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Title: Camp and Trail
Author: White, Stewart Edward, 1873-1946
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



CAMP AND TRAIL

[Illustration: From a painting by Fernand Lungren

THE HOME OF THE "RED GODS"]



CAMP AND TRAIL


BY

STEWART EDWARD WHITE

_Author of "The Blazed Trail," "The Pass," etc._

          _Frontispiece in color by Fernand Lungren
          and many other illustrations
          from photographs, etc._



          GARDEN CITY   NEW YORK
          DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
          1911



          Copyright, 1906, 1907, by
          THE OUTING PUBLISHING COMPANY

          Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England.

          _All rights reserved._



PREFACE


AFTER considerable weighing of the pros and cons I have decided to
include the names of firms where certain supplies may be bought. I
realize that this sort of free advertisement is eminently unjust to
other worthy houses handling the same lines of goods, but the case is
one of self-defense. In _The Forest_ I rashly offered to send to
inquirers the name of the firm making a certain kind of tent. At this
writing I have received and answered _over eleven hundred_ inquiries.
Since the publication of these papers in _The Outing Magazine_, I have
received hundreds of requests for information as to where this, that, or
the other thing may be had. I have tried to answer them all, but to do
so has been a tax on time I would not care to repeat. Therefore I shall
try in the following pages to give the reader all the practical
information I possess, even though, as stated, I may seem unduly to
advertise the certain few business houses with which I have had
satisfactory dealings. It is needless to remark that I am interested in
none of these firms, and have received no especial favors from them.



CONTENTS


    CHAPTER                                   PAGE
       I THE WILDERNESS TRAVELER                3
      II COMMON SENSE IN THE WILDERNESS        23
     III PERSONAL EQUIPMENT                    35
      IV PERSONAL EQUIPMENT (_Continued_)      63
       V CAMP OUTFIT                           79
      VI THE COOK OUTFIT                       97
     VII GRUB                                 115
    VIII CAMP COOKERY                         135
      IX HORSE OUTFITS                        149
       X HORSE PACKS                          169
      XI HORSES, MULES, BURROS                203
     XII CANOES                               221
         INDEX                                233



ILLUSTRATIONS


  The home of the Red Gods                       (_Frontispiece_)

                                                        OPPOSITE
                                                           PAGE

  On the trail (from a painting by N. C. Wyeth)             16

  The Author doing a little washing on his own account      32

  "Mountain on mountain towering high, and a valley in
      between"                                              48

  One of the mishaps to be expected                         64

  "Bed in the bush with stars to see"                       80

  "We may live without friends, we may live without
      books, but civilized man cannot live without
      cooks"                                               104

  When you quit the trail for a day's rest                 120

  In the heat of the day's struggle                        144

  Nearing a crest and in sight of game                     160

  A downward journey                                       176

  In mid-day the shade of the pines is inviting            208

  Getting ready for another day of it                      224



CHAPTER I

THE WILDERNESS TRAVELER


[Sidenote: The First Qualification]

MANY people have asked me what, all things considered, is the most
valuable quality a wilderness traveler can possess. Always I have
replied unhesitatingly; for no matter how useful or desirable such
attributes as patience, courage, strength, endurance, good nature, and
ingenuity, may prove to be, undoubtedly a man with them but without the
sense of direction, is practically helpless in the wilds.

[Sidenote: The Sense of Direction]

A sense of direction, therefore, I should name as the prime requisite
for him who would become a true woodsman, depending on himself rather
than on guides. The faculty is largely developed, of course, by much
practice; but it must be inborn. Some men possess it; others do
not--just as some men have a mathematical bent while to others figures
are always a despair. It is a sort of extra, having nothing to do with
criterions of intelligence or mental development, like the repeater
movement in a watch. A highly educated or cultured man may lack it; the
roughest possess it. Some who have never been in the woods or mountains
acquire in the space of a vacation a fair facility at picking a way; and
I have met a few who have spent their lives on the prospect trail, and
who were still, and always would be, as helpless as the newest city
dweller. It is a gift, a talent. If you have its germ, you can become a
traveler of the wide and lonely places. If you have it not, you may as
well resign yourself to guides.

[Sidenote: The Sense of Direction]

The sense of direction in its simplest and most elementary phase, of
course, leads a man back to camp, or over a half-forgotten trail. The
tenderfoot finds his way by little landmarks, and an attempt to remember
details. A woodsman adds to this the general "lay" of the country, the
direction its streams ought to flow, the course the hills must take,
the dip of strata, the growth of trees. So if the tenderfoot forgets
whether he turns to right or left at a certain half-remembered burnt
stub, he is lost. But if at the same point the woodsman's memory fails
him, he turns unhesitatingly to the left, because he knows by all the
logic of nature's signboards that the way must be to the left. A good
mountaineer follows the half-obliterated trails as much by his knowledge
of where a trail _must_ go, as by the sparse indications that men have
passed that way. I have traveled all day in the Sierras over apparently
virgin country. Yet every few hours we would come on the traces of an
old trail. We were running in and out of it all day; and at night we
camped by it.

That is, as I have said, elementary. It has to do with a country over
which your woodsman has already traveled, or about which he knows
something. In the last analysis, however, it means something more.

The sense of direction will take a man through a country of which he
knows nothing whatever. He travels by the _feel_ of it, he will tell
you. This means that his experience subconsciously arranges certain
factors from which the sixth sense we are discussing draws certain
deductions. A mountaineer, for example, recognizes the altitude by the
vegetation. Knowing the altitude he knows also the country formation,
and so he can tell at once whether the cañon before him will narrow to
an impassable gorge, or remain open enough to admit of passage. This in
turn determines whether he shall choose the ravines or ridges in
crossing a certain divide, and exactly how he can descend on the other
side. The example is one of the simpler. A good man thus noses his way
through a difficult country with considerable accuracy where a
tenderfoot would become speedily lost.

[Sidenote: Thoroughness]

[Sidenote: Be Sure You Are Right]

But if a sense of direction is the prime requisite, thoroughness presses
it close. It is sometimes very difficult to command the necessary
patience. At the end of a hard day, with the almost moral certainty that
the objective point is just ahead, it is easy, fatally easy, when the
next dim blaze does not immediately appear, to say to oneself--"Oh, it's
near enough"--and to plunge ahead. And then, nine times out of ten, you
are in trouble. "I guess this is all right" has lost many a man; and the
haste too great to be sure--and then again sure--has had many fatal
results. If it is a trail, then be certain you see indications before
proceeding. Should they fail, then go back to the last indication and
start over again. If it is new country, then pick up every consideration
in your power, and balance them carefully before making the smallest
decision. And all the time keep figuring. Once having decided on a
route, do not let the matter there rest. As you proceed keep your eyes
and mind busy, weighing each bit of evidence. And if you become
suspicious that you are on the wrong tack, turn back unhesitatingly, no
matter how time presses.

A recent expedition with a fatal termination illustrates this point
completely. At first sight it may seem invidious to call attention to
the mistakes of a man who has laid down his life in payment for them.
But it seems to me that the chief value of such sad accidents--beyond
the lessons of courage, endurance, comradeship, devotion, and beautiful
faith--lies in the lesson and warning to those likely to fall into the
same blunders. I knew Hubbard, both at college and later, and admire and
like him. I am sure he would be the first to warn others from repeating
his error.

[Sidenote: Fatal Result of not Being Sure]

The expedition of which I speak started out with the purpose of
exploring Labrador. As the season is short some haste was necessary. The
party proceeded to the head of a certain lake into which they had been
told they would find a river flowing. They found a river, ascended it,
were conquered by the extreme difficulties of the stream, one of the
party perished, and the others came near to it.

As for the facts so far: The first thought to occur to a man entirely
accustomed to wilderness travel would be, is there perhaps another
stream? another river flowing into that lake? Encountering difficulties
he would become more and more uneasy as to that point, until at last he
would have detached a scout to make sure.

But mark this further: The party's informants had told Hubbard that he
would find the river easily navigable for eighteen miles. As a matter of
fact the expedition ran into shallows and rapids _within a half mile of
the lake_.

[Sidenote: What Should Have Been Done]

To a woodsman the answer would have stood out as plain as print. He
would have retraced his way, explored farther, found the right river,
and continued. But poor Hubbard was in a hurry, and moreover possessed
that optimistic temperament that so endeared him to all who knew him.
"They must have made a mistake in the distance. I guess this is all
right," said he, and pushed on against difficulties that eventually
killed him.

To a man accustomed to exploration such a mistake is inconceivable.
Labrador is not more dangerous than other wooded northern countries; not
so dangerous as the big mountains; much safer than the desert. A wrong
turn in any of these wildernesses may mean death. Forty men succumbed to
the desert last summer. Do not make that wrong turn. Be sure. Take
_nothing_ for granted--either that "they made a mistake in the
distance," or that "it's probably all right." One of the greatest of
American wilderness travelers knew this--as all wilderness travelers
must--and phrased it in an epigram that has become classic. "Be sure you
are right, and then go ahead," advised Daniel Boone.

[Sidenote: Alertness]

So you do not get lost--barring accidents--you are safe enough. But to
travel well you must add to your minor affairs the same quality,
slightly diluted, perhaps, that I have endeavored to describe above. In
this application it becomes thoroughness and smartness. A great many
people object while camping to keeping things in trim, to getting up in
the morning, to moving with expedition and precision. "Oh, what's the
use in being so particular!" they grumble, "this is supposed to be a
pleasure trip."

[Sidenote: Discipline]

Outside the fact that a certain amount of discipline brings efficiency,
there is no doubt that a slack camp means trouble sooner or later. Where
things are not picked up, something important will sooner or later be
lost or left behind. Where the beginning of the day's journey hangs
fire, sooner or later night will catch you in a very bad place indeed.
Where men get in the habit of slouching, physically and mentally, they
become in emergencies unable to summon presence of mind, and incapable
of swift, effective movements. The _morale_ is low; and exclusive of the
fact that such things are an annoyance to the spirit, they may in some
exceptional occasion give rise to serious trouble. Algernon is ten
minutes slow in packing his horse; and Algernon gets well cursed. He is
hurt as to the soul, and demands of himself aggrievedly how ten minutes
can be valued so high. It is not the ten minutes as a space of time, but
as a measure of incompetence. This pack train is ten minutes short of
what a pack train should be; and if the leader's mind is properly
constructed, he is proportionately annoyed.

Although not strictly germane to a discussion of equipments, I am
tempted to hold up a horrible example.

[Sidenote: A Horrible Example]

One evening we were all sitting around a big after-dinner fire at the
Forest Supervisor's summer camp in the mountains, when an outfit drifted
in and made camp a few hundred yards down stream. After an interval the
leader of the party came over and introduced himself.

[Sidenote: A Horrible Example]

He proved to be a youngish man, with curly hair, regular features, a
good physique, and eyes handsome, but set too close together. A blue
flannel shirt whose top button was unfastened, rolled back to show his
neck; a handkerchief was knotted below that; in all his external
appearance he leaned toward the foppish-picturesque. This was in itself
harmless enough. Shortly he began to tell us things. He confided that
his chief ambition was to rope a bear; he related adventures in the more
southern mountains; he stated that he intended to travel up through the
Minarets and over Agnew's Pass, and by way of Tuolumne. This was to
consume two weeks! Finally he became more personal. He told us how
President Roosevelt when on his Pacific Coast tour had spoken to him
personally.

"When the train started," said he, "I ran after it as hard as I could
with a lot of others, but I ran a lot faster and got ahead, so the
President spoke directly to me--not to the crowd, but to _me_!"

He left us suitably impressed. Next morning his camp was astir at five
o'clock--as was proper considering the strenuous programme he had
outlined. About seven our friend came over to get his animals, which he
had turned out in the Supervisor's pasture over night--ten animals in
another man's mountain pasture! We had a shooting match, and talked
Reserve matters for just one hour and twenty minutes. Then somebody
waked up.

"I wonder what's become of Jones; let's go see."

We went. Jones was standing dusty in the middle of the corral. In his
hand he held a short loop not over three feet across. This he whirled
forward and _overhand_. Occasionally he would cast it at a horse. Of
course the outraged and astounded animal was stricken about the knees,
whereupon he circulated the confines of the corral at speed.

[Sidenote: Jones and the Mule]

And the animals! At the moment of our arrival Jones was bestowing
attention on a dignified and gaunt mule some seventeen hands high. I
never saw such a giraffe. Two about the size of jackasses hovered near.
One horse's lower lip wabbled abjectly below a Roman nose.

We watched a few moments; then offered mildly to "help." Jones, somewhat
heated and cross, accepted. The first horse I roped I noticed was
barefoot. So were the others. And the route was over a rough granite and
snow country. Thus we formed a procession, each leading some sort of
equine freak. It was by now nearly nine o'clock.

Camp we found about half picked up. The other members of the party were
nice, well-meaning people, but absolutely inexperienced in the ways of
the wilderness. They had innocently intrusted themselves to Jones on the
strength of his self-made reputation; and now undoubtedly were taking
all this fuss and discomfit quite as part of "roughing it."

[Sidenote: Helping the Tenderfeet]

When we saw them we were stricken with pity and a kindly feeling which
Jones had failed to arouse, so we turned in to help them saddle up.

Jones was occupied with a small mule which he claimed was "bad." He
hitched said mule to a tree, then proceeded to elevate one hind leg by
means of a rope thrown over a limb. Why he did not simply blindfold the
animal no one could tell. We looked forward with some joy to the
throwing of the pack-hitches.

[Illustration: On the Trail]

[Sidenote: A Forest Fire]

But at this moment a Ranger dashed up with news of a forest fire over in
the Rock Creek country. The Rangers present immediately scattered for
their saddle horses, while I took a pack and went in search of supplies.

Shortly after one o'clock I was organized, and departed on the trail of
the Rangers. They had struck over the ridge, and down the other side of
the mountains. Their tracks were easy to follow, and once atop the
divide I could see the flames and smoke of the fire over the next
mountain system. Desiring to arrive before dark, I pushed ahead as
rapidly as possible. About half way down the mountain I made out dust
ahead.

"A messenger coming back for something," thought I.

In ten minutes I was stricken dumb to overtake the Jones party plodding
trustingly along in the tracks made by the Rangers.

"Well," I greeted them, "what are you doing over here? A little off your
beat, aren't you?"

The members of the party glanced at each other, while Jones turned a
dull red.

"Wrong trail, eh?" said he easily; "where does this one go to?"

[Sidenote: Jones and the Trail]

"Why, this isn't a trail!" I cried. "Can't you see it's just fresh
tracks made since morning? This will take you to the fire, and that's
about all. Your trail is miles to the north of here."

For the moment he was crushed. It was now too late to think of going
back; a short cut was impossible on account of the nature of the
country. Finally I gave him a direction which would cut another
trail--not where he had intended to go, but at least leading to horse
feed. Then I bade him farewell, and rode on to the fire.

[Sidenote: We Put Them Right]

Long after dark, when hunting for the place the boys had camped, I met
that deluded outfit moving supperless, homeless, lost, like ghosts in
the glow of the fire line. Jones was cross and snapped at me when I
asked him if he wasn't seeing a good deal of country. But I looked at
the tired faces of the other members of the party, and my heart
relented, and I headed them for a meadow.

"How far beyond is Squaw Dome?" asked Jones as he started.

"Sixteen miles--about," said I.

"About eight hours the way you and I travel, then," said he.

"About eight weeks the way you travel," amended a Ranger standing near.

Two days later a shakemaker came to help us fight fire.

"Oh, yes, they passed my place," said he. "I went out and tried to tell
him he was off'n the trail, but he waved me aside. 'We have our maps,'
says he, very lofty."

Twelve days subsequently I rode a day and a half to Jackass Meadow. They
told us the Jones party just passed! I wonder what became of them, and
how soon their barefooted horses got tender.

Now the tenderfoot one helps out, nor makes fun of, for he is merely
inexperienced and will learn. But this man is in the mountains every
summer. He likewise wishes to rope bears.

[Sidenote: An Object Lesson]

No better example could be instanced as to the value of camp alertness,
efficiency, the use of one's head, and the willingness to take advice. I
had with me at the time a younger brother whom I was putting through his
first paces; and Jones was to me invaluable as an object lesson.

The purpose of this chapter is not to tell you how to do things, but how
to go at them. If you can keep from getting lost, and if you can _keep
awake_, you will at least reach home safe. Other items of mental and
moral equipment you may need will come to you by natural development in
the environment to which the wild life brings you.



CHAPTER II

COMMON SENSE IN THE WILDERNESS


[Sidenote: Overburdening]

THERE is more danger that a man take too much than too little into the
wilderness. No matter how good his intentions may be, how
conscientiously he may follow advice, or how carefully he may examine
and re-examine his equipment, he will surely find that he is carrying a
great many pounds more than his companions, the professionals at the
business. At first this may affect him but little. He argues that he is
constructed on a different pattern from these men, that his training and
education are such as to have developed in him needs and habits such as
they have never known. Preconceived notions, especially when one is
fairly brought up in their influence, are most difficult to shake off.
Since we have worn coats all our lives, we include a coat in our list of
personal apparel just as unquestionably--even as unthinkingly--as we
should include in our calculations air to breathe and water to drink.
The coat is an institution so absolutely one of man's invariable
garments that it never even occurs to him to examine into its use or
uselessness. In like manner no city dweller brought up in proximity to
laundries and on the firm belief that washing should be done all at once
and at stated intervals can be convinced that he can keep clean and
happy with but one shirt; or that more than one handkerchief is a
superfluity.

[Sidenote: Elimination]

Yet in time, if he is a woodsman, and really thinks about such affairs
instead of taking them for granted, he will inevitably gravitate toward
the correct view of these things. Some day he will wake up to the fact
that he never wears a coat when working or traveling; that about camp
his sweater is more comfortable; and that in sober fact he uses that
rather bulky garment as little as any article in his outfit. So he
leaves it home, and is by so much disencumbered. In a similar manner he
will realize that with the aid of cold-water soap the shirt he wears may
be washed in one half hour and dried in the next. Meanwhile he dons his
sweater, A handkerchief is laundered complete in a quarter of an hour.
Why carry extras, then, merely from a recollection of full bureau
drawers?

[Sidenote: Essentials]

In this matter it is exceedingly difficult to be honest with oneself.
The best test is that of experience. What I have found to be of no use
to me, may measure the difference between comfort and unhappiness to
another man. Carry only essentials: but the definition of the word is
not so easy. _An essential is that which, by each man's individual
experience, he has found he cannot do without._

[Sidenote: How to Determine Essentials]

How to determine that? I have elsewhere indicated[1] a practical
expedient, which will however, bear repetition here. When you have
reached home after your trip, turn your duffle bag upside down on the
floor. Separate the contents into three piles. Let pile No. 1 include
those articles you have used every day--or nearly that often; let pile
No. 2 comprise those you have used but once; and pile No. 3 those you
have not used at all. Now, no matter how your heart may yearn over the
Patent Dingbat in No. 3, shut your eyes and resolutely discard the two
latter piles.

Naturally, if you are strong-minded, pile No. 1 will be a synonym for
your equipment. As a matter of fact you will probably not be as
strong-minded as that. You will argue to yourself somewhat in this
fashion:

"Yes, that is all very well; but it was only a matter of sheer chance
that the Patent Dingbat is not in pile No. 1. To be sure, I did not use
it on this particular trip; but in other conditions I might need it
every day."

[Sidenote: The Philosophy of Duffle]

So you take it, and keep on taking it, and once in a great while you use
it. Then some day you wake up to two more bits of camp philosophy which
you formulate to yourself about as follows: _An article must pay in
convenience or comfort for the trouble of its transportation_; and
_Substitution, even imperfect, is better than the carrying of special
conveniences_. Then he hurls said Patent Dingbat into the nearest pool.

[Sidenote: Patent Dingbats]

That hits directly at the weak point of the sporting catalogues. Every
once in a while an enthusiast writes me of some new and handy kink he is
ready to swear by. It is indeed handy; and if one could pluck it from
the nearest bush when occasion for its use arose, it would be a joy and
a delight. But carrying it four hundred miles to that occasion for its
use is a very different matter. The sporting catalogues are full of very
handy kinks. They are good to fool with and think about, and plan over
in the off season; but when you pack your duffle bag you'd better put
them on a shelf.

Occasionally, but mighty seldom, you will find that something you need
very much has gone into pile No. 3. Make a note of it. But do not be too
hasty to write it down as part of your permanent equipment.

[Sidenote: You Must Not Mind Getting Wet Sometimes]

The first summer I spent in the Sierras I discovered that small noon
showers needed neither tent nor slicker. So next year I left them home,
and was, off and on, plenty wet and cold. Immediately I jumped to the
conclusion that I had made a mistake. It has not rained since. So I
decided that sporadic heavy rains do not justify the transportation of
two cumbersome articles. Now when it rains in daytime I don't mind
getting a little wet--for it is soon over; and at night an adequate
shelter can be built of the tarpaulin and a saddle blanket. In other
words the waterproofs could not pay, in the course of say three-days'
rain in a summer, for the trouble of their transportation during four
months.

As I have said, the average man, with the best intentions, will not go
too light, and so I have laid especial emphasis on the necessity of
discarding the unessential. But there exists a smaller class who rush to
the opposite extreme.

[Sidenote: Another Sort of Tenderfoot]

We all know the type. He professes an inordinate scorn for comfort of
all sorts. If you are out with him you soon discover that he has a vast
pride in being able to sleep on cobblestones--and does so at the edge of
yellow pines with their long needles. He eats badly cooked food. He
stands--or perhaps I should say poses--indifferent to a downpour when
every one else has sought shelter. In a cold climate he brings a single
thin blanket. His slogan seems to be: "This is good enough for me!" with
the unspoken conclusion, "if it isn't good enough for you fellows,
you're pretty soft."

[Sidenote: The Tough Youth]

The queer part of it is he usually manages to bully sensible men into
his point of view. They accept his bleak camps and voluntary hardships
because they are ashamed to be less tough than he is. And in town they
are abashed before him when with a superior, good-natured, and tolerant
laugh he tells the company in glee of how you brought with you a little
pillow-case to stuff with moss. "Bootleg is good enough for me!" he
cries; and every one marvels at his woodsmanship.

As a plain matter of fact this man is the worse of two types of
tenderfoot. The greenhorn does not know better; but this man should. He
has mistaken utterly the problem of the wilderness. The wild life is not
to test how much the human frame can endure--although that often enough
happens--but to test how well the human wits, backed by an enduring
body, can answer the question of comfort. Comfort means minimum
equipment; comfort means bodily ease. The task is to balance, to
reconcile these apparently opposing ideas.

[Sidenote: The Logic of Woodcraft]

A man is skillful at woodcraft just in proportion as he approaches this
balance. Knowing the wilderness he can be comfortable when a less
experienced man would endure hardships. Conversely, if a man endures
hardships where a woodsman could be comfortable, it argues not his
toughness, but his ignorance or foolishness, which is exactly the case
with our blatant friend of the drawing-room reputation.

Probably no men endure more hardships than do those whose professions
call them out of doors. But they are unavoidable hardships. The cowboy
travels with a tin cup and a slicker; the cruiser with a twenty-pound
pack; the prospector with a half blanket and a sack of pilot bread--when
he has to. But on round-up, when the chuck wagon goes along, the
cow-puncher has his "roll"; on drive with the wangan the cruiser sends
his ample "turkey"; and the prospector with a burro train takes plenty
to keep him comfortable. Surely even the Tough Youth could hardly accuse
these men of being "soft."

[Sidenote: Outfit Should Correspond to Means of Transportation]

You must in this matter consider what your means of transportation are
to be. It would be as foolish to confine your outfit for pack horses to
the equipment you would carry on your own back in the forests, as it
would be to limit yourself to a pack horse outfit when traveling across
country in a Pullman car. When you have horses it is good to carry a
few--a very few--canned goods. The corners of the kyacks will
accommodate them; and once in a blue moon a single item of luxury
chirks you up wonderfully and gives you quite a new outlook on life. So
you chuck them in, and are no more bothered by them until the
psychological moment.

[Illustration: The author doing a little washing on his own account]

On a walking trip, however, the affair is different. You can take canned
goods, if you want to. But their transportation would require another
Indian; another Indian means more grub and more equipment; and so at the
last you find yourself at the head of an unwieldy caravan. You find it
much pleasanter to cut the canned goods, and to strike out with a single
companion.

[Sidenote: Common Sense Should Rule]

After all, it is an affair of common sense; but even common sense when
confronted by a new problem, needs a certain directing. The province of
these articles is to offer that direction; I do not claim that my way is
the only way, nor am I rash enough to claim it is the best way. But it
is my way, and if any one will follow it, he will be as comfortable and
as well suited as I am, which is at least better than going it
blind.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] The Forest.



CHAPTER III

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT


IN discussion of the details of equipment, I shall first of all take up
in turn each and every item you could possibly need, whether you intend
to travel by horse, by canoe, or on your own two feet. Of course you
will not carry all of these things on any one trip. What is permissible
for horse traveling would be absurd for a walking trip; and some
things--such as a waterproof duffle bag--which you would need on a foot
tramp, would be useless where you have kyacks and a tarpaulin to protect
your belongings. Therefore I shall first enumerate all articles of all
three classes of equipment; and then in a final summary segregate them
into their proper categories.

[Sidenote: Concerning Hats]

[Sidenote: Stetson Hat the Best]

Long experience by men practically concerned seems to prove that a
rather heavy felt hat is the best for all around use. Even in hot sun
it seems to be the most satisfactory, as, with proper ventilation, it
turns the sun's rays better even than light straw. Witness the Arizona
cowboy on his desert ranges. You will want a good hat, the best in
material that money can buy. A cheap article sags in the brim, tears in
the crown, and wets through like blotting paper the first time it rains.
I have found the Stetson, of the five to seven dollar grade, the most
satisfactory. If it is intended for woods travel where you are likely to
encounter much brush, get it of medium brim. In those circumstances I
find it handy to buy a size smaller than usual, and then to rip out the
sweat band. The friction of the felt directly against the forehead and
the hair will hold it on in spite of pretty sharp tugs by thorns and
wind. In the mountains or on the plains, you can indulge in a wider and
stiffer brim. Two buckskin thongs sewn on either side and to tie under
the "back hair" will hold it on, even against a head wind. A test will
show you how this can be. A leather band and buckle--or miniature cinch
and latigos--gives added security. I generally cut ample holes for
ventilation. In case of too many mosquitoes I stuff my handkerchief in
the crown.

[Sidenote: Kerchiefs]

About your neck you will want to wear a silk kerchief. This is to keep
out dust, and to prevent your neck from becoming reddened and chapped.
It, too, should be of the best quality. The poorer grades go to pieces
soon, and their colors are not fast. Get it big enough. At night you
will make a cap of it to sleep in; and if ever you happen to be caught
without extra clothes where it is very cold, you will find that the
kerchief tied around your middle, and next the skin, will help
surprisingly.

[Sidenote: Coats]

A coat is useless absolutely. A sweater is better as far as warmth goes;
a waistcoat beats it for pockets. You will not wear it during the day;
it wads up too much to be of much use at night. Even your trousers
rolled up make a better temporary pillow. Leave it home; and you will
neither regret it nor miss it.

[Sidenote: Sweaters]

For warmth, as I have said, you will have your sweater. In this case,
too, I would impress the desirability of purchasing the best you can
buy. And let it be a heavy one, of gray or a neutral brown.

[Sidenote: Buckskin Shirts]

But to my mind the best extra garment is a good ample buckskin shirt. It
is less bulky than the sweater, of less weight, and much warmer,
especially in a wind, while for getting through brush noiselessly it
cannot be improved upon. I do not know where you can buy one; but in any
case get it ample in length and breadth, and without the fringe. The
latter used to possess some significance beside ornamentation, for in
case of need the wilderness hunter could cut from it thongs and strings
as he needed them. Nowadays a man in a fringed buckskin shirt is
generally a fake built to deceive tourists. On the other hand a plain
woodsmanlike garment, worn loose and belted at the waist, looks always
at once comfortable and appropriate. Be sure that the skins of which it
is made are smoke tanned. The smoke tanned article will dry soft, while
the ordinary skin is hardening to almost the consistency of rawhide.
Good buckskins are difficult to get hold of--and it will take five to
make you a good shirt--but for this use they last practically forever.

[Sidenote: Overshirts]

Of course such a garment is distinctly an extra or outside garment. You
would find it too warm for ordinary wear. The outer shirt of your daily
habit is best made of rather a light weight of gray flannel. Most new
campers indulge in a very thick navy blue shirt, mainly, I believe,
because it contrasts picturesquely with a bandana around the neck. Such
a shirt almost always crocks, is sure to fade, shows dirt, and is
altogether too hot. A lighter weight furnishes all the protection you
need to your underclothes and turns sun quite as well. Gray is a neutral
color, and seems less often than any other to shame you to the wash
soap. A great many wear an ordinary cotton work shirt, relying for
warmth on the underclothes. There is no great objection to this, except
that flannel is better should you get rained on.

[Sidenote: Underclothes]

The true point of comfort is, however, your underwear. It should be of
wool. I know that a great deal has been printed against it, and a great
many hygienic principles are invoked to prove that linen, cotton, or
silk are better. But experience with all of them merely leads back to
the starting point. If one were certain never to sweat freely, and never
to get wet, the theories might hold. But once let linen or cotton or
silk undergarments get thoroughly moistened, the first chilly little
wind is your undoing. You will shiver and shake before the hottest fire,
and nothing short of a complete change and a rub-down will do you any
good.

Now, of course in the wilderness you expect to undergo extremes of
temperature, and occasionally to pass unprotected through a rainstorm or
a stream. Then you will discover that wool dries quickly; that even
when damp it soon warms comfortably to the body. I have waded all day in
early spring freshet water with no positive discomfort except for the
cold ring around my legs which marked the surface of the water.

[Sidenote: Wear Woolen Underclothes Always]

And if you are wise, you will wear full long-sleeved woolen undershirts
even on a summer trip. If it is a real trip, you are going to sweat
anyway, no matter how you strip down to the work. And sooner or later
the sun will dip behind a cloud or a hill; or a cool breezelet will
wander to you resting on the slope; or the inevitable chill of evening
will come out from the thickets to greet you--and you will be very glad
of your woolen underwear.

A great many people go to the opposite extreme. They seem to think that
because they are to live in the open air, they will probably freeze. As
a consequence of this delusion, they purchase underclothes an inch
thick. This is foolishness, not only because such a weight is
unnecessary and unhealthful, but also--even if it were merely a
question of warmth--because one suit of thick garments is not nearly so
warm as two suits of thin. Whenever the weather turns very cold on you,
just put on the extra undershirt over the one you are wearing, and you
will be surprised to discover how much warmth two gauze tissues--with
the minute air space between them--can give. Therefore, though you must
not fail to get full length woolen underclothes, you need not buy them
of great weight. The thinnest Jaeger is about right.

[Sidenote: The Laundry Problem]

Two undershirts and three pairs of drawers are all you ever will need on
the most elaborate trip. You perhaps cannot believe that until you have
gotten away from the idea that laundry must be done all at once. In the
woods it is much handier to do it a little at a time. Soap your
outershirt at night; rinse it in the morning; dry it on top of your pack
during the first two hours. In the meantime wear your sweater; or, if it
is warm enough, appear in your undershirt. When you change your
underclothes--which should be one garment at a time--do the same thing.
Thus always you will be possessed of a clean outfit without the
necessity of carrying a lot of extras.

[Sidenote: Trousers]

The matter of trousers is an important one; for unless you are possessed
of abundant means of transportation, those you have on will be all you
will take. I used to include an extra pair, but got over it. Even when
trout fishing I found that by the time I had finished standing around
the fire cooking, or yarning, I might have to change the underdrawers,
but the trousers themselves had dried well enough. And patches are not
too difficult a maneuver.

[Sidenote: Moleskin and Khaki]

The almost universal wear in the West is the copper-riveted blue canvas
overall. They are very good in that they wear well. Otherwise they are
stiff and noisy in the brush. Kersey is excellent where much wading is
to be done or much rainy weather encountered--in fact it is the favorite
"driving" trousers with rivermen--but like all woven woolen materials
it "picks out" in bad brush. Corduroy I would not have as a gift. It is
very noisy, and each raindrop that hits it spreads at once to the size
of a silver dollar. I verily believe an able pair of corduroys can, when
feeling good, soak up ten pounds of water. Good moleskin dries well, and
until it begins to give out is soft and tough. But it is like the
one-hoss shay: when it starts to go, it does the job up completely in a
few days. The difficulty is to guess when that moment is due to arrive.
Anything but the best quality is worthless. Khaki has lately come into
popularity. It wears remarkably well, dries quickly, and is excellent in
all but one particular: it shows every spot of dirt. A pair of khakis
three days along on the trail look as though they had been out a year.
The new green khaki is a little better. Buckskin is all right until you
get it wet, then you have--temporarily--enough material to make three
pairs and one for the boy.

The best trousers I know of is a combination of the latter two
materials. I bought a pair of the ordinary khaki army riding breeches,
and had a tailor cover them completely--fore, aft, and sideways--with
some good smoke-tanned buckskin I happened to have. It took a skin and a
half. These I have worn now for three seasons, in all kinds of country,
in all kinds of weather, and they are to-day as good as when I
constructed them. In still hunting they are noiseless; horseback they do
not chafe; in cold weather they are warm, and the hot sun they turn. The
khaki holds the stretch of buckskin when wet--as they have been for a
week at a time. Up to date the smoke tan has dried them soft. Altogether
they are the most satisfactory garment of this kind I have experimented
with.

There remains the equally important subject of footwear.

[Sidenote: Socks]

Get heavy woolen lumberman's socks, and wear them in and out of season.
They are not one whit hotter on the feet than the thinnest you can buy,
for the impervious leather of the shoe is really what keeps in the
animal heat--the sock has little to do with it. You will find the soft
thick wool an excellent cushion for a long tramp; and with proper care
to avoid wrinkles, you will never become tender-footed nor chafed. At
first it seems ridiculous to draw on such thick and apparently hot socks
when the sun peeping over the rim of the desert promises you a scorching
day. Nothing but actual experience will convince you; but I am sure that
if you will give the matter a fair test, you will come inevitably to my
conclusion.

[Sidenote: The Ideal Footwear]

If a man were limited to a choice between moccasins and shoes, it would
be very difficult to decide wisely which he should take. Each has its
manifest advantages over the other, and neither can entirely take the
place of the other.

The ideal footwear should give security, be easy on the feet, wear well,
and give absolute protection. These qualities I have named approximately
in the order of their importance.

[Sidenote: Security of footing]

Security of footing depends on the nature of the ground over which you
are traveling. Hobnails only will hold you on a slope covered with pine
needles, for instance; both leather and buckskin there become as
slippery as glass. In case of smooth rocks, however, your hobnails are
positively dangerous, as they slide from under you with all the vicious
force and suddenness of unaccustomed skates. Clean leather is much
better, and buckskin is the best of all. Often in hunting deer along the
ledges of the deep box cañons I, with my moccasins, have walked
confidently up slants of smooth rock on which my hobnailed companion was
actually forced to his hands and knees. Undoubtedly also a man carrying
a pack through mixed forest is surer of his footing and less liable to
turned ankles in moccasins than in boots. My experience has been that
with the single exception mentioned, I have felt securer in the
buckskin.

[Illustration:

          "Mountain on mountain towering high,
           And a valley in between"]

[Sidenote: Ease]

As for ease to the feet, that is of course a matter of opinion.
Undoubtedly at first the moccasin novice is literally a tenderfoot. But
after astonishingly few days of practice a man no longer notices the
lack of a sole. I have always worn moccasins more or less in the woods,
and now can walk over pebbles or knife-edge stones without the slightest
discomfort. In fact the absence of rolling and slipping in that sort of
shifting footing turns the scale quite the other way.

[Sidenote: Wear]

The matter of wear is not so important. It would seem at first glance
that the one thin layer of buckskin would wear out before the several
thick layers of a shoe's sole. Such is not always the case. A good deal
depends on the sort of ground you cover. If you wet moccasins, and then
walk down hill with them over granite shale, you can get holes to order.
Boots wear rapidly in the same circumstances. On the other hand I have
on at this moment a pair of mooseskin moccasins purchased three years
ago at a Hudson's Bay Company's post, which have seen two summers' off
and on service in the Sierras. Barring extraordinary conditions, I
should say that each in its proper use, a pair of boots and a pair of
moccasins would last about the same length of time. The moccasin,
however, has this advantage: it can be readily patched, and even a half
dozen extra pairs take up little room in the pack.

[Sidenote: Waterproofing]

Absolute protection must remain a tentative term. No footwear I have
succeeded in discovering gives absolute protection. Where there is much
work to be done in the water, I think boots are the warmest and most
comfortable, though no leather is perfectly waterproof. Moccasins then
become slimpsy, stretched, and loathsome. So likewise moccasins are not
much good in damp snow, though in dry snow they are unexcelled.

In my own practice I wear boots on a horseback trip, and carry moccasins
in my pack for general walking. In the woods I pack four pair of
moccasins. In a canoe, moccasins of course.

[Sidenote: About Boots]

Do not make the common mistake of getting tremendously heavy boots.
They are clumsy to place, burdensome to carry, and stiff and unpliable
to the chafing point. The average amateur woodsman seems to think a pair
of elephantine brogans is the proper thing--a sort of badge of
identification in the craft. If he adds big hobnails to make tracks
with, he is sure of himself. A medium weight boot, of medium height,
with medium heavy soles armed only with the small Hungarian hobnail is
about the proper thing. Get them eight inches high; supplied with very
large eyelets part way, then the heaviest hooks, finishing with two more
eyelets at the top. The latter will prevent the belt-lacing you will use
as shoestrings from coming unhooked.

You will see many advertisements of waterproof leather boots. No such
thing is made. Some with good care will exclude water for a while, if
you stay in it but a few minutes at a time, but sooner or later as the
fibers become loosened the water will penetrate. In the case of the show
window exhibit of the shoe standing in a pan of water, pressure of the
foot and ground against the leather is lacking, which of course makes
all the difference. This porosity is really desirable. A shoe wholly
waterproof would retain and condense the perspiration to such an extent
that the feet would be as wet at the end of the day. Such is the case
with rubber boots. All you want is a leather that will permit you to
splash through a marsh, a pool, or a little stream, and will not seek to
emulate blotting paper in its haste to become saturated.

[Sidenote: The Most Durable Boots]

Of the boots I have tried, and that means a good many, I think the
Putman boot and the river driver's boot, made by A. A. Cutter of Eau
Claire, Wis., are made of the most durable material. The Putman boot is
the more expensive; and in the case of the three pairs I know of
personally, the sewing has been defective. The material, however, wears
remarkably well, and remains waterproof somewhat longer than any of the
others. On the other hand the Cutter shoe is built primarily for
rivermen and timber cruisers of the northern forests, and is at once
cheap and durable. It has a brace of sole leather about the heel which
keeps the latter upright and prevents it running over. It is an easier
shoe on the foot than any of the others, but does not remain waterproof
quite so long as the Putman. Although, undoubtedly, many other makes are
as good, you will not go astray in purchasing one of these two.

[Sidenote: Rubber]

No shoe is waterproof for even a short time in wet snow. Rubber is then
the only solution, usually in the shape of a shoe rubber with canvas
tops. Truth to tell, melting snow is generally so very cold that you
will be little troubled with interior condensation. Likewise many years'
experience in grouse hunting through the thickets and swamps of Michigan
drove me finally to light hip rubber boots. The time was always the
autumn; the place was always more or less muddy and wet--in spots of
course--and there was always the greater or lesser possibility of snow.
My native town was a great grouse shooting center, and all hunters, old
and young, came to the same conclusion.

But wet snow, such hunting, and of course the duck marsh, seem to me the
only excuses for rubber. Trout fishing is more comfortable in woolen
than in waders. The latter are clumsy and hot. I have known of two
instances of drowning because the victims were weighted down by them.
And I should much prefer getting wet from without than from within.

You will have your choice of three kinds of moccasin--the oil-tanned
shoe pac, the deerhide, and the moosehide.

[Sidenote: Shoe Pacs]

The shoe pac is about as waterproof as the average waterproof shoe, and
would be the best for all purposes were it not for the fact that its
very imperviosity renders it too hot. In addition continuous wear
affects the oil in the tanning process to produce rather an evil odor.
The shoe pacs are very useful, however, and where I carry but two pairs
of moccasins, one is of the oil tan. Shoe pacs can be purchased of any
sporting goods dealer.

[Sidenote: Moccasins]

The deerhide moccasin, in spite of its thinner texture, wears about as
well as the moosehide, is less bulky to carry, but stretches more when
wet and is not as easy on the feet. I use either sort as I happen to get
hold of them. Genuine buckskin or moose is rather scarce. Commercial
moccasins with the porcupine quills and "Souvenir of Mackinaw" on them
are made by machinery out of sheepskin. They are absolutely useless, and
last about long enough to get out of sight of the shop. A great majority
of the moccasins sold as sportsman's supplies are likewise very bogus.
My own wear I have always purchased of Hudson's Bay posts. Undoubtedly
many reliable firms carry them; but I happen to know by personal
experience that the Putman Boot Company of Minneapolis have the real
thing.

[Sidenote: Waistcoats]

Proceeding to more outer garments, a waistcoat is a handy affair. In
warm weather you leave it open and hardly know you have it on; in cold
weather you button it up, and it affords excellent protection. Likewise
it possesses the advantage of numerous pockets. These you will have your
women folk extend and deepen for you, until your compass, notebook,
pipe, matches, and so forth fit nicely in them. As it is to be used as
an outside garment, have the back lined. If you have shot enough deer to
get around to waistcoats, nothing could be better by way of material
than the ever-useful buckskin.

[Sidenote: Waterproofs]

I am no believer in waterproof garments. Once I owned a pantasote outer
coat which I used to assume whenever it rained. Ordinarily when it is
warm enough to rain, it is warm enough to cause you to perspire under
the exertion of walking in a pantasote coat. This I discovered. Shortly
I would get wet, and would be quite unable to decide whether the rain
had soaked through from the outside or I had soaked through from the
inside. After that I gave the coat away to a man who had not tried it,
and was happy. If I must walk in the rain I prefer to put on a
sweater--the rough wool of which will turn water for some time and the
texture of which allows ventilation. Then the chances are that even if I
soak through I do not get a reactionary chill from becoming overheated.

[Sidenote: Ponchos]

In camp you will know enough to go in when it rains. When you have to
sally forth you will thrust your head through the hole in the middle of
your rubber blanket. When thus equipped the rubber blanket is known as a
poncho, and is most useful because it can be used for two purposes.

[Sidenote: Slickers]

Horseback in a rainy country is, however, a different matter. There
transportation is not on your back, but another's; and sitting a horse
is not violent exercise. Some people like a poncho. I have always found
its lower edge cold, clumsy, and wet, much inclined to blow about, and
apt to soak your knees and the seat of your saddle. The cowboy slicker
cannot be improved upon. It is different in build from the ordinary
oilskin. Call for a "pommel slicker," and be sure it is apparently
about two sizes too large for you. Thus you will cover your legs. Should
you be forced to walk, a belt around your waist will always enable you
to tuck it up like a comic opera king. It is sure ludicrous to view, but
that does not matter.

[Sidenote: Chaparejos]

Apropos of protecting your legs, there remains still the question of
chaparejos or chaps. Unless you are likely to be called on to ride at
some speed through thorny brush, or unless you expect to ride very wet
indeed, they are a useless affectation. The cowboy needs them because he
does a great deal of riding of the two kinds just mentioned. Probably
you will not. I have had perhaps a dozen occasions to put them on. If
you must have them, get either oil-tanned or hair chaps. Either of these
sheds water like a tin roof. The hair chaps will not last long in a
thorny country.

[Sidenote: Gloves]

You will need furthermore a pair of gloves of some sort, not for
constant wear, nor merely for warmth, but to protect you in the
handling of pack ropes, lead ropes, and cooking utensils. A good
buckskin gauntlet is serviceable, as the cuffs keep the cold breezes
from playing along your forearm to your shoulder, and exclude the dust.
When you can get hold of the army gauntlet, as you sometimes can in the
military stores, buy them. Lacking genuine buckskin, the lighter grades
of "asbestos" yellow tan are the best. They cost about two dollars. To
my notion a better rig is an ordinary pair of short gloves, supplemented
by the close-fitting leather cuffs of a cowboy's outfit. The latter hold
the wrist snugly, exclude absolutely chill and dirt, and in addition
save wear and soiling of the shirt cuff. They do not pick up twigs,
leaves, and rubbish funnel wise, as a gauntlet cuff is apt to do.

That, I think, completes your wearing apparel. Let us now take up the
contents of your pockets, and your other personal belongings.


_SUMMARY_

          _Minimum for comfort_

          Felt hat
          Silk kerchief
          Waistcoat
          Buckskin shirt or sweater
          Gray flannel shirt
          2 undershirts and drawers
          Trousers--buckskin over khaki
          3 pairs heavy socks
          {3 pairs moccasins
          {      or
          {1 pair boots
          {1 pair moccasins
          Gloves and leather cuffs


          _Maximum_

          Felt hat
          Silk kerchief
          Waistcoat
          Buckskin shirt and sweater
          Gray flannel shirt
          2 undershirts, 3 drawers (includes one suit you wear)
          Trousers
          4 pairs socks
          1 pair boots
          Moccasins
          Slicker
          Gloves and leather cuffs



CHAPTER IV

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

(_Continued_)


[Sidenote: Matches]

MATCHES, knife, and a compass are the three indispensables. By way of
ignition you will take a decided step backward from present-day
civilization in that you will pin your faith to the old sulphur
"eight-day" matches of your fathers. This for several reasons. In the
first place they come in blocks, unseparated, which are easily carried
without danger of rubbing one against the other. In the second place,
they take up about a third the room the same number of wooden matches
would require. In the third place, they are easier to light in a wind,
for they do not flash up and out, but persist. And finally, if wet, they
can be spread out and dried in the sun, which is the most important of
all. So buy you a nickel's worth of sulphur matches.

[Illustration: One of the mishaps to be expected]

[Sidenote: Match Safes]

The main supply you will pack in some sort of waterproof receptacle. I
read a story recently in which a man was recognized as a true woodsman
because he carried his matches in a bottle. He must have had good luck.
The cardinal principle of packing is never to carry any glassware.
Ninety and nine days it may pass safely, but the hundredth will smash it
as sure as some people's shooting. And then you have jam, or chili
powder, or syrup, or whiskey, all over the place--or else no matches.
Any good screw top can--or better still, two telescoping tubes--is
infinitely better.

The day's supply you will put in your pocket. A portion can go in a
small waterproof match safe; but as it is a tremendous nuisance to be
opening such a contrivance every time you want a smoke, I should advise
you to stick a block in your waistcoat pocket, where you can get at them
easily. If you are going a-wading, and pockets are precarious, you will
find your hat band handy.

The waterproof pocket safe is numerous on the market. A ten-gauge brass
shell will just chamber a twelve-gauge. Put your matches in the
twelve-gauge, and telescope the ten over it. Abercrombie & Fitch, of New
York, make a screw top safe of rubber, which has the great advantage of
floating if dropped, but it is too bulky and the edges are too sharp.
The Marble safe, made by the Marble Axe Company, is ingenious and
certainly waterproof; but if it gets bent in the slightest degree, it
jams, and you can no longer screw it shut. Therefore I consider it
useless for this reason. A very convenient and cheap emergency
contrivance is the flint and steel pocket cigar lighter to be had at
most cigar stores. With it as a reserve you are sure of a fire no matter
how wet the catastrophe.

[Sidenote: Knives]

Your knife should be a medium size two-bladed affair, of the best
quality. Do not get it too large and heavy. You can skin and quarter a
deer with an ordinary jackknife. Avoid the "kit" knives. They are
mighty handy contraptions. I owned one with two blades, a thoroughly
practicable can opener, an awl or punch, a combined reamer, nail pull
and screwdriver, and a corkscrew. It was a delight for as long as it
lasted. The trouble with such knives is that they are too round, so that
sooner or later they are absolutely certain to roll out of your pocket
and be lost. It makes no difference how your pockets are constructed,
nor how careful you are, that result is inevitable. Then you will feel
badly--and go back to your old flat two-bladed implement that you simply
cannot lose.

[Sidenote: Sheath Knives]

A butcher knife of good make is one of the best and cheapest of sheath
knives. The common mistake among amateur hunters is that of buying too
heavy a knife with too thick a blade. Unless you expect to indulge in
hand to hand conflicts, or cut brush, such a weapon is excessive. I
myself have carried for the last seven years a rather thin and broad
blade made by the Marble Axe Company on the butcher knife pattern. This
company advertises in its catalogue a knife as used by myself. They are
mistaken. The knife I mean is a longer bladed affair, called a "kitchen
or camp knife." It is a most excellent piece of steel, holds an edge
well, and is useful alike as a camp and hunting knife. The fact that I
have killed some thirty-four wild boars with it shows that it is not to
be despised as a weapon.

[Sidenote: Compasses]

Your compass should be large enough for accuracy, with a jewel movement.
Such an instrument can be purchased for from one to two dollars. It is
sheer extravagance to go in for anything more expensive unless you are a
yachtsman or intend to run survey lines.

[Sidenote: Concerning Guns]

I have hesitated much before deciding to say anything whatever of the
sporting outfit. The subject has been so thoroughly discussed by men so
much more competent than myself; there are so many theories with which I
confess myself not at all conversant, and my own experience has been so
limited in the variety of weapons and tackle, that I hardly felt
qualified to speak. However, I reflected that this whole series of
articles does not pretend to be in any way authoritative, nor does it
claim to present the only or the best equipment in any branch of
wilderness travel, but only to set forth the results of my own twenty
years more or less of pretty steady outdoor life. So likewise it may
interest the reader to hear about the contents of my own gunrack, even
though he himself would have chosen much more wisely.

[Sidenote: My Rifle]

My rifle is a .30-.40 box magazine Winchester, with Lyman sights. This I
have heard is not a particularly accurate gun. Also it is stated that
after a few hundred shots it becomes still more inaccurate because of a
residue which only special process can remove from the rifling. This may
be. I only know that my own rifle to-day, after ten years' service, will
still shoot as closely as I know how to hold it, although it has
sixty-four notches on its stock and has probably been fired first and
last--at big game, small game, and targets--upward of a thousand times.
I use the Lyman aperture sight except in the dusk of evening, when a
folding bar sight takes its place. At the time I bought this rifle the
.33 and .35 had not been issued, and I thought, and still think, the
.30-.30 too light for sure work on any animal larger than a deer. I have
never used the .35, but like the .33 very much. The old low-power guns I
used to shoot a great deal, but have not for some years.

[Sidenote: Pistol a Handy Weapon]

The handiest weapon for a woods trip where small game is plentiful is a
single-shot pistol. Mine is a Smith & Wesson, blued, six-inch barrel,
shooting the .22 caliber long-rifle cartridge. An eight-inch barrel is
commonly offered by the sporting dealers, but the six-inch is
practically as accurate, and less cumbersome to carry. The ammunition is
compact and light. With this little pistol I have killed in plenty
ducks, geese, grouse, and squirrels, so that at times I have gone two or
three months without the necessity of shooting a larger weapon. Such a
pistol takes practice, however, and a certain knack. You must keep at
it until you can get four out of five bullets in a three-inch bull's-eye
at twenty yards before you can even hope to accomplish much in the
field.

[Sidenote: Revolver Experiences]

My six-shooter is a .45 Colt, New Service model. It is fitted with Lyman
revolver sights. Originally it was a self-cocker, but I took out the dog
and converted it to single action. The trigger pull on the double action
is too heavy for me, and when I came to file it down, I found the double
action caused a double jerk disconcerting to steady holding. Now it goes
off smoothly and almost at a touch--the only conditions under which I
can do much with a revolver. It is a very reliable weapon indeed,
balances better than the single-action model, and possesses great
smashing power. I have killed three deer in their tracks with it, and
much smaller game. This summer, however, I had the opportunity of
shooting a good deal with two I like better. One is the Officer's Model
Colt, chambered to shoot interchangeably either the .38 Colt long or
short, or the .38 Smith & Wesson special. In finish it is a beautiful
weapon, its grip fits the hand, its action is smooth, and it is
wonderfully accurate. The other is the special target .44 Russian. The
automatics I do not care for simply because I never learned to shoot
with the heavier trigger pull necessary to their action.

[Sidenote: Shot Guns]

I have two shotguns. One I have shot twenty-one years. It has killed
thousands of game birds, is a hard hitter, throws an excellent pattern,
and is as strong and good as the day it was bought. I use it to-day for
every sort of shooting except ducks, though often I have had it in the
blinds lacking the heavier weapon. It is doubtful if there are in use
to-day many guns with longer service, counting not so much the mere
years of its performance, as the actual amount of hunting it has done.
The time of its construction was before the days of the hammerless. It
was made by W. & C. Scott & Sons, is 16 gauge, and cost $125. My other
is a heavily choked Parker twelve. It I use for wild fowl, and
occasionally at the trap.

The main point with guns, no matter what the kind, is to keep them in
good shape. After shooting, clean them, no matter how tired you may be.
It is no great labor. In the field a string cleaner will do the
business, but at once when you get to permanent camp use a rod and elbow
grease. In a damp country, oil them afresh every day; so they will give
you good service. The barrels of my 16 are as bright as new. The
cleaning rods you can put in your leather fishing-rod case.

[Sidenote: Duffle Bags]

Now all these things of which we have made mention must be transported.
The duffle bag is the usual receptacle for them. It should be of some
heavy material, waterproofed, and should not be too large. A good one is
of pantasote, with double top to tie. One of these went the length of a
rapids, and was fished out without having shipped a drop. On a horseback
trip, however, such a contrivance is at once unnecessary and difficult
to pack. It is too long and stiff to go easily in the kyacks, and does
not agree well with the bedding on top.

This is really no great matter. The heavy kyacks, and the tarpaulin over
everything, furnish all needed protection against wet and abrasion. A
bag of some thinner and more pliable material is quite as good. Brown
denim, unbleached cotton, or even a clean flour sack, are entirely
adequate. You will find it handy to have them built with puckering
strings. The strings so employed will not get lost, and can be used as a
loop to hang the outfit from a branch when in camp.

[Sidenote: Toilet Articles]

A similar but smaller bag is useful to be reserved entirely as a toilet
bag. Tar soap in a square--not round--celluloid case is the most
cleansing. A heavy rubber band will hold the square case together.[2]
The tooth brush should also have its case. Tooth wash comes in glass,
which is taboo; tooth powder is sure sooner or later to leak out. I
like best any tooth soap which is sold in handy flat tin boxes, and
cannot spill. If you are sensible you will not be tenderfoot enough to
go in for the discomfort of a new beard. Razors can be kept from rusting
by wrapping them in a square of surgeon's oiled silk. Have your towel of
brown crash--never of any white material. The latter is so closely woven
that dirt gets into the very fiber of it, and cannot be washed out.
Crash, however, is of looser texture, softens quickly, and does not show
every speck of dust. If you have the room for it, a rough towel, while
not absolutely necessary, is nevertheless a great luxury.

[Sidenote: Medicines]

By way of medicines, stick to the tablet form. A strong compact medicine
case is not expensive. It should contain antiseptics, permanganate for
snake bites, a laxative, cholera remedy, quinine, and morphine. In
addition antiseptic bandages and rubber or surgeon's plaster should be
wrapped in oiled silk and included in the duffle outfit.

The fly problem is serious in some sections of the country and at some
times of year. A head net is sometimes useful about camp or riding in
the open--never when walking in the woods. The ordinary mosquito bar is
too fragile. One of bobbinet that fits ingeniously is very effective.
This and gloves will hold you immune--but you cannot smoke, nor spit on
the bait.

[Sidenote: Fly Dopes]

The two best fly dopes of the many I have tried are a commercial mixture
called "lollacapop," and Nessmuk's formula. The lollacapop comes in tin
boxes, and so is handy to carry, but does not wear quite as well as the
other. Nessmuk's dope is:

          Oil pine tar              3 parts
          Castor oil                2 parts
          Oil pennyroyal            1 part

[Sidenote: Fly Dopes]

It is most effective. A dab on each cheek and one behind each ear will
repel the fly of average voracity, while a full coating will save you in
the worst circumstances. A single dose will last until next wash time.
It is best carried in the tiny "one drink" whiskey flasks, holding, I
suppose, two or three ounces. One flask full will last you all summer.
At first the pine tar smell will bother you, but in a short time you
will get to like it. It will call up to your memory the reaches of trout
streams, and the tall still aisles of the forests.


_SUMMARY_

          _Minimum for comfort_

          Matches and safe
          Pocket knife (2 blade)
          Sheath knife
          Compass
          1 bandana
          Sporting outfit
          Duffle bag
          Soap and case
          Crash towel
          Tooth brush
          Tooth soap
          Shaving set in oiled silk
          Medicines and bandages
          Fly dope (sometimes)


          _Maximum_

          Matches and safe
          Pocket knife
          Sheath knife
          Compass
          2 bandanas
          Sporting outfit
          Duffle bag
          Soap and case
          Crash towel
          Bath towel
          Tooth brush
          Tooth soap
          Shaving set in oiled silk
          Medicines and bandages
          Fly dope and head net

FOOTNOTE:

[2] Kephart, in his excellent book on _Camping and Woodcraft_, suggests
carrying soap in a rubber tobacco pouch. This is a good idea.



CHAPTER V

CAMP OUTFIT


[Sidenote: Tents]

IN many sections of the country you will need a tent, even when
traveling afoot. Formerly a man had to make a choice between canvas,
which is heavy but fairly waterproof, and drill, which is light but
flimsy. A seven by seven duck tent weighs fully twenty-five pounds when
dry, and a great many more when wet. It will shed rain as long as you do
not hit against it. A touch on the inside, however, will often start a
trickle at the point of contact. Altogether it is unsatisfactory, and
one does not wonder than many men prefer to knock together bark
shelters.

[Illustration: "Bed in the bush with stars to see"]

[Sidenote: Tent Material]

Nowadays, however, another and better material is to be had. It is the
stuff balloons are made of, and is called balloon silk. I believe, for
shelter purposes, it undergoes a further waterproofing process, but of
this I am not certain. A tent of the size mentioned, instead of
weighing twenty-five pounds, pulls the scales down at about eight.
Furthermore, it does not absorb moisture, and is no heavier when wet
than when dry. One can touch the inside all he wishes without rendering
it pervious. The material is tough and enduring.

[Illustration: _"A" Tent Pitched as Shelter._]

I have one which I have used hard for five years, not only as a tent,
but as a canoe lining, a sod cloth, a tarpaulin, and a pack canvas.
To-day it is as serviceable as ever, and excepting for inevitable
soiling, two small patches represents its entire wear and tear.

[Illustration: _"A" Tent Pitched Between Two Trees._]

[Sidenote: Don't Use a Tent Curtain]

Abercrombie & Fitch, who make this tent, will try to persuade you, if
you demand protection against mosquitoes, to let them sew on a sod-cloth
of bobbinet and a loose long curtain of the same material to cover the
entrance. Do not allow it. The rig is all right as long as there are
plenty of flies. But suppose you want to use the tent in a flyless land?
There still blocks your way that confounded curtain of bobbinet, fitting
tightly enough so that you have almost to crawl when you enter, and so
arranged that it is impossible to hang it up out of the way. The tent
itself is all right, but its fly rigging is all wrong.

[Sidenote: Best Tent Protection from Flies]

I have found that a second tent built of cheesecloth, and without any
opening whatever, is the best scheme. Tapes are sewn along its ridge.
These you tie to the ridge pole or rope of the tent--on the inside of
course. The cheesecloth structure thus hangs straight down. When not in
use it is thrust to one side or the other. If flies get thick, you
simply go inside and spread it out. It should be made somewhat larger in
the wall than the tent so that you can weight its lower edge with
fishing rods, rifles, boots, sticks, or rocks. Nothing can touch you.

[Illustration: _"A" Tent Pitched on Treeless Ground._]

[Sidenote: Shape of Tent]

The proper shape for a tent is a matter of some discussion. Undoubtedly
the lean-to is the ideal shelter so far as warmth goes. You build your
fire in front, the slanting wall reflects the heat down and you sleep
warm even in winter weather. In practice, however, the lean-to is not
always an undiluted joy. Flies can get in for one thing, and a heavy
rainstorm can suck around the corner for another. In these circumstances
four walls are highly desirable.

[Illustration: _Method of Tightening Rope._]

On the other hand a cold snap makes a wall tent into a cold storage
vault. Tent stoves are little devils. They are either red hot or stone
cold, and even when doing their best, there is always a northwest
corner that declines to be thawed out. A man feels the need of a camp
fire, properly constructed.

[Sidenote: "A" Tent the Best]

For three seasons I have come gradually to thinking that an A or wedge
tent is about the proper thing. In event of that rainstorm or those
flies its advantages are obvious. When a cold snap comes along, you
simply pull up the stakes along one side, tie the loops of that wall to
the same stakes that hold down the other wall--and there is your lean-to
all ready for the fire.

When you get your tent made, have them insert grommets in each peak.
Through these you will run a light line. By tying each end of the line
to a tree or sapling, staking out the four corners of your tent, and
then tightening the line by wedging under it (and outside the tent, of
course) a forked pole, your tent is up in a jiffy. Where you cannot find
two trees handily placed, poles crossed make good supports front and
rear. The line passes over them and to a stake in the ground. These are
quick pitches for a brief stop. By such methods an A tent is erected as
quickly as a "pyramid," a miner's, or any of the others. In permanent
camp, you will cut poles and do a shipshape job.

[Illustration: _Tarpaulin, Open and Folded._]

[Sidenote: Tarpaulins]

[Sidenote: Uses of the Tarpaulin]

Often, however, you will not need to burden yourself with even as light
a tent as I have described. This is especially true on horseback trips
in the mountains. There you will carry a tarpaulin. This is a strip of
canvas or pantasote 6 x 16 or 17 feet. During the daytime it is folded
and used to protect the top packs from dust, wet, and abrasion. At
night you spread it, make your bed on one half of it, and fold the other
half over the outside. This arrangement will fend quite a shower. In
case of continued or heavy rain, you stretch a pack rope between two
trees or crossed poles, and suspend the tarp over it tent wise, tying
down the corners by means of lead ropes. Two tarps make a commodious
tent. If you happen to be alone, a saddle blanket will supplement the
tarp to give some sort of protection to your feet, and, provided it is
stretched tightly, will shed quite a downpour.

The tarp, as I have said, should measure 6 x 16. If of canvas, do not
get it too heavy, as then it will be stiff and hard to handle. About
10-ounce duck is the proper thing. After you have bought it, lay it out
on the floor folded once, as it will be when you have made your bed in
it. To the lower half and on both edges, as it lies there, sew a half
dozen snap hooks. To the upper canvas, but about six inches in from the
edge, sew corresponding rings for the snap hooks. Thus on a cold night
you can bundle yourself in without leaving cracks along the edges to
admit the chilly air.

[Sidenote: Rubber Blankets]

In the woods you will want furthermore a rubber blanket. This is
unnecessary when the tarpaulin is used. Buy a good poncho. Poor quality
sticks badly should it chance to become overheated by the sun.

[Sidenote: Blankets]

A six or seven pound blanket of the best quality is heavy enough. The
gray army blanket, to be purchased sometimes at the military stores, is
good, as is also the "three-point" blanket issued by the Hudson's Bay
Company. The cost is from $6 to $8. One is enough. You will find that
another suit of underwear is as warm as an extra blanket, and much
easier to carry. Sleeping bags I do not care for. They cannot be drawn
closely to the body, and the resulting air space is difficult to warm
up. A blanket you can hug close to you, thus retaining all the animal
heat. Beside which a sleeping bag is heavier and more of a bother to
keep well aired. If you like the thing occasionally, a few horse
blanket pins will make one of your blanket.

[Sidenote: To Sleep Warm]

It is the purpose of this book to deal with equipments rather than with
methods. There are a great many very competent treatises telling you how
to build your fire, pitch your tent, and all the rest of it. I have
never seen described the woodsmen's method of using a blanket, however.
Lie flat on your back. Spread the blanket over you. Now raise your legs
rigid from the hip, the blanket of course draping over them. In two
swift motions tuck first one edge under your legs from right to left,
then the second edge under from left to right, and over the first edge.
Lower your legs, wrap up your shoulders, and go to sleep. If you roll
over, one edge will unwind but the other will tighten.

[Sidenote: Quilts]

In the forest your rubber and woolen blankets will comprise your bed.
You will soften it with pine needles or balsam. On a horseback trip,
however, it is desirable to carry also an ordinary comforter, or quilt,
or "sogun." You use it under you. Folded once, so as to afford two
thicknesses, it goes far toward softening granite country. By way of a
gentle hint, if you will spread your saddle blankets _beneath_ your
tarp, they will help a lot, and you will get none of the horsey aroma.

[Sidenote: Pillows]

A pillow can be made out of a little bag of muslin or cotton or denim.
In it you stuff an extra shirt, or your sweater, or some such matter. A
very small "goose hair" pillow may be thrust between the folds of your
blanket when you have a pack horse. It will not be large enough all by
itself, but with a sweater or a pair of trousers beneath it will be soft
and easy to a tired head. Have its cover of brown denim.

[Sidenote: Pails]

On a pack trip a pail is a necessity which is not recognized in the
forest, where you can dip your cup or kettle direct into the stream.
Most packers carry a galvanized affair, which they turn upside down on
top of the pack. There it rattles and bangs against every overhead
obstruction on the trail, and ends by being battered to leakiness. A
bucket made of heavy brown duck, with a wire hoop hemmed in by way of
rim, and a light rope for handle carries just as much water, holds it as
well, and has the great advantage of collapsing flat.

[Illustration: _Collapsible Canvas Bucket and Wash Basin._]

[Illustration: Folding Lantern.]

[Sidenote: Wash Basins and Wash Tubs]

A wash basin built on the same principle is often a veritable godsend,
and a man can even carry a similar contrivance big enough for a washtub
without adding appreciably to the bulk or weight of his animal's pack.
Crushed flat all three take up in thickness about the space of one layer
of blanket, and the weight of the lot is just a pound and a half.

[Sidenote: Lanterns]

The Stonebridge folding candle lantern is the best I know of. It folds
quite flat, has four mica windows, and is easily put together. The
measurements, folded, are only 6 x 4 inches by 1-2 inch thick, and its
weight but 13 ounces. The manufacturers make the same lantern in
aluminum, but I found it too easily bent to stand the rough handling
incidental to a horse trip. The steel lantern costs one dollar.[3]

[Sidenote: Hatchets]

If you carry an axe at all, do not try to compromise on a light one. I
never use such an implement in the woods. A light hatchet is every bit
as good for the purpose of firewood, and better when it is a question of
tent poles or pegs. Read Nessmuk's _Woodcraft_ on this subject. The
Marble Safety Axe is the best, both because of the excellent steel used
in its manufacture, and because of the ease of its transportation. I
generally carry mine in my hip pocket. Get the metal handle and
heaviest weight. I have traveled a considerable part of the Canadian
forests with no other implement of the sort.

[Sidenote: Axes]

On a horseback trip in the mountains, however, this will not suffice.
Often and often you will be called on to clear trail, to cut timber for
trail construction or to make a footing over some ultra-tempestuous
streamlet. You might peck away until further orders with your little
hatchet without much luck. Then you need an axe--not a "half axe," nor a
"three-quarter axe"--but a full five-pound weapon with an edge you could
shave with. And you should know how to use it. "Chewing a log in two" is
a slow and unsatisfactory business.

To keep this edge you will carry a file and a water whetstone. Use your
hatchet as much as possible, take care of how and what you chop, and do
not wait until the axe gets really dull before having recourse to your
file and stone. It is a long distance to a grindstone. Wes Thompson
expressed the situation well. He watched the Kid's efforts for a moment
in silence.

"Kid," said he sorrowfully at last, "you'll have to make your choice.
Either you do _all the chopping or none of it_."

[Sidenote: Repairs]

Needle, thread, a waxed end, and a piece of buckskin for strings and
patches completes the ordinary camp outfit. Your repair kit needs
additions when applied to mountain trips, but that question will come up
under another heading.


_SUMMARY_

          _Minimum for comfort_

          Silk tent (sometimes)
          Rubber blanket
          Blanket
          Pillow case of denim
          Pocket axe
          File and whetstone
          Needle and thread
          Waxed end
          Piece of buckskin


          _Maximum_

          Tarpaulin
          Blanket
          Comforter
          Small Pillow
          Canvas bucket
          Canvas wash basin
          Canvas wash tub
          Candle lantern and candles
          Pocket axe
          5 pound axe
          File and whetstone
          Needle and thread
          Waxed end
          Piece of buckskin

FOOTNOTE:

[3] One is now made of brass to fold automatically, at a slightly higher
price.



CHAPTER VI

THE COOK OUTFIT


[Sidenote: Materials]

MOST people take into the woods too many utensils and of too heavy
material. The result is a disproportion between the amount of food
transported and the means of cooking it.

I have experimented with about every material going, and used all sorts
of dishes. Once I traveled ten days, and did all my cooking in a tip cup
and on a willow switch--nor did I live badly. An ample outfit, however,
judiciously selected, need take up little bulk or weight.

[Sidenote: Tin]

Tin is the lightest material, but breaks up too easily under rough
usage. Still, it is by no means to be despised. With a little care I
have made tin coffee pots and tin pails last out a season. When through,
I discarded them. And my cups and plates are of tin to this day.

[Sidenote: Sheet Iron]

Sheet iron had its trial--a brief one. The theory was all right, but in
practice I soon found that for a long time whatever is boiled in sheet
iron pails takes on a dark purplish-black tinge disagreeable to behold.
This modifies, but never entirely disappears, with use. But also sheet
iron soon burns out and develops pin holes in the bottom.

[Sidenote: Agate Ware]

Agate or enamel ware is pleasing to the eye and easily kept clean. But a
hard blow means a crack or chip in the enameled surface, and hard blows
are frequent. An enamel ware kettle, or even cup or plate, soon opens
seams and chasms. Then it may as well be thrown away, for you can never
keep it clean.

[Sidenote: Iron]

A very light iron pot is durable and cooks well. Two of these of a size
to nest together, with the coffee pot inside, make not a bad combination
for a pack trip. Most people are satisfied with them; but for a perfect
and balanced equipment even light-gauge iron is still too heavy.

[Sidenote: Aluminum]

For a long time I had no use for aluminum. It was too soft, went to
pieces, and got out of shape too easily. Then by good fortune I chanced
to buy a pail or kettle of an aluminum alloy. That one pail I have used
constantly for five years on all sorts of trips. It shows not a single
dent or bend, and inside is as bright as a dollar. The ideal material
was found.

Short experience taught me, however, that even this aluminum alloy was
not best for every item of the culinary outfit.

[Sidenote: Utensils]

The coffee pot, kettles, and plates may be of the alloy, for it has the
property of holding heat, but by that very same token an aluminum cup is
an abomination. The coffee or tea cools before you can get your lips
next the metal. For the same reason spoons and forks are better of
steel; and of course it stands to reason that the cutting edge of a
knife must be of that material. The aluminum frying pans I have found
unsatisfactory for several reasons. The metal is not porous enough to
take grease, as does the steel pan, so that unless watched very closely
flapjacks, mush, and the like are too apt to stick and burn. In the
second place they get too hot, unless favored with more than their share
of attention. In the third place, in the case of the two I have owned, I
have been unable to keep the patent handle on for more than three weeks
after purchase.

Premising, then, the above considerations, as regards material, let us
examine now the kind and variety necessary to the most elaborate trip
you will take, at the same time keeping in mind the fact that you can
travel with merely a tin cup if you have to.


[Sidenote: Made-up Outfits]

Do not be led astray into buying a made-up outfit. The two-man set
consists of a coffee pot, two kettles, a fry pan, two each of plates,
cups, soup bowls, knives, forks, teaspoons, and dessert
spoons--everything of aluminum. All fit into the largest kettle, plates
and fry pan on top, and weigh but five pounds. The idea is good, but you
will be able to modify it to advantage.[4]

[Sidenote: A Good Two-Man Outfit]

Get for a two-man outfit two tin cups with the handles riveted, not
soldered. They will drop into the aluminum coffee pot. Omit the soup
bowls. Buy good steel knives and forks with blackwood or horn handles.
Let the forks be four-tined, if possible. Omit the teaspoons. Do not
make the mistake of tin dessert spoons. Purchase a half dozen of white
metal. All these things will go inside the aluminum coffee pot, which
will nest in the two aluminum kettles. Over the top you invert four
aluminum plates and a small tin milk pan for bread mixing and dish
washing. The latter should be of a size to fit accurately over the top
of the larger kettle. This combination will tuck away in a canvas case
about nine inches in diameter and nine high. You will want a medium-size
steel fry pan, with handle of the same piece of metal--not riveted. The
latter comes off. The outfit as modified will weigh but a pound more
than the other, and is infinitely handier.

There are several methods of cooking bread. The simplest--and the one
you will adopt on a foot trip--is to use your frying pan. The bread is
mixed, set in the warmth a few moments to stiffen, then the frying pan
is propped up in front of the blaze. When one side of the bread is done,
you turn it over.

[Sidenote: Dutch Ovens]

The second method, and that almost universally employed in the West, is
by means of the Dutch oven. The latter instrument is in shape like a
huge and heavy iron kettle on short legs, and provided with a massive
iron cover. A hole is dug, a fire built in the hole, the oven containing
its bread set in on the resultant coals, and the hole filled in with hot
earth and ashes. It makes very good bread, but is a tremendous nuisance.
You have the weight of the machine to transport, the hole to dig, and an
extra fire to make. It also necessitates a shovel.

[Illustration: _Folding Aluminum Reflector Oven._]

[Sidenote: Reflector]

That the Westerner carries such an unwieldy affair about with him has
been mainly, I think, because of his inability to get a good reflector.
The perfect baker of this sort should be constructed at such angles of
top and bottom that the heat is reflected equally front and back, above
and below. This requires some mathematics. The average reflector is
built of light tin by the village tinsmith. It throws the heat almost
anywhere. The pestered woodsman shifts it, shifts the bread pan, shifts
the loaf trying to "get an even scald on the pesky thing." The bread is
scorched at two corners and raw at the other two, brown on top, but
pasty at the bottom. He burns his hands. If he persists, he finds that a
dozen bakings tarnish the tin beyond polish, so that at last the heat
hardly reflects at all. He probably ends by shooting it full of holes.
And next trip, being unwilling to bake in the frying pan while he has a
horse to carry for him, he takes along the same old piece of
ordnance--the Dutch oven.

[Illustration:

          "We may live without friends, we may live without books,
           But civilized man cannot live without cooks"]

[Sidenote: Aluminum Baker]

This is no exaggeration. I have been there myself. Until this very year
I carried a Dutch oven on my pack trips. Then I made one more try,
purchased an aluminum baker of Abercrombie & Fitch, and have had good
bread at minimum trouble.

I realize that I seem to be recommending this firm rather extensively,
but it cannot be helped. It is not because I know no others, for
naturally I have been purchasing sporting goods and supplies in a great
many places and for a good many years. Nor do I recommend everything
they make. Only along some lines they have carried practical ideas to
their logical conclusion. The Abercrombie & Fitch balloon silk tents,
food bags, pack harness, aluminum alloys, and reflector ovens completely
fill the bill. And as they cannot be procured elsewhere, I must perhaps
seem unduly to advertise this one firm.

Their aluminum baker, then, I found to be a joy. I put the bread in the
pan, stuck the reflector in front of my regular cooking fire, and went
ahead with dinner. It required absolutely no more attention. By the time
I was ready to dish up grub, the bread was done. That was all there was
to it. The angles are correct, and the aluminum is easily kept bright.
When not in use it folds to an inch thick, and about a foot by a foot
and a half. It weighs only about two pounds. A heavy canvas case
protects it and the bread pan. I pack it between blankets, and never
know it is there; whereas the Dutch oven was always a problem. The cost
was three dollars.

[Sidenote: Food Bags]

Food is best transported in bags. Cotton drill, or even empty flour
sacks are pretty good on a pack horse; but in canoe and forest traveling
you will want something waterproof. Even horseback a waterproof bag is
better, for it keeps out the dust. Again I must refer you to Abercrombie
& Fitch. Their food bags are of light, waterproof, and durable
material, and cost only from a dollar to a dollar and a half a dozen,
according to size.

[Illustration: _Use of Parallel Logs._]

[Sidenote: Fire Irons]

Of course on a tramp you will carry no extra conveniences in the way of
fire irons, but will use as cooking range two green logs laid nearly
parallel, or rocks placed side by side. But with a pack horse, there is
no reason why you should not relieve yourself of this bother.

Usually two pieces of strap iron about thirty inches long and an inch
wide are employed for this purpose. The ends are rested on two stones
and the fire built beneath them. In case stones lack, a small trench is
dug, and the irons laid across that.

[Illustration: _Use of Ordinary Fire Irons._]

[Illustration: _The Ernest Britten Fire Irons._]

[Sidenote: The Britten Fire Irons]

[Sidenote: Inspirator]

Mr. Ernest Britten, a Forest Ranger, has however invented a contrivance
that is much better. The irons, instead of being made of strap iron, are
of angle iron. To the inside of the L and at each end sharpened legs are
swung on a rivet. A squared outer corner next the angle iron prevents
their spreading, but a rounded inner corner permits their being folded
flat. When used, the legs are opened and stuck upright in the ground,
the irons being arranged parallel at an appropriate distance from each
other. Mark these advantages: The irons can be driven to any height from
the ground according as fuel is plenty or scarce. They can be leveled
absolutely, a thing difficult to accomplish with stones and strap irons.
In case the ground is too hard to admit the insertion of the legs in it,
they can be folded back, and the irons used across stones in the manner
of the old strap irons. Moreover, and this is important, they weigh no
more.

I have had presented me by Mr. Robert Logan of New York, so simple,
transportable and efficient a device for kindling fires that I have
included it in my regular outfit. It consists of a piece of small rubber
tube two feet or so in length, into one end of which is forced a brass
cylinder three or four inches long. The extremity of this brass cylinder
is then beaten out so that its opening is flattened. Logan calls this
instrument an "Inspirator."

[Sidenote: How to Use the Inspirator]

To encourage a fire you apply the brass nozzle to the struggling blaze,
and blow steadily through the rubber tube. The result is an effect
midway between a pair of bellows and a Bunsen burner.

Until you have tried it you will have difficulty in realizing how
quickly wet wood will ignite when persuaded by the Inspirator. I have
used it over five months of camping, and never have failed to blow up a
brisk blaze in the foulest conditions of weather and fuel. No more heavy
chopping for dry heart-wood, no more ashes in the face empurpled by
stooping, no more frantic waving of the hat that scatters ashes.
Furthermore, the Inspirator's use is not confined to wet days alone. If
ever you particularly desire any individual kettle to boil in a hurry,
and that utensil sullenly declines to do so, just direct the Inspirator
beneath it, and in a jiffy it is on the bubble. When out of use you wrap
the rubber tube around the brass nozzle and tuck it away in your
waistcoat pocket.

[Sidenote: Towels, Soap, etc.]

There remains only the necessity of cleaning up. Get three yards or so
of toweling and cut off pieces as you need them. Keep them washed and
they will last a long time. Borax soap and a cake of Sapolio help; but
you can clean up dishes without soap. Long tough grass bent double makes
an excellent swab. For washing clothes I have found nothing to equal
either Fels-Naphtha or Frank Siddal's Soap. You soap your garments at
night, rinse them in the morning--and the job is done. No hot water, no
boiling, little rubbing. And the garments are really clean.


_SUMMARY_

          _Minimum for comfort_

          1 tin cup with riveted handle
          1 aluminum coffee pot
          1 aluminum pail
          1 knife, fork, spoon
          1 aluminum plate
          Fry pan
          Food bags
          Dish towel
          Fels-Naphtha or Frank Siddal's soap.


          _Maximum_

          Tin cup
          Aluminum coffee pot
          2 aluminum pails
          Knife, fork, 3 spoons
          2 plates
          Milk pan
          2 fry pans to nest
          Reflector oven
          Food bags
          Fire irons
          Dish towel
          Borax soap
          Sapolio
          Fels-Naphtha or Frank Siddal's soap.

FOOTNOTE:

[4] Abercrombie & Fitch handle the aluminum alloy.



CHAPTER VII

GRUB


[Sidenote: Variety]

IN no department of outdoor life does the mistaken notion of "roughing
it" work more harm. I have never been able to determine why a man should
be content with soggy, heavy, coarse and indigestible food when, with
the same amount of trouble, the same utensils, and the same materials he
can enjoy variety and palatability. To eat a well-cooked dinner it is
not necessary to carry an elaborate commissary. In a later chapter I
shall try to show you how to combine the simple and limited ingredients
at your command into the greatest number of dishes. At present we will
concern ourselves strictly with the kind and quantity of food you will
wish to carry with you.

Necessarily bulk and weight are such important considerations that they
will at once cut out much you would enjoy. Also condensed and
desiccated foods are, in a few cases, toothsome enough to earn
inclusion--and many are not. Perishability bars certain other sorts. But
when all is said and done there remains an adequate list from which to
choose.

[Sidenote: Luxuries]

However closely you confine yourself to the bare necessities, be sure to
include one luxury. This is not so much to eat as for the purpose of
moral support. I remember one trip in the Black Hills on which our
commissary consisted quite simply of oatmeal, tea, salt, and sugar, and
a single can of peaches. Of course there was game. Now if we had found
ourselves confined to meat, mush, oatmeal pones, and tea, we should,
after a little, have felt ourselves reduced to dull monotony, and after
a little more we should have begun to long mightily for the fleshpots of
Deadwood. But that can of peaches lurked in the back of our minds. By
its presence we were _not_ reduced to meat, mush, oatmeal pones, and
tea. Occasionally we would discuss gravely the advisability of opening
it, but I do not believe any one of us down deep in his heart meant it
in sober earnest. What was the mere tickling of the palate compared with
the destruction of a symbol.

[Sidenote: Take Your Pet Luxury]

Somewhat similarly I was once on a trip with an Englishman who, when we
outfitted, insisted on marmalade. In vain we pointed out the fact that
glass always broke. Finally we compromised on one jar, which we wrapped
in the dish towel and packed in the coffee pot. For five weeks that
unopened jar of marmalade traveled with us, and the Englishman was
content. Then it got broken--as they always do. From that time on our
friend uttered his daily growl or lament over the lack of marmalade.
And, mind you, he had already gone five weeks without tasting a
spoonful!

So include in the list your pet luxury. Tell yourself that you will eat
it just at the psychological moment. It is a great comfort. But to our
list:

_Bacon_ is the stand-by. Get the very best you can buy, and the leanest.
In a walking trip cut off the rind in order to reduce the weight.

_Ham_ is a pleasant variety if you have room for it.

[Sidenote: Cereals]

_Flour._--Personally I like the whole wheat best. It bakes easier than
the white, has more taste, and mixes with other things quite as well. It
comes in 10-pound sacks, which makes it handy to carry.

_Pancake Flour_, either buckwheat or not, makes flapjacks, of course,
but also bakes into excellent loaves, and is a fine base for camp cake.

_Boston Brown Bread Flour_ is self-rising, on the principle of the
flapjack flour. It makes genuine brown bread, toothsome quick biscuits
with shortening, and a glorious boiled or steamed pudding. If your
outfitter does not know of it, tell him it is made at San José,
California.

_Cornmeal._--Get the yellow. It makes good Johnny cake, puddings, fried
mush, and unleavened corn pone, all of which are palatable, nourishing,
and easy to make. If you have a dog with you, it is the easiest ration
for between-meat seasons. A quarter cup swells up into an abundant meal
for the average-sized canine.

_Hominy._--The coarse sort makes a good variety.

_Tapioca._--Utterly unsatisfactory over an open fire. Don't take it.

[Sidenote: Rice, the Ideal Stand-by]

_Rice._--I think rice is about the best stand-by of all. In the first
place, ten pounds of rice will go farther than ten pounds of any other
food; a half cup, which weighs small for its bulk, boils up into a half
kettleful, a quantity ample for four people. In the second place, it
contains a great percentage of nutriment, and is good stuff to travel
on. In the third place, it is of that sort of palatability of which one
does not tire. In the fourth place it can be served in a variety of
ways: boiled plain; boiled with raisins; boiled with rolled oats;
boiled, then fried; made into baked puddings; baked in gems or loaves;
mixed with flapjacks. Never omit it from your list.

[Illustration: When you quit the trail for a day's rest]

[Sidenote: Buy Only the Best Brands]

_Baking Powder._--Do not buy an unknown brand at a country store; you
will find it bad for your insides after a very short use. Royal and
Price's are both good.

_Tea and Coffee._--Even confirmed coffee drinkers drop away from their
allegiance after being out a short time. Tea seems to wear better in the
woods. Personally, I never take coffee at all, unless for the benefit of
some other member of the party.

_Potatoes_ are generally out of the question, although you can often
stick a small sack in your kyacks. They are very grateful when you can
carry them. A desiccated article is on the market. Soaked up it takes on
somewhat the consistency of rather watery mashed potatoes. It is not
bad.

_Onions_ are a luxury; but, like the potatoes, can sometimes be taken,
and add largely to flavor.

[Sidenote: Saccharine Tablets]

_Sugar._--My experience is, that one eats a great deal more sweets out
of doors than at home. I suppose one uses up more fuel. In any case I
have many a time run out of sugar, and only rarely brought any home
Saxin, crystallose and saccharine are all excellent to relieve the
weight in this respect. They come as tablets, each a little larger than
the head of a pin. A tablet represents the sweetening power of a lump of
sugar. Dropped in the tea, two of them will sweeten quite as well as two
heaping spoonfuls and you could never tell the difference. A man could
carry in his waistcoat pocket vials containing the equivalent of
twenty-five pounds of sugar. Their advantage in lightening a back load
is obvious.

_Fats._--Lard is the poorest and least wholesome. Cottolene is better.
Olive oil is best. The latter can be carried in a screw-top tin. Less of
it need be used than of the others. It gives a delicious flavor to
anything fried in it.

_Mush._--Rolled oats are good, but do not agree with some people. Cream
of Wheat and Germea are more digestible. Personally I prefer to take my
cereal in the form of biscuits. It "sticks to the ribs" better.
Three-quarters of a cup of cereal will make a full supply of mush for
three people, leaving room for mighty little else. On the other hand, a
full cup of the same cereal will make six biscuits--two apiece for our
three people. In other words, the biscuits allow one to eat a third more
cereal in half the bulk.

[Sidenote: Fruits]

_Dried Fruit._--This is another class of food almost to be classed as
condensed. It is easily carried, is light, and when cooked swells
considerably. Raisins lead the list, as they cook in well with any of
the flour stuffs and rice, and are excellent to eat raw as a lunch.
Dried figs come next. I do not mean the layer figs, but those dried
round like prunes. They can be stewed, eaten raw, or cooked in puddings.
Dried apples are good stewed, or soaked and fried in a little sugar.
Prunes are available, raw or cooked. Peaches and apricots I do not care
for, but they complete the list.

[Sidenote: A Good Remedy for a Chill]

_Salt and Pepper._--A little cayenne in hot water is better than whiskey
for a chill.

_Cinnamon._--Excellent to sprinkle on apples, rice, and puddings. A
flavoring to camp cake. One small box will last a season.

_Milk._--Some people like the sticky sweetened Borden milk. I think it
very sickish and should much prefer to go without. The different brands
of evaporated creams are palatable, but too bulky and heavy for ordinary
methods of transportation. A can or so may sometimes be included,
however. Abercrombie & Fitch offer a milk powder. They claim that a
spoonful in water "produces a sweet wholesome milk." It may be
wholesome; it certainly is sweet--but as for being milk! I should like
to see the cow that would acknowledge it.

_Syrup._--Mighty good on flapjacks and bread, and sometimes to be
carried when animals are many. The easiest to get that tastes like
anything is the "Log Cabin" maple syrup. It comes in a can of a handy
shape.

[Sidenote: Altitude's Influence on Cooking]

_Beans._--Another rich stand-by; rich in sustenance, light in weight,
and compressed in bulk. Useless to carry in the mountains, where, as a
friend expressed it, "all does not boil that bubbles." Unless you have
all day and unlimited firewood they will not cook in a high altitude.
Lima beans are easier cooked. A few chilis are nice to add to the pot by
way of variety.

_Pilot Bread or Hardtack._--If you use it at all--which of course must
be in small quantities for emergencies--be sure to get the coarsest. It
comes in several grades, and the finer crumble. The coarse, however,
breaks no finer than the size of a dollar, and so is edible no matter
how badly smashed. With raisins it makes a good lunch.

_Butter_, like milk, is a luxury I do without on a long trip. The lack
is never felt after a day or two. I believe you can get it in air-tight
cans.

_Macaroni_ is bulky, but a single package goes a long way, and is both
palatable and nutritious. Break it into pieces an inch or so long and
stow it in a grub bag.

[Sidenote: Canned Goods]

That finishes the list of the bulk groceries. Canned goods, in general,
are better left at home. You are carrying the weight not only of the
vegetable, but also of the juice and the tin. One can of tomatoes merely
helps out on one meal, and occupies enough space to accommodate eight
meals of rice; or enough weight to balance two dozen meals of the same
vegetable. Both the space of the kyacks and the carrying power of your
horse are better utilized in other directions. I assume you never will
be fool enough to weight your own back with such things.

So much for common sense and theory. As a matter of practice, and if you
have enough animals to avoid overloading, you will generally tuck in a
can here and there. These are to be used only on great occasions, but
grace mightily holidays and very tired times.

Now some canned goods make you feel you are really getting something
worth while; and others do not.

_Corn_ is probably the most satisfactory of all. It is good warmed up,
made into fritters, baked into a pudding, or mixed with lima beans as
succotash.

[Sidenote: Good and Bad Canned Goods]

_Peas_ on the other hand are no good. Too much water, and too little pea
is the main trouble, which combines discouragingly with the fact that a
mouthful of peas is not nearly as hearty or satisfying as a mouthful of
corn.

_Tomatoes_ are carried extensively, but are very bulky and heavy for
what you get out of them.

_Canned Fruit_ is sheer mad luxury. A handful of the dried article would
equal a half dozen cans.

_Salmon._--A pleasant and compact variation on ordinary fare. It can be
eaten cold, as it comes from the can; or can be fried or baked.

_Picnic Stuff_, such as potted chicken, devilled ham and the rest of it
are abominations.

_Corned Beef_ is fair.

To sum up, I think that if I were to go in for canned goods, I should
concentrate on corn and salmon, with one or two corned beef on the side.

[Sidenote: Desiccated Foods]

As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter modern desiccation of
foods has helped the wilderness traveler to some extent. I think I have
tried about everything in this line. In the following list I shall
mention those I think good, and also those particularly bad. Any not
mentioned it may be implied that I do not care for myself, but am
willing to admit that you may.

_Canned Eggs._--The very best thing of this kind is made by the National
Bakers' Egg Co., of Sioux City. It is a coarse yellow granulation and
comes in one-pound screw-top tin cans. Each can contains the equivalent
of five dozen eggs, and costs, I think, only $1.25. A tablespoon of the
powder and two of water equals an egg. With that egg you can make
omelets and scrambled eggs, which you could not possibly tell from the
new-laid. Two cans, weighing two pounds, will last you all summer; and
think of the delight of an occasional egg for breakfast! The German
canned eggs--Hoffmeir's is sold in this country--are rather evil
tasting, do not beat up light, and generally decline sullenly to cook.

[Sidenote: Erbswurst]

_Soups._--Some of the compressed soups are excellent. The main
difficulty is that they are put up in flimsy paper packages, difficult
to carry without breaking. Also I have found that when you take but two
kettles, you are generally hungry enough to begrudge one of them to
anything as thin as even the best soup. However, occasionally a hot
cupful is a good thing; and I should always include a few packages. The
most filling and nourishing is the German army ration called
_Erbswurst_. It comes in a sausage-shaped package, which is an exception
to the rule in that it is strongly constructed. You cut off an inch and
boil it. The taste is like that of a thick bean soup. It is said to
contain all the elements of nutrition.

Knorr's packages make good soup when you get hold of the right sort. We
have tried them all, and have decided that they can be divided into two
classes--those that taste like soup, and the dishwater brand. The former
comprise pea, bean, lentil, rice, and onion; the latter, all others.

[Sidenote: Soup Tablets]

Maggi's tablets are smaller than Knorr's and rather better packed. The
green pea and lentil make really delicious soup.

Bouillon capsules of all sorts I have no use for. They serve to flavor
hot water, and that is about all.

_Desiccated Vegetables_ come in tablets about four inches square and a
quarter of an inch thick. A quarter of one of these tablets makes a dish
for two people. You soak it several hours, then boil it. In general the
results are all alike, and equally tasteless and loathsome. The most
notable exception is the string beans. They come out quite like the
original vegetable, both in appearance and taste. I always take some
along. Enough for twenty meals could be carried in the inside pocket of
your waistcoat.

_Julienne_, made by Prevet. A French mixture of carrots and other
vegetables cut into strips and dried. When soaked and boiled it swells
to its original size. A half cupful makes a meal for two. It ranks with
the string beans in being thoroughly palatable. These two preparations
are better than canned goods, and are much more easily carried.

_Potatoes, saxin, saccharine, and crystallose_ I have already mentioned.

[Sidenote: Quantity]

That completes the most elaborate grub list I should care to recommend.
As to a quantitative list, that is a matter of considerably more
elasticity. I have kept track of the exact quantity of food consumed on
a great many trips, and have come to the conclusion that anything but
the most tentative statements must spring from lack of experience. A
man paddling a canoe, or carrying a pack all day, will eat a great deal
more than would the same man sitting a horse. A trip in the clear,
bracing air of the mountains arouses keener appetites than a desert
journey near the borders of Mexico, and a list of supplies ample for the
one would be woefully insufficient for the other. The variation is
really astonishing.

Therefore the following figures must be experimented with rather
cautiously. They represent an average of many of my own trips.

[Sidenote: Grub List]


ONE MONTH'S SUPPLIES FOR ONE MAN ON A FOREST TRIP

          15 lbs. flour (includes flour, pancake flour, cornmeal
               in proportion to suit)
          15 lbs. meat (bacon or boned ham)
          8 lbs. rice
          ½ lb. baking powder
          1 lb. tea
          2 lbs. sugar
          150 saccharine tablets
          8 lbs. cereal
          1 lb. raisins
          Salt and pepper
          5 lbs. beans
          3 lbs. or ½ doz. Erbswurst
          2 lbs. or ½ doz. dried vegetables
          2 lbs. dried potatoes
          1 can Bakers' eggs.


ONE MONTH'S SUPPLIES FOR ONE MAN ON PACK HORSE TRIP

          15 lbs. flour supplies (flour, flapjack flour, cornmeal)
          15 lbs. ham and bacon
          2 lbs. hominy
          4 lbs. rice
          ½ lb. baking powder
          1 lb. coffee
          ½ lb. tea
          20 lbs. potatoes
          A few onions
          2 lbs. sugar
          150 saccharine tablets
          3 lb. pail cottolene, or can olive oil
          3 lbs. cream of wheat
          5 lbs. mixed dried fruit
          Salt, pepper, cinnamon
          3 cans evaporated cream
          ½ gal. syrup or honey
          5 lbs. beans
          Chilis
          Pilot bread (in flour sack)
          6 cans corn
          6 cans salmon
          2 cans corned beef
          1 can Bakers' eggs
          ½ doz. Maggi's soups
          ½ doz. dried vegetables--beans and Julienne.

[Sidenote: Don't Figure Grub List too Closely]

These lists are not supposed to be "eaten down to the bone." A man
cannot figure that closely. If you buy just what is included in them you
will be well fed, but will probably have a little left at the end of the
month. If you did not, you would probably begin to worry about the
twenty-fifth day. And this does not pay. Of course if you get game and
fish, you can stay out over the month.



CHAPTER VIII

CAMP COOKERY


[Sidenote: Secret of Camp Cookery]

THE secret of successful camp cookery is experimentation and boldness.
If you have not an ingredient, substitute the nearest thing to it; or
something in the same general class of foods. After you get the logic of
what constitutes a pudding, or bread, or cake, or anything else, cut
loose from cook-books and invent with what is contained in your grub
bags. Do not be content until, by shifting trials, you get your
proportions just right for the best results. Even though a dish is quite
edible, if the possibility of improving it exists, do not be satisfied
with repeating it.

This chapter will not attempt to be a camp cook-book. Plenty of the
latter can be bought. It will try to explain dishes not found in camp
cook-books, but perhaps better adapted to the free and easy culinary
conditions that obtain over an open fire and in the open air.

After _bacon_ gets a little old, parboil the slices before frying them.

[Sidenote: How to Make Bread]

_Bread._--The secret of frying-pan bread is a medium stiff batter in the
proportion of one cup of flour, one teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of
sugar, and a heaping teaspoon of baking powder. This is poured into the
well-greased and hot pan, and set flat near the fire. In a very few
moments it will rise and stiffen. Prop the pan nearly perpendicular
before the blaze. When done on one side, turn over. A clean sliver or a
fork stuck through the center of the loaf will tell you when it is done:
if the sliver comes out clean, without dough sticking to it, the baking
is finished.

In an oven the batter must be somewhat thinner. Stiff batter makes
close-grained heavy bread; thin batter makes light and crisp bread. The
problem is to strike the happy medium, for if too stiff the loaf is
soggy, and if too thin it sticks to the pan. Dough should be wet only at
the last moment, after the pan is ready, and should be lightly stirred,
never kneaded or beaten.

Biscuits are made in the same way, with the addition of a
dessert-spoonful of cottolene, or a half spoonful of olive oil.

Cornbread is a mixture of half cornmeal and half flour, with salt,
baking powder, and shortening.

[Sidenote: Unleavened Bread]

Unleavened bread properly made is better as a steady diet than any of
the baking powder products. The amateur cook is usually disgusted with
it because it turns out either soggy or leathery. The right method,
however, results in crisp, cracker-like bread, both satisfying and
nourishing. It is made as follows:

Take three-quarters of a cup of either cornmeal, oatmeal, Cream of
Wheat, or Germea, and mix it thoroughly with an equal quantity of flour.
Add a teaspoonful of salt, a tablespoonful of sugar, and a teaspoonful
of olive oil or shortening. Be sure not to exceed the amount of the
latter ingredient. Mix in just enough water to wet thoroughly, and beat
briskly; the result should be almost crumbly. Mold biscuits three inches
across and a quarter of an inch thick, place in a hot greased pan, and
bake before a hot fire. The result is a thoroughly cooked,
close-grained, crisp biscuit.

Corn pone is made in the same manner with cornmeal as the basis.

[Sidenote: Flapjohn]

Flapjack flour is mixed with water simply; but you will find that a
tablespoonful of sugar not only adds to the flavor, but causes it to
brown crisper. It is equally good baked in loaves. The addition of an
extra spoonful of sugar, two eggs (from your canned desiccated eggs),
raisins and cinnamon makes a delicious camp cake. This is known as
"flapjohn"--a sort of sublimated flapjack.

_Puddings._--The general logic of a camp-baked pudding is this:

[Sidenote: How to Make Puddings]

You have first of all your base, which is generally of rice, cornmeal,
or breakfast food previously boiled; second, your filling, which may be
raisins, prunes, figs, or any other dried fruit; third, your sweetening,
which is generally sugar, but may be syrup, honey, or saccharine
tablets; fourth, your seasoning, which must be what you have--cinnamon,
nutmeg, lemon, etc., and last, your coagulating material, which must be
a small portion of your egg powder. With this general notion you can
elaborate.

The portions of materials, inclusive of other chance possessions, the
arrangement of the ingredients determines the naming of the product.
Thus you can mix your fruit all through the pudding, or you can place it
in layers between strata of the mixture.

As an example: Boil one-half cupful of rice with raisins, until soft,
add one-half cupful of sugar, a half spoonful of cinnamon, and a
tablespoonful of egg powder. Add water (water mixed with condensed milk,
if you have it) until quite thin. Bake in moderate heat. Another: Into
two cups of boiling water pour a half cup of cornmeal. Sprinkle it in
slowly, and stir in order to prevent lumps. As soon as it thickens,
which will be in half a minute, remove from the fire. Mix in a quarter
cup of syrup, some figs which have been soaked, a spoonful of egg
powder, milk if you have it, and the flavoring--if you happen to have
tucked in a can of ginger, that is the best. The mixture should be thin.
Bake before moderate fire.

I am not going on to elaborate a number of puddings by name; that is
where the cook-books make their mistake. But with this logical basis,
you will soon invent all sorts of delicious combinations. Some will be
failures, no doubt; but after you get the knack you will be able to
improvise on the least promising materials.

[Sidenote: Experiment Freely in Cooking]

Do not forget that mixing ingredients is always worth trying. A
combination of rice and oatmeal boiled together does not sound very
good, but it is delicious, and quite unlike either of its component
parts. I instance it merely as an example of a dozen similar.

[Sidenote: How to Make Tea]

_Tea._--The usual way of cooking tea is to pour the hot water on the
leaves. If used immediately this is the proper way. When, however, as
almost invariably happens about camp, the water is left standing on the
leaves for some time, the tannin is extracted. This makes a sort of tea
soup, at once bitter and unwholesome. A simple and easy way is to
provide yourself with a piece of cheesecloth about six inches square. On
the center drop your dose of dry tea leaves. Gather up the corners, and
tie into a sort of loose bag. Pour the hot water over this, and at the
end of five minutes fish out the bag. Untie it, shake loose the tea
leaves, and tuck away until next time. The tea in the pot can then be
saved for the late fisherman without fear of lining his stomach with
leather. Also it is no trouble.

[Sidenote: On Coffee]

Coffee, too, is more often bad than good in the field. The usual method
is to put a couple of handfuls in cold water, bring it to a boil, and
then set it aside to settle. Sometimes it is good that way, and
sometimes it isn't. A method that will always succeed, however, is as
follows: Bend an ordinary piece of hay wire into the shape of a hoop,
slightly larger than the mouth of your pot. On it sew a shallow
cheesecloth bag. Put your ground coffee in the bag, suspend in the
coffee pot, and pour the hot water through. If you like it extra strong,
pour it through twice. The result is drip coffee, delicious, and without
grounds. To clean the bag turn it inside out and pour water through.
Then flatten the hay wire hoop slightly and tuck it away inside the pot
with the cups.

_Mush._--The ideal method of cooking mush is of course a double boiler
and just the amount of water the cereal will take up. Over an open fire,
that would result in a burned product and a caked kettle. The best way
is to make it very thin at first, and to boil it down to the proper
consistency.

_Beans_ will boil more quickly if you add a pinch of soda. An
exaggerated pinch, however, causes them to taste soapy, so beware. If
the water boils too low, add more _hot_ water, never cold; the latter
toughens them. When soft smash them with a fork, add water, and cook
with fat in the frying pan.

[Sidenote: A Quick Meal]

_Hardtack._--A most delicious dish to be eaten immediately is made of
pilot bread soaked soft, and then fried. The same cracker fried in olive
oil, without being previously soaked, comes out crisp and brown, but
without impaired transportability. When butter is scarce this is a fine
way to treat them in preparation for a cold lunch by the way.

_Macaroni_ should be plunged in boiling water, otherwise it gets tough.
What remains should be baked in mixture with whatever else is
left--whether meal, cereal, or vegetable.

_Corn._--After you have eaten what you want of the warmed-up, mix what
is left with a spoonful or so of sugar, some diluted milk, and a
spoonful of egg powder. Bake it.

[Illustration: In the heat of the day's struggle]

_Salmon_ may be eaten cold, but is better hashed up with bread crumbs,
well moistened, and baked before a hot fire.

[Sidenote: Cook-Books]

These are but a few general hints which you will elaborate on. The Price
Baking Powder Co. publish gratis a "Mine and Ranch Cookery" which is
practical. Also read Nessmuk's _Woodcraft_.

        A LIST OF SOME OF THE DISHES POSSIBLE WITHOUT TOO
          MUCH TROUBLE FROM THE GRUB LIST GIVEN IN THE LAST
          CHAPTER

[Sidenote: Grub List]

           1. Fried bacon
           2. Fried ham
           3. Broiled ham
           4. Boiled ham
           5. Plain bread
           6. Biscuits
           7. Johnny cake
           8. Oatmeal or cereal muffins
           9. Pancakes or flapjacks
          10. Buckwheat bread
          11. Corn pone
          12. Unleavened bread
          13. Spice cakes
          14. Dumplings
          15. Boston brown bread
          16. Brown bread gems
          17. Boiled hominy
          18. Fried hominy
          19. Hominy pudding
          20. Indian puddings (three or four sorts)
          21. Cereal puddings (three or four sorts)
          22. Oatmeal mush
          23. Oatmeal and rice mush
          24. Fried mush.
          25. Boiled rice
          26. Rice and raisins
          27. Rice cakes
          28. Rice biscuits
          29. Rice pudding
          30. Tea
          31. Coffee
          32. Baked potatoes
          33. Boiled potatoes
          34. Mashed potatoes
          35. Fried potatoes
          36. Boiled onions
          37. Fried onions
          38. Stewed fruits
          39. Boiled beans
          40. Fried beans
          41. Baked beans
          42. Fried hardtack
          43. Boiled macaroni
          44. Baked macaroni
          45. Corn
          46. Corn fritters
          47. Corn pudding
          48. Succotash
          49. Baked salmon
          50. Baked corned beef
          51. Fried corned beef
          52. Omelet
          53. Scrambled eggs
          54. Soup (several kinds)
          55. Beans
          56. Julienne, boiled or fried.

This leaves out of account the various hybrid mixtures of "what is
left," and the meal and fish dishes in a good sporting country. As a
matter of fact mixtures generally bake better than they boil.



CHAPTER IX

HORSE OUTFITS


[Sidenote: Riding Saddles]

WE have now finished the detailing of your wear and food. There remains
still the problem of how you and it are to be transported. You may
travel through the wilderness by land or by water. In the former case
you will either go afoot or on horseback; in the latter you will use a
canoe. Let us now consider in detail the equipments necessary for these
different sorts of travel.

You will find the Mexican or cowboy saddle the only really handy riding
saddle. I am fully aware of the merits of the McClellan and army
saddles, but they lack what seems to me one absolute essential, and that
is the pommel or horn. By wrapping your rope about the latter you can
lead reluctant horses, pull firewood to camp, extract bogged animals,
and rope shy stock. Without it you are practically helpless in such
circumstances. The only advantage claimed for the army saddle is its
lightness. The difference in weight between it and the cowboy saddle
need not be so marked as is ordinarily the case. A stock saddle, used
daily in roping heavy cows, weighs quite properly from thirty-five to
fifty pounds. The same saddle, of lighter leather throughout, made by a
conscientious man, need weigh but twenty-five or thirty, and will still
be strong and durable enough for all ordinary use. My own weighs but
twenty-five pounds, and has seen some very hard service.

[Illustration: _Sawbuck Saddle._]

[Illustration: _Riding Saddle._]

[Sidenote: Stirrups]

The stirrup leathers are best double, and should be laced, never
buckled. In fact the logic of a wilderness saddle should be that it can
be mended in any part with thongs. The stirrups themselves should have
light hood tapaderos, or coverings. They will help in tearing through
brush, will protect your toes, and will keep your feet dry in case of
rain. I prefer the round rather than the square skirts.

[Sidenote: Cinches]

In a cow country you will hear many and heated discussions over the
relative merits of the single broad cinch crossing rather far back; and
the double cinches, one just behind the shoulder and the other on the
curve of the belly. The double cinch is universally used by Wyoming and
Arizona cowmen; and the "center fire" by Californians and Mexicans--and
both with equally heated partisanship. Certainly as it would be
difficult to say which are the better horsemen, so it would be unwise to
attempt here a dogmatic settlement of the controversy.

[Illustration: _Proper Way of Arranging Straps on Holster and Saddle._]

[Illustration: _Saddle Holster--Usual Arrangement of Straps._]

[Sidenote: How to Attach the Cinch]

For ordinary mountain travel, however, I think there can be no doubt
that the double cinch is the better. It is less likely to slip forward
or back on steep hills; it need not be so tightly cinched as the "center
fire," and can be adjusted, according to which you draw the tighter,
for up or down hill. The front cinch should be made of hair. I have
found that the usual cord cinches are apt to wear sores just back of the
shoulder. Webbing makes a good back cinch. The handiest rig for
attaching them is that used by the Texan and Wyoming cowmen. It is a
heavy oiled latigo strap, punched with buckle holes, passing through a
cinch ring supplied with a large buckle tongue. You can reach over and
pull it up a hole or so without dismounting. It differs from an ordinary
buckle only in that, in case the rig breaks, the strap can still be
fastened like an ordinary latigo in the diamond knot.

[Sidenote: Saddle Bags and Saddle Blankets]

On the right-hand side of your pommel will be a strap and buckle for
your riata. A pair of detachable leather saddle bags are handy. The
saddle blanket should be thick and of first quality; and should be
surmounted by a "corona" to prevent wrinkling under the slight movement
of the saddle.

[Sidenote: Quirts]

A heavy quirt is indispensable, both for your own mount, if he prove
refractory, but also for the persuasion of the pack horse.

[Sidenote: Sling Shots]

When with a large outfit, however, I always carry a pea shooter or sling
shot. With it a man can spot a straying animal at considerable distance,
generally much to the truant's astonishment. After a little it will
rarely be necessary to shoot; a mere snapping of the rubbers will bring
every horse into line.

[Sidenote: Bridles]

The handiest and best rig for a riding bridle can be made out of an
ordinary halter. Have your harness maker fasten a snap hook to either
side and just above the corners of the horse's mouth. When you start in
the morning you snap your bit and reins to the hooks. When you arrive in
the evening you simply unsnap the bit, and leave the halter on.

[Sidenote: Riatas and Spurs]

Rope and spurs will be necessary. I prefer the Mexican grass rope with a
brass honda to the rawhide riata, because I am used to it. I once used a
linen rope with weighted honda that was soft and threw well. The spurs
will be of good steel, of the cowboy pattern, with blunt rowels. The
smaller spurs are not so easy to reach a small horse with, and are apt
to overdo the matter when they do. The wide spur leathers are to protect
the boot from chafing on the stirrups.

[Sidenote: Scabbards]

There remains only your rifle to attend to. The usual scabbard is
invariably slung too far forward. I always move the sling strap as near
the mouth of the scabbard as it will go. The other sling strap I detach
from the scabbard and hang loopwise from the back latigo-ring. Then I
thrust the muzzle of the scabbarded rifle between the stirrup leathers
and through this loop, hang the forward sling strap over the pommel--and
there I am! The advantage is that I can remove rifle and scabbard
without unbuckling any straps. The gun should hang on the left side of
the horse so that after dismounting you need not walk around him to get
it. A little experiment will show you how near the horizontal you can
sling it without danger of its jarring out.

[Sidenote: Pack Outfits]

So much for your own riding horse. The pack outfit consists of the pack
saddle, with the apparatus to keep it firm; its padding; the kyacks, or
alforjas--sacks to sling on either side; and the lash rope and cinch
with which to throw the hitches.

[Sidenote: Pack Saddles]

The almost invariable type of pack saddle is the sawbuck. If it is
bought with especial reference to the animal it is to be used on, it is
undoubtedly the best. But nothing will more quickly gouge a hole in a
horse's back than a saddle too narrow or too wide for his especial
anatomy. A saddle of this sort bolted together can be taken apart for
easier transportation by baggage or express.

Another and very good type of pack rig is that made from an old riding
saddle. The stirrup rigging is removed, and an upright spike bolted
strongly to the cantle. The loops of the kyacks are to be hung over the
horn and this spike. Such a saddle is apt to be easy on a horse's back,
but is after all merely a make-shift for a properly constructed sawbuck.

[Illustration: _Under Side of Pack Saddles._]

[Illustration: _Shape of Collar Pad--for Pack Saddles._]

[Sidenote: Aparejos]

I shall only mention the aparejos. This rig is used for freighting boxes
and odd-shaped bundles. It is practically nothing but a heavy pad, and
is used without kyacks. You will probably never be called upon to use
it; but in another chapter I will describe one "sling" in order that you
may be forearmed against contingencies.

[Sidenote: Pads]

We will assume that you are possessed of a good sawbuck saddle of the
right size for your pack animal. It will have the double cinch rig. To
the under surfaces tack firmly two ordinary collar-pads by way of
softening. Beneath them you will use two blankets, each as heavy as the
one you place under your riding saddle. This abundance is necessary
because a pack "rides dead"--that is, does not favor the horse as does a
living rider. By way of warning, however, too much is almost as bad as
too little.

[Sidenote: Breasting and Breeching]

The almost universal saddle rigging in use the West over is a breast
strap of webbing fastened at the forward points of the saddle, and a
breech strap fastened to the back points of the saddle, with guy lines
running from the top to prevent its falling too far down the horse's
legs. This, with the double cinch, works fairly well. Its main trouble
is that the breech strap is apt to work up under the horse's tail, and
the breast strap is likely to shut off his wind at the throat.

[Sidenote: The Britten Pack Rig]

Mr. Ernest Britten, a mountaineer in the Sierras, has, however, invented
a rig which in the nicety of its compensations, and the accuracy of its
adjustments is perfection. Every one becomes a convert, and hastens to
alter his own outfit.

[Illustration: _Mr. Ernest Britten's Pack Rig._]

The breasting is a strap (_a_) running from the point of the saddle to a
padded ring in the middle of the chest. Thence another strap (_b_) runs
to the point of the saddle on the other side, where it buckles. A third
strap (_c_) in the shape of a loop goes between the fore legs and
around the front cinch.

[Sidenote: The Britten Pack Rig]

The breeching is somewhat more complicated. I think, however, with a few
rivets, straps, and buckles you will be able to alter your own saddle in
half an hour.

[Illustration: _Ordinary and Inferior Pack Rig Usually Employed._]

The back cinch you remove. A short strap (_d_), riveted to the middle of
the front cinch, passes back six inches to a ring (_e_). This ring will
rest on the middle of the belly. From the ring two other straps (_ff_)
ascend diagonally to the buckles (_g_) in the ends of the breeching.
From the ends of the breeching other straps (_h_) attach to what would
be the back cinch ring (_k_). That constitutes the breeching rig. It is
held up by a long strap (_m_) passing from one side to the other over
the horse's rump through a ring on top. The ring is attached to the
saddle by a short strap (_n_).

[Illustration: Nearing a crest and in sight of game]

Such a rig prevents the breeching from riding up or dropping down; it
gives the horse all his wind going up hill, but holds firmly going down;
when one part loosens, the other tightens; and the saddle cinch, except
to keep the saddle from turning, is practically useless and can be left
comparatively loose. I cannot too strongly recommend you, both for your
horse's comfort and your own, to adopt this rigging.

[Sidenote: Kyacks]

The kyacks, as I have said, are two sacks to be slung one on each side
of the horse. They are provided with loops by which to hang them over
the sawbucks of the saddle, and a long strap passes from the outside of
one across the saddle to a buckle on the outside of the other.

Undoubtedly the best are those made of rawhide. They weigh very little,
will stand all sorts of hard usage, hold the pack rope well, are so
stiff that they well protect the contents, and are so hard that
miscellaneous sharp-cornered utensils may be packed in them without fear
of injury either to them or the animal. They are made by lacing wet
hides, hair out, neatly and squarely over one of the wooden boxes built
to pack two five gallon oil cans. A round hardwood stick is sewn along
the top on one side--to this the sling straps are to be attached. After
the hide has dried hard, the wooden box is removed.

Only one possible objection can be urged against rawhide kyacks; if you
are traveling much by railroad, they are exceedingly awkward to ship.
For that purpose they are better made of canvas.

[Sidenote: Canvas Kyacks]

[Sidenote: Lash Ropes]

Many canvas kyacks are on the market, and most of them are worthless. It
is astonishing how many knocks they are called on to receive and how
soon the abrasion of rocks and trees will begin to wear them through.
Avoid those made of light material. Avoid also those made in imitation
of the rawhide with a stick along the top of one side to take the sling
straps. In no time the ends of that stick will punch through. The best
sort are constructed of OO canvas. The top is made of a half-inch rope
sewn firmly to the hem all around. The sling straps are long, and
riveted firmly. The ends are reinforced with leather. Such kyacks will
give you good service and last you a long time. When you wish to express
them, you pack your saddle and saddle blankets in one, telescope the
other over it, and tie up the bundle with the lash rope. The lash rope
is important, for you will have to handle it much, and a three months'
trip with a poor one would lose you your immortal soul. Most articles on
the subject advise thirty-three feet. That is long enough for the
diamond hitch and for other hitches with a very small top pack, but it
will not do for many valuable hitches on a bulky pack. Forty feet is
nearer the ticket. The best is a manila half inch or five-eighth inch.
If you boil it before starting out, you will find it soft to handle. The
boiling does not impair its strength. Parenthetically: do not become
over-enthusiastic and boil your riata, or you will make it aggravatingly
kinky. Cotton rope is all right, but apt to be stiff. I once used a
linen rope; it proved to be soft, strong, and held well, but I have
never been able to find another.

[Sidenote: Cinch Hooks]

The cinch hook sold with the outfit is sawn into shape and strengthened
with a bolt. If you will go out into the nearest oak grove, however, you
can cut yourself a natural hook which will last longer and hold much
better. The illustration shows the method of attaching such a hook.

[Sidenote: Picket Ropes]

So you have your horses ready for their burdens. Picket ropes should be
of half-inch rope and about 50 feet long. The bell for the bell horse
should be a loud one, with distinctive note not easily blended with
natural sounds, and attached to a broad strap with safety buckle.

[Illustration: _Natural Cinch Hook of Oak._]

[Sidenote: Hobbles]

Hobbles are of two patterns. Both consist of heavy leather straps to
buckle around either front leg and connected by two links and a swivel.
In one the strap passes first through the ring to which the links are
attached, and then to the buckle. The other buckles first, and then the
end is carried through the ring. You will find the first mentioned a
decided nuisance, especially on a wet or frosty morning, for the leather
tends to atrophy in a certain position from which numbed fingers have
more than a little difficulty in dislodging it. The latter, however,
are comparatively easy to undo.

[Illustration:

          A--Wash Leather.
          B--Heavy Leather.
          C--Steel Ring.
          D--Buckle.
          E--Swivel.

_Hobbles--Wrong (Upper) and Right Sort._]

Hobbles should be lined. I have experimented with various materials,
including the much lauded sheepskin with the wool on. The latter when
wet chafes as much as raw leather, and when frozen is about as valuable
as a wood rasp. The best lining is a piece of soft wash leather at least
two inches wider than the hobble straps.

[Sidenote: How to Attach Hobbles]

With most horses it is sufficient to strap a pair of these around the
forelegs and above the fetlocks. A gentle animal can be trusted with
them fastened below.

But many horses by dint of practice or plain native cussedness can hop
along with hobbles nearly as fast as they could foot-free, and a lot
too fast for you to catch them single handed. Such an animal is an
unmitigated bother. Of course if there is good staking you can picket
him out; but quite likely he is unused to the picket rope, or the feed
is scant.

[Sidenote: Side Lines]

In that case it may be that side lines--which are simply hobbles by
which a hind foot and a fore foot are shackled--may work. I have had
pretty good success by fastening a short heavy chain to one fore leg. As
long as the animal fed quietly, he was all right, but an attempt at
galloping or trotting swung the chain sufficiently to rap him sharply
across the shins.

Very good hobbles can be made from a single strand unraveled from a
large rope, doubled once to make a loop for one leg, twisted strongly,
the two ends brought around the other leg and then thrust through the
fibers. This is the sort used generally by cowboys. They are soft and
easily carried, but soon wear out.



CHAPTER X

HORSE PACKS


[Sidenote: Generalities]

ALMOST any one can put together a comparatively well made back pack, and
very slight practice will enable a beginner to load a canoe. But the
packing of a horse or mule is another matter. The burden must be
properly weighted, properly balanced, properly adjusted, and properly
tied on. That means practice and considerable knowledge.

To the average wilderness traveler the possession of a pack saddle and
canvas kyacks simplifies the problem considerably. If you were to engage
in packing as a business, wherein probably you would be called on to
handle packages of all shapes and sizes, however, you would be compelled
to discard your kyacks in favor of a sling made of rope. And again it
might very well happen that some time or another you might be called on
to transport your plunder without appliances on an animal caught up from
the pasture. For this reason you must further know how to hitch a pack
securely to a naked horse.

In this brief résumé of possibilities you can see it is necessary that
you know at least three methods of throwing a lash rope--a hitch to hold
your top pack and kyacks, a sling to support your boxes on the aparejos,
and a hitch for the naked horse. But in addition it will be desirable to
understand other hitches adapted to different exigencies of bulky top
packs, knobby kyacks and the like. One hitch might hold these all well
enough, but the especial hitch is better.

[Sidenote: Pack Models]

The detailment of processes by diagram must necessarily be rather dull
reading. It can be made interesting by an attempt to follow out in
actual practice the hitches described. For this purpose you do not need
a full-size outfit. A pair of towels folded compactly, tied together,
and thrown one each side over a bit of stove wood to represent the
horse makes a good pack, while a string with a bent nail for cinch hook
will do as lash rope. With these you can follow out each detail.

[Sidenote: Saddling the Horse]

First of all you must be very careful to get your saddle blankets on
smooth and without wrinkles. Hoist the saddle into place, then lift it
slightly and loosen the blanket along the length of the backbone, so
that the weight of the pack will not bind the blanket tight across the
horse's back. In cinching up, be sure you know your animal; some puff
themselves out so that in five minutes the cinch will hang loose. Fasten
your latigo or cinch straps to the _lower_ ring. Thus you can get at it
even when the pack is in place.

[Sidenote: Packing the Kyacks]

Distribute the weight carefully between the kyacks. "Heft" them again
and again. The least preponderance on one side will cause a saddle to
sag in that direction; that in turn will bring pressure to bear on the
opposite side of the withers, and that will surely chafe to a sore.
Then you are in trouble.

When you are quite sure the kyacks weigh alike, get your companion to
hang one on the pack saddle, at the same time you hook the straps of the
other. If you try to do it by yourself you must leave one hanging while
you pick up the other, thus running a good risk of twisting the saddle.

[Sidenote: Top Packs]

Your top pack you will build as the occasion demands. In general, try to
make it as low as possible and to get your blankets on top where the
pack rope "bites." The strap connecting the kyacks is then buckled. Over
all you will throw the canvas tarpaulin that you use to sleep on. Tuck
it in back and front to exclude dust. It is now ready for the pack rope.

[Illustration: _The Jam Hitch._]

[Sidenote: Jam Hitch]

1. _The Jam Hitch._--All hitches possess one thing in common--the rope
passes around the horse and through the cinch hook. The first pull is to
tighten that cinch. Afterward other maneuvers are attempted. Now
ordinarily the packer pulls tight his cinch, and then in the further
throwing of the hitch he depends on holding his slack. It is a very
difficult thing to do. With the jam hitch, however, the necessity is
obviated. The beauty of it is that the rope renders freely one way--the
way you are pulling--but will not give a hair the other--the direction
of loosening. So you may heave up the cinch as tightly as you please,
then drop the rope and go on about your packing perfectly sure that
nothing is going to slip back on you.

The rope passes once around the shank of the hook, and then through the
jaw (see diagram). Be sure to get it around the shank and not the curve.
Simplicity itself; and yet I have seen very few packers who know of it.

[Sidenote: The Diamond Hitch]

2. _The Diamond Hitch._--I suppose the diamond in one form or another is
more used than any other. Its merit is its adaptability to different
shapes and sizes of package--in fact it is the only hitch good for
aparejo packing--its great flattening power, and the fact that it rivets
the pack to the horse's sides. If you are to learn but one hitch, this
will be the best for you, although certain others, as I shall explain
under their proper captions, are better adapted to certain
circumstances.

The diamond hitch is also much discussed. I have heard more arguments
over it than over the Japanese war or original sin.

"That thing a diamond hitch!" shrieks a son of the foothills to a son of
the alkali. "Go to! Looks more like a game of cat's cradle. Now _this_
is the real way to throw a diamond."

[Sidenote: Colorado Versus Arizona]

Certain pacifically inclined individuals have attempted to quell the
trouble by a differentiation of nomenclature. Thus one can throw a
number of diamond hitches, provided one is catholically minded--such as
the "Colorado diamond," the "Arizona diamond," and others. The attempt
at peace has failed.

"Oh, yes," says the son of the alkali as he watches the attempts of the
son of the foothills. "That's the _Colorado_ diamond," as one would say
that is a _paste_ jewel.

The joke of it is that the results are about the same. Most of the
variation consists in the manner of throwing. It is as though the
discussion were whether the trigger should be pulled with the fore,
middle, or both fingers. After all, the bullet would go anyway.

[Illustration: A downward journey]

I describe here the single diamond, as thrown in the Sierra Nevadas, and
the double diamond as used by government freight packers in many parts
of the Rockies. The former is a handy one-man hitch. The latter can be
used by one man, but is easier with two.

[Sidenote: The Single Diamond]

Throw the pack cinch (_a_) over the top of the pack, retaining the loose
end of the rope. If your horse is bad, reach under him with a stick to
draw the cinch within reach of your hand until you hold it and the loose
end both on the same side of the animal. Hook it through the hook (_a_,
Fig. II) and bring up along the pack. Thrust the bight (_a_, Fig. III)
of the loose rope under the rope (_b_); the back over and again under to
form a loop. The points (_c_-_c_) at which the loose rope goes around
the pack rope can be made wide apart or close together, according to the
size of the diamond required (Fig. V). With a soft top-pack requiring
flattening, the diamond should be large; with heavy side pack,
smaller.

[Illustration: _THE SINGLE DIAMOND._]

Now go around to the other side of the animal. Pass the loose end (_d_,
Fig. III) back, under the alforjas, forward and through the loop from
below as shown by the arrows of direction in Fig. IV.

[Sidenote: The Single Diamond]

You are now ready to begin tightening. First pull your cinch tight by
means of what was the loose end (_b_) in Fig. II. Place one foot against
the animal and _heave_, good and plenty. Take up the slack by running
over both ends of the loop (_c_-_c_ Fig. III). When you have done this,
go around the other side. There take up the slack on _b_-_b_ Fig. IV.
With all there is in you pull the loose end (_c_, Fig. IV) in the
direction of the horse's body, toward his head. Brace your foot against
the kyacks. It will sag the whole hitch toward the front of the pack,
but don't mind that: the defect will be remedied in a moment.

Next, still holding the slack (Fig. V), carry the loose end around the
bottom of the alforjas and under the original main pack rope (_c_). Now
pull again along the direction of the horse's body, but this time
toward his tail. The strain will bend the pack rope (_c_), heretofore
straight across, back to form the diamond. It will likewise drag back to
its original position amidships in the pack the entire hitch, which, you
will remember, was drawn too far forward by your previous pull toward
the horse's head. Thus the last pull tightens the entire pack, clamps it
down, secures it immovably, which is the main recommendation and
beautiful feature of the diamond hitch.

[Illustration: Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

_THE DOUBLE DIAMOND._]

[Illustration: Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

_THE DOUBLE DIAMOND._]

[Sidenote: The Double Diamond]

The double diamond is a much more complicated affair. Begin by throwing
the cinch under, not over the horse. Let it lie there. Lay the end of
the rope (_a_) lengthwise of the horse across one side the top of the
pack (Fig. 1). Experience will teach you just how big to leave loop
(_b_). Throw loop (_b_) over top of pack (Fig. 2). Reverse loop _a_
(Fig. 2) by turning it from left to right (Fig. 3). Pass loop (_a_)
around front and back of kyack, and end of rope _d_ over rope _c_, and
under rope _d_. Pass around the horse and hook the cinch hook in loop
(_e_).

This forms another loop (_a_, Fig. 4), which must be extended to the
proper size and passed around the kyack on the other side (Fig. 5). Now
tighten the cinch, pull up the slack, giving strong heaves where the
hitch pulls forward or back along the left of the horse, ending with a
last tightener at the end (_b_, Fig. 5). The end is then carried back
under the kyack and fastened.

[Sidenote: The Square Hitch]

3. _The Square Hitch_ is easily and quickly thrown, and is a very good
fair-weather lash. In conjunction with half hitches, as later explained,
it makes a good hitch for a bucking horse. For a very bulky pack it is
excellent in that it binds in so many places. It is thrown as follows:

[Illustration: _The Square Hitch._]

[Sidenote: The Square Hitch]

Throw the cinch hook over the pack, and cinch tight with the jam hitch
before described. Lead the end across the horse, around the back of
kyack on the other side, underneath it, and up over at _a_. The end
here passes beneath at _b_. You will find that you can, when you cinch
up at first, throw a loose loop over the pack comprising the bight
_bed_, so as to leave your loose end at _d_. Then place the loop _bed_
around the kyack. A moment's study of the diagram will show you what I
mean, and will also convince you that much is gained by not having to
pass rope (_a_) underneath at _b_. Now pull hard on loose end at _d_,
taking care to exert your power lengthwise of the horse. Pass the line
under the alforjas toward the rear, up over the pack and under the
original rope at _c_. Pull on the loose end, this time exerting the
power toward the rear. You cannot put too much strength into the three
tightening pulls: (1) in cinching through the cinch hook; (2) the pull
forward; (3) the pull back. On them depends the stability of your pack.
Double back the loose end and fasten it. This is a very quick hitch.

[Sidenote: The Bucking Hitch]

4. _The Bucking Hitch_ is good to tie things down on a bad horse, but it
is otherwise useless to take so much trouble.

Pass the pack rope around the kyacks on one side, and over itself. This
forms a half hitch, below which hangs the cinch. Lead the pack rope
over the top of the pack, around the other kyack, and through to form
another half hitch. Cinch up, and throw either the single diamond or the
square hitch. The combination will clamp the kyacks as firmly as
anything can.

[Illustration: _The Bucking Hitch._]

[Sidenote: The Miner's Hitch]

5. _The Miner's Hitch._--This hitch is very much on the same principle,
but is valuable when you happen to be provided with only a short rope,
or a cinch with two rings, instead of a ring and a hook.

[Illustration: _The Miner's Hitch._]

[Sidenote: The Miner's Hitch]

Take your rope--with the cinch unattached--by the middle and throw it
across the pack. Make a half hitch over either kyack. These half
hitches, instead of running around the sides of the kyacks, as in the
last hitch, should run around the top, bottom, and ends (see diagram).
Thrust bight (_b_) through cinch ring, and end (_a_) through the bight.
Do the same thing on the other side. Make fast end _a_ at _c_, and end
_d_ at _e_, cinching up strongly on the bights that come through the
cinch rings.

[Illustration: Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

_THE LONE PACKER HITCH._]

[Illustration: Fig. 4

Fig. 5

_The Lone Packer Hitch._]

[Sidenote: The Lone Packer Hitch]

6. _The Lone Packer or Basco Hitch._--This is a valuable hitch when the
kyacks are heavy or knobby, because the last pull lifts them away from
the horse's sides. It requires at least forty feet of rope. I use it a
great deal.

[Sidenote: The Lone Packer Hitch]

Cinch up with the jam hitch as usual. Throw the end of the rope across
the horse, under the forward end of the kyack on the far side, beneath
it and up over the rear end of the kyack. The rope in all other hitches
binds against the bottom of the kyacks; but in this it should pass
between the kyack and the horse's side (Fig. 1). Now bring a bight in
loose end (_a_) forward _over_ rope (_c_), and thrust it through _under_
rope (_c_) from front to back (Fig. 2). Be sure to get this right.
Hold bight (_b_) with left hand where it is, and with the other slide
end (_a_) down along rope (_c_) until beneath the kyacks (Fig. 3). Seize
rope at _d_ and pull hard directly back; then pull cinchwise on _a_. The
first pull tightens the pack; the second lifts the kyacks. Carry end
(_a_) across the pack and repeat on the other side. Fasten finally
anywhere on top. Fig. 4 shows one side completed, with rope thrown
across ready for the other side. Fig. 5 is a view from above of the
hitch, completed except for the fastening of end (_a_).

[Sidenote: A Modification]

In case you have eggs or glassware to pack, spread your tarp on the
horse twice as long as usual. Cinch up with the jam hitch, lay your
eggs, etc., atop the rope; fold back the canvas to cover the whole, and
then throw the lone packer, placing one rope each side the package
(Figs. 6 and 7).

[Sidenote: The Squaw Hitch]

7. _The Squaw Hitch._--Often it may happen that you find yourself
possessed of a rope and a horse, but nothing else. It is quite possible
to pack your equipment with only these simple auxiliaries.

Lay your tarp on the ground fully spread. On half of it pack your
effects, striving always to keep them as flat and smooth as possible.
Fold the other half of the canvas to cover the pack. Lay this thick
mattress-like affair across the horse's bare back, and proceed to throw
the squaw hitch as follows:

[Illustration: Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

_The Squaw Hitch._]

[Sidenote: The Squaw Hitch]

Throw a double bight across the top of the pack (Fig. 1). Pass end _a_
under the horse and through loop _c_; and end _b_ under the horse and
through loop (_d_). Take both _a_ and _b_ directly back under the horse
again, in the opposite direction, of course, and pass both through loop
(_e_). Now cinch up on the two ends and fasten.

[Sidenote: Sling]

8. _Sling No. 1._--When you possess no kyacks, but have some sort of
pack saddle, it is necessary to improvise a sling.

[Illustration: Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

_Sling No. 1._]

Fasten the middle of your rope by means of two half hitches to the front
of the pack saddle (Fig. 1). Throw the ends (_b_, _b_) crossed as shown
in Fig. 2. Place the box or sack in bight (_a_), passing the rope around
the outside and the ends, as in Fig. 3. The end of the sack should be
just even with the front of the pack saddle. If you bring it too far
forward the front of the sling will sag. Pass the end (_b_) underneath
the sack or burden, across its middle, and over the top of the saddle.
When the other side is similarly laden, the ends (_b_, _b_) may be tied
together at the top; or if they are long enough, may be fastened at _c_
(Fig. 4).

[Sidenote: Another Sling]

9. _Sling No. 2._--Another sling is sometimes handy for long bundles,
and is made as follows:

[Illustration: _Sling No. 2._]

Fasten the rope by the middle as explained in the last. Fasten ends
(_b_, _b_) to the rear horn or to each other (see diagram). Leave the
bights of the rope (_a_, _a_) of sufficient length so they can be looped
around the burden and over the horns. This sling is useful only on a
regular pack saddle, while the other really does not need the rear
pommel at all, as the ropes can be crossed without it.

[Sidenote: The Saddle Hitch]

10. _The Saddle Hitch._--There remains now the possibility, or let us
hope probability, that you may some day wish to pack a deer on your
riding saddle, or perhaps bring in a sack of grain or some such matter.

Throw the rope across the seat of the saddle, leaving long ends on both
sides. Lay your deer aboard, crosswise. Thrust a bight (_a_) of one end
through your cinch ring, and pass the loop thus formed around the deer's
neck (Fig. 1). Repeat on the other side, bringing the loop there about
his haunch. Cinch up the two ends of the rope, and tie them on top.

[Illustration: _The Saddle Hitch._]

[Illustration: _Illustrating How to Pack Eggs or Glassware._]

[Illustration: _THE RESULT OF NOT GETTING THE HITCH ON SNUG._]

[Sidenote: The Saddle Hitch]

[Sidenote: How to Pack Fragile Stuff]

The great point in throwing any hitch is to keep the rope taut. To do
this, pay no attention to your free end, but clamp down firmly the fast
end with your left hand until the right has made the next turn. Remember
this; it is important. The least slip back of the slack you have gained
is going to loosen that pack by ever so little; and then you can rely on
the swing and knocks of the day's journey to do the rest. The horse rubs
under a limb or against a big rock; the loosened rope scrapes off the
top of the pack; something flops or rattles or falls--immediately that
cayuse arches his back, lowers his head, and begins to buck. It is
marvelous to what height the bowed back will send small articles
catapult-wise into the air. First go the tarpaulin and blankets; then
the duffle bags; then one by one the contents of the alforjas; finally,
after they have been sufficiently lightened, the alforjas themselves in
an abandoned parabola of debauched delight. In the meantime that
horse, and all the others, has been running frantically all over the
rough mountains, through the rocks, ravines, brush and forest trees. You
have ridden recklessly trying to round them up, sweating, swearing,
praying to the Red Gods that none of those indispensable animals is
going to get lame in this insane hippodrome. Finally between you, you
have succeeded in collecting and tying to trees all the culprits. Then
you have to trail inch by inch along the track of the cyclone, picking
up from where they have fallen, rolled, or been trampled, the contents
of that pack down to the smallest. It will take you the rest of the day;
and then you'll miss some. Oh, it pays to get your hitch on snug!

[Sidenote: The Tie Hitch]

11. _The Tie Hitch._--The hitches described are all I have ever had
occasion to use, and will probably carry you through any emergencies
that may be likely to arise. But perhaps many times during the day you
are likely to want to stop the train for the purpose of some
adjustments. Therefore you will attach your lead ropes in a manner
easily to be thrown loose. Thrust the bight (_a_) of the lead rope
beneath any part of the pack rope (_b_, _b_). Double back the bight
(_d_) of the loose end (_c_) through the loop (_a_) thus formed. Tighten
the knot by pulling tight on loop _d_. A sharp pull on _c_ will free the
entire lead rope.

[Illustration: _The Tie Hitch._]



CHAPTER XI

HORSES, MULES, BURROS


[Sidenote: Mules]

A GOOD riding mule, when you can get him, and provided you intend to use
him only for trail travel in the mountains, is about the best
proposition. A mule is more sure-footed than a horse, and can subsist
where a horse would starve. On the other hand he is not much good off a
walk; never acquires the horse's interest in getting around stubborn
stock, and is apt to be mean. None of these objections, however much
they may influence your decision as to saddle animals, will have any
weight against a pack beast. For the latter purpose the mule is
unexcelled. But probably in the long run you will prefer to ride a
horse.

[Sidenote: Burros]

Burros are an aggravation; and yet in some circumstances they are hard
to beat. They are unbelievably slow, and unbelievably stubborn. When
they get tired--or think they do--they stop, and urging merely confirms
their decision to rest. You cannot hurry them. They hate water, and it
is sometimes next to impossible to force them into a deep or swift
stream. They are camp thieves, and will eat anything left within their
reach. Still, they can live on sage-bush, go incredible periods without
drinking, make their way through country impassible to any other hoofed
animals excepting goats and sheep. Certain kinds of desert travel is
impossible without them, and some sorts of high rough mountaineering is
practicable only with their aid. At times you will be driven to the use
of them. In such an emergency gird your soul with patience, and try to
buy big ones.

[Sidenote: Pack Mules]

Pack mules are almost impossible to get, and are generally very high
priced. A good pack mule does not mean any old mule that comes along.
The animal should be rather small, chunkily built, gentle as to the
heels and teeth, accustomed to carrying and taking care of a pack,
trained to follow the saddle horses, and not inclined to stray from
camp. Such perfection costs anywhere from seventy-five to one hundred
and fifty dollars. It is worth the price to one who does much packing;
but as perfectly adequate pack horses can be had for from twenty to
forty dollars, and are easy to find, you will in all likelihood choose
them.

[Sidenote: Choosing a Horse]

Now I know perfectly well that I can tell you nothing about choosing a
horse. If you are a New Englander you will know all about the trade; if
you are a New Yorker, you could give me points on every horse in the
ring; if you are Middle West, you probably have read or worked or traded
or raised more horses than I will ever ride. But in selecting a mountain
horse, his mere points as a physical specimen are often little in his
favor, while glaring defects may concern his usefulness hardly at all.

[Sidenote: Western Horses]

Never mind at first how the horse offered for your inspection looks.
Examine him for blemishes later. You must first discover if he is
sure-footed and courageous. An eastern horse would not last five minutes
on a western trail. A western horse, no matter how accustomed to
mountain work, is worse than useless if subject to ordinary horse-panics
at suddenly rustling leaves, unexpected black stubs, and the like. He
must attend to his footing, keep his eyes for the trail, and _be wise_.
Next you must inquire if this steadiness carries over into other things.
He must stand when left without hitching, and must be easy to catch.
Often you will have to dismount for the purpose of clearing trail,
helping the pack train, tightening ropes, or reconnoitering. At such
junctures iron hitching posts are not always at hand. Nothing is more
aggravating than the necessity of searching everywhere for a place to
tie, or worse, to be forced to chase down and coax quiet a horse that
has promptly decamped when left for a moment to himself. Nor does it add
to your joy to get up at four for the purpose of making an early start,
only to spend the extra hour filched from sleep in an attempt to catch
some snorting fool horse.

The picture I have sketched looks to you somewhat like what is known as
an "old cow," doesn't it? But in reality good horses of the quality
named are not difficult to find. Equine intelligence is of a higher
grade West than East, mainly because a western horse is all his life
thrown on his own resources. It is perfectly possible to find a horse
both handsome and spirited, which will nevertheless permit himself to be
directly approached in pasture, and will stand until further orders on
the trail.

[Sidenote: An "Old Cow" of a Horse]

But the point is that it is much better, oh, infinitely! to get an "old
cow" than a horse without these qualities. The "old cow" will carry you,
and will be there when wanted. That is the main thing in the mountains.
While as for the other horse, no matter how well bred he is, how
spirited, how well gaited, how handsome, how appealing in every way to a
horseman's eye--he will be worse than no horse if you have to keep your
hands on him, if he must be picketed at night, if he is likely to shy on
a bad trail, if he may refuse to tackle a rough place or to swim a
river.

[Illustration: In mid-day the shade of the pines is inviting]

[Sidenote: A Handsome Horse Not Necessary]

Of course it is nice to ride a good-looking horse; but in the mountains
most emphatically "handsome is what handsome does." The horses I now own
are fine animals and fine mountain ponies; but some of the best I have
ever ridden, a horseman would not look at twice. On a time, being under
the absolute necessity of getting a pack quickly, I purchased a bay that
I promptly named Methuselah. He was some sixteen years old, badly stove
forward by hard riding, and not much of a horse anyway. For three months
he carried a pack. Then one day I threw a saddle on him to go a short
distance on some little errand. Methuselah, overjoyed, did his best. The
old horse was one of the best mountain saddlers in the outfit. He
climbed surely and well; he used his head in negotiating bad places;
would stay where he was put. The fact that he was not sound was
utterly unimportant, for not once in a week was he required to go faster
than a walk.

On the other hand I once owned a Bill-horse, mountain-bred and raised.
He was a beautiful beast, proud, high-stepping--one you would be glad to
be seen on. He would have been worth considerable money, and would have
afforded much solid satisfaction if I had wanted him for cow work, or
pleasure riding in the lower country. But it was absolutely impossible
to catch him, even hobbled, without a corral. One day I saw him leap
from a stand and with hobbles over a fence and feed trough. So I traded
him for another, not near so much of a horse, as a horse, but worth two
dozen Bill-horses.

[Sidenote: Gun Shyness]

[Sidenote: What One "Sam Fat" Did]

One other thing you must notice, and that is whether or not the beast is
gun shy. A great many stampede wildly at the report of firearms. I once
owned a pack horse named Sam Fat, on which for some time I
congratulated myself. He was a heavy animal, and could carry a
tremendous load; and yet he was sure-footed and handled himself well on
rough country. He was gentle and friendly. He took excellent care of his
pack, and he followed perfectly. No one needed to ride behind him to
keep Sam Fat coming. I used to turn him loose when I started, and pay no
more attention to him until I stopped. No matter how rich the feed
through which we passed, Sam Fat was always on hand when the halt was
called. And, very important point, he was a good rustler--he kept fat
and sleek on poor food where other horses gaunted. Altogether Sam Fat
was a find. Then one day one of the party shot off a harmless little
twenty-two caliber popgun. Sam Fat went crazy. He squatted flat, uttered
a terrified squeal, and departed through the woods, banging his pack
against trees and hanging limbs. We chased him a mile, and finally
brought him back, but all the rest of the day he was panicky. I tried to
get him accustomed to shooting by tying him near our target practice,
but it was no use. Finally, though reluctantly, I sold him.

So when the natives bring in their horses for your selection blind your
eyes to the question of looks and points until you have divided the
offering into two parts--those that are sure-footed, courageous, gentle,
tractable, easy to catch, good grub rustlers, and if pack horses, those
that will follow and will take care of their packs, and those that lack
one or more of these qualifications. Discard the second group. Then if
the first group contains nothing but blemished or homely horses, make
the best of it, perfectly sure that the others might as well not exist.

[Sidenote: Qualifications]

In general, a horse just from pasture should have a big belly. A
small-bellied horse will prove to be a poor feeder, and will probably
weaken down on a long hike. The best horse stands from fourteen hands to
fourteen two, and is chunkily built. There are exceptions, both ways, to
this rule. A pack horse is better with low withers on account of the
possibility of sore backs. Avoid a horse whose ears hang sidewise from
his head; he is apt to be stubborn. As for the rest, horse sense is the
same everywhere.

[Sidenote: What a Horse Should Carry]

[Sidenote: Sore Backs]

A pack horse can carry two hundred pounds--not more. Of course more can
be piled on him, and he will stand up under it, but on a long trip he
will deteriorate. Greater weights are carried only in text books, in
camp-fire lies, and where a regular pack route permits of grain feeding.
A good animal, with care, will take two hundred successfully enough, but
I personally always pack much lighter. Feed costs nothing, so it is
every bit as cheap to take three horses as two. The only expense is the
slight bother of packing an extra animal. In return you can travel
farther and more steadily, the chances of sore backs are minimized, your
animals keep fat and strong, and in case one meets with an accident, you
can still save all your effects on the other. For the last three years
I have made it a practice to pack only about a hundred to a hundred and
twenty-five pounds when off for a very long trip. My animals have always
come out fat and hearty, sometimes in marked contrast to those of my
companions, and I have not had a single case of sore back.

The latter are best treated by Bickmore's Gall Cure. Its use does not
interfere in the least with packing; and I have never seen a case it did
not cure inside ten days or two weeks if applied at the beginning of the
trouble.

[Sidenote: How Far a Horse Should Travel]

In the mountains and on grass-feed twenty miles a day is big travel. If
you push more than that you are living beyond your income. It is much
better, if you are moving every day, to confine yourself to jaunts of
from twelve to fifteen miles on an average. Then if necessity arises,
you have something to fall back on, and are able to make a forced march.

[Sidenote: Mountain Travel]

The distance may seem very short to you if you have never traveled in
the mountains; but as a matter of fact you will probably find it quite
sufficient, both in length of time and in variety of scenery. To cover
it you will travel steadily for from six to eight hours; and in the
diversity of country will be interested every step of the way. Indeed so
varied will be the details that it will probably be difficult to believe
you have made so small a mileage, until you stop to reflect that,
climbing and resting, no horse can go faster than two or two and
one-half miles an hour.

[Sidenote: Desert Travel]

On the desert or the plains the length of your journey must depend
entirely on the sort of feed you can get. Thirty miles a day for a long
period is all a fed-horse can do, while twenty is plenty enough for an
animal depending on his own foraging. Longer rides are not to be
considered in the course of regular travel. I once did one hundred and
eighty miles in two days--and then took a rest.

[Sidenote: Time to Travel]

In the mountains you must keep in mind that a horse must both eat and
rest; and that he will not graze when frost is on the meadows. Many
otherwise skillful mountaineers ride until nearly dark, and are up and
off soon after daylight. They wonder why their horses lose flesh and
strength. The truth is the poor beasts must compress their twenty-four
hours of sustenance into the short noon stop, and the shorter evening
before the frost falls. It is often much wiser to get a very early
start, to travel until the middle of the afternoon, and then to go into
camp. Whatever inconvenience and discomfort you may suffer is more than
made up for by the opportunities to hunt, fish, or cook afforded by the
early stop; and the time you imagine you lose is regained in the long
run by the regularity of your days' journeys.

[Sidenote: Desert Journeying]

On the desert or the plains where it is hot, to the contrary, you will
have better luck by traveling early and late. Desert journeying is
uncomfortable anyway, but has its compensations. We ordinarily get under
way by three in the morning; keep going until nine; start about six
again--after supper--and travel until nine of the evening. Thus we take
advantage of whatever coolness is possible, and see the rising and the
falling of the day, which is the most wonderful and beautiful of the
desert's gifts.

[Sidenote: Climbing]

Going up steep hills in high altitudes you must breathe your horse every
fifty feet or so. It need not be a long rest. Merely rein him in for
eight or ten seconds. Do the same thing _always_ before entering the
negotiation of a bad place in the trail. Do this, no matter how fresh
and eager your animal may seem. Often it spells the difference between a
stumble and a good clean climb. An experienced pack horse will take
these rests on his own initiative, stopping and also starting again with
the regularity of clockwork.

It does not hurt a horse to sweat, but if ever he begins to drip
heavily, and to tremble in the legs, it is getting time to hunt the
shade for a rest. I realize that such minor points as these may be
perfectly well known to every one likely to read this book, and yet I
have seen so many cases of ignorance of them on the trail that I risk
their inclusion here.

[Sidenote: Unsaddling]

Every hour or so loosen the cinches of your saddle horse and raise the
saddle and blankets an inch or so to permit a current of air to pass
through. Steaming makes the back tender. When you unsaddle him or the
pack animals, if they are very hot, leave the blankets across them for a
few moments. A hot sun shining on a sweaty back causes small pimples,
which may develop into sores. It is better to bathe with cold water the
backs of green horses; but such a trouble is not necessary after they
are hardened.

[Sidenote: To Pick Up a Horse's Feet]

Two more things I will mention, though strictly speaking, they do not
fall in the province of equipment. When you pick up a horse's hind foot,
face to the rear, put the hand nearest the horse firmly against his
flank, and use the other to raise the hoof. Then if he tries to kick,
you can hold him off sufficiently to get out of the way. Indeed the
very force of his movement toward you will thrust against the hand on
his flank and tend to throw you to one side.

[Sidenote: To Mount a Bad Horse]

If you are called upon to mount a bad horse, seize the check piece of
his bridle in your left hand and twist his head sharply toward you. At
the same time grasp the pommel in your right hand, thrust your foot in
the stirrup and swing aboard. Never get on any western horse as an
easterner mounts--left hand on pommel and right hand on cantle. If a
horse plunges forward to buck while you are in this position, you will
inevitably land back of the saddle. Then he has a fine leverage to throw
you about forty feet. A bad pack horse you can handle by blindfolding.
Anchor things for a storm, take off the bandage, and stand one side.



CHAPTER XII

CANOES


I SUPPOSE I have paddled about every sort of craft in use, and have
found good qualities in all. Now that I am called upon to pick out one
of them and label it as the best, even for a specific purpose, I must
confess myself puzzled as to a choice. Perhaps the best way would be to
describe the different sorts of canoe in common use, detail their
advantages, tell what I consider the best of each kind, and leave the
choice to your own taste or the circumstances in which you may find
yourself.

[Sidenote: Kinds of Canoes]

Practicable canoes are made of birch bark stretched over light frames;
of cedar; of basswood; of canvas, and of canvas cover over stiff frames.

[Sidenote: The Birch Bark]

[Sidenote: Advantages and Disadvantages]

The birch bark canoe has several unassailable advantages. It is light;
it carries a greater weight in proportion to its length than any other;
it is very easily mended. On the other hand it is not nearly so fast as
a wooden canoe of sweeter lines; does not bear transportation so well;
is more easily punctured; and does not handle so readily in a heavy
wind. These advantages and disadvantages, as you can see, balance
against one another. If it tends to veer in a heavy wind more than the
wooden canoe, it is lighter on portage. If more fragile, it is very
easily mended. If it is not quite so fast, it carries more duffle.
Altogether, it is a very satisfactory all-around craft in which I have
paddled many hundreds of miles, and with which I have never been
seriously dissatisfied. If I were to repeat some long explorations in
the absolute wilds of Canada I should choose a birch canoe, if only for
the reason that no matter how badly I might smash it, the materials are
always at hand for repairs. A strip of bark from the nearest birch tree;
a wad of gum from the next spruce; some spruce roots; a little lard and
a knife will mend a canoe stove in utterly.

[Sidenote: Selection of a Birch Bark]

In selecting a birch bark canoe the most important thing to look after
is to see that the bottom is all one piece without projecting knots or
mended cracks. Many canoes have bottoms made of two pieces. These when
grounded almost invariably spring a leak at the seam, for the simple
reason that it takes very little to scrape off the slightly projecting
gum. On the other hand, a bottom of one good piece of bark will stand an
extraordinary amount of raking and bumping without being any the worse.
If in addition you can get hold of one made of the winter cut of bark,
the outside shell will be as good as possible. Try to purchase a new
canoe. Should this be impossible, look well to the _watap_, or roots,
used in the sewing, that they are not frayed or burst. The frames should
lie so close together as fairly to touch. Such a canoe, "two fathoms,"
will carry two men and four hundred pounds besides. It will weigh about
fifty to seventy pounds, and should cost new from six to eight dollars.

[Illustration: Getting ready for another day of it]

[Sidenote: Cedar and Basswood]

A wooden canoe, of some sort, is perhaps better for all smooth and
open-water sailing, and all short trips nearer home. It will stand a
great deal of jamming about, but is very difficult to mend if ever you
do punch a hole in it. You will need to buy a longer craft than when
getting a birch. The latter will run from twelve to fourteen feet. A
wood canoe of that length would float gunwhale awash at half you would
wish to carry. Seventeen or eighteen feet is small enough for two men,
although I have cruised in smaller. Cedar is the lighter material--and
the more expensive--but splits too readily. Basswood is heavier, but is
cheaper and tougher.

[Sidenote: The Folding Canvas]

The folding canvas boat is an abomination. It is useful only as a craft
from which to fish in an inaccessible spot. Sooner or later it sags and
gives, and so becomes logy.

[Sidenote: Canvas Covered]

A canoe is made, however, and much used by the Hudson's Bay Company,
exactly on the frame of a birch bark, but covered with tightly stretched
and painted canvas. It is a first-rate craft, combining an approach
to the lightness of the birch bark with the sweeter lines of the wooden
canoe. All ordinary small tears in its bottom are easily patched by the
gum method. Its only inferiority to the birch rests in the facts that it
is more easily torn; that a major accident, such as the smashing of an
entire bow, cannot be as readily mended; and that it will not carry
quite so great a weight. All in all, however, it is a good and
serviceable canoe.

[Sidenote: Portaging]

In portaging, I have always had pretty good luck with the primitive
Indian fashion--the two paddles lengthwise across the thwarts and
resting on the shoulders, with perhaps a sweater or other padding to
relieve the pressure. It is possible, however, to buy cushions which
just fit, and on which you can kneel while paddling, and also a regular
harness to distribute the weight. I should think they might be very
good, and would certainly be no trouble to carry. Only that makes one
more thing to look after, and the job can perfectly well be done
without.

[Sidenote: Paddles]

The Indian paddle is a very long and very narrow blade, just as long as
the height of its wielder. For use in swift and somewhat shallow water,
where often the paddle must be thrust violently against the bottom or a
rock, this form is undoubtedly the best. In more open, or smoother
water, however, the broader and shorter blade is better, though even in
the latter case it is well to select one of medium length. Otherwise you
will find yourself, in a heavy sea, sometimes reaching rather
frantically down toward the water. Whatever its length, attach it to the
thwart nearest you by a light strong line. Then if you should go
overboard you will retain control of your craft. I once swam over a mile
before I was able to overtake a light canoe carried forward by a lively
wind.

[Sidenote: Setting Poles]

On any trip wherein you may have to work your way back against the
current, you must carry an iron "shoe" to fit on a setting pole. Any
blacksmith can make you one. Have it constructed with nail holes. Then
when you want a setting pole, you can cut one in the woods, and nail to
it your iron shoe.

[Sidenote: Knapsacks]

The harness for packs is varied enough, but the principle remains
simple. A light pack will hang well enough from the shoulders, but when
any weight is to be negotiated you must call into play the powerful
muscles lying along the neck. Therefore, in general, an ordinary
knapsack will answer very well for packs up to say thirty pounds. Get
the straps broad and soft; see that they are both sewed and riveted.

[Illustration: _Tumplines._]

[Sidenote: Tumplines]

[Sidenote: How to Carry Packs]

When, however, your pack mounts to above thirty pounds you will need
some sort of strap to pass across the top of your head. This is known as
a tumpline, and consists of a band of leather to cross the head, and two
long thongs to secure the pack. The blanket or similar cloth is spread,
the thongs laid lengthwise about a foot from either edge, and the
blanket folded inward and across the thongs. The things to be carried
are laid on the end of the blanket toward the head piece. The other end
of the blanket, from the folds of which the ends of the thongs are
protruding, is then laid up over the pile. The ends of the thongs are
then pulled tight, tied together, and passed around the middle of the
pack. To carry this outfit with any degree of comfort, be sure to get it
low, fairly in the small of the back or even just above the hips. A
compact and heavy article, such as a sack of flour, is a much simpler
matter. The thongs are tied together at a suitable distance. One side of
the loop thus formed goes around your head, and the other around the
sack of flour. It will not slip.

[Sidenote: Pack Harnesses]

By far the best and most comfortable pack outfit I have used is a
combination of the shoulder and the head methods. It consists of
shoulder harness like that used on knapsacks, with two long straps and
buckles to pass around and secure any load. A tumpline is attached to
the top of the knapsack straps. I have carried in this contrivance over
a hundred pounds without discomfort. Suitable adjustment of the
headstrap will permit you to relieve alternately your neck and
shoulders. Heavy or rather compact articles can be included in the
straps, while the bulkier affairs will rest very well on top of the
pack. It is made by Abercrombie & Fitch, and costs two dollars and
seventy-five cents.



INDEX


          Agate Ware, 98

          Alertness, 10

          Aluminum, 98

          Aparejos, 156

          Axes, 92


          Bacon, 118
            How to Cook, 136

          Bags, Duffle, 72
            Food, 105
            Saddle, 153

          Bakers, 102
            Dutch Oven, 102
            Reflector, 103

          Baking Powder, 120

          Basswood Canoes, 224

          Beans, 124
            How to Cook, 143

          Birch Bark Canoes, 221

          Biscuits, 137
            How to Make, 137

          Blankets, Saddle, 153
            How to Use, 87
            Rubber, 87

          Boots, 50
            Waterproof, 50
            Rubber, 52
            The Putman, 51, 52
            The Cutter, 51

          Bread, 136
            Corn, 137
            How to Make, 136
            Unleavened, 137

          Bridles, 153

          Britten Fire Irons, 107

          Britten Saddle Rigging, 158

          Bucking Hitch, 184

          Burros, 203

          Butter, 124


          Canned Goods, 125
            Corn, 126
            Peas, 126
            Tomatoes, 126
            Fruits, 126
            Salmon, 126
            Picnic Stuff, 126
            Corned Beef, 127
            Eggs, 127

          Canoes, 221
            Birch Bark, 221
            Cedar, 224
            Basswood, 224
            Canvas, 224
            How to Portage, 225
            Paddles, 226
            Poles, 226

          Canvas Canoe, 224

          Cedar Canoe, 224

          Cereals, 121

          Chaparejos, 57

          Cinches, 157

          Cinch Hooks, 163

          Coats, 23, 24, 37

          Coffee, 120
            How to Make, 141

          Compasses, 67

          Compressed Soups, 128-130

          Condiments, 123

          Cookery, Secret of Camp, 135

          Cooking Materials, 97
            Tin, 97
            Sheet Iron, 98
            Agate Ware, 98
            Iron, 98
            Aluminum, 98

          Cornmeal, 118

          Corn, Canned, 126
            How to Cook, 143

          Corn Beef, Canned, 126

          Cornbread, 137

          Corn Pone, How to Make, 138

          Cottolene, 121


          Diamond Hitch, 174

          Dingbats, Patent, 27

          Direction, Sense of, 3

          Discipline, 11
            Horrible Example of Lack of, 12

          Dried Fruits, 122

          Duffle Bags, 72

          Dutch Oven, 102


          Eggs, Canned, 127
            How to Pack, 196

          Elimination, 24

          Erbswurst, 128

          Essentials, 25


          Fire Arms, 106

          Fire Inspirator, 108
            How to Use, 109

          Flapjohn, How to Make, 138

          Flour, 118
            Pancake, 118
            Boston Brown Bread, 118

          Fly Dopes, 75

          Food Bags, 105

          Food, Necessity of Variety, 115

          Footwear, The Ideal, 46

          Fruit, Dried, 122
            Canned, 126


          Gauntlets, 58

          Gloves, 57


          Ham, 118

          Hardtack, 124
            How to Cook, 143

          Harness Pack, 229

          Hatchets, 91

          Hats, 35
            The Stetson, 36

          Hitches, 172
            The Jam, 172
            The Diamond, 174
            The Single Diamond, 174
            The Double Diamond, 180
            The Square, 182
            The Bucking, 184
            The Miner's, 185
            The Lone Packer, 187
            The Squaw, 190
            The Sling, 192
            The Saddle, 194
            The Tie, 198

          Hobbles, 164
            Should be Lined, 165
            Side Lines, 166
            How to Make, 166

          Hobnails, 47-50

          Horses, How to Choose, 205
            Gun Shyness of, 209
            Qualifications of, 211
            What They Should Carry, 212
            How Far to Travel, 214
            When Hill Climbing, 216
            Unsaddling of, 217
            How to Pick up Feet of, 217
            How to Mount Bad, 218

          Horse Outfits, 149

          Horse Packs, 169
            The Philosophy of, 170
            The Top, 172


          Inspirator, Logan Fire, 108
            How to Use, 109

          Iron Cooking Materials, 98

          Irons, Fire, 106
            The Britten Fire, 107


          Jam Hitch, 172


          Kerchiefs, 37

          Khaki, 44

          Knapsacks, 227

          Kyacks, 160
            Rawhide, 161
            Canvas, 161
            How to Pack, 171


          Lanterns, 91

          Lard, 121

          Lash Ropes, 162

          Logan Fire Inspirator, 108

          Lone Packer Hitch, 187

          Luxuries, 116, 117


          Macaroni, 125
            How to Cook, 143

          Matches, 63

          Match Safes, 64

          Medicines, 74

          Milk, 123
            Powder, 123

          Miner's Hitch, 185

          Moccasins, 47
            Deerhide, 54
            Moosehide, 54
            Shoe Pac, 54

          Mules, Riding, 203
            Pack, 204

          Mush, How to Make, 142


          Olive Oil, 121

          Onions, 120

          Outfits, Horse, 149
            Pack, 155

          Outfits, Made-up, 100
            Two-man, 101

          Overalls, 43

          Oven, Dutch, 102

          Overburdening, 23


          Pack Harness, 229

          Packs, Horse, 169
            Top Horse, 172

          Pack Outfits, 155
            Saddles, 155

          Pack-rig Saddle, 159

          Paddles, 226

          Pads, Saddle, 156

          Pails, 89

          Pantasote Coats, 55

          Patent Dingbats, 27

          Peas, Canned, 126

          Picket Ropes, 163

          Picnic Stuff, Canned, 126

          Pillows, 89

          Pistols, 69

          Poles, Canoe, 226

          Ponchos, 56

          Potatoes, 120

          Puddings, How to Make, 138


          Quilts, 88

          Quirts, 153


          Razors, 74
            To Keep from Rusting, 74

          Reflectors, 103

          Repair Kit, 92

          Revolvers, 70

          Riata, Rawhide, 154

          Rice, 119

          Rifles, 68

          Rigging, Saddle, 157

          Ropes, Lash, 162
            Picket, 163
            Mexican Grass, 154

          Rubber Blankets, 52


          Sacks, 45

          Saddle Bags, 153
            Blankets, 153

          Saddle Hitch, 194
            Bags, 153
            Pads, 157
            Rigging, 157
            Rigging Britten, 158
            Pack Rig, 159

          Saddles, Pack, 155
            Riding, 149
            Sawbuck, 150

          Salmon, Canned, 126

          Scabbards, 154

          Sheet Iron Cooking Materials, 98

          Shirts, 39
            Buckskin, 38

          Shoe Pac, 53

          Shot Guns, 71

          Sleeping Bags, 87

          Slickers, 56

          Slings, 192

          Sling Shot, 153

          Soap, Towels, etc., 110

          Soups, Compressed, 128-130
            Erbswurst, 128

          Spurs, 154

          Square Hitch, 182

          Squaw Hitch, 190

          Stirrups, 151

          Stirrup Leathers, 150

          Sugar, 120
            Tablets, 121

          Syrup, 123

          Sweaters, 38


          Table Utensils, 99

          Tapioca, 119

          Tarpaulins, 85

          Tea, 120

          Tents, 79
            Proper Shape for, 82
            "A" or Wedge, 84

          Thoroughness, Importance of, 6

          Tie Hitch, 198

          Tin Cooking Materials, 97

          Toilet Articles, 73

          Tomatoes, 126

          Towels, Soap, etc., 110

          Trousers, 43

          Tumplines, 227


          Underclothes, 40
            Jaeger, 42
            Should be Wool, 41

          Utensils for Table, 99


          Waistcoats, 54

          Washing, How to Do, 42

          Wash Basins, 90
            Tubs, 90

          Waterproofs, 55

          Woodcraft, Logic of, 30

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired. Repeated sidenotes were removed.
Each chapter began with a page with the chapter title, a blank page and
then the first page of the chapter with the chapter title repeated. The
first chapter title of each of these sets was deleted to avoid
repetition.

Page 117, "advisibility" changed to "advisability" (advisability of
opening it)

Page 158, "becames" changed to "becomes" (one becomes a convert)

Page 223, "aleak" changed to "a leak" (a leak at the seam)

Page 236, "Tump Lines" changed to "Tumplines" (Tumplines, 227)





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