less in depth, you should probably ford (cross) it. If
it's any higher, you'll have to caulk the wagon and float across. On a few rare
occasions, you can barter with an Indian to help you across (not a bad idea if
the deal is reasonable). You can find out the depth of a river by selecting the
"Check river conditions" option. River crossings always have a chance of
resulting in disaster, so make sure to save your game whenever you reach a
river, especially a dangerous one like the South Platte.

If you'd like to trade with someone, you can talk with someone in a town or by
selecting "See who's around" when you reach a landmark or fort. You can also
select the "Trade" option from the Main Travel screen. If you're going to trade
with someone, talk to that person or ask for advice before trying to trade. If
you have Commerce & Trade abilities, you'll tend to get better deals than
someone who doesn't have that skill.

Remember that you don't want to overload your wagon, especially if you don't
have a lot of oxen. An overloaded wagon can substantially slow down your travel
speed and will be more prone to tip over when you reach the mountains. For this
reason, don't buy heavy, unnecessary items like china sets or tables. With a
party of four, a 2,700-pound wagon is a good weight. If your wagon's weight
becomes excessive, especially in the mountains, you may wish to use the Dump
option from the Main Travel screen to lighten your wagon's load ("leeverite,"
as some pioneers used to say, as in "leave 'er right here").

Charts and Tables                                                      [CHART]

---Available Occupations---

Occupation   Bonus  Cash   Skills/Abilities
Banker       1.0   $2000   Commerce/Trade
Doctor       1.2   $1900   Medical
Merchant     1.4   $1800   Commerce/Trade
Pharmacist   1.5   $1750   Botany/Medical
Wainwright   1.6   $1700   Blacksmithing
Gunsmith     1.8   $1600   Sharpshooting
Mason        2.0   $1500   Nothing
Blacksmith   2.2   $1400   Blacksmithing
Wheelwright  2.4   $1300   Blacksmithing
Carpenter    2.5   $1250   Carpentry
Saddlemaker  2.6   $1200   Nothing
Brickmaker   2.8   $1150   Nothing
Prospector   3.0   $1100   Find more gold in California
Trapper      3.2   $1050   Tracking/sharpshooting
Surveyor     3.4   $1100   Nothing
Shoemaker    3.5   $ 950   Sewing
Journalist   3.6   $ 900   Nothing
Printer      3.8   $ 850   Nothing
Butcher      4.0   $ 800   Cooking/more meat
Baker        4.2   $ 750   Cooking/more flour
Tailor       4.4   $ 700   Sewing
Farmer       4.5   $ 650   Farming/botany
Pastor       4.6   $ 600   Weekly morale boost
Artist       4.8   $ 550   Nothing
Teacher      5.0   $ 550   Nothing

---Available Options on Character Creation Screen---

Roles: Greenhorn, Adventurer, Trail Guide
Starting Months: February, March, April, May, June, July, August
Years: 1840-60
Starting Towns: Independence (any year), St. Joseph (43-60), Nauvoo (46-60),
Kanesville (46-60, becomes Council Bluffs in 1854)
Destinations: Williamette Valley (40-60, becomes Oregon City in 1842),
Sacramento Valley (40-60, becomes Sacramento in 1860), Rogue River Valley (46-
60, becomes Jacksonville in 1852), Great Salt Lake City (47-60)
Wagons: Small Farmwagon ($60), Large Farmwagon ($75), Conestoga wagon ($100)
People: 3-6
Ages: 5-20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65
Skills: Medical (50 pts.), riverwork (50), sharpshooting (50), blacksmithing
(40), carpentry (40), farming/animals (40), tracking (30), botany (20),
commerce/trade (20), cooking (20), musical (10), sewing (10), Spanish (10)

---What the Package Deal Includes*---
  1     8-oz jar of aloe vera
  1     8-oz bottle of alum
308     lbs. of bacon
  3     boxes of 20 bullets
 16     lbs. of cheese
 20     lbs. of coffee beans
  1     coffee mill
  1     coffee pot
  8     10-lb. sacks of cornmeal
  8     5-lb. tins of crackers
 16     10-lb. sacks of dried beans
  8     5-lb. tins of dried bread
 24     5-lb. sacks of dried fruit
 20     5-lb. sacks of dried vegetables
 16     10-lb. sacks of flour
  2     25-lb kegs of gunpowder
  1     4-oz. bottle of iodine
  1     kettle
  3     5-lb. slabs of lard
  1     4-oz. bottle of laudanum
  5     boxes matches
152     lbs. of pemmican
  2     8-oz. bottles of pepper
  1     4-oz. bottle of peppermint
  1     25-lb. keg of pickles
 16     5-lb. tins of preserved potatoes
  8     20-lb. sacks of rice
  1     rifle
  1     30-lb. length of rope
  2     3-lb. boxes of saleratus
 12     sets of clothing
  1     set of cooking utensils
  1     set of eating utensils
  4     pairs of shoes
  1     skillet
  8     10-lb. boxes of soap
 12     pairs of socks
  1     spare ox yoke
  1     spare wagon tongue
  1     spare wagon axle
  1     spare wagon wheel
 12     10-lb. sacks of sugar
  1     6-oz. bottle of sulfur
 12     lbs. of tea
  4     tin cups
  4     tin plates
  1     5-lb. box of yeast cake

* The 5-month supply, based on a party of four

Alkali sickness, bad cold, broken foot, burns, cholera, concussion, drowning,
dysentery, grippe, gunshot wounds*, internal injuries, malaria*, measles,
mountain fever*, near-drowning, scarlet fever, scurvy*, smallpox*, snakebites,
sprained ankle, starvation, thirst, typhoid fever*, typhus*, unknown illness,
water poisoning, death

* I haven't gotten any of these, but they're mentioned in the guidebook.
There may be more I don't know about.

---Adverse Conditions---
Special screens: Bad mosquitoes, broken wagon parts, dust storms, exhausted
animals, extreme heat, fallen rocks, flooded trail, hailstorms, heavy fog,
injured livestock, locusts, missing livestock, missing persons, prairie fire,
river delay, severe thunderstorms, stuck wagon, swamped wagon, theft, thirst,
tipped wagon, wagon dust, wagon fire
Bottom line: Bad/alkali/no water, low/slipping morale, no food, no grass,
quicksand, rainy, rough/muddy trail, slow going, snow

---Flour Prices at Selected Trading Institutions---
Independence       $0.22
St. Mary's Mission $0.24
Fort Kearny        $0.27
Fort Laramie       $0.30
Fort Bridger       $0.40
Fort Hall          $0.45
Camp Dalles        $0.50

These prices are per 10-pound sack. Flour was chosen because it should be
representative of each fort's prices for other items. This chart is intended
more to show that prices of goods increase the further you go in the game, not
to show specific prices of flour at every fort or trading post that appears in
the game.

Vinny's Records                                                        [RECRD]

 1.   25,960
 2.   25,866
 3.   19,897
 4.   17,031
 5.   16,592
 6.   16,008
 7.   14,059
 8.   10,416
 9.    9,320
10.      823

Version History                                                        [VERSN]
Date      Version   Size
2- 6-08  |  0.05 |   2KB | Began guide.
2- 8-08  |  0.1  |  12KB | Did first real work.
2- 9-08  |  0.2  |  16KB | Added list of unfavorable conditions.
2-10-08  |  0.25 |  17KB | Began the walkthrough section.
2-11-08  |  0.35 |  20KB | Did more stuff.
2-12-08  |  0.6  |  28KB | Worked on walkthrough section.
2-13-08  |  0.8  |  36KB | Did more stuff.
2-14-08  |  1.0  |  45KB | Finished things up.
2-15-08  |               | Submitted guide to GameFAQs and Neoseeker.

Copyright                                                              [COPYR]
(c) 2008 Vinny Hamilton. All rights reserved.

All trademarks mentioned in this guide are copyrights of their respective

You can print this guide out for your personal use.
You can download this guide to your computer for your personal use.
You can translate this guide into a foreign language (British, Southern,
Australian, and New Yorker are not considered foreign languages) and post the
translation on your Web site as long as you ask permission first.
You can post this guide on your Web site as long as you give proper credit AND
you don't change a single letter, number, or symbol (not even a tilde).
Remember that the latest version will always be available at, but
don't count on there being frequent (if any) updates.
You can't post this guide on your Web site and then say you wrote the guide
You can't post this guide on Web sites that contain (or have links to sites that
contain) explicit depictions of naked humans (also known as pornography),
racism, or flattery of totalitarian regimes.
You can't post this guide on your Web site if you're going to change anything in
this guide that took me so many hours to write.

If you don't comply with these guidelines, your hard drive will be reformatted
inexplicably and you will suffer from constipation for the rest of your life.
Heed this warning.

Contact Information                                                    [CONTC]
If you have any questions or comments about this guide, please send an e-mail
to That's zero-zero-two, by the way. Remember that not
all e-mail messages will be read. Please follow these guidelines:

Do include "Oregon Trail" in the subject line.
Do send polite suggestions for ways to make this walkthrough better.
Do send information about any glitches, tricks, or codes you find.
Do ask any questions you have about The Oregon Trail 5.0 gameplay. I will
respond eventually if you follow all of these rules.
Do tell me if you break one of my records.
Do make a reasonable effort to use decent spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation,
and capitalization so that I can understand what you're trying to say.
Do use patience. I check my messages quite sporadically.
Do not ask for technical support except as a last resort.
Do not send spam, pornography, chain letters, "flaming," or anything that
contains profanity or vulgarity. Again, violating this rule will result in
deletion of the message and permanent constipation.

Current list of VinnyVideo guides available on and
F1 ROC: Race of Champions FAQs/Walkthrough
F1 ROC II: Race of Champions FAQs/Walkthrough
SimCity 3000 Walkthrough/Strategy Guide
Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing FAQs/Walkthrough
Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing Strategy Guide/FAQs
Madden NFL '96 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
Madden NFL '98 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
Madden NFL '97 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
ESPN SpeedWorld Strategy Guide/FAQs
The Oregon Trail: Fifth Edition (PC) FAQs/Walkthrough
Proposed future guides:
Donkey Kong 64 FAQs/Walkthrough
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Spoiler-Free FAQs/Walkthrough
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest FAQs/Walkthrough
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess FAQs/Walkthrough

And lastly, a public service message: Fight for and affirm the rights of all
humans, regardless of race, age, or creed! And... Don't forget to brush your
teeth. No one's going to read this, anyway.


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