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JiYieriOXO yy^^' Wf)Ck^ ^^ '^-T REFERENCE 

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American Boys* Handybook 

of Camp-lore and Woodcraft 

377 Illustrations 

Opens a new world of sport. Beginning with the msking 
of campfires, the author initiates the lover of outdoor life 
into all the mysteries of woodcraft. 

American Boys' Book of Bugs, 

Butterflies and Beetles 

S80 Illustrations 

"Dan Beard has invented a new method of studying 
natural history. He opens a door that will tempt every 
live boy — and hia sister as well — into this fascinating world. 

— American Forestry 

American Boys' Book of Signs, 

Signals and Symbols 

36S Illustrations 

"Dan Beard has recognized the interest every normal boy 
has in signs and signals. This is a book which should bo 
popular with all boys, as it gives them much material that 
can be introduced into their games and their excursions." 

— Springfield Republican 

American Boys' Book of Wild Animals 

Profusely illustrated 

"Just what the boys ordered. It tells everything about the 
animals and abounds with pictures. Every page is rich in 
Uncle Dan's own experience." — Times Star, Cincinnati 

American Boys' Book of Birds 

and Brownies of the Wood 

Profusely illustrated 

"No boy's library is complete without this book." 

— Times Star, Cincinnati 
"Will cause a hike in the woods to be a joyful and ever- 
to-be-remembered event." —New York Past 

Do it Yourself 

Profusely illustrated 

Just the book boys who love hiking and camping have 
been waiting for. It will make any "tenderfoot" an accom- 
plished woodsman. 

Wisdom of the Woods 
24:2 Illustrations 

Buckskin Book 
for Buckskin Men and Boys 

Profusely illustrated 















George Dd Pont Pratt 

commissioner of conservation, ptate of new york 
scout, sportsman and outdoor man 


Boys, if this foreword is too "highbrow" for your taste, 
skip it, but the author don't believe you will, and even if 
he has used some dictionary words he feels that you will 
forgive him after he tells you that he did so only because of 
the lack of time to think up more simple terms. What he 
wants to say is that . . . 

Boyhood is a wonderful and invaluable asset to the nation, 
for in the breast of every boy there is a divine spark, mate- 
rialists call it the "urge of youth," others call it the "Christ 
in man," the Quakers call it the "inner light," but all view 
it with interest and anxiety, the ignorant with fear and the 
wise with understanding sympathy, but also with a feeling 
akin to awe. 

Those of us who think we know boys, feel that this "inner 
light" illuminating their wonderful powers of imagination, 
is the compelling force culminating in the vigorous accom- 
plishments of manhood. It is the force which sent Columbus 
voyaging over the unknown seas, which sent Captain Cook 
on his voyage around the world, the same force which car- 
ried Lindbergh in his frail airship across the Atlantic. Yes, 
it is the sublime force which has inspired physicians and 
laymen to cheerfully risk and sacrifice their lives in search 
of the cause of Yellow Fever, Anthrax, Hydrophobia and 
other communicable diseases . . . no, not for science but 



As a boy, the author dreamed of wonderful municipal 
playgrounds, of organizations giving the boys opportimity 
to camp in the open, of zoological and botanical gardens 
planned and adapted to the understanding of youth. His 
busy life as a civil engineer, surveyor, and work in the open 
gave him no opportunity to develop his dreams, but at the 
end of a five year tour of the United States and Canada, 
made over fifty years ago, he drifted into New York City 
and was shocked beyond expression by the almost total lack 
of breathing spaces for our boys, in the greatest of American 
cities. True, it then had Central Park; but fifty years ago 
Central Park was out among the goats, only to be reached 
by a long and tiresome horse car journey. 

This lamentable state of affairs caused the writer so 
much real pain and concern that he then and there in- 
augurated a personal crusade for the benefit of the boys, a 
crusade with the avowed object of winning for them the 
peoples' interest in the big outdoors. 

The most difficult part of his task was to convince the 
men of the swivel chairs that boys* leisure should be spent 
in the open; that the blue sky is the only proper roof for a 
normal boy's playground; also that the open spaces are the 
places where God intended young people to live, work and 

No great crusade, no great movement of any kind is one 
man's work, nevertheless, every successful movement must 
have one enthusiast in the front rank, one who knows the 
trail and comprehensively envisions the objective — objectum 
quad complexum. Others may and will join him, and occa- 
sionally spurt ahead of the leader, like the hare in the fable, 
but the enthusiast keeps right on just the same. 

Pray do not understand by this that the writer claims 


that he alone is responsible for tlifs bloodless revolution. 
No, no, his propaganda work did however win for him the 
moral support of the editorial staff of St. Nicholas, Youth's 
Companion and Harpers. Later he was openly backed and 
encouraged by such distinguished sportsmen as President 
Roosevelt, his chief forester Governor Pinchot, and his Chief 
of Staff Major General Bell. While the stalwart men of the 
Camp Fire Club of America worked hand and glove with 
him, all similar organizations failed not in voicing their 
approval. Furthermore he was always helped by liis loyal 
friends of the daily press. Many famous writers lent their 
influence, all working consciously or unconsciously to help 
the great cause of boyhood. 

The author only claims that, in all these fifty long years, 
he has never ceased to work for the boys, never wavered in 
his purpose, and now.^ — well, when he marched at the head 
of fifty thousand Scouts in the great muddy outdoor Scout 
camp at Birkenhead, England, he realized that his ephemeral 
air castles had settled down to a firm foundation upon 
Mother Earth. 

Yes, boys we have won a great victory for boyhood] We 
have won it by iteration and reiteration, in other words, by 
shouting outdoors, talking outdoors, picturing outdoors, 
singing outdoors and above all by writing about the ant- 
doors, and constantly hammering on one subject and keep- 
ing one purpose always in view. By such means we have 
at last, not only interested the people of the United States 
in the open, but stampeded the whole world to the forests 
and the fields. So let us all join in singing the old Methodist 
hymn: — 


"Shout, shout, we are gaining ground. 
Glory, Hallelujah! 

The Devil's kingdom we'll put down. 
Glory, Hallelujah!" 

The Devil's kingdom in this case is the ill-ventilated 
school rooms, offices and courts. 

It is well to note that the work in this book was not done 
in the library, but either in the open itself or from notes and 
sketches made in the open. When telling how to build a 
cooking fire, for instance, the author preferred to make his 
diagrams from the fires built by himself or by his wilderness 
friends, than to trust to information derived from some other 
man's books. It is much easier to make pictures of imprac- 
tical fires than to build them. The paste pot and scissors 
occupy no place of honor in our woodcraft series. 

So, Boys of the Open, throw aside your new rackets, your 
croquet mallets, and your boiled shirts — pull on your buck- 
skin leggings, give a war whoop and be what God intended 
you should be; healthy wholesome boys. This great Re- 
public belongs to you and so does this 

Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft. 

Dan Beard 
Suflfern, New York, 
December first, 


Hidden in a drawer in the antique highboy, back of the 
moose head in my studio, there are specimens of Indian bead 
work, bits of buckskin, necklaces made of the teeth of animals, 
a stone calumet, my old hunting knife with its rawhide sheath 
and — carefully folded in oiled paper — is the jerked tenderloin 
of a grizzly bear! 

But that is not all ; for more important still is a mysterious 
wooden flagk containing the castor or the scentgland of a 
beaver, which is carefully rolled up in a bit of buckskin 
embroidered with mystic Indian signs. 

The flask was given to me as "big medicine" by Bow- 
arrow, the Chief of the INIontinais Indians. Bow-arrow said — 
and I believe him — that when one inliales the odor of the 
castor from this medicine flask one's soul and body are then 
and forever afterwards permeated with a great and abiding 
love of the big outdoors. Also, when one eats of the mystic 
grizzly bear's flesh, one's body acquires the strength and 
courage of this great animal. 

During the initiation of the members of a Spartan band 
of my boys, kno\sTi as the Buckskin Men, each candidate is 
given a thin slice of the grizzly bear meat and a whiff of the 
beaver castor. 

Of course, we know that people with unromantic and 
unimaginative minds wiW call this sentimentalism. We 
people of the outdoor tribes plead guilty to being sentunen- 
talists; but we know from experience that old Bow-arrow was 
right, because we have ourselves eaten of the grizzly bear and 
smelled the castor of the beaver! 


While the writer cannot give each of his readers a taste 
of this coveted bear meat in material form, or a whiff of the 
beaver medicine, direct from the wooden flask made by the 
late Bow-arrow's own hands, still the author hopes that the 
magical qualities of this great medicine will enter into and 
form a part of the subject matter of this book, and through 
that medium inoculate the souls and bodies of his readers, 
purify them and rejuvenate them with a love of the World 
AS God Made It. 


June, 1920 


Chaptsb Paob 

How TO Make a FiKR-noARo, Bow, Dkiul awd THrMBLB. Irtduh 
LktiKNd ok the SoLiKi K OK FiKK. Rbcohd Fikk-maickk9. Rcubimo- 
STiCK Outfit. Eskimo Thimhlk. Bow, Bow-htbing, Tuimulk, Fibk- 


OK TUB Balkan. Fiue Without a Bow, Co-li-li, the Fibk Saw. 
FiKE FoMPiNQ OF THE Inoyuois. Ptbopneumatic Apparatcs 


The White Man's Methoi>, How to Usk Flint and Steel. Whbbb 
to Obtain tue Flint and Stekl. Chucknuck», Punk Boxes. Spcnks 
AND Matchfs. Rfal Litikf-r Matthes. Slow Match. How to 
Catch the Spark. Substitutes for Flint and Steel 


How to Lay and Light a Fire. An Experience with Tendkrfekt. 


AND Bakyloni\ns. Th e Palpitatinq Heart of the Camp. GuuifT 
Fagots OF THE Pine. How to Make a Fibe in Wet Weather. Back- 
woodsmen's Fire. The NF/:-Es.siTr of Small Kindling Wocjd. Good 
FiREWotJD. Advantage of Split Wood. Fire-dogs. How to Opbh 
A Knife. How to Whittle. How to Split a Sti^k with a Knife. 
Bonfires and Council Fibf-s. Camp Meeting Torch Fibes. Ex- Stones. Characteb in Fire. Slow Fires, Signal Fibes 



A Personal Experience on Short Rations. The Most Primitivb 
of Ct>oKiNG Outfits. Camp Pot-hooks, the Gallow-crook, the Pot- 
claw, THE Hake, the Gib, the and the Saster. Tele- 
GBAPH Wire Cooking Implements, Wire Grid-iron, Skeleton Camp 
Stovk. Cooking Firf.s, Fire-doc;'', Roasting Fire-lat, Camp- 
riBE Lat, Belmobe Lat, Frying Fire Lay, Baking Fibe Lay. Tbb 
Aures Crane 


Camp Pit-fihes, Bean Holes. Cowuoy Fire-hole. Chihook Cook- 
ing Fibe-hole. Barbecue-pits. The Gold Diookb's Oven. Thb 
Febquson Camp Stove. The Adobe Oven. The Altab Caupfibb 
Place. Camp Kitchen for Hikers, Scouts, Explorers, Subvetobs 
AND Huntebs. How to Cook Meat, Fish and Bread Without Pots, 
Pans or Stoves. Dressing Small A.niuals. How to Babbccub 
Large Animals 


How to Make Ash Cake, Pone, Cobn Dodgers, Flapjacks, Johhwy- 
CAKE, Biscuits an-d Dodohood. Making Dutch Ovens. Venisow. 
Banquets in the Open. How to Co<ik Be.\veb Tail, PoBccpiifES 
AND Muskrats. Camp Stews, Brittswick Stews akd Bobgoos 


How TO Make a Pack Horse or Youb Own. How to Make aw 

Aparejo. How to Make a Cincha. How to Make a L.<tigo. How 
to Throw a Diamond Hitch. How to Throw a Squaw Hitch. How 
to Hitch a Horse in Open Land Without Post, Tree or Stick oh 
Stone. Use of Hobbles and How to Make Them. How the Travoi* 
IS Made and Used. Buffalo Bill and General Milf.s. How to 
Throw Down a Saddle. How to Throw \ Saddle on a Horse. How 
TO Mount a Hobsb. How to Know a Westbbs Horse 




Hiking Dogb, Pack Dogs. How to Pack a Dog, How to Thbow 
THE Dog Hitch. How to Make Dog Tbavois. Dog as a Beast of 
Burden in Europe and Arctic America. Man Packing. Pack Rats. 
Don't Fight Your Pack. Portage Pack. Men Who Havb 
Carried a Pack. Kinds of Packs. Alpine Rucksack. Origin of 
Broad Breast Straps. Make Your Own Outfits 


Porters op the Portage. Old-time Indian Fighters and Wild 
Animals. Modern Stampede for the Open. How to Get Readt 
FOR Camp. Cut Your Fingeh Nails. Go to Your Dentist. Get a 
Hair Cut. A Buckskin Man's Pocket. Flt Dope. Protection 
Against Bl.^ck Flies, Mosquitoes, Midgets and No-ske-ums. Thb 
Call of the Wild 


How TO Choose a Saddle. Evolution of the Mexican Saddlb. 
Birth of the Bluff Fronted Saddle. The Cowbot Age. Sawbucks 
or Pack Saddles. Straight Leg and Bent Knee. Names of Parts 
OF Saddle. Center Fire and Double Cinch 


'Ware Single Trees oh Small Groups of Trees. Safett in Woods 
OR Forest. Keep Your Eyes Open for Good Camp Sites. Cross 
Streams While Crossing is Good. Keep to Windward of Mosquito 
Holes. 'Ware Ants' Nests. How to Tell when Wind Blows. Evo- 
lution OF the Shack. How to Sweep. How to Make Camp Beds. 
How TO Divide Camp Work. Tent Pegs. How to Pitch a Tent 
Single-handed. How to Ditch a Tent. Use of Shears, Gins 
and Tripods 


Our Greatest Axeman. Importance of the Axe. What Kind of 
Axe to Use. How to Swing an Axe. How to Remove a Broken 
Axe Handle. How to Tighten the Handle in the Head. Accidents. 
The Brains of an Axe. Etiquette of the Axe. How to Sharpen 
an Axe. How to "Fall" a Tree. How to Swamp. How to Make 
a Beetle or Mall. How to Harden Green Wood. How to Make a 
Firewood Hod. How to Make a Chopping Block. The Proper 
Wat to Chop. How to Make Sawbucks for Logs. How to Use a 
Parbuckle. How to Split a Log. How to Use a Sawpit 


Cherokee Indian Council Barbecue. Camp Meeting Council 
Ground. The Indun Palisaded Council Fire. Indian Legends 
of the Fere. Stealing the Fire from the Sun-Maidens of the 
East. Myths of the Mewan Indians. Totems of the Four Winds, 
Four Mountains and Four Points of the Compass. Impractical 
Council Fires. Advantages of the Oval Council Ground. How 
to Make an Ellipse. How to Dividb the Council Ground in Four 
Courts. Council Ceremonies. Ghost Walk and Path of Knowl- 
BDGE. What the Different Colors Stand for. Patriotism, Pobtbt 
and Americanism. Camp Meeting Torch Fires 


Program of a Council Fire. Invocatioht. Thb Plbdgb ahd Cbbbo 
OF All Americans. Appeal 
















When the "what-is-its" of Pithecantropus erectus age 
and other like hob-gobliii men were moping around the 
rough sketch of an earth, there were no camp-fires; the 
only fire that these creatures knew was that which struck 
terror to their hearts when it was vomited forth from 
volcanic craters, or came crashing among them in the 
form of lightning. No wonder that the primitive men looked 
upon fire as a deity, no doubt an evil deity at first but one 
who later became good. 

When the vast fields of ice covered Europe during the 
glacier period and forced men to think or die, necessity 
developed a prehistoric Edison among the Neanderthal men, 
who discovered how to build and control a fire, thus saving 
his race from being frozen in the ice and kept on cold storage, 
like the hairy rhinoceros and elephant of Siberia. 

The fire of this forgotten and unknowTi glacier savage was 
the forerunner of our steam-heaters and kitchen ranges; in 
fact, without it we could have made no progress whatever, 
for not only the humble kitchen range, but the great factories 
and power-plants are all depending upon the discovery made 
by the shivering, teeth-chattering savage who was hop- 
ping around and trying to keep himself warm among the 
European glaciers. 

But we people of the camp-fires are more interested in 
primitive fires just as the Neanderthal men built them, than 



we are in the roaring furnaces of the steel works, the volcano 
blast furnaces, or any of the scientific, commercialized fires 
of factory and commerce. 

What we love is the genial, old-fashioned camp-fire in the 
open, on the broad prairie, on the mountainside, or in the 
dark and mysterious forests, where, as our good friend Dr. 
Homaday says, 

We will pile on pine and spruce, 
Mesquite roots and sagebrush loose, 
Dead bamboo and smelly teak. 
And vriih. fagots blazing bright 
Bum a hole into the night — 

Not long ago thie author was up North in the unmapped 
lake country of Canada, and while camping on the portage 
between two wild and lonely lakes, Scout Joe Van Vleck made 
himself a fire outfit consisting of Fig. 1, a thimble made of a 
burl, with which to hold Fig. 2, the spindle made of balsam. 
Fig. 3 is a bow cut from a standing bush; not an elastic bow. 


such as one uses with which to shoot arrows, but a bow with 
a permanent bend to it. Fig. 4 is the fire-pan which is placed 
under the fire-board to catch the charcoal dust as it falls 
through the slot when the spindle is twirled. 

Fig. 5 is the fire-board, made of a dead balsam tree which 
was standing within three yards of the camp-fire. 

In order to make his fire it was necessary for our Scout to 
have some tinder, and this he secured from tlie bark of cedar 
trees, also within a few yards of our camp. This indeed was 
a novel experience, for seldom is material so convenient. The 
fire was built in a few seconds, much to the wonderment of 
our Indian guide, and the delight of some moose hunters 
who chanced to be crossing the portage on which our camp 
was located. 

It was an American, Dr. Walter Hough of the U. S. 
National Museum of Wasliington, who first proved that a 
modern up-to-date civilized white man can make a fire with 
rubbing-sticks, as well as the primitive man. But it was an 
Englishman who popularized this method of making fire, in- 
troduced it among the Boy Scouts of England and America, 
and the sister organizations among the girls. 

According to the American Indian legend the animal 
people who inhabited the earth before the Redmen lived in 
darkness in California. There was the coyote man, the vul- 
ture man, the white-footed mouse man, and a lot of other 
fabled creatures. Away over East somewhere there was light 
because the sun was over there, and the humming-bird man 
among the animal people of our Indians is the one, according 
to Dr. jNIerriman, who stole the fire from the East and carried 
it under his cliin. The mark of it is still there. The next 
time you see a humming-bird note the briUiant spot of red 
fire under his chin. 


Now you understand why the kmg-pin in fire mak- 
ing at your camp deserves the title of Le-che-<jhe (the 

If one gets the fire from a fire-board, spindle and bow in 
record time, then the title of Le-che-che is all the more appro- 
priate because it was the humming-bird man who hid the 
fire in the oo-noo tree, and to this day, when the Indian wants 
fire, he goes to the oo-noo (buckeye) tree to get it; that is, 
provided he has no matches in the pockets of his store clothes 
and that some white boy, like the Scout previously mentioned, 
has taught him how to make fire as did the Indian's own 
ancestors. But even then the oo-noo* wood must be 
dead and dry. 

Austin Norton of Ypsilanti, Michigan, April, 1912, made 
fire in thirty-nine and one-fifth seconds; Frederick C. Reed of 
Washington, in December, 1912, made fire in thirty-one sec- 
onds; Mr. Ernest Miller of St. Paul made fire in thirty sec- 
onds, but it was Mr. Arthur Forbush, one of the author's 
Scouts of the Sons of Daniel Boone (the scout organization 
which preceded both the English Boy Scouts and the Boy 
Scouts of America) who broke the record time in making fire 
with "rubbing-sticks" by doing it in twenty-nine seconds at 
the Sportsman's Show at Madison Square Garden, New 
York. Mr. Forbush made this record in the presence of the 
author and many witnesses. Since then the same gentleman 
reduced his own world-record to twenty-six and one-fifth 
seconds ; by this time even that record t may have been 

The "rubbing-stick" is a picturesque, sensational and 

* It is not the buckeye of the Ohio and Mississippi Valley, but is the 
nut buckeye of California, iEsculus Calif ornica. 
t The record is now eleven seconds. 


interesting method of building a fire, but to-day it Is of little 
pnictical use outside of the fact that it teaches one to over- 
come obstacles, to do things with the tools at hand, to think 
and act with the vigor, j)recision and self-confidence of a 
primitive man. 

ID-" <j'C^':^c 

"Rubbing-stick" Outfit 

Ever since the writer was a small boy he has read about 
making fire by rubbing " two chips '* or " two sticks " together, 
and he was mider the impression then, and is under the im- 
pression now, that no one can build a fire in that manner. 
When we find reference to rubbing-sticks it is probably a 
slovenly manner of describing the bow and drill and the 
other similar friction fire implements. For the bow and drill 
one requires first a 



(Figs. 1, lA, IB, IC and ID). This is a half round stone 
or pebble, a half round burl or knot of wood, or it may be 
made of soft wood with an inlay of a piece of stone. In the 
bottom of the thimble there is always a shallow hole or socket; 
see S on Figs. 1, lA, IB, IC, and ID. The thimble is an 
invention of the Eskimos (Fig. IC); they keep the spindle 
upright by holding the pointed upper end of it in a hole (S) 
drilled into a piece of serpentine, or soapstone. 

The author has a thimble personally made for him by 
Major David Abercrombie. This beautiful implement is 
made of hard fine-grained wood carved into the form of a 
beetle (Fig. IB). It is inlaid with copper and semi-precious 
stones. The socket hole was drilled into a piece of jade (B), 
using for the purpose some sand and the drill shown in Fig. 23. 
There was a piece of steel pipe set into the end of the wooden 
drill with which to bore a hole into the hard jade. The jade 
was then inlaid or set into the middle of the bottom of the 
thimble, and cemented there, Fig. IB. The author also 
has a thimble made for him by Edmund Seymour of the 
Camp-fire Club of America. This thimble is a stone fossil 
with a hole drilled in it. Fig. lA. 

It is not necessary to tell the reader that when using the 
bow for power, the twirling spindle cannot be held down with 
the bare hand, consequently the use of the thimble for that 
purpose is necessary. Fig. IC shows an Eskimo thimble so 
fashioned that it may be held in the fire-maker's mouth. 

The Bow 

Is a stick or branch of wood (Figs. 3, 3E, 3F and 3G) about 
a foot and a half long and almost an inch in diameter, which 


has a permanent bend in it — the bend may be natural or may 
have been made artificially. To the bow is attached a slack 
thong, or durable string of some kind. The Eskimos, more 
inventive than the Indians, made themselves beautiful bows 
of ivor>', cars'ing them from walrus tusks, which they shaved 
dovra and strung with a loose strip of walrus hide. 

The Bow String 

The objection to whang string or belt lacing is that it is 
apt to be too greasy, so if one can secure a strip of buckskin, a 
buckskin thong about two inches wide, and twist it into a 
string, it will probably best serve the purpose (Fig. 6). 

The Spixdle 

The spindle is the twirling stick (Figs. 2, 2A, 2B and 2C) 
which is usually about a foot long and was used by our 
American Indians without the bow (Fig. 7). The twirhng 
stick or spindle may be three-quarters of an inch in diameter 
at the middle; constant use and sharpening will gradually 
shorten the spindle. \Mien it becomes too short a new one 
must be made. The end of the spindle should not be made 
sharp like a lead pencil, but should have a dull or rounded 
end, with which to bore into the fire-board, thus producing 
fine, hot charcoal, which in time becomes a spark: that is, a 
growing ember. 


The fire-board (Figs. 5 and 5A) should be made of spruce, 
cedar, balsam, tamarack, cottonwood root, basswood, and 
even dr\^ white pine, maple and, probably, buckeye wood. It 
should not be made of black wahiut, oak or chestnut, or any 


wood which has a gummy or resinous quality. The fire-board 
should be of diy^ material which will powder easily. Dr. 
Hough recommends maple for the fire-board, or "hearth, " as 
it is called in the Boy Scout Handbook. Make the fire-board 
about eleven inches long, two inches wide and three-quarters 
of an inch thick. 

Xear the edge of the board, and two inches from the end, 
begin a row of notches each three-quarter inch long and cut 
down through the fire-board so as to be wider at the bottom. 
At the inside end of each notch make an indenture only 
sufficiently deep to barely hold the end of your spindle while 
you make the preliminary^ twirls which gradually enlarge the 
socket to fit the end of your spindle. 

The Fire-pan 

The fire-pan is a chip, shmgle or wooden dust-pan used 
to catch the charred dust as it is pushed out by the twirling 
spindle (Fig. 4 ) . The use of the fire-pan is also an Eskimos 
idea, but they cut a step in their driftwood fire-board itself 
(Fig. 8) to ser\"e as a fire-pan. 


When you can procure them, charred rags of cotton or 
linen make excellent tinder, but the best fabric for that pur- 
pose is an old Tiu"kish towel. 

How TO Ch.^jr a Rag 

Find a flat stone (Fig. 10; , a broad piece of board, a smooth, 
hard, bare piece of earth; set your cloth afire and after it 
begins to blaze briskly, smother it out quickly by using a 



folded piece of paper (Fig. 9) , a square section of birch bark 

or another piece of board. This flapped down quickly upon 

the flames will extinguish them without disturbing the 

charred portion (Fig. 10). Or with 

your feet quickly trample out the 

flames. Keep your punk or tinder 

in a water-tight box; a tin tobacco 

box is good for that purpose, or do 

like our ancestors did — keep it in a 

punk horn (Fig. 30). 

Very fine dry grass is good 
tinder, also the mushroom, knoT^-n 
as the pufi-ball or Devil's snuff- 
box. The puff-balls, big ones, may 
be found growing about the edges 
of the woods and they make very good punk or tinder. They 
are prepared by hanging them on a string and drj'ing them 
out, after which they are cut into thin slices, laid on the 
board and beaten until all the black dust ("snuff") is ham- 
mered out of them, when they are in condition to use as 
punk or tinder (Fig. 11). In olden times there was a mush- 
room, toadstool or fungus imported from Germany, and 
used as punk, but woodcraft consists in supplj'ing oneself 
with the material at hand; therefore do not forget that 
flying squirrels (Figs. T2 and 13), white-footed mice (Fig. 
14) and voles, or short-tailed meadow mice, are all addicted 
to collecting good 


with which to make their warm nests: So also do some of 
the birds — the smnmer yellow bird, humming-bird and 
vireos. ^Vhile abandoned humming-birds' nests are too diffi- 



cult to find, last year's vireos' nests are more easily discov- 
ered suspended like cups between two branches, usually 
within reach of the hand, and quite conspicuous in the fall 
when the leaves are off the trees. 

Cedar bark, both red (Fig. 15) and white, the dry inner 
bark of other trees, dry birch bark, when shredded up very 
fine, make good tinder. Whether you use the various forms 
of rubbing-sticks or the flint and steel, it is necessary to 
catch the spark in punk or tinder in order to develop 
the flame. 



n ^ 

How TO Make a Fire with a Drill and Bow 

First find a level solid foundation on which to place your 

fire-board, then make a half turn with the string of the bow 

around tlie spindle, as in 

the diagram (Fig. 16) ;now 

grasp tlie thimble witli 

the left hand, put one end 

of tlie drill in the socket 

hole of the thimble, the 

other end in the socket 

hole on the fire-board, 

with your left foot hold- 
ing the fire-board down. 

Press your left wrist firmly against your left shin. Begin 

work by drawing the bow slowly and horizontally back and 

forth until it works easily, work 
the bow as one does a fiddle bow 
when playing on a bass viol, but 
draw the bow its whole length 
each tune. When it is running 
smoothly, speed it up. 

Or when you feel that the 
drill is biting the wood, press 
harder on the thunble, not too 
hard, but hard enough to hold 
the drill firmly, so that it vn\\ 
not slip out of the socket but 
will continue to bite the wood 
until the "sawdust" begins to 
appear. At first it will show a brown color, later it will 
become black and begin to smoke until the thickening smoke 



annoiinces that you have developed the spark. At this stage 
you gently fan the smoking embers with one hand. If you 
fan it too briskly, as often happens, the powder will be 
blown away. 

As soon as you are satisfied that you have secured a spark, 
lift the powdered embers on the fire-pan and place carefully 
on top of it a bunch of tinder, then blow till it bursts into 
flame Fig. 8A). Or fold the tiuder over the spark gently, 
take it up ia your hand and swing it with a circular motion 
imtil the flame flares out. 


Even to this day peasantrj^ throughout the Carpathian 
and Balkan peninsulas build their fires with a "rubbing- 
stick." But these people not bemg campers have a perma- 
nent fire machine made byerectiug two jx)sts, one to represent 
the fire-stick and the other the socket thimble. The spindle 
runs horizontally between these two posts and the pressure 
is secured by a thong or cord tied around the two posts, which 
tends to pull them toward each other. The spindle is worked 
by a bow the same as the one already described and the fire 
is produced in the same manner. 



Fere Wirnour a Bow 

My pupils in the Woodcraft Camp built fires successfully 
by using the rung of a chair for the spindle, a piece of packing 
case for a fire-board, and another piece for the socket wood 
and the string from their moccasins for a bow string. They 
used no bow, however, and two or three boys were neces- 
sary- to make a fire, one to hold the spindle and two others 
to saw on the moccasin string (Fig. 17). 


is made of two pieces of bamboo, or fish pole. This is the 
oldest instrument for fire making used by the Bontoc Igorot 
and is now seldom found among the men of the Phih'ppines. 
Practically all Philippine boys, however, know how to make 
and use it and so should our boys here, and men, too. It is 
called "co-li-li" and is miide of two pieces of drj- bamboo. 
A two-foot section of dead and drj* bamboo is first split 
lengthwise and in one piece, a small area of the string^* tissue 
lining of the tube is splintered and picked until quite loose 
(Fig. 18) . Just over tlie picked fibres, but on the outside of the 
bamboo, a narrow groove is cut across it ^,Fig. 18G). This 


piece of bamboo is now the stationary lower part or "fire- 
board" of the machine. One edge of the other half of the 
original tube is sharpened like a chisel blade's edge (Fig. 19) ; 
it is then grasped with one hand at each end and is slowly and 
heavily sawed backward and forward through the groove in 
the board, and afterwards worked more rapidly, thus pro- 
ducing a conical pile of dry dust on the wad of tinder picked 
from the inside of the bamboo or previously placed there. 
(Figs. 20 and 21) . Fig. 22 is the fire-pan. 

"After a dozen strokes," says our authority, Mr. Albert 
Ernest Jenks, "the sides of the groove and the edge of the 
piece are burned down; presently a smell of smoke is plain 
and before three dozen strokes have been made, smoke may 
be seen. Usually before a hundred strokes a larger volume of 
smoke tells us that the dry dust constantly falling on the pile 
has grown more and more charred until finally a tiny spark 
falls, carrying combustion to the already heated dust cone." 

The fire-board is then carefully lifted and if the pinch 
of dust is smouldering it maynowbe gently fanned with the 
hand until the tinder catches; then it may be blown into a 

Fire Pumping of the Iroquois 

Fig. 23 shows another form of drill. For this one it is 
necessary to have a weight wheel attached 
to the lower part of the spindle. A hole 
is made through its center and the drill 
fitted to this. The one in Fig. 23 is fitted 
out with a rusty iron wheel which I found 
under the barn. Fig. 23 C shows a 
pottery weight wheel which I foimd 
many years ago in a gravel-pit in Mills Creek bottoms at 
Cincinnati, Ohio. It was brick-red in color and decorated 


with strange characters. For many, many years I did not 
know for what use this unique instrument was intended. I 
presented it to the Flushing High School (Long Island), vrhere 
I trust it still remains. The fire-drill is twirled by moving 
the bow up and down instead of backward and forward. 

The Twirling Stick (American Indian) 

Fig. 7 is practically the same as Figs. 16 and 17, with this 
difference: the bow and thong are dispensed with and the 
spindle twirled between the palm of the hands, as formerly 
practised by the California Indians, the natives of Australia, 
Caroline Islands, China, Africa and India, 

Many of the i\merican Indians made friction fire in this 
manner. They spun the tliin spindle by rolling it between 
the palms of their hands and as pressure was exerted the 
hands gradually slid down to the thick lower end of the 
spindle. To again get the hands to the top of the drill requires 
practice and skill. Personally the writer cannot claim any 
success with this method. 

The Plow Stick (American Indian) 

The simplest method of friction is that of the plow, which 
requires only a fire-board \Nath a 
gutter in it and a rubbing-stick 
to push up and down the gutter 
(Fig. 24). Captain Behnore 
Browne of Mt. McKinley fame 
made a fire by this last method 
when his matches were soaked 
with water. It is, however, more 
difficult to produce the fire this 
way than with the thong and 


bow. It is still used in the Malay Islands ; the natives place 
the fire-board on a stump or stone, straddle it and with a 
pointed drill plow the board back and forth until they 
produce fire. Time: Forty seconds. 

Of course it is unnecessary to tell anyone that he can 
start a fire with a sunglass (Fig. 25) or with the lens of a 
camera, or with the lens made from two 
old-fashioned watch crystals held to- 
gether. But as the sun is not always 
visible, as lenses are not supposed to 
grow in the wild woods and were not to 
be found in the camps and log cabins of 
the pioneers, and as watch crystals have short lives in the 
woods, we will pass this method of fire making without 
matches as one which properly belongs in the classroom. 

The Pyropneumatic Apparatus 

Before or about the time of the American Revolution some 
gentleman invented a fire piston (Fig. 26) with which he 
ignited punk made of fungus by the heat engendered by the 
sudden compression of the air. 

The ancient gentleman describes his invention as follows: 
"The cylinder is about nine inches long, and half an inch in 
diameter; it terminates in a screw on which screws the maga- 
zine intended to hold a bougie, and some fungus. A steel rod 
is attached to a solid piston, or plunger, not shown in the 
figure, it being within the tube. This rod has a milled head 
and there is a small hole in the tube to admit the air, when 
the piston is drawn up to the top, where a piece unscrews, 
for the purpose of applying oil or grease to the piston. I have 
found lard to answer the end best." 



Method of Using It 

" Take from the magazine a small piece of fungus, and 
place it in the chamber, screw the piece tight on and draw the 
piston up by the end, till it stops. Hold the 
instrument with both hands in the manner 
represented in Fig. 26, place the end on a 
table or against any firm body, either in a 
perpendicular, horizontal or vertical direction, 
and force the piston down with as much 
rapidity as possible. This rapid compression 
of the air will cause the fungus to take fire. 
Instantly after the stroke of the piston, un- 
screw the magazine, when the air will rush in, 
and keep up the combustion till the fungus is 
consumed. Observe, in lighting the tinder, the 
fungus must be lifted up a little from the chamber, so as to 
allow the tinder to be introduced beneath it, otherwise it 
will not kindle. 

"Here it may be remarked that the instrument thus con- 
structed has a decided advantage over the fire-cane, where the 
fungus is inserted at such a depth as not easily to be reached." 

But in Burmah they had the same idea. There the coohes 
still light their cigarettes with a fire-piston. The Philippinos 
also use the same machine and ignite a wad of cotton stuck 
on the end of the piston by suddenly forcing the piston into 
air-tight cylinders, and when the piston is quickly withdrawn 
the cotton is found to be aflame, so it may be that the Colonial 
gentleman had traveled to the Indies and borrowed his idea 
from the Burmdis, or the Philippinos. At any rate we do 
not use it to-day in the woods, but it finds place here because it 
belongs to the friction fires and may be good as a suggestion for 
those among my readers of experimental and inventive minds. 











The preceding methods of producing fire by friction are 
not the white man's methods, and are not the methods 
used by our pioneer ancestors. The only case the writer 
can remember in which the pioneer white people used 
rubbing-sticks to produce fire, is one where the refugees 
from an Indian uprising and massacre in Oregon made 
fire from rubbing-sticks made of the bits of the splmtered 
wood of a hghtning stricken tree. On that occasion they 
evidentl3' left home in a great hurry, without their flints 
and steels. 

But tliis one instance in itself is sufficient to show to all 
outdoor people the great importance of the knowledge and 
abihty to make friction fires. Like our good friend, the 
artist, explorer and author. Captain Belmore Browne, one 
may at any time get in a fix where one's matches are soaked, 
destroyed or lost and be compelled either to eat one's food 
raw or resort to rubbing-sticks to start a fire. 

It is well, however, to remember that the flint and steel is 

The White Man's Method 

And notwithstanding the fire canes of our Colonial dudes, 
or the Pyropnemnatic apparatus of the forgotten Mr. Bank, 
fire by percussion, that is, fire by friction of flint and steel, 
was universal here in America up to a quite recent date, and 
it is still in common use among many of my Camp-fire Club 
friends, and among manj^ smokers 



How TO Use Flint and Steel 

In the age of flint and steel, the guns were all fired by this 
method. Fig. 33 shows the gun-lock of an old musket; the 
hammer holds a piece of flint, a small piece of buckskin is 
folded around the inside edge of the flint and serves to give 
a grip to the top part of the hammer which is screwed down. 
To fire the gim the hammer is pulled back at full cock, the 
steel sets opposite the hammer and is joined to the top of the 
powder-pan by a hinge. TMien the trigger is pulled the ham- 
mer comes down, striking the flint against the steel, throwing 
it back and exposing the powder at the same time to the 
sparks which ignite the powder in the gun by means of the 
touch hole in the side of the barrel of same. This is the sort 
of a hammer and lock used by all of our ancestors up to the 
thne of the Ci\il War, and it is the sort of a hammer used by 
the Confederates as late as the battle of Fort Donaldson. In 
the olden times some people had flint lock pistols without 
barrels, which were used only to ignite punk for the purpose of 
fire-building. But when one starts a fire by means of ffint 
and steel one's hands must act the part of the hammer, the 
back of one's knife may be the steel, then a piece of flint 
or a gritty rock and a piece of punk will produce the 
spark necessary to generate the flames. 

In the good old pioneer days, when we all wore buckskin 
clothes and did not bother about the price of wool, when we 
wore coonskin caps and cared httle for the price of felt hats, 
everybody, from JMiles Standish and George Washington to 
Abraham Lincoln, used fl-int and steel. Fig. 27 shows ten 
different forms of steel used by our grandsires and 

Flint in its natural condition may be found in many states, 
but, as a rule, any stone which was used by the Indians for 


arrowheads will answer as a substitute for flint,* that is, 
any gritty or glassy stone, like quartz, agate, jasper or iron 
pyrites. Soft stones, limestones, slate or soapstones are not 
good for this purpose. 

The Steel 

Most of the old steels were so made that one might grasp 
them while tlirusting one's fingers through the inside of the 
oval steel, Fig. 28 (left handed). Some of the Scoutmasters 
of the Boy Scouts of iVmerica make their own steels of broken 
pieces of flat ten-cent files, but this is unnecessary because 
ever^^ outdoor man, and woman, too, is supposed to carry a 
good sized jack-loiife and the back of the blade of the jack- 
knife, or the back of the blade of one's hunting knife is good 
enough steel for anyone who has acquired the art of using 
it as a steel. 

But if you must have steels manufactured at the machine 
shop or make them yourself, let them be an inch wide, a 
quarter of an inch thick, and long enough to form an ellipse 
like one of those sho-^Ti in Fig. 27. Have the sharp edges 
rounded off. If you desire you may have your steel twisted 
in any of the shapes shown in Fig. 27 to imitate the one« 
used by your great granddaddies. 

The Chuckntck 

But the neatest thing in the way of flint and steel which 
has come to tlie writer's attention is shown by Fig. 31. This 

* To-day flint may be obtained at Bannermans, 501 Broadway, New 
York City, where they also have ancient steels which were used by the U. S. 
soldiers. The flints may also be purchased from ^Yards Natural Scienee 
Establishment at Rochester, New York, and the author found a plentiful 
supply of flints at one of the Army and Navj- stores in New York. 


is a small German silver box which still contains some of the 
original fungus used for punk and an ancient, well-battered 
piece of flint. Around the box is fitted the steel in the form 
of a band, and the whole thing is so small that it may be 
carried in one's vest pocket. This was once the property of 
PhiUip Hagner, Lieutenant, of the City of Philadelphia at the 
time of the Revolution, that is, custodian of city property. 
He took the Christ Church bells from Philadelphia to Bethle- 
hem by ox-cart before the city was occupied by the British. 
Phillip Hagner came from Saxony about 1700 and settled in 
Germanto^Ti, Philadelphia. This silver box was presented 
to the National Scout Commissioner by Mr. Isaac Sutton, 
Scout Commissioner for Delaware and Montgomery Coun- 
ties, Boy Scouts of America. 

Punk Boxes 

The cowhom punk box is made by sawing off the small 
end and then the point of a cow's horn (Fig. 30). A small 
hole is next bored through the soHd small end of the horn to 
connect with the natural open space further down, a strip 
of rawhide or whang string larger than the hole is forced 
through the small end and secured by a knot on the inside, 
which prevents it from being pulled out. The large end of the 
horn is closed by a piece of thick sole leather attached to the 
thong, by tying a hard knot in the end and pulling the thong 
through a hole in the center of the stopper until the knot is 
snug against the leather disk; this should be done before the 
wet leather is allowed to dry. If the thong and leather stop- 
per are made to fit the horn tightly, the dry baked rags, the 
charred cotton, or whatever substance you use for punk, 
when placed in the horn will be perfectly protected from 
moisture or dampness. 


Sulphur Headed Spunks and ^Lvtches 

These old sulphur "spuuks" were uothing more than 
kindling wood or tinder, because they would not ignite by 
rul)bing but were lighted by putting the sulphur end in the 
flame. According to our modem ideas of convenience they 
ajjpear very primitive. They were called "spunks" in Eng- 
land and "matches" in America, and varied m length from 
three to seven inches, were generally packed in bundles 
from a dozen to two dozen and tied together with bits of 
straw. Some spunks made as late as 1830 are considered 
rare enough to be carefully preserved in the York Museum 
in England (Fig. S'-2}4). The ones illustrated in Fig. 32 are a 
Long Island product, and were given to the author by the 
late John Halleran, the most noted antique collector on Long 
Island. These are carefully preserved among the antiquities 
in the writer's studio. But they are less than half the length 
of the ones formerly used on tlie Western Reserve. With 
the ancient matches in the studio are also two old pioneer 
tinder boxes with flints and steels. The tinder boxes are 
made of tin and contain a lot of baked rags. The inside lid 
acts as an extinguisher with which to cover up the punk or 
tinder in the box after you have lighted the candle in the tin 
hd of the box (Fig. 32). 

The matches we use today are evolved from these old 
sulphur spunks. When tlie writer was a little fellow up in 
the Western Reserve on the shores of Lake Erie, he was 
mtensely interested in an old lady making sulphur matches. 
Over the open fire she melted the sulphur in an iron kettle 
in which she dipped the ends of some pine slivers. The 
sulphur on the end of the sticks was then allowed to cool 
and harden. These matches were about the length of a lead 
pencil and could only be lighted by thrusting the sulphur 


into the flame. So, eilthough having been born in the age of 
Lucifer matches, the writer was yet fortunate enough to 
see manufactured and to remember the contemporary an- 
cestors of our present-day "safety'* match. 

Thb Real Lucifer Match 

That is, the match which hghts from friction, is the 
invention of Isaac Holden, M. P. According to the Pall Mall 
GazettOy Mr. Holden said, "Li the morning I used to get up 
at 4 o'clock in order to pursue my studies, and I used at that 
time the flint and steel, in the use of which I found very great 
inconvenience. Of course, I knew, as other chemists did, 
the explosiy* Material that was necessary in order to produce 
instantaneous Mjiit, but it was very difficult to obtain a 
light on wood hj that explosive material, and the idea oc- 
curred to me to pmt sulphur under the explosive mixture. 
I did that and »h©ifcd it in my next lecture on chemistry, 
a course of whi<Ji I was delivering at a large academy." 

Because •v«"y real woodsman is a student, as well as a 
sentiment&li«t, a bri^ history is given of these fire imple- 
ments to ontertaia kim as we jog along the "trace." All 
these things are blaaea which mark the trail to the button 
in our wall which now produces the electric light. Some of 
them, like the clay cylinders found in the ruins of Babylon, 
are only uW«l im a historical sense, but many of them are 
essentially pra«*ieal for woodcraft. 

H©w T© Make a Chucknuck 

The slow BtaUh or punk rope to fit in the brass cyhnder 
may be made ©f candle wick or coach wick purchased at the 
hardware store; such wick is about three-eighths of an inch 
in diameter. Scout Commissioner John H. Chase of Youngs- 


town, Ohio, suggests that the rope may be made from the 
wastes of a machine shop or a garage; but one of the best 
woodsmen I know is Mr. Frederick K. Vreeland, and he 
uses the apparatus shown by Fig. 34, wliich is made of the 
yellow fuse rope, or punk roj)e, which may be purchased at 
cigar stores. He fastens a cork in one end of the rope by a 
wire, he pulls the other end of the rope through the end of 
tlie brass cartridge shell which has been filed off for that 
purpose. The end of the fuse rope must be charred, so as 
to catch the spark. To get the spark he takes the back of the 
blade of his knife (Fig. 35) , and strikes the bit of flint as you 
would with flint and steel, holding the charred end of the 
punk against the flint, as shown by the diagram (Fig. 29). 
Loose cotton and various vegetable fibers twisted into a 
rope soaked in water and gunpowder will make good punk 
when dry. 

To Get the Spark 

Place the charred end of the rope on the flint, the charred 
portion about one thirty-second of an inch back of the edge 
of the flint where the latter is to be struck by the steel; 
hold the punk in place with the thumb of the left hand, as in 
the diagram (Fig. 29) . Hold the knife about six inches above 
at an angle of about forty-five degrees from the flint, turn 
your knife so that the edge of the back of the blade will 
strike, then come down at an angle about thirty -five degrees 
with a sharp scraping blow. This should send the spark into 
the punk at the first or second blow. Now blow the punk 
until it is all aglow and you are ready to set your tinder afire. 
Push the punk into the middle of a handful of tinder and 
blow it until it is aflame, and the deed is done! 

All these pocket contrivances for strildng fire were for- 
merly known as "striker-lights" or "chucknucks." 


A Substitute for Flint and Steel 

The Malays having neither fliat nor steel ingeniously 
substitute for the flint a piece of broken chinaware, and for 
the steel a bamboo joint, and they produce a spark by striking 
the broken china against the joint of the bamboo, just as 
we do with the flint and steel. 





fire-makers and babylonians 

the palpitating he.\.rt of the camp 

gummy fagots of the pine 

how to make a fire in wet weather 

backwoodsmen's fire 

the necessity of small kindling wood 

good firewood 

advantage of split wood 


how to open a knifb 








" By thy camp-fire they shall know thee." 

A PABTY of twenty or thirty men once called at the author's 
studio and begged that he would go with them on a hike, 
stating tliat tiiey intended to cook tlieir dinner out-of-doors. 
We went on the hike. The author asked the gentlemen to 
collect the wood for the fire; they did so enthusiastically 
and heaped up about a quarter of a cord of wood. There 
Wiis no stick in the pile less than the thickness of one's arm, 
and many as thick as one's leg. A fine misty rain was faUing 
and everything was damp, ^^llile all the other hikers gath- 
ered around, one of them carefully hghted a match and 
applied it to the heap of damp cord wood sticks. Match 
after match he tried, then turned helplessly to the writer 
with the remark, "It won't light, sir," and none there saw 
the humor of the situation! 

Had anyone told the writer that from twent^'-five to 
tliirty men could be found, none of whom could build a fire, 
he would have considered the statement as highly improbable, 
but if he had been told that any inteUigent man would try 
to light cord wood sticks, wet or dry, by applying a match 
to them, he would have branded the story iis utterly beyond 
belief. It is, however, really astonishing how few people 
tliere are who know how to build a fire even when supplied 
with plenty of fuel and abundant matches. 


It may be well to call the reader's attention to the fact 
that it takes very little moisture to spoil the scratch patch 




on a box of safety matches and prevent the match itself 
from igniting. The so-called parlor match, which snaps 
when one hghts it and often shoots the burning head into 
one's face or on one's clothes, is too dangerous a match to 
take into the woods. The bird's-eye match is exceedingly 
unreliable on the trail, but the old-fashioned, ill-smelling 
Lucifer match, sometimes called sulphur match, the kind 

one may secure at the Hudson Bay Trading Post, the kind 
that comes in blocks and is often packed in tin cans, is the 
best match for woodcrafters, hunters, explorers, and hikers. 
Most of the outfitting stores in the big cities either have these 
matches or can procure them for their customers. When 
one of these matches is damp it may be dried by running it 
through one's hair. 

Nowadays manual labor seems to be looked upon by 
everyone more in the light of a disgrace or punishment than 
as a privilege; nevertheless, it is a privilege to be able to 
labor, it is a privilege to have the vim, the pep, the desire 
and the abihty to do things. Labor is a necessary attribute 


of the doer and those who Hve in the open; no one need 
attempt so simple a thing as the building of a fire and expect 
to succeed \vithout lal)or. 

One must use the axe industriously (Figs. 39, 4^ and 43) 
in order to procure fuel for the fire;one must plan the fire care- 
fully with regard to the wind and the inflammable material 
adjacent; one must collect and select the fuel intelligently. 

The shirk, the quitter, or the side-stepper has no place 
in the open; his habitat is on tlie Great Wliite Way among the 
Babylonians of the big cities. He does not even know the 
joys of a fire; he never sees a fire except when some building 
is burning. His body is heated by steam radiators, his food 
is cooked in some mysterious place beyond his ken, and 
brought to him by subservient waiters. He will be dead and 
flowers gTowing on his grave when the real fire-makers are 
just attaining the full vigor of their manhood. 

Captain Belmore Browne says that the trails of the wilder- 
ness are its arteries; we may add that all trails proceed from 
camp or lead to camp, and that the camp-fire is the living, 
life-giving, palpitating heart of the camp; without it all is 
dead and lifeless. That is the reason that we of the outdoor 
brotherhood all love the fire; that is the reason that the odor 
of burning wood is incense to our nostrils; that is the reason 
that the writer cannot help talking about it when he should 
be teUing 

How TO Build a Fire 

Do not forget that lighting a fire in hot, dry weather is 
child's play, but that it takes a real camper to perform the 
same act in the damp, soggy woods on a cold, raw, rainy day, 
or when the first damp snow is covering all the branches of 
the trees and blanketing the moist ground with a slushy 
mantle of white discomfort! Then it is that fire making 


brings out all the skill and patience of the woodcrafter; 
nevertheless when he takes proper care neither rain, snow nor 
hail can spell failure for him. 

Gummy Fagots of the Pine 

In the mountains of Pennsylvania the old backwoodsmen, 
of which there are very few left, invariably build their fires 
with dry pine, or pitch pine sticks. 

With their axe they split a pine log (Fig. 42), then cut 
it into sticks about a foot long and about the thickness of 
their own knotted thumbs, or maybe a trifle thicker (Fig. 40) ; 
after that they proceed to whittle these sticks, cutting deep 
shavings (Fig. 37), but using care to leave one end of the shav- 
ings adhering to the wood; they go round and round the stick 
with their knife blade making curled shavings until the piece 
of kindling looks like one of those toy wooden trees one used 
to find in his Noah's Ark on Christmas morning (Fig. 37). 

When a backwoodsman finishes three or more sticks he sets 
them up wigwam form (Fig. 38). The three sticks having 
been cut from the centre of a pine log, are dry and maybe 
resinous, so all that is necessary to start the flame is to touch 
a match to the bottom of the curled shavings (Fig. 38). 

Before they do this, however, they are careful to have a 
supply of small slivers of pitch pine, white pine or split pine 
knots handy (Fig. 36). These they set up around the shaved 
sticks, maybe adding some hemlock bark, and by the time 
it is aU ablaze they are already putting on larger sticks of 
ash, black birch, yellow birch, sugar maple or oak. 

For be it known that however handy pitch pine is for 
starting a fire, it is not the material used as fuel in the fire 
itself, because the heavy smoke from the pitch blackens up 
the eooking utensils, gives a disagreeable taste to the food, 


spoils the coffee and is nol a pleasant accompaniment 
even for a bonfire. 

In the North woods, in the land of the birch trees, green 
})irch bark is universally used as kindling with which to start 
a fire; green birch bark burns like tar paper. But whether 
one starts the fire with birch bark, shaved pine sticks or 
miscellaneous dry wood, one must remember that 

Split Wood 

Burns much better than wood in its natural form, and 
that logs from twelve to fourteen inches are best for splitting 
for fuel (Fig. 4^2) ; also one must not forget that in starting a 
fire the smaller the shvers of kindling wood are made, the 
easier it is to obtain a flame by the use of a single match 
(Fig. 30) , after which the adding of fuel is a simple matter. A 
fire must have air to breathe in order to Kve,that is a draught, 
consequently kindling piled in the little wigwam shape is 
frequently used. 


For an ordinary, unimportant fire the "turkey-lay** 
(Fig. 54) is handy, but for camp-fires and cooking fires we 
use andirons on which to rest the wood, but of course in the 
forests we do not call them andirons. They are not made of 
iron ; they are cither logs of green wood or stones and known 
to woodsmen by the name of "fire-dogs.** 

Wliile we are on the subject of fire making it may be 
worth while to call the reader's attention to the fact that 
every outdoor person should know how to use a pocket 
knife, a jack-knife or a hunter*s knife with the greatest eflB- 
ciency and the least danger. 

To those of us who grew up in the whittling age, it may 
seem odd or even funny that anyone should deem it necessary 



to tell how to open a pocket knife. But today I fail to recall 
to my mind a single boy of my acquaintance who knows how 
to properly handle a knife or who can whittle a stick with 
any degree of skill, and yet there are few men in this world 
with a larger acquaintance among the boys tlian myself. 
Not only is this true, but I spend two months of each year 
in the field with a camp full of boys, showing them how to 
do the very things with their knives and their axes described 
in this book. 

How TO Open a EInife 


It is safe to say that when the old-timers were boys 

themselves, there was not a 
lad among them who could 
not whittle with consider- 
able skill and many a twelve 
year old boy was an adept 
at the art. I remember with 
the keenest pleasure the 
rings, charms and knick- 
knacks which I carved with 
a pocket knife before I had 
reached the scout age of 
twelve. Today, however, the 
boys handle their knives so 
awkwardly as to make the 
chills run down the back of 
an onlooker. 

In order toproi)erIy open 
a knife, hold it in your left 
hand, and with the thumbnail of your right hand grasp the 
blade at the nail notch (Fig. 45) in such a manner that the line 
of the nail makes a very slight angle; that is, it is as near per- 




pendicular as may be (Fig. 46), otherwise you will bend back 
your tliumbnail until it hurts or breaks. Pull the blade away 
from your body, at tlie same time drawing the handle of the 
knife towards the body (Figs. 47 and 48). Continue this 
movement until the blade is fully open and points directly 
from your body (Fig. 49). 

Practise this and make it a habit; you will then never 
be in danger of stabbing yourself during the process of open- 
ing your knife — you will open a knife properly and quickly 
by what is generally termed intuition, but what is really 
the result of training and habit. 

How TO Whittle 

The age of whittling began with the invention of the 
pocket knife and reached its climax about 1840 or '50, dying 
out some time after the Civil War, probably about 1870. 
All the old whittlers of the whittling age whittled away from 
the body. If you practise wliittling that way it will become 
a habit. 

Indians use a crooked knife and whittle towards the body, 
but the queer shape of their knife does away witli the danger 
of an accidental stab or slash. Cobblers use a wicked sharp 
knife and cut towards their person and often are severely 
slashed by it, and sometimes dangerously wounded, because 
a big artery runs along the inside of one's leg (Fig. 41 J/^) near 
where most of the scars on the cobbler's legs appear. When 
you whittle do not whittle with a stick between your legs 
as in Fig. 41, and always whittle away from you as in Fig. 44. 

How TO Split with a Jack-icnife 

Fig. 40 shows the proper way to use the knife in sphtting 
a stick, so that it will not strain the spring at the back of the 


handle of the knife, and at the same time it will help you 
guide the knife blade and tend to make a straight split. Do 
not try to pry the stick apart with a knife or you will sooner 
or later break the blade, a serious thing for a wilderness 
man to do, for it leaves him without one of the most 
useful tools. 

Remember that fine slivers of wood make a safer and more 
certain start for a fire than paper. All tendprfeet first try 
dry leaves and dry grass to start their fires. This they do 
because they are accustomed to the use of paper and naturally 
seek leaves or hay as a substitute for paper. But experience 
soon teaches them that leaves and grass make a nasty smudge 
or a quick, unreliable flame which ofttimes fails to ignite the 
wood, while, when proper care is used, small slivers of dry 
wood never fail to give satisfactory results. 

There are many sorts of fires used by campers and all are 
dependent upon the local supply of fuel; in the deforested 
districts of Korea the people use twisted grass for fuel, on 
our Western plains the hunters formerly used buffalo chips 
and now they use cow chips, that is, the dry manure of cattle, 
with which to build their fires for cooking their meals and 
boiling their coffee. In the Zurn belt, in Tartary and Central 
India cattle manure is collected, piled up like cord wood and 
dried for fuel. A few years ago they used corn on the cob 
for firewood in Kansas. It goes without saying that buffalo 
chips are not good for bonfires or any fire where a big flame 
or illumination is an object. 

Bonfires and Council Fires 

Are usually much larger than camp-fires, and may be 
made by heaping the wood up in conical form (Fig. 50) with 
the kindling all ready for the torch in the center of the pile. 



or the wood may be piled up log cabin style (Fig. 51) with 
the kindling underneath the hrst floor. 


In both of these forms there are air spaces purposely left 
between the sticks of wood, which msure a quick and ready 
draught tlie moment the flames start to flicker in the kindling. 

The best form of council fire is sho^v^l by Fig. 52, and 
kiioA^Ti as the 

Camp Meeting Torch 

Because it was from a somewhat similar devnce at a camp 
meeting in Florida, that the author got the suggestion for 


his "torch fire." The platform is made of anything handy 
and is covered with a thick flooring of sod, sand or clay for 
the fire-place. 

The tower is built exactly similar to the Boy Scout signal 
towers but on a smaller scale !,Fig. 5^2). 

Dangee of Exploding Stones 

However temptmg a smooth rock may look as a con- 
venient spot on which a fire may be built, do not fail to spread 
a few shovels of sand, earth or clay on the stone as a fire bed, 
for the damp rock on becoming heated may generate steam 
and either expand with some ^^iolence or burst like a bomb- 
shell and scatter far and v.-ide the fragments, even endanger- 
ing the fives of those gathered around the fire. 

Ckar.\ctee in Flre 

The natives of AustraHa take dry logs, 6 ft. or more in 
length, and laying them down 3 ft. or 4 ft. apart, set them on 
fire in several places. Letting shorter logs meet them from 
the outside, and placing good-sized pebbles around them, they 
then stretch themselves on the ground and sleep between 
the two lines of fire, and when the wood is consumed the 
stones continue for some time to radiate the heat they have 
previously absorbed. ^lany tribes of American Indians 
have their own special fashion of fire building, so that a 
deserted camp fire v.-iU not infrequently reveal the identity 
of the tribe by which it was made. 

Slow Flbes 

The camper's old method of making a slow fire was also 
used by housekeepers for their open fire-places, and consisted 
of placing three logs with their glowing ends together. 


As the ends of the logs burned off the logs were pushed 
forward, this being continued until the logs were entirely 
consumed. Three good logs thus arranged will bum all day 
or all night, but someone must occasionally push them so that 
their ends come together, when they send their heat from 
one to the other, backwards and forwards, and thus keep the 
emlx^rs hot (Fig. 53^. But who wants to sit up all night 
watching a fire? I prefer to use the modern method and 
sleep all night. 

Sharpen the ends of two strong hea\y stakes each about 
5 ft. in length, cut a notch in the rear of each near the top, 
for the support or back to key into, drive the stakes into the 
ground about 6 ft. apart. Place three logs one on the other, 
making a log wall for the back of your fire-place. Xext take 
two shorter logs and use them for fire-dogs, and on these lay 
another log and the arrangement will be complete. A fire 
of this land will bum during the longest night and if skillfully 
made will cause little trouble. The fire is fed by placing fuel 
between the front log and the fire-back. 

Signal Fires 

VThen the greatest elevations of land are selected the 
smoke signals may be seen at a distance of from twenty to 
fifty miles. Signal fires are usually made with dry leaves, 
grass and weed? or *'wir\' willows," balsam boughs, pine 
and cedar boughs, because such material produces great 
volumes of smoke and may be seen at a long distance. 
The Apaches have a simple code which might well be 
adopted by all outdoor people. According to J. W. Powell, 
Director of U. S. Bureau of Ethnology', the Indians use 
but three kinds of signals, each of which consists of columns 
of smoke. 



Three or more smoke columns reads impending danger 
from flood, fire or foe. This signal may be communicated 
from one camp to another, so as to alarm a large section of 
the country in remarkably quick time. The greater the 
haste desired the greater the number of smokes used. These 
fires are often so hastily made that they may resemble puffs 
of smoke caused by throwing heaps of grass and leaves upon 
the embers again and again. 


"This signal is generally made by producing one contin- 
uous column and signifies attention for several purposes, 
viz., when a band had become tired of one locaHty, or the 
grass may have been consumed by the ponies, or some other 
cause necessitated removal, or should an enemy be reported 
which would require further watching before a decision as 
to future action would be made. The intention or knowledge 
of anything unusual would be communicated to neighboring 
bands by causing one column of smoke to ascend." 

Establishment of a Camp, Quiet, Safety 

"When a removal of camp has been made, after the signal 
for x\ttention has been given, and the party have selected 
a place where they propose to remain until there may be a 
necessity or desire for their removal, two columns of smoke 
are made, to inform their friends that they propose to remain 
at that place. Two columns are also made at other times 
during a long continued residence, to inform the neighboring 
bands that a camp still exists, and that all is favorable 
and quiet." 


Therefore, Three or more smokes in dayliglit, or Three 
or more flames at night, is a signal of alarm. One smoke a 
signal for attention, Two smokes tells us that all is well, 
peaceful and happy. 

Smoke Signals 

The usual way of signalling with smoke is to make a 
smudge fire of browse or grass and use a blanket as an extin- 
guisher. ]5y covering the fire with the blanket and suddenly 
removing it, a large globular puff of smoke is made to suddenly 
appear, and is certain to attract the attention of anyone who 
happens to be looking toward the site of the fire. 

How TO Build a Fire on the Snow 

If it is practical it is naturally better to shovel away the 
snow, but personally I have never done this except in case 
of newly fallen snow. Old snow which is more or less frozen 
to the ground may be tramped down until it is hard and then 
covered with a corduroy of sticks for a hearth (Figs. 55 and 
56) or with bark (Fig. 57) and on top of this flooring it is a 
simple matter to build a fire. Use the turkey-" lay " in which 
one of the sticks acts the part of the fire-dog (Fig. 56). 

Don't fail to collect a generous supply of small wood 
(Fig. 58) and then start the fire as already directed (Fig. 58). 

The reader will note that in all these illustrations (Figs. 
55, 5G and 57), there is either a log or stone or a bank for a 
back to the fire-place. Wlien everything is covered with snow 
it is perfectly safe to use a log for a back (Fig. 56) but on 
other occasions the log may smoulder for a week and then 
start a forest fire. 

No one but an arrant, thoughtless, selfish Cheechako 
will use a live growing tree against which to build a fire. 


A real woodcraft knows that a fire can ruin in a few minutes 
a mighty forest tree that God himself caimot replace inside 
of from forty to one hundred years. 

While we are talking of building fires in the snow, it may 
be well to remark that an uninhabitable and inaccessible 
swamp in the summer is often the best of camping places in 
the winter time. The water freezes and falls lower and lower, 
leaving convenient shelves of ice (Fig. 57) for one's larder. 
The dense woods and brush offer a splendid barrier to the 
winter winds. Fig. 59 shows an arrangement for a winter 

How TO INIake a Fire in the Rain 

Spread a piece of bark on the ground to serve as a hearth 
on which to start your fire. Seek dry wood by sphtting the 
log and taking the pieces from the center of the wood, keep 
the wood under cover of your tent, poncho, coat or blanket. 
Also hold a blanket or some similar thing over the fire while 
you are fighting it. After the blaze begins to leap and the 
logs to bum freely, it will practically take a cloud-burst 
to extinguish it. 

II i 










No matter where the old camper may be, no matter how 
long a time may have elapsed since last he slept in the o])en, 
no matter how high or low a social or official position he 
may now occupy, it takes but one whiflf of the smoke of an 
open fire, or one whiff of tlie aroma of frying bacon, to send 
him back again to the lone trail. In imagination he will 
once more be hovering over his little camp-fire in the desert, 
under the shade of the gloomy pines, mid the snows of Alaska, 
in the slide rock of the Rockies or mid the pitch pines of the 
Alleghenies, as the case may be. 

That faint hint in the air of burning firewood or the deli- 
cious odor of the bacon, for the moment, will not only wipe 
from his vision his desk, his papers and his office furniture, 
but also all the artificialities of life. Even the clicking of the 
typewriter will turn into the sound of clicking hoofs, the 
streets will become canyons, and the noise of traffic the roar 
of the mountain torrent! 

There is no use talking about it, there is no use arguing 
about it, there is witchcraft in the smell of the open fire, and 
all the mysteries and magic of the Arabian Nights dwell in 
the odor of frying bacon. 

Some years ago Mr. Arthur Rice, the Secretary of the 
Camp-fire Club of America, and Patrick Cleary, a half- 
breed Indian, with the author, became temporarily separated 
from their party in the Nortliern wilds. They found them- 
selves on a lonely wilderness lake surrounded by picture 
mountains, and dotted with tall rocky islands covered with 
Christmas trees, giving the whole landscape tlie appearance 



of the scenery one sometimes sees painted on drop-curtains 
for the theatre. Everything in sight was grand, everything 
was beautiful, everything was built on a generous scale, 
everything was big, not forgetting the voyagers' appetites! 

Unfortunately the provisions were in the missing canoe; 
diligent search, however, in the bottom of Patrick Cleary's 
ditty bag disclosed three small, hard, rounded lumps, which 
weeks before might have been bread; also a handful of tea 
mixed with smoking tobacco, and that was all! There was 
no salt, no butter, no pepper, no sugar, no meat, no knives, 
no forks, no spoons, no cups, no plates, no saucers and no 
cooking utensils; the party had nothing but a few stone-like 
lumps of bread and the weird mixture of tea and tobacco 
with which to appease their big appetites. But in the lake 
the trout were jumping, and it was not long before the 
hungry men had secured a fine string of spotted beauties to 
add to their menu. 

Under the roots of a big spruce tree, at the bottom of a 
cliff on the edge of the lake, a fountain of cold crystal water 
spouted from the mossy ground. Near this they built 
a fire while Mr. Rice fashioned a Httle box of birch bark, 
filled it with water and placed It over the hot embers by 
resting the ends of the box on fire-dogs of green wood. Into 
the water in the birch bark vessel was dumped the tea (and — 
also tobacco) ! 

To the amazement and delight of the Indian half-breed, 
the tea was soon boiling. Meanwhile the half-breed toasted 
some trout until the fish were black, this being done so that 
the charcoal or burnt skins might give a flavor to the fish, 
and in a measure compensate for the lack of salt. The hunks 
of bread were burned until they were black, not for flavor 
this time, but in order that the bread might be brittle enough 


to allow a man to bite into it with no danger of breaking his 
teeth in the attempt. 

To-day it seems to the author that that banquet on that 
lonely lake, miles from the nearest living human being, was 
more delicious and more satisfying than any of the feasts 
of Belshazzar he has since attended in the wonder city of 
New York. 

Therefore, when taking up the subject of cooking fire 
and camp kitchen, he naturally begins with 

The Most Primitive of Cooking Outfits 

Consisting of two upright forked sticks and a waugan-stick 
to lay across from fork to fork over the fire. Or maybe a 
speygelia-stick thrust slantingly into the ground in front of 
the fire, or perhaps a saster-pole on which to suspend or from 
which to dangle, in front of the fire, a hunk of moose meat, 
venison, mountain sheep, mountain goat, whale blubber, 
beaver, skunk, rabbit, muskrat, woodchuck, squirrel or 
whatsoever fortune may send. 

Camp Pot-hooks 

Are of various forms and designs, but they are not the 
S shaped things formerly so familiar in the big open fire- 
places of the old homesteads, neither are they the hated S 
shaped marks with which the boys of yesterday were wont 
to struggle and disfigure the pages of their writing books. 

If any one of the camp pot-hooks had been drawn in the 
old-time writing book or copybook, it would have brought 
down the wrath (with something else) of the old-fashioned 
school-master, upon the devoted head of the offending pupil. 
For these pot-hooks are not regular in form and the shape 


and designs largely depend upon the available material from 
which they are fashioned, and not a little upon the individual 
fancy of the camper. For instance the one known as 

The Gallow-crook 

Is not, as the name might imply, a human crook too inti- 
mately associated with the gallows, but on the contrary it is a 
rustic and useful bit of forked stick (Figs. 60, 61, 62 and 63) 
made of a sapling. Fig. 60 shows how to select the sapling 
and where to cut it below a good sturdy fork. Fig. 61 shows 
the bit of saphng trimmed down to the proper length and 
with two forks, one at each end. On the upper fork you 
will note that one prong is a slender elastic switch. Fig. 62 
shows how this switch may be bent down and bound with a 
string or tape made of green bark, and so fastened to the 
main stem as to form a loop which will easily slip over the 
waugan-stick as in Fig. 63. Fig. 62A shows a handy hitch 
with which to make fast the bark binding. 

When the waugan-stick has been thrust through the loop 
of the gallow-crook, the former is replaced in the crotches 
of the two forked sticks, as in Fig. 63, and the pot or kettle, 
pail or bucket, is hooked on to the lower fork. You will 
note that the lower fork is upon the opposite side of the 
main stick from that from which the switch prong of the 
upper fork springs. This arrangement is not necessary to 
make the pot balance properly over the fire; the same rule 
holds good for aU the other pot-hooks.* 

The Pot-claw 

Will be best understood by inspecting the diagrams (Figs. 
64, 65 and Q6), which show its evolution or gradual growth. 
By these diagrams you will see the stick is so cut that the 
* The pots will balance better if the notches are on the same side. 


fork may be hooked over the waugan-stick aud the cooking 
utensils, pots or kettles may be hung over tlie fire by slip- 
ping their liandles into the notch cut in the stick on the side 
opposite to the fork and near tlie lower end of the pot-claw. 
This is a real honest-to-goodness Buckskin or Sourdough 
pot-hook; it is one that requires little time to manufacture 
and one that is easily niiide wherever sticks grow, or wherever 
"whim" sticks or driftwood may be found heaped upon 
the shore. 

The Hake 

Is easier to make than the pot-claw. It is a forked stick 
like the pot-claw, but in place of the notch near the lower 
end a nail is driven diagonally into the stick and the kettle 
hung on tlie nail (Figs. 67 and 68). The hake possesses the 
disadvantage of making it necessary for the camper to carry 
a supply of nails in his kit. No Sourdough on a long and 
perilous trip loads himself down with nails. A hake, however, 
is a very good model for Boy Scouts, Girl Pioneers, and hikers 
of all descriptions who may go camping in the more thickly 
settled parts of the country. 

The Gib 

Is possibly a corruption of gibbet, but it is a much more 
humane implement. It requires a little more time and a little 
more skill to make a gib (Fig. 69) than it does to fashion the 
preceding pot-hook. It is a useful hook for stationary camps 
where one has time to develop more or less intricate cooking 
equipment. Fig, 69A shows how the two forked sticks are 
cut to fit together in a splice, and it also shows how this splice 
is nailed together witli a couple of wire nails, and Fig. 70 
shows how the wire nails are clinched. 


In a book of this kind the details of all these designs are 
given not because any one camper is expected to use them all, 
but because there are tinies when anv one of them may be just 
the thing required. It is well, however, to say that the most 
practicable camp j)ot-hooks are the p>ot-claw and the hake. 

In making a pot-claw care should be taken to cut the 
notch on the opposite side of the forked branch, and at the 
other end of the claw, deep enough to hold the handle of the 
cooking utensils securely. 

While the author was on an extended trip in the blustering 
Xorth land his party had a pot-claw as crooked as a yeggman, 
and as knotty as a problem in higher mathematics. While 
there can be no doubt that one of the party made this hoodoo 
affair it has never yet been decided to whom the credit 
belongs — because of the innate modesty of the men no one 
claims the honor. This misshapen pot -claw was responsible 
for spilling the stew on several occasions, not to speak of 
losing the boiled rice. Luckily one of the party was a stoHd 
Indian, one a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, 
one a Scout and one a member of the Society of Friends, 
consequently the air was not blue and the only remarks made 
were, "Oh my I" **Bless my soul I" and '*Gee willikensl" 

The cook in despair put the wicked thing in the fire with 
muttered hints that the fire might suggest the region where 
such pot-hooks belong. While it burned and its evil spirit 
dissolved in smoke, the Indian made a new pot-claw, a respec- 
table pot-claw with a straight character, and a more secure 
notch. This one by its benign presence brought p>eace and 
good will to the camp and showed the necessity of taking 
pains and using care in the manufacture of even so lowly a 
thing as a pot -claw. 

The camp pot-hooks shoijJd be of various lengths; long 


ones to bring the vessels near the fire where the heat is more 
intense; short ones to keep the vessels further from the fire 
so that their contents will not cook but only keep warm; 
and medium ones for simmering or slow cooking. 

The Spetgell\ 

Is not an Italian, but is a long name for a short implement. 
The speygelia is a forked stick or a notched stick 'Figs. 71, 
7^ and 73), which is either propped up on a forked stick (Fig. 
71) and the lower end held down by a stone in such a manner 
that the fork at the upper end offers a place to hang things 
over, or in front of the fire, sometimes a notched stick is 
used in the same manner as Fig. 73. Where the ground is 
soft to permit it, the stick is driven diagonally into the earth, 
which may hold it in place without other support. The 
speygelia is much used by cow-punchers and other people 
in places where wood is scarce. 

The Saster 

The saster is a long pole used in the same manner as the 
speygeKa. Meat is suspended from it in front of the fire to 
roast (Figs. 74^ and 75), or kettles are suspended from it 
over the fire to boil water (Fig. 74). 

Telegr-^ph Wire Cooking Implements 

Many campers are fond of making for themselves cooking 
utensils impro\'ised from ordinary telegraph wire. In the 
old time open fireplaces of our grandsires' kitchen there were 
trammels consisting of chains hanging down the chimney on 
which things were hooked by short pot-hooks to hang over 
the fire; there were also rakens made of bands of iron with 
holes punched in them for the attachment of short iron pot- 



hooks (Pig. 76\ With these ancient implements in their 
minds, some ingenious campers manufcicture themselves 
rakens and short pot-hooks from telegraph wire (Fig. 77). 
By twisting the wire in a series of short loops, each loop can 
be made to ser^'e as a place for attaching the pot-hooks as 
did the holes in the old-fashioned rakens. The advantages 
they claim for the telegraph -^ire raken are Hghtness and its 
possibihts" of being readily packed. 


^4 ii^-^i^;:^. 



On one of these rakens one may hook the pail as high or 
as low as one chooses (Fig. 7S) ; not only that but one may 
(Fig. 79) put a small pail mside the larger one, where later 
it is full of water, for the purpose of cooking cereal without 
danger of scorching it. 

The disadvantage of all these implements is that they 
must be toted wherever one goes, and parts are sure to be 
lost sooner or later, whereupon the camper must resort to 
things "with the bark on 'em,'*' hke the gallow-orook, the 
p>ot-claw, the bake, the gib, the speygelia, or the saster, or 


he may go back to the first principles and sharpen the forks 
of a green wand and impale thereon the bacon, game or fish 
that it may be tlius toasted over the hot embers (Fig. 80). 
We do not put meat over the fire because it will bum on the 
outside before it cooks and the fumes of the smoke will 
spoil its flavor. 

According to Mr. Seton, away up in the barren lands they 
use the saster with a fan made of a shingle-like piece of wood, 
fastened witli a hitch to a piece of wire and a bit of string; 
the wind — when it is good-natured — will cause the cord to 
spin round and round. But the same result is secured with 
a cord which has been soaked in water to prevent it from 
burning, and which has also been twisted by spinning the 
meat with one's hands (Fig. 75). Such a cord will unwind 
and wind more or less slowly for considerable time, thus 
causing the meat to expose all sides of its surface to the heat 
of the roasting fire in front of which it hangs. You will 
note we say in front; again let us impress upon the reader's 
mind that he must not hang his meat over the flame. In 
Fig. 75 the meat is so drawn that one might mistake its 
position and think it was intended to hang over the fire, 
whereas the intention is to hang it m front of the fire as in Fig. 
74. In the writer's boyhood days it was his great delight to 
hang an apple by a wet string in front of the open fire, and 
to watch it spinuntil the heat sent the juices bubbling through 
the skin and the apple gradually became thoroughly roasted. 

The GniDraoN 

Campers have been known to be so fastidious as to 
demand a broiler to go with their kit; at the same time 
there was enough of the real camper in them to cause 
them to avoid carrying unwieldy broilers such as are used 


in our kitchens. Consequently they compromise by pack- 
ing a handful of telegraph wires of even length with 
their duffel (Fig. 81), each wire having its ends carefully 
bent in the form of a hook (Fig. 82), which may be ad- 
justed over two green sticks resting upon two log fire-dogs 
(Fig. 83), and upon the wires, so arranged, meat and fish 
may be nicely broiled. 

This is not a bad scheme, but the campers should have a 
little canvas bag in which they may pack the wires, other- 
wise the camper will sooner or later throw them away rather 
than be annoyed by losing one every now and then. Figs. 
84, 85, 86, 87 and 88 show a little 

Skeleton Camp Stove 

Ingeniously devised by a Boy Pioneer. Two pieces of tele- 
graph wire are bent into a triangular form (Figs. 84 and 85), 
and the ends of the triangle at A are left open or unjoined, 
so that they may readily be slipped through the loops in the 
upright wires, B and C (Fig. 87), and thus form a take-a-part 
skeleton stove (Fig. 86). The young fellow from whom this 
device was obtaiued was at the time using an old tin kerosene- 
lamp (Fig. 88A) which he forced into the lower triangle of the 
stove (Fig. 86), and which the spring of the wire of the tri- 
angle held in position (Fig. 88B). 

But if one is going to use the telegraph wire camp stove 
there is no necessity of carrying a lamp. The stove is made 
so that it may be taken apart and packed easily and the 
weight is trifling, but a lamp of any kind, or even a lantern, 
is a nuisance to carry. 

The telegraph wire camp stove, however, may be made 
by bending the wires as shown in Fig. 90, but the only object 
in so doing is to develop one's ingenuity, or for economy sake, 


otherwise one may purchase at the outfitter's folding wire 
camp broilers for a trifle, made on the same principle and 
with legs which may be thrust into the ground surrounding 
the fire, as in Figs. 88 and 89, and, after the broiler is folded 
in the middle, the legs may be folded back so that it will all 
make a flat package. But leaving the artificialities of tele- 
graph wire let us go back to the real thing again and talk 
about laymg and lighting a genuine 

Camp Cooking Fire 
The more carefully the fire is planned and built the more 
easily will the cooking be accomplished. The first thing to 
be considered in laying one of these fires is the 

Which in camp are the same as andirons in the open fire-places 
of our homes, and used for the same purpose. But domestic 
andirons are heavy steel bars usually with ornamental brass 
uprights in front and they would be most unhandy for one 
to carry upon a camping trip, while it would be the height 
of absurdity to think of taking andirons on a real hunting or 
exploring expedition. Therefore, we use green logs, sods or 
stones for fire-dogs in the wilderness. Frequently we have a 
back-log agamst which the fire-dog rests; this back log is 
shown in Fig. 91. In this particular case it acts both as a 
back log and a fire-dog. In the plan just above it (Fig. 92), 
there are two logs side by side which serve the double pur- 
pose of fire-dogs and for sides of the kitchen stove (Fig. 93). 
Fig. 94 shows 

The Lay of a Roasting Fire 
Sometimes called the round fire. The back is laid up log- 
cabin style and the front is left open. In the open enclosure 


the fire is built by sticks being laid up like those in Fig. 91. 
The logs on all three sides radiate the heat and when the meat 
is hung in front of this, suspended from the end of the saster 
(Fig. 743^), it is easily and thoroughly roasted. 

The Camp-fire 
Is built with an eye to two purposes : one is to reflect heat 
into the open tent in front, and the other is to so construct 
it that it may last a long time. When one builds a camp-fire 
one wants to be able to roll up in one*s blanket and sleep with 
the comforting conviction that the fire will last until morning. 

The camp-fire is made with two fire-dogs pushed back 
against a back log (Fig. 95 A and B), which form the founda- 
tion for the camp-fire. Two upright green sticks C (Fig. 95) 
are placed in a slanting position and supported by other 
sticks, D (Fig. 95), the top ends of which rest in notches cut 
in C stick at E (Fig. 95), and the bottom ends of which are 
thrust into the ground. Against the upright sticks C, and 
the logs F are heaped to form the back of the fire. The fire 
is then built on the two fire-dogs AA, and against the F logs, 
the latter will burn slowly and at the same time reflect the 
heat into the open tent front. This same fire is sometimes 
used for a baking fire, but the real fire for this purpose is 
made by the 


Figs. 96 and 97. The first sketch shows the plan and the 
second the perspective view of the fire. The stove is made 
by two side logs or fire-dogs over which the fire is built and 
after it has fallen in, a mass of red hot embers, between the 
fire-dogs, two logs are laid across the dogs and one log is 
placed atop, so that the flame then comes up in front of them 
(Fig. 97) and sends the heat against the bread or bannock. 


At a convenient distance in front of the fuel logs, a 
waugan-stick is placed, reaching from one fire-dog to 
the other. 

In wilderness work the frj'ing pan is about the only 
domestic utensil carried and is used as a toaster, a baker, 
a broiler, a frj'cr, and a stew pan all combined. In it the 
Buckskin man and the Sourdough make their bread, and 
after the bread has been baked over the coals on the bottom, 
it is browned nicely on its top by tilting the pans in front of 
the fire and resting their handles against the waugan-stick 
(Fig. 97) . I have seen tlie baking fire used from British Co- 
lumbia to Florida, but it was the explorer, Captain Behnore 
Browne, who showed me the use of the waugan-stick in con- 
nection with the baking fire, hence I have called this the 
Belmore Lay. 

A Frying Fire 

Is built between two logs, two rows of stones, or sods 
(Figs. 98, 99 and 100); between these logs the fire is usually 
built, using the sides as fire-dogs, or the sticks may be placed 
in the turkey-lay (Fig. 100), so that the sticks themselves 
make a fire-dog and allow, for a time, a draught until the 
fire is burning briskly, after which it settles down to hot 
embers and is in the proper condition for frying. For be it 
known that too hot a griddle will set the grease or bacon 
afire, which may be funny under ordinary circumstances, 
but when one is shy of bacon it is a serious thing. The 

ORDiNARy Baking Fire Lay 

Is shown by Fig. 101. In this instance, the frv^ing pans being 
used as reflector ovens are propped up by running sticks 
tlirough the holes in their handles. 


The Aures 

Is a rustic crane made exactly of the same form as are the 
cranes of the old-fashioned open fire-places, but ingeniously- 
fashioned from a carefully selected green stick with two forks 
(Fig. 102). The long end of the main branch is severed at A 
(Fig. 102), care being taken not to cut through the green bark, 
B (Fig. 102). The bark of the latter, B, is then bent over the 
stub, A (Fig. 102), forming a loop, C (Fig. 103), which is lashed 
with green bark to the main stick and slipped over the upright, 
D (Fig. 104). The fork at E braces the crane and holds it in 
a horizontal position, resting on a stub left on D for that 
purpose. How practicable this thing may be depends al- 
together upon the time and skill one has at one's disposal. 
One would hardly use the Aures for a single night camp, but 
if one were to spend a week in the same camp, it would be 
well worth while and at the same time very interesting work 
to manufacture a neat Aures crane for the camp kitchen. 
The next step in camp kitchen fires will include what might 
be termed the pit fires, which will be described in the following 

You have been told how to select the firewood, make the 
kindling and start a fire in the preceding chapter on how to 
build a fire; all you have to remember now is that in certain 
particulars all fires are alike; they all must have air to breathe 
and food to eat or they will not live. 

In the case of the fire we do not call the air breath, but 
we give it a free circulation and call it a draught. Wood is 
the food that the fire eats and it must be digestible, a fire 
with indigestion is a fire fed Tvdth punky, damp wood care- 
lessly thrown together in place of well-selected dry split 
wood which the fire can consume cleanly, digest evenly, and 
at the same time give out the greatest amoimt of heat. 


To produce a draught the fire must, of course, be raised 
from the ground, but do not build it in a careless manner like 
a pile of jack-straws. Such a fire may start all right, but 
when the supporting sticks have burned away it will fall in a 
heap and precipitate the cooking utensils into the flames, 
upsetting the coffee or teapot, and dumping the bacon "from 
the frying pan into the fire." 

Be it man, woman, boy or girl, if he, she or it expects 
to be a camper, he, or she or it must learn to be orderly and 
tidy around camp. Xo matter how soiled one's clothes may 
be, no matter how grimy one's face may look, the ground 
around the camp-fire must be clean, and the cooking utensils 
and fire wood, pot-hooks and waugan-sticks, all orderly and 
as carefully arranged as if the mihtary officer was expected 
the next minute to make an inspection. 

All my readers must remember that By Their Camp-fire 
They Will be Known and "sized up" as the real thing or 
as chumps, duffers, tenderfeet and cheechakos, by the first 
Sourdough or old-timer who cuts their trails. 







THE GOLD digger's OVEN 









Real camp kitchens are naught but well arranged fire- 
places ^^ith rustic cranes and {X)t-hooks as already described, 
but in deforested countries, or on the plains and prairies, 
pit-fires are much in vogue. The pit itself shelters the fire 
on the w-indswept plain, which is doubly necessary because 
of the unprotected nature of such camping places, and because 
of the kind of fuel used. Buffalo-chips were formerly used 
on the Western plains, but they are now superseded by cattle 
chips. The buffalo-chip fire was the cooking fire of the Buck- 
skin-clad long-haired plainsmen and the ef^ually picturesque 
cowboy; but the buffalo herds have long since hit the trail 
over the Great Divide where ail tracks point one way, the 
sound of the thunder of their feet has died away forever, as 
has also the whotjp of the painted Indians. The romantic 
and picturesque plainsmen and the wild and rolhcking cow- 
boys have followed the herds of buffalo and the long lines 
of prairie schooners are a thing of the past, but the pit-fires 
of the hunters are still in use. 

The Most Simple Pit-fire 
Is a shallow trench dug in the ground, on each side of which 
two logs are placed; in the pit between the logs a fire is built 
(Fig. 105), but probably the most celebrated pit-fire is the 
fireless cooker of the camp, known and loved by all under 
the name of 

The Bean Hole 
Fig. 106 shows a half section of a bean hole lined with 
stones. The bean hole may, however, be lined \\ith clay or 
6 81 


simply the damp earth left in its natural state. This pit-fire 
place is used differently from the preceding one, for in the 
bean hole the fire is built and bums until the sides are heated 
good and hot, then the fire is removed and the bean pot put 
in place, after which the whole thing is covered up with ashes 
and earth and allowed to cook at its leisure. 

The Cowbot Pit-firb 

The cowboy pit-fire is simply a trench dug in the earth 
(Fig. 107), with a basin-shaped hole at the beginning. When 
obtainable, sticks are laid across tlie trench and sods laid 
upon the top of the sticks. Fig. 107 shows a section of view 
of the pit-fire and trench chimney, and Fig. 108 shows the 
top view of the same. 

In removing the sod one should be careful not to break 
them, then even though there be no sticks one may be able 
to cover the draught chimney with the sods themselves by 
allowing them to bridge the trench. At the end of the trench 
the sods are built up, making a short smokestack. 

The Chinook Fire-pit 

The chinook fire-pit is one which is used in the north- 
western part of the United States, and seems to be a combina- 
tion of the ordinary camp fire-dogs with cross logs and the 
cowboy fire-pit. Fig. 109 shows a perspective view of this 
lay. Fig. 110 shows the top view of plan of the lay. Fig. Ill 
shows a steeper perspective view than that of Fig. 109, and 
Fig. 112 shows a sectional view. By examining the sectional 
view and also the deeper perspective view, as well as the plan, 
you will note that the two logs are placed across the fire-dogs 
with space between. The back-log is placed upon the top 
of another back-log A and B (Fig. 112). The fire-dogs have 


their ends shoved against the bottom back-logs B, the two 
back -logs are kept in place by the stakes C, C. Between the 
two top logs D and A (Tigs. 112 and llOj, the smaller fuel 
or spUt wood is placed. 

As the fire bums the hot coals drop into the pit, and when 
sufl5cient quantity of embers are there they may be raked 
forward and the fn'ing pan placed on top of them "Tig. 112). 
The chinook fire is good for baking, frying, broiling, toasting, 
and is an excellent all-around kitchen camp stove. 

The Hobo 

Is carelessly built, a fire-place usually surrounding a shal- 
low pit, the sides built up with sods or stones. The hobo 
answers for a hasty fire over which to boil the kettle (Fig. 1 13) . 
At the old-fashioned barbecue where our ancestors 
roasted whole oxen, the ox was placed on a huge spit, which 
was turned with a crank handle, very similar to the old- 
fashioned well handle as used with a roj)e or chain and bucket. 


Is used at those feasts (Fig. 114), where they broil or roast a 
whole sheep, deer or pig. At a late meet of the Camp-fire 
Club of America they thus barbecued a pig. 

The fire-pit is about four feet wide and four feet deep and 
is long enough (Fig. 1 14) to allow a fire to be built at each 
end of the pit, there being no fire under the meat itself for 
the ven»' good reason that the melted fat would drop into 
the fire, cause it to blaze up, smoke and spoil the meat. 

The late Homer Davenport ^the old-time and famous 
cartoonist) some years ago gave a barbecue at his wild animal 
farm in New Jersey. \Mien Davenport was not drawing 
cartoons he was raising wild animals. At the Davenport 



barbecue there was a fire-pit dug in the side of the bank 
(Fig. 115) ; such an arrangement is known as 

The Bank-pit 

In the diagram it will be seen that the carcass is fastened 
to a spit of green wood, which runs thru a hole in a cross log 

114 116 



and fits in the socket D in the bottom log; the spit is turned 
by handles arranged like A, B or C. The pit is lined with 
either stones or bricks, which are heated by a roaring big 
fire until hot enough to bake the meat. 

The Gold Digger 

Is another bank pit, and one that I have seen used in Montana 
by Japanese railroad hands. It is made by digging a hole 
in the bank and using shelves either made of stones or old 
pieces of iron. Fig. 116 shows the cross section of the Gold 



Digger with the stone door in place. Fig. 117 shows a per- 
spective view of the gold digger with the stone door resting 
at one side. 

We next come to the ovens, the first of which is known as 

The Fergusox Camp Stove 

It is made by building a rounded hut of stones or sod 
(Fig. 118), and covering the same w^ith branches over which 
sod, or clay, or dirt is heaped (Fig. 119). The oven is heated 
by building the fire inside of it, and when it is very hot and 
the fire has burned down, the food is placed inside and the 
opening stopped up so as to retain the heat and thus cook 
the food. 


The Ai>obe 

Is one that the soldiers in Civil War days taught the author 
to build- The boys in blue generally used an old barrel with 
the two heads knockeii out Tig- I^IJ. This they either set 
in the bank or covered with clay (Fig. liO., and in it they 
built their fires which consumed the barrel but left the bake d 
clay for the sides of the oven. The head of the barrel (Fig. 
I'JIA. was saved and used to stop up the front of the oven 
when baking was being done; a stone or sod was used to 
cover up the chimney hole. Figs. 122, 123, 124 and 125 
show how to make an Adobe by braiding green sticks together 
and then covering the same with day, after which it is used 
in the same manner as the preceding barrel oven. 

The MatasisO 

Is a camp stove or fire-place, and a form of the so-called Altar 
Ilre-place, the object of which is to save one's back winle 
cooking. The matasiso is built up of stones or sods (Fig. 1 26) 
and used like any other campfire. 

The Ba.vk Lick 

Is a camp stove which the boys of the troop of Boone Scouts, 
who frequented Bank Lick in old Kentucky, were wont to 
bmld and on it to cook the big channel catfi-sh, or Uttle pond 
bass or other food. The Bank Lick is made of flat stones and is 
one or two stories hi^ ^Figs. 127 and 128; . The Boone Scouts 
flourished in Kenton County, Kentucky-, fifty odd years ago. 

The Altjlh Fi£e-place 

Is built of logs ^Yig. 132) , of stones, of sod, or of logs filled with 
sods or stone Fig. 131;, and topped with clay HFigs. 130 
and 132). The clay top being wider at one end than the other. 




on the pLan of the well-kno\vTi cainpfire (Fig. 129), is made 
with stones and sometimes used when clay is miobtainable. 

The Altar Camp Fire-Place 

The advantage of the altar fire and the matasiso is that 
the cook does not have to get the backache over the fire 
while he cooks. All of these ovens and fire-places are suitable 



for more or less permanent camps, but it is not worth while to 
build these ovens and altar fire-places for quick andshort camps. 

Cooking Without Pots, Pans or Stoves 

It is proper and right in treating camp cooking that we 
should begin with the most primitive methods. For when one 

Primitive Cooking Utensils 

has no cooking utensils except those fashioned from the 
material at hand, he must, in order to prepare appetizing 
food, display a real knowledge of woodcraft. 

Therefore, start by spearing the meat on a green twig 
of sweet birch, or some similar wood, and toast it before the 
fire or pinch the meat between the split ends of a twig (Fig. 
133) or better still 

Fork It 

In order to do this select a wand with a fork to it, trim 
off the prongs of the forks, leaving them rather long (Fig. 
134), then sharpen the ends of the prongs and weave them in 
and out near the edges of the meat (Fig. 135), which is done 


by drawnng the pmngs sliglilly together before impaling the 
meat on the second prong. The natural spring and elasticity 
of the branches will stretch the meat nice and flat (Fig. 
135), ready to toast in front of the flames, not over the Umne. 
A very tJiick steak of moose meat or beef may be cooked 
in this manner. Remember to have fire-dogs and a good 
back log; tliere vAW tlien be hot coals imder the front log and 
flame against tlie back log to furnish heat for the meat in 
front. Turn the meat every few minutes and do not salt it 
until it is about done. Any sort of meat can be thus cooked ; 
it is a favorite way of toasting bacon among the sportsmen, 
and I have seen chickens beautifully broiled with no cooking 
implements but the forked stick. This was done by splitting 
the chicken open and running the forks through the legs and 
sides of the fowl. 

Pulled Firebread or T\s^st 

Twist is a Boy Scout's name for this sort of bread. The 
twist is made of dough and rolled between the palms of the 
hands until it becomes a long thick rope (Fig. 138), then it is 
wrapped spirally around a dry stick (Fig. 139), or onewitli 
bark on it (Fig. 137). The coils should be close together but 
without touching each other. The stick is now rested in 
the forks of two uprights, or on two stones in front of the 
roasting fire (Figs. 140 and 141), or over the hot coals of a pit- 
fire. The long end of the stick on which the twist is coiled is 
used for a handle to turn the twist so that it may be nicely 
browned on all sides, or it may be set upright in front of llie 
flames (Fig. 142). 

A Hoe Cake 

May be cooked in the same manner that one planks a shad : 
that is, by plastering it on the flat face of a pimcheon or 


board, spKt from the trunk of a tree (Fig. 145), or flat clean 
stone, and propping it up in front of the fire as one would 
when cooking in a reflecting oven (Fig. 146). When the cake 
is cooked on one side it can be turned over by using a hunting 
knife or a Kttle paddle whittled out of a stick for that purpose, 
and then cooked upon the opposite side. Or a flat stone may 
be placed over the fire and used as a frying pan (Figs. 116 and 
128). I have cooked a large channel catfish in this manner 
and found that it was unnecessary to skin the fish because, 
there being no grease, the skin adhered firmly to the hot stone, 
leaving the white meat flaky and delicate, afl ready to be 
picked out with a jack-knife or with chopsticks, whittled 
out of twigs. 

Meat Hooks 

May be made of forked branches (Figs. 151, 152, 153, 154 
and 155). Upon this hook meat may be suspended before 
the fire (Fig. 153) by a piece of twine made from the twisted 
green bark of a milkweed or some other fibrous plant stalk 
or tree bark, or a wet string will do if you have one. 

How TO Dress Small Animals 

Dressing in this case really means undressmg, taking 
their coats off and removing their insides. In order to prepare 
for broiling or baking any of the smaU fur-bearing animals, 
make yourself a skinning stick, using for the purpose a forked 
branch; the forks being about an inch in diameter, make the 
length of the stick to suit your convenience, that is, long 
enough to reach between the knees whether you are sitting 
on a camp stool or squatting on the ground, sharpen the 
lower end of the stick and thrust it into the ground, then 
take your coon, possum, squirrel or muskrat, and punch the 
pointed ends of the forked stick thru the thin place at the 


point which corresponds to your own heel, just as the stick 
in Fig. 155 is punched through tlie tliin phice behind the 
heels of the small animals there sketched. Thus hung the 
animal may be dressed with comfort to the workmen. If 
one is squatting, the nose of the animal should just clear the 
ground. First take off the fur coat. To do this you split 
the skin \^^th a sharp knife, beginning at the center of the 
throat and cut to the base of tlie tail, being careful not to 
cut deep enough to penetrate the inside skin or sack which 
contains the intestines; when the base of the tail is reached, 
use your fingers to roll back the skin. If skinning for the 
pelt, follow directions given later, but do not destroy any 
skin as the hide is useful for many purposes around camp. 
After the coat is removed and all the internal organs taken 
out, remove the scent glands from such animals as have them, 
and make a cut in the forearms and the meaty parts of the 
thigh, and cut out the little white things which look Uke 
nerves, to be found there. This will prevent the jBesh from 
having a strong or musky taste when it is cooked. 

How TO Barbecue a Deer, or Sheep 

First dress the carcass and then stretch it on a framework 
of black birch sticks, for this sweet wood imparts no disagree- 
able odor or taste to the meat. 

Next build a big fire at each end of the pit (Fig. 114), not 
right under the bodyof the animal, but so arranged that when 
the melted fat drops from the carcass it will not fall on the 
hot coals to blaze up and spoil your barbecue. Build big 
fires with plenty of small sticks so as to make good red hot 
coals before you put the meat on to cook. 

First bake the inside of the barbecued beast, then turn 
it over and bake the outside. To be well done, an animal the 


size of a sheep should be cooking at least seven or eight hours 
over a charcoal fire. Baste the meat with melted bacon fat 
mixed with any sauce you may have or no sauce at all, 
for bacon fat itself is good enough for anyone, or use hot 
salt water. 

Of course, it is much better to use charcoal for this purpose, 
but charcoal is not always handy. One can, however. 

Make One's Own Charcoal 
A day or two ahead of the barbecue day, by building big 
fires of wood about the thickness of one's WTist. After the 
fire has been burning briskly for a while, it should be covered 
up with ashes or dirt and allowed to smoulder all night, and 
turn the wood into charcoal in place of consuming it 
How TO Make Dough 

Roll the top of your flour bag back (Fig. 136), then build 
a cone of flour in the middle of the bag and make a crater 
in the top of the flour mountain. 

In the crater dump a heaping teaspoon — or, to use Mr. 
Vreeland's expression, put in "one and a half heaping tea- 
spoonfuls of baking powder," to which add a half spoonful 
of salt; mix these together with the dry flour, and when this 
is thoroughly done begin to pour water into the crater, a 
little at a time, mixing the dough as you work by stirring it 
around inside your miniature volcano. Gradually the flour 
will shde from the sides into the lava of the center, as the water 
is poured in and care taken to avoid lumps. 

Make the dough as soft as may be, not batter but very 
soft dough, stiff enough, however, to roll between your well- 
floured hands. 

Baked Potatoes 

Put the potatoes with their skins on them on a bed of 
hot embers two or three inches thick, then cover the potatoes 


with more hot coals. If this is done properly the spuds will 
cook slowly, even with the fire burning above them. Don't 
be a chump and throw the potatoes in the fire where the outer 
rind will burn to charcoal while the inside remains raw. 

Mud Cooking 

In preparing a small and tender fish, where possible, the 
point under the head, where the gills meet, is cut, fingers 
thrust in and the entrails drawn through this opening; the fish 
is then washed, cleaned and wrapped in a coating of paper 
or fallen leaves, before the clay is applied. Place the fish 
upon a pancake of stiff clay (Fig. 147), fold the clay over the 
fish (Fig. 148), press the edges together, thus making a clay 
dumpling (Fig. 149) ; cook by burying the dumpling in the 
embers of an ordinary surface fire, or in the embers in a pit- 
fire (Fig. 150). 

A brace of partridges may be beheaded, drawn, washed 
out thoroughly and stuffed with fine scraps of chopped bacon 
or pork, mixed w4th bread crumbs, generously seasoned with 
salt, pepper and sage, if you have any of the latter. The birds 
with the feathers on them are then plastered over with clean 
clay made soft enough to stick to the feathers, the outside is 
wrapped with stiffer clay and the whole molded into a ball, 
which is buried deep in the glowing cinders and allowed to 
remain there for an hour, and at the end of that time the clay 
will often be almost as hard as pottery and must be broken 
open with a stick. When the outside clay comes off the 
feathers will come with it, leaving the dainty white meat of 
the bird all ready to be devoured. 

Woodchucks, raccoons, opossums, porcupines, rabbits 
had better be barbecued (see Figs. 114, 115 and 155), but 
squirrels and small creatures may be baked by first removing 


the insides of the creatures, cleaning them, filling the hollow 
with bread crumbs, chopped bacon and onions, then closing 
the opening and plastering the bodies over with stiff clay 
and bakincj them in the embers. This seals the meat inside 

of the mud wrapper and when it is cooked and the brick-like 
clay broken off, tlie skin comes off with the broken clay, 
leaving tlie juicy meat exposed to view. 

To Plank a Fish 

Cut off the head of the fish and clean by splitting it 
through the back, in place of the usual way of splitting up 
the belly. To salt red meat before you cook it is to make it 
dry and tough, but the fish should be salted while it is damp 
with its own juices. 

Heat the plank in front of the fire and then spread your 
fish out flat on the hot puncheon or plank, and wnth your 
hunting knife press upon it, make sHt holes through the fish 
(Fig. 145) with the grain of the wood; tack your fish on with 


wooden pegs cut wedge shape and driven in the sHts made 
by your knife blade (Figs. 143 and 144). Prop the puncheon 
up in front of a fire which has a good hack-log and plenty 
of hot coals to send out heat (Fig. 146).* 

Heiating Water 

Water may be boiled in a birch bark vessel made by fold- 
ing up a more or less square piece of bark, bending in the 
corner (Fig. 157) folds and holding them in place by thorns 
or slivers (Fig. 156). Or the stomach of a large animal or 
piece of green hide may be filled with water and the latter 
made hot by throwing in it hot stones (Fig. 158) . Dig a hole 
in the ground, fit the rawhide in the hole, bringing the edges 
up so as to overlap the sod, weigh dowTi the edges mth stones, 
fill the hide with water and heat with hot stones. Figs. 159 
and 160 show how to make tongs with which to handle the 

*The best plank is made from the oaks ^own on the hammocks of 
Southern Florida and the peculiar flavor this plank gives to shad has 
made Planked Shad famous. 









Pabched Corn aa Food 

When America gave Indian com to the world she gave 
it a priceless gift full of condensed pep. Com in its various 
forms Is a wonderful food power; with a long, narrowbuckskin 
bag of nocake, or rock-a-hominy, as parched CTacked com 
was called, swung upon his back, an Indian or a white man 
could traverse the continent independent of game and never 
suffer hunger. George Washingtrjn, George Rodger Clark, 
Boone, Kenton, Crockett, and Carson all knew the sustaining 
value of parched com. 

How TO Dry Corn 

The pioneer farmers in America and many of their 
desc-endants up to the present time, dr^' their Indian com by 
the methods the early Americans learned from the Indians. 
The com drj'ing season naturally begins with the harvesting 
of the com, but it often continues until the first snow falls. 

Selecting a number of ears of com, the husks are pulled 
back exposing the grain, and then the husks of the several 
ears are braided together rFig. 16.5). These bunches of com 
are hung over branches of trees or horizontal poles and left 
for the winds to dry (Fig. 166). 

On account of the danger from corn-eating birds and 
beasts, these drying poles are usually placed near the kitchen 
door of the farmhouse, and sometimes in the attic of the old 
farmhouse, the woodshed or the bam. 




Of course, tlie Indians owned no corn mills, but they used 
bowl-shaped stones to hold the corn and stone pestles like 
crudely made p>otato mashers with which to grind the corn. 
The writer lately saw nimibers of these stone corn-mills in 
the collection of Doctor Baldwin, of Springfield, Mass. 

How TO Prepare Corn to Eat 

In the southwest much grit from the stone used is unin- 
tentionally mixed with the corn, and hence all the elderly 
Indians' teeth are worn down as if they had been sandpapered. 

But the reader can use a wcKxlen bowl and a potato masher 
with a piece of tin or sheet iron nailed to its bottom with 
which to crush the corn and make meal without grit. Or he 
can make a pioneer null hke Figs. 163 or 1&4, from a log. 
The pestle or masher in Fig. lt>4 is of iron. 

Sweet Corn 

There is a way to preserve com which a few white people 
still practice just as they learned it from the Indians. First 



they dig long, shallow trenches in the ground, fill them with 
dried T(j*)ts and small t"wigs with which they make a hot fire 
and thus cover the bottom of the ditch with glowing embers. 
The outer hasks of the fresh green com are then removed 
and the com placed in rows side by side on the hot embers 
(Fig. 167). This practice gave the name of Roasting Ear 
Season to July and August. 

As the husks become scorched the ears are turned over, 
and when bro^Tied on all sides they are deftly tossed out of 
the ditch by means of a wand or stick used for that purpose. 

The burnt husks are now removed and the grains of com 
are shelled from the cob with the help of a sharp-edged, fresh 
water "clam" shell; these shells I have often found in the 
old camping places of the Indians in the half caves of 

The com is then spread out on a clean sheet or on pieces 
of paper and allowed to dry in the sun. It is "mighty " good 
food, as any Southern bom person will tell you. One can 
keep a supply of it all winter. 


Parched Field Corn 

When I was a little shaver in old Kentucky, the children 
were very fond of the Southern field corn parched in a frying 
pan (Fig. 161), and then buttered and salted while it was still 
hot; we parched field corn, sugar corn and the regular pop 
corn, but none of us had ever seen cracked corn or corn meal 
parched and used as food, and I am inclined to think that the 
old pioneers themselves parched the corn as did their direct 
descendants in Kentuckj', and that said corn was crushed or 
ground after it had been parched. Be this as it may, we know 
that our bordermen traveled and fought on a parched corn 
diet and that Somoset, Massasoit, Pocahontas, Okekankano, 
Powhatan, all ate corn cakes and that it was either them or 
the squaws of their tribes who taught bold Captain Smith's 
people on the southern coast, and the Pilgrims further north, 
the value of corn as an article of diet. The knowledge of how 
to make the various kinds of corn bread and the use of corn 
generally from " roasting-ears " to corn puddings was gained 
from the American Indians. It was from them we learned 
how to make the 

Ash Cakes 

This ancient American food dates back to the fable times 
which existed before history, when the sun came out of a 
hole in the eastern sky, cUmbed up overhead and then dove 
through a hole in the western skj^ and disappeared. The sun 
no more plays such tricks, and although the humming-bird, 
who once stole the sun, still carries the mark under his chin, 
he is no longer a humming-birdman but only a httle buzzing 
bird; the ash cake, however, is still an ash cake and is made 
in almost as primitive a manner now as it was then. 

]Mix half a teaspoonful of salt with a cup of corn meal, and 
add to it boiling hot water until the swollen meal may be 


worked by one's hand into a ball, bury the ball in a nice bed 
of hot ashes (glowing embers) and leave it there to bake 
like a potato. Equalling the ash cake m fame and simpHcity is 


Pone is made by mixing the meal as described for the 
ash cake, but molding the mixture in the form of a cone and 
baking it in an oven. 


Is mixed in the same way a.s the pone or ash cake, but it is 
not cooked the same, nor is it the same shape; it is more in 
the form of a very thick pancake. Pat the Jolmny-cake into 
the form of a disk an inch thick and four inches in diameter. 
Have the frying pan plentifully supplied with hot grease and 
drop the Johnny-cake carefully in the sizzling grease. When 
the cake is well browned on one side turn it and brown it on 
the other side. If cooked properiy It should be a rich dark 
brou-n color and with a crisp crust. Before it is eaten it may 
be cut open and buttered Hke a biscuit, or eaten with maple 
syrup like a hot buckwheat cake. This is the Johnny-cake 
of my youth, the famous Johnny-cake of Kentucky fifty 
years ago. Up North I find that any old thing made of com 
meal is called a Johnny-cake and that they also call ash- 
cakes "hoe-cakes," and com bread "bannocks," at least they 
call camp com bread, a bannock. Xow since bannocks were 
known before com was known, suppose we call it 

Camp Corn Bread axd Corn Dodgers 

In the North they also call this camp com bread "Johnny- 
cake," but whatever it is called it is wholesome and nourish- 
ing. Take some com meal and wheat flour and mix them 
fifty-fifty; in other words, a half pint each; add a teaspoon 


level full and a teaspoon heaping full of baking powder and 
about half a teaspoonful of salt; mix these all together, 
while dry, in your pan, then add the water gradually. If you 
have any milk go fifty-fifty with the water and milk, make the 
flour as thin as batter, pour it into a reflector pan, or frying 
pan, prop it up in front of a quick fire; it will be heavy if 
allowed to cook slowly at the start, but after your cake has 
risen you may take more time with the cooking. This is a 
fine corn bread to stick to the ribs. I have eaten it every 
day for a month at a time and it certainly has the food 
power in it. When made in form of biscuits it is called 
"com dodgers.'* 

Camp Biscuit 

Take two cups full of flour and one level teaspoonful and 
one heaping teaspoonful of baking powder and half a tea- 
spoonful of salt, and mix them together thoroughly while dry. 
To this you add milk and water, if not milk straight water, 
mixing it as described for the flapjacks. Make a dough soft 
but stiff enough to mold with weH floured hands, make it 
into biscuits about half an inch thick, put them into a 
greased pan, bake them in any one of the ovens already 
described, or by propping them up in front of the fire. If the 
biscuits have been weU mixed and well baked they will prove 
to be good biscuits. 

The Vreeland Bannock 

Fred tells me that he makes this the same as he would 
biscuits and bakes it in a frying pan. The frying pan is 
heated and greased before the dough is dropped into it, 
making a cake about a half inch thick. The frying pan is 
then placed over the slow fire to give the bannock a chance 
to rise and harden enough to hold its shape, then the frying 


pan is propped up with a stick and the bannock browned by 
reflected heat, it must be cooked slowly and have "a nice 
brown crust." I have never made bannocks but I have 
eaten some of Vreeland's, and they are fine. 


A fellow who cannot throw a flapjack is sadly lacking in 
the skill one expects to find in a real woodcrafter. A heavy, 
greasy flapjack is an abomination, but the real article is a 
joy to make and a joy to eat. 

Put a large tin cupful of flour in tlie pan, add half a 
teaspoonful of salt, also one heaping teaspoonful and one level 
teaspoonful of baking powder ; mix the sjdt and bakuig powder 
well with the flour while it is drj'. Then build your little 
mountain or volcano of flour with its miniature crater in the 
middle, mto which pour water little by little; making the 
lava by mixing the dough as you go. Continue this process 
until all the flour is batter; the batter should be thin enough 
to spread out rapidly into the form of a pancake when it is 
poured into the skillet or frying pan, but not watery. 

Grease the frying pan with a greasy rag fastened to the 
end of a stick or with a piece of bacon rind. Remember that 
the frying pan only needs enough grease to prevent the cake 
from sticking to the pan; when one fries potatoes the pan 
should be plentifully supplied with very hot grease, but 
flapjacks are not potatoes and too much grease makes the 
cakes unfit to eat. Do not i)ut too much batter in the pan, 
either; I tried it once and when I flapped the flapjack the 
hot batter splattered all over my face, and that batter was 
even hotter than my remarks. 

Pour enough batter into the pan to spread almost but 
not quite over the bottom; when the bubbles come thickly 


in the middle and the edges begin to smoke a bit, it is time 
to flap the flapjack. Do so by loosening tlie edges Tsdth a knife 
blade, then dip the far side of the pan downward and bring 
it up quickly, sending the cake somersaulting in the air; 
catch the cake as it falls batter side down and proceed to 
cook that side. 

The penalty of dropping a flapjack in the fire is to be 
made to eat it without wiping off the ashes. 


First fry some bacon or boil it until it is soft, then chop 
up the bacon into small pieces quite fine, like hash. Save 
the grease and set the bacon to one side; now take a pint of 
flour and half a teaspoon of salt, a spoonful of brown sugar 
and a heaping spoonful of baking powder and mix them all 
while they are dry, after which stir in the water as already 
described until it is in the form of batter; now add the chopped 
bacon and then mix rapidly with a spoon; pour it into a 
Dutch oven or a pan and bake; it should be done in thirty- 
five or forty minutes, according to the condition of the fire. 

WTien your campfire is built upon a hearth made of stones, 
if you brush the ashes away from the hot stone and place 
your doughgod upon it, then cover it with a fr;^TJig pan or 
some similar vessel, and put the hot cinders on top of the 
frying pan, you will find that it will bake very nicely and 
satisfactorily on the hearthstone. 

In the old-fashioned open fire-places where our grand- 
parents did their cooking, a Dutch oven was considered 
essential. The Dutch oven isstiU used by the guides and cow- 
boys and is of practically the same form as that used by 
Abraham Lincoln's folks; it consists of a more or less shallow 
dish of metal, copper, brass or iron, with four metal legs 


that may be set in the hot cinders. Over that is a metal top 
which is made so as to cover the bottom dish, and the edges 
of the cover are turned up all around Hke a hat with its brim 
turned up. This is so made to hold the hot cinders which 
are dumped on top of it, but a 

Dutch Oven May be Improvised 

From any combination of two metal dishes so made or selected 
that the large one \\411 fit over the top and snugly overlap 
the smaller dish, so as not to admit dirt, dust or ashes to the 
food inside. In this oven bread, biscuits, cakes, pies, stews, 
bakes, meat, fish, fow^l and vegetables may be cooked with 
delightful results. In camp two iry'mg pans are frequently 
made to act as a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is sometimes 
used in a bean hole (Fig. 106) . First bmld a fire, using suflScient 
small wood, chips and dry roots to make cinders enough with 
which to fiill your bean hole. WTiile the fire is doing its work 
let the cook prepare to cook 

The Sourdough's Joy 

Slice bacon as thin as possible and place a layer over the 
bottom and around the sides of the Dutch oven like a pie- 
crust. Slice venison, moose meat or bear steak, or plain beef, 
medium thin and put in to the depth of 2}/2 inches, salting each 
layer. Chop a large onion and sprinkle it over the top, cover 
with another layer of bacon and one pint of water and put 
on the fid. Fill the hole half full of hot embers, place the 
Dutch oven in the center and fill the space surrounding the 
oven full of embers. Cover all wnth about 6 inches of dirt, 
then roll yourself up in your blanket and shut your eyes — 
your breakfast will cook while you sleep and be piping hot 
when you dig for it in the morning. 


The bean hole is far from a modern invention and the 
dried droppings of animals, like "buffalo chips," were used 
for fuel away back in Bible times; in ancient Palestine they 
stewed their meat in a pot set in a hole filled in with stones 
over which burned a fire of "chips'* gathered where the 
flocks pastured. 

When the wood is of such a nature that it is difficult to 
obtain a bed of live coals for toasting, meat may, in a pinch, 
be cooked upon a clean flat stone (Figs. 116, 117 and 128). 
Be certain that the stone is a dry one, otherwise the heat may 
burst it. If satisfied that it is diy, heat it good and hot and 
spread your thick slice of venison, moose, bear or sheep or 
even beef upon the very hot stone; leave it there about twenty 
minutes and aUow it to singe, sizzle and burn on one side, 
then turn it over and burn the other side until the charred 
part is one-quarter or even a half inch deep. Now remove the 
meat and with your hunting knife scrape away all the charred 
meat, season it and toast some bacon or pork on a forked 
stick and, after scoring the steak deeply and putting the 
pork or bacon in the cuts, the meat is ready to serve to your 
hungry self and camp mates. 

How TO Cook Venison 

If you want to know how real wild meat tastes, drop a 
sleek buck with a shot just over the shoulder — no good 
sportsman will shoot a doe — dress the deer and let it hang 
for several days; that is, if you wish tender meat. Cut a 
steak two inches thick and fry some bacon, after which put 
the steak in the frying pan with the bacon on top of it, and 
a cover on the frying pan. When one side is cooked, turn the 
meat over and again put the bacon on top, replace the cover 
and let that side cook. Serve on a hot plate and give thanks 


'Jiai you are in the open, hiive a good ai)j)etite and you are 
privileged to partake of a dish too good for any old king. 
The gravy, oh my word! the recollection of it makes me 
hungry! I have eaten moose meat three times a day for 
weeks at a time, when it was cooked as described, without 
losing my desire for more. 

Perdix au Choux 

Is a great dish in Canada; the bird is cooked this way: Chop 
cabbage fine and highly spice it, then stuff the bird with the 
cabbage and nicely cover the partridge or grouse with many 
thin slices of bacon, and put bacon also in the baking pan. 
\Vhen this is well baked and well basted a more delicious 
game dinner you will never eat. Try it; it is an old French 
way of cooking the partridge or pheasant. 

\Vlien you need a real w^arm fire for cooking, do not forget 
that dry roots make an intensely hot fire with no smoke; look 
for them in driftwood piles, as they are sure to be there; they 
are light as a cork and porous as a sponge, and bum like coke. 

No one with truth may say that he is a real woodcrafter 
unless he is a good camp cook. At the same time it is an 
error to think that the outdoor men live to eat like the 
trencher men of old England, or the degenerate epicures of 
ancient Rome. Neither are the outdoor men in sympathy 
with the Spartans or Lacedemonians and none of them would 
willingly partake of the historic and disgusting black broth of 
Lacedemonia. Woodcrafters are really more in sympathy 
with cultured Athenians who strove to make their banquets 
attractive with interesting talk, inspiring and patriotic odes 
and delightful recitations by poets and philosophers. ^\s a 
campfire man would say: "That's me all over, Mable" and 
he might add that like all good tilings on this earth 



Originated in the open. The word itself is from the French 
and Spanish and means a small bench, a little seat, and when 
spelled banqueta, means a three-legged stool. It has reference 
to sitting while eating instead of taking refreshments in 
"stand up'* fashion. The most enjoyable banquets in the 
author's experience are those partaken in the wilderness, and 
prominent among the wildwood dishes is the 

Lumberman's Baked Beans 

Wash the beans first, then half fill a pail with them, put 
them over the fire and parboil them until their skins are ready 
to come off; they are now ready for the pot. But before put- 
ting them in there, peel an onion and slice it, placing the 
sHces m the bottom of the bean pot. Now pour half of the 
beans over the onions and on top of them spread the slices 
of another onion. Take some salt pork and cut it into square 
pieces and place the hunks of pork over the onions, thus 
making a layer of onions and pork on top of the beans. Over 
this pour the remainder of the beans, cover the top of the 
beans with molasses, on the top of the molasses put some more 
hunks of pork, put in enough water to barely cover the beans. 
Over the top of all of it spread a piece of birch bark, then 
force the cover down good and tight. 

Meanwhile a fire should have been built in the bean hole 
(Fig. 105). When the fire of birch has been burnt to hot 
cinders, the cinders must be shoveled out and the bean pot 
put into the hole, after which pack the cinders around the 
bean pot and cover the whole thing with the dead ashes, or 
as the lumbermen call them, the black ashes. 

If the beans are put into the bean hole late in the afternoon 
and allowed to remain there all night, they will be done to a 


turn for breakfast; the next morning' they will be wholesome, 
juicy and sweet, browned on top and delicious. 

A bean hole is not absolutely necessary for a small pot of 
l)eans. I have cooked them in the wilderness by j)lacing the 
j)ot on the ground in the middle of the place where the fire 
had been burning, then heaping the hot ashes and cinders 
over the bean pot until it made a little hill there, which I 
covered w^tli the black ashes and left until morning. I tried 
the same experiment on the open hearth to my studio and 
it was a wonderful success. 

The Etiquette of the Woods 

Requires that when a porcupine has been killed it be immedi- 
ately thro^\Tl into the fire, there to remain until all the quills 
have been singed off of the aggressive hide, after which it 
may be skimied with no danger to the workmen and with no 
danger to the other campers from the wdcked barbed quills, 
which other^vise might be waiting for them just where they 
wished to seat themselves. 

This may sound funny, but I have experimented, unin- 
tentionally, by seating myself upon a porcupine quill. I can 
assure the reader that there is nothing humorous in the ex- 
perience to the victim, however funny it may appear to those 
who look on. 

After thoroughly singeing the porcupine you roll it in the 
grass to make certain that the burnt quills are rubbed off its 
skin, then \\'ith a sharp knife slit him up the middle of the 
belly from the tail to the throat, pull the skin carefully back 
and peel it off. When you come to the feet cut them off. 
Broiled poi-cupine is the Thanksgiving turkey of the Alaskan 
and British Columbia Indian, but unless it has been boiled 
in two or three waters the taste does not suit white men. 


Porcupine Wilderness Method 

After it has been parboiled, suspend the porcupine by its 
forelegs in front of a good roasting fire, or over a bed of hot 
coals, and if well seasoned it will be as good meat as can be 
found in the wilderness. The tail particularly is very meaty 
and is most savory; like beef tongue it is filled with fine bits 
of fat. Split the tail and take out the bone, then roast the 
meaty part. 

Porcupine stuffed with onions and roasted on a spit before 
the fire is good, but to get the perfection of cooking it really 
should be cooked in a Dutch oven, or a closed kettle or an 
improvised airtight oven of some sort and baked in a bean 
hole, or baked by being buried deep under a heap of cinders 
and covered with ashes. Two iron pans that will fit together, 
that is, one that is a trifle larger than the other so that the 
smaller one may be pushed down into it to some extent, will 
answer all the purposes of the Dutch oven. Also two frying 
pans arranged in the same manner. 

Always remember that after the porcupine is skinned, 
dressed and cleaned, it should be put in a pot and parboiled^ 
changing the water once or twice, after which it may be 
cooked in any way which appeals to the camper. The 

North Method 

Is to place it in the Dutch oven with a few hunks of fat pork; 
let the porcupine itself rest upon some hard -tack, hard biscuit 
or stale bread of any kind, which has been slightly softened 
with water. 

On top of the porcupine lay a nice slice or two of fat pork 
and place another layer of soaked hard biscuit or hard-tack 
on the pork, put it in a Dutch oven and place the Dutch oven 


on the hot coals, put a cover on the Dutch oven and heap 
the Hving coals over the top of it and the ashes atop of that; 
let it bake slowly until the flesh parts from the bones. Thus 
cooked it -^411 taste something like veal with a suggestion of 
sucking pig. The tiiil of the porcupine, like the 

Tail of the Beaver 

Is considered a special delicacy. Many of the old wilderness 
men hang the flat trowel-like tails of the beaver for a day or 
two in the chimney of their shack to allow the oily matter 
to exude from it, and thus take away the otherwnse strong 
taste; others parboil it as advocated for porcupine meat, 
after which the tail may be roasted or baked and the rough 
skin removed before eating. 

Beaver Tail Soup 

Is made by stewing the tails with what other ingredients one 
may have in camp ; all such dishes should be allowed to simmer 
for a long while in place of boiling rapidly. 

A man who was hunting in North Michigan said, "Al- 
though I am a Marylander, and an Eastern Shore one at that, 
and consequently know what good things to eat are, I want 
to tell you that I'll have to take off my hat to the lumber 
camp cook as the discoverer, fabricator and dispenser of a 
dish that knocks the Eastern Shore cuisine siIl3^ And that 
dish is beaver-tail soup. When the beaver was brought into 
camp the camp cook went nearly wild, and so did the lumber- 
men when they heard the news, and all because they were 
pining for beaver-tail soup. 

"The cook took that broad appendage of the beaver, mailed 
like an armadillo, took from it the underlying bone and meat 


and from it made such a soup as never came from any other 
stock, at the beck of the most expert and scientific chef that 
ever put a kettle on." 


Is valuable also for his flesh. Its name and rat-hke appear- 
ance have created a prejudice against it as a food, but thou- 
sands of persons eat it without compunction. For those to 
whom the name is a stumbling-block the euphemism " marsh 
rabbit'* has been invented, and under this name the 
muskrat is sold even in the Wilmington market and served 
on the tables of white country folk. In Delaware, espe- 
cially, the muskrat is ranked as a delicacy, and personally 
the author ranks this rodent with the rabbit as an article 
of food. 

At Dover the writer has had it served at the hotel under 
its own name;^the dish was "muskrats and toast." For the 
benefit of those who revolt at the muskrat as food, it is well 
to state that it is one of the cleanest of all creatures, that it 
carefully washes all its own food and in every way conducts 
itself so as to recommend its flesh even to the most fastidious. 
As a matter of fact the flesh of the muskrat, though dark, 
is tender and exceedingly sweet. Stewed like rabbit it looks 
and tastes like rabbit, save that it lacks a certain gamy flavor 
that some uneducated persons find an unpleasant character- 
istic of the latter. But to the writer's way of thinking, while 
the muskrat is good to eat, there are many things much 
better; the point is, however, that everything which tastes 
good and is not indigestible is good to eat no matter what 
its name may be. 

The Burgoo 

Of all the camp stews and hunters' stews of various names 
and flavors, the Kentucky burgoo heads the list; not only is 


it distinguished for its intrinsic qualities, its food value and 
delicious flavor, its romance and picturesque accompaniment, 
hut also hecause of the illustrious people whose names are 
linked in Kentucky history with the burgoo. One such 
feast, given some time between 1840 and 1850, was attended 
by Governor Owlsley (old stone-hammer), Governor Metcalf, 
Governor Bob Letcher, Governor Moorhead, General George 
Crittenton, General John Crittenton, General Tom Critten- 
ton, James H. Beard, and other distinguished men. 

All Kentuckians ^dll vow they understand the true mean- 
ing of the word '* burgoo.'* But an article in the Insurance 
Field says, "It is derived from the low Latin burgus, fortified 
(as a town) and goo-goo, very good." Hence the word, "bur- 
goo," sometliing very good, fortified with other good things, as 
will be found in "Carey's Dictionary of Double Derivations": 
"Burgoo is literally a soup composed of many vegetables 
and meats delectably fused together in an enormous caldron, 
over which, at the exact moment, a rabbit's foot at the end of 
a yarn string is properly waved by a colored preacher, whose 
salary has been paid to date. These are the good omens by 
which the burgoo is fortified." 

How TO jVLvke the Burgoo 

Anything from an ordinary pail to one or many big 
caldrons, according to the number of guests expected at the 
camp, ^^^ll serve as vessels in which to serve the burgoo. The 
excellence of the burgoo depends more upon the manner of 
cooking and seasoning it than it does on the material used 
in its decoction. 

To-day the burgoo is composed of meat from domestic 
beasts and barnyard fowls with vegetables from the garden, 
but originally it was made from the wild things in the woods, 


bear, buffalo, venison, wild turkey, quails, squirrels and all the 
splendid game animals that once roamed through Kentucky. 

As this book is for woodcrafters we will take it for granted 
that we are in the woods, that we have some venison, moose, 
bear meat, rocky mountain goat, big horn, rabbit, ruffed 
grouse, or some good substitutes. It would be a rare occasion 
indeed when we would really have these things. If, for in- 
stance, we have a good string of grouse we will take their 
legs and wings and necks for the burgoo and save their 
breasts for a broil, and if we have not many grouse we will 
put in a whole bird or two. We will treat the rabbits the 
same way, saving the body with the tenderloin for broiling. 
When cleaned and dressed the meat of a turtle or two adds 
a delicious flavor to the burgoo; frogs legs are also good, 
with the other meat. 

Cut all the meat up into pieces which will correspond, 
roughly speaking, to inch cubes; do not throw away the bones; 
put them in also. Now then, if you were wise enough when 
you were outfitting for the trip to secure some of the ill- 
smelling but palatable dried vegetables, they will add im- 
mensely to the flavor of your burgoo. Put all the material 
in the kettle, that is, unless you are using beans and potatoes 
as vegetables ; if so, the meats had better be well cooked first, 
because the beans and potatoes have a tendency to go to the 
bottom, and by scorching spoil the broth. 

Fill your kettle, caldron or pot half full of water and 
hang it over the fire; while it is making ready to boil get busy 
with your vegetables, preparing them for the stew. Peel the 
dry outer skin off your onions and halve them, or quarter 
them, according to their size; scrape your carrots and slice 
them into little disks, each about the size of a quarter, peel 
your potatoes and cut them up into pieces about the size 


of the meat, and when the caldron is boIHng dump in the 
vegetables. The vegetables v^iW temporarily cool the water, 
which should not be allowed to again l)oil, but should be put 
over a slow fire and where it will simmer. \Vhen the stew is 
almost done add the salt and other seasonings. There should 
always be enough water to cover the vegetables. Canned 
tomatoes ^^'ill add to the flavor of your broth. In a real 
burgo(^ we put no thickening like meal, rice or other material 
of similar nature, because the broth is strained and served 
clear. Also no sweet vegetables like beets. 

When the burgoo is done dip it out and drink it from tin 
cups. Of course, if this is a picnic burgoo, you add olive 
juice to the stew, while it is cooking, and then place a sliced 
lemon and an olive in each cup and pour the hot strained 
liquid into the cups. 

The burgoo and the barbecue belong to that era when 
food was plenty, feasts w^ere generous and appetites good. 
These historic feasts still exist in w^hat is left of the open 
country and rich farming districts, particularly in Kentucky 
and Virginia. In Kentucky in the olden times the gentlemen 
were wont to go out in the morning and do the hunting, while 
the negroes were keeping the caldrons boiling ^ith the pork 
and other foundation material in them. After the gentlemen 
returned and the game was put into the caldron, the guests 
began to arrive and the stew was served late in the afternoon ; 
each guest was supposed to come supplied with a tin cup and 
a spoon, the latter made of a fresh water mussel shell with a 
split stick for a handle. Thus pro^^ded they all sat round and 
partook of as many helps as their hunger demanded. 

Since we have given Kentucky's celebrated dish, we will 
add "Ole Virginny's*' favorite dish, which has been named 
after the county where it originated. 


The Brunswick Stew 

"Take two large squirrels, one quart of tomatoes, peeled 
and sliced, if fresh; one pint of lima beans or butter beans, 
two teaspoonfuls of white sugar, one minced onion, six pota- 
toes, six ears of com scraped from the cob, or a can of sweet 
com, half a pound of butter, half a pound of salt pork, one 
teaspoonful of salt, three level teaspoonfuls of pepper and a 
gallon of water. Cut the squirrels up as for fricassee, add 
salt and water and boil five minutes. Then put in the onion, 
beans, corn, pork, potatoes and pepper, and when boiling 
agam add the squirrel. 

"Cover closely and stew two hours, then add the tomato 
mixed with the sugar and stew an hour longer. Ten minutes 
before removing from the fire cut the butter into pieces the 
size of English walnuts, roll m flour and add to the stew. 
Boil up again, adding more salt and pepper if required." 

The above is a receipt sent in to us, and I would give credit 
for it if I knew from whence it came. I do know that it 
soimds good, and from my experience with other similar 
dishes, it will taste good. 

I am not writing a cook book but only attempting to 
start the no^dce on his way as a camp chef, and if he succeeds 
in cooking in the open the dishes here described, he need not 
fear to tackle any culinary problem which conditions may 
make it necessary for him to solve. 












If one is going on a real camping excursion where one 
r^ill need pack horses, one should, by all means, familiarize 
neself watli the proper method of packing a pack horse, 
^his can be done in one's own cellar, attic or woodshed and 
without hiring a horse or keeping one for the purpose. The 
orse will be expensive enough when one needs it on the trail. 

The drill in packing a horse should be taught in all scout 
amps, and all girl camps and all Y. M. C. A. camps, and all 
raining camps; in fact, everywhere where anybody goes out- 
oors at all, or where anybody pretends to go outdoors; and 
fter tlie tenderfeet have learned how to pack then it is the 
roper time to learn what to pack; consequently we put 
acking before outfitting, not the cart, but the pack before 
le horse, so to speak. 

When the Boy Scout Movement started in America it 
ad the good aggressive American motto, "Be Sure You're 
liGHT, Then Go Ahead," which was borrowed from that 
elightful old buckskin man, Davy Crockett. 

A few years later, when the scout idea was taken up in 
-ngland, the English changed the American motto to "Be 
repared;" because the English Boy Scout promoter was 
military man himself and saw the necessity of preparedness 
y Great Britain, which has since become apparent to us all. 

And in order to be prepared to pack a horse, we must 
rst be sure we are right, then "go ahead " and practice pack- 
ig at home. 

One of the most useful things to the outdoor person is a 




Pack Horse 

All of us do not own a horse, but there is not a reader of 
this book so poor that he cannot own the horse shown by 
Fig. 174. 

There are but few people in the United States who cannot 
honestly come into possession of a barrel with which to build 
a pack horse or on which to practice throwing the diamond 
hitch. They can also find, somewhere, some pieces of board 
with which to make the legs of the horse, its neck and head. 


Fig. 168 shows tlie neck-board, and the dotted lines show 
where to saw the head to get the right angle for the head and 
ears, with which the horse may hear. Fig. 169 sliows tlie 
head-board, and the dotted line shows how to saw off one 
corner to give the proper shape to this Arabian steed's 
intelligent head-piece. 

Fig. 170 shows how to nail the head on the neck. The 
nails may be procured by knockmg them out of old boards; 
at least that is the way the WTiter supplied himself wdth nails. 
He does not remember ever asking his parents for money 
with wliich to buy nails, but if it is different now^adays, and 
if you do not feel economically inclined, and have the money, 
go to the shop and buy them. Also, under such circumstances, 
go to the lumber yard and purchase your boards. 

Fig. 171 shows how to nail two cleats on the neck, and 
Fig. 17i2 shows how to nail these cleats onto the head of the 
barrel. If you find the barrel head so tough and elastic that 
a nail caimot be easily hammered in, use a gimlet and bore 
holes into the cleats and into the barrel head, and then fasten 
the cleats on with screws. 

The tail of the nag is made out of an old piece of frayed 
rope (Fig. 173), with a knot tied in one end to prevent the 
tail from pulling out when it is pulled through a hole in the 
other end of the barrel (Fig. 173). The legs of the horse are 
made hke those of a carpenter's wooden horse, of bits of plank 
or boards braced under the barrel by cross-pieces (Fig. 174). 

Now you have a splendid horse! "One that vnll stand 
without hitching." It is kind and warranted not to buck, 
bite or kick, but nevertheless, when you are packuig him 
remember that you are doing it in order to driU yourself to 
pack a real live horse, a horse that may really buck, bite 
and kick. 


There are a lot of words in the English language not to 
be found in the dictionary. I remember a few years ago 
when one could not find "undershirt'* or "catboat" in the 
dictionary. But in the dictionaries of to-day you will even 
find "aparejo" and "latigo," although neither of these words 
was in the dictionaries of yesterday. 

Make Your Own Aparejo 

Make your own aparejo of anything you can find. The 
real ones are made of leather, but at the present time, 1920 
leather is very expensive. We can, however, no doubt secure 
some builders' paper, tar paper, stiff wrapping paper, a piece 
of old oilcloth, which, by the way, would be more like leathei 
than anything else, and cover these things with a piece o\ 
tent cloth, a piece of carpet, or even burlap. The oilclotli 
inside will stiffen the aparejo. At the bottom edge of it we 
can lash a couple of sticks (Fig. 175), or if we want to do ii 
in a real workmanhke manner, we can sew on a couple oi 
leather shoes, made out of old she>e leather or new leathei 
if we can secure it, and then shp a nice hickory stick through 
the shoes, as shown in the diagram (Fig. 176). 

The aparejo is to throw over the horse's back as in Fig, 
178, but in order to fasten it on the back we must have a latigc 
which is the real wild and woolly name for the rope attached 
to a cincha strap (Fig. 177) . But when you are talking about 
packing the pack horses call it "cinch," and spell it "cincha.'' 
Make your cincha of a piece of canvas, and in one end fasten 
a hook — a big strong picture hook will do; Fig. 177}^ shows 
a cinch hook made of an oak elbow invented by Stewart 
Edward White, and in the other end an iron ring; to the iron 
ring fasten the lash rope (Fig. 177). 

For the real horse and outfit one will need an aparejo, 


i pack blanket, a lash rope with a cincha, a sling rope, a 
blind for the horse, and a pack cover. But here again do not 
:;all it a pack cover, for that will at once stamp you as a 
tenderfoot. Assume the superior air of a real plainsman and 
speak of it as a "manta." The aparejo and pack saddle are 
inventions of the Arabians away back in the eighth century. 
When the Moors from Africa overran Spain, these picturesque 
marauders brought with them pack mules, pack saddles, and 
aparejos. When General Cortez and Pizarro carried the 
torch and sword through Mexico in their search for gold, 
they brought with them pack animals, pack saddles, aparejos, 
latigos, and all that sort of thing with which to pack their loot. 
W^ien the forty-niners went to California in search of 
gold they found that the Arabian Moorish-Spanish-Mexican 
method of packing animals was perfectly adapted to their 
purposes and they used to pack animals, the aparejos, the 
latigos, and all the other kinds of gos. The lash rope for a 
real pack horse should be of the best Manila ^ inch or |- 
inch, and forty feet long; a much shorter one will answer for 
the wooden horse. 

Even Boys Can Throw the Hitch 

Back in 1879, Captain A. B. Wood, United States Army, 
introduced a knowledge of the proper use of the pack saddle 
and the mysteries of the diamond hitch into the United 
States Army. The Fourth Cavalry, United States Army, 
was the first to become expert with the diamond hitch and 
taught it to the others; but recently a military magazine 
has asked permission, and has used the author's diagrams, 
to explain to the Cavalry men how this famous hitch 
is thrown. 

It stands to reason that in order to pack one horse one 


must have some packs. But these are the easiest things 
imaginable to secure. A couple of old potato or flour bags, 
stuffed with anything that is handy — ^hay, grass, leaves, rags 
or paper — but stuffed tight (Fig. 179), will do for our load. 

When packing a horse, except with such hitches as the 
"one man hitch, " it requires two men or boys to "throw" the 
hitch. The first one is known as the head packer, and the 

other as the second packer. Remember that the left-hand 
side of the horse is the nigh side. The head packer stands 
on the nigh side of the horse and he takes the coiled lash rope 
in the left hand and lets the coils fall astern of the pack 
animal (Fig. 180) ; with the right hand he takes hold of the 
rope about three or four feet from the cincha (Fig. 180) and 
hands the hook end under the animal to the second packer, 
who stands on the right-hand side of the horse (Fig. 180). 
The right hand of the head packer, with the palm upwards, 
so holds the rope that the loop will fall across his forearm; 
the left hand with the palm downward holds the rope about 
half way between the loop that goes over the forearm and the 
loop that lies along the back of the pack animal (Fig. 181). 
The head packer now throws the loop from his forearm across 


the pack on the back of the animal, alk)\\ing the left hand to 
fall naturally on the neck of tlie animal. The second packer 
now runs the rope through the hook and pulls up the cincha 
end until the hook is near the lower edge of the off side of the 
aparcjo (Fig. 183). 

The head packer next grasps the rope A (Fig. 185) and 
tucks a loop from tlie rear to tlie front imder the part marked 
B (Figs. 185 and 18G), over the mner side pack (Figs. 184 
and 187) . Next the second packer passes the loose end of the 
rope under the part marked D (Fig. 187), and throws it on 
the nigh (left) side of the pack anunals. 

The head packer now draws the tucked loop forward and 
tucks It under the corners and the lower edge of the nigh 
side of the aparejo (Fig. 188), then holds it taut from the rear 
comer, and the second packer takes hold of the rope at E 
(Fig. 189) with his left hand, and at F (Fig. 187) with his right 
hand. He passes the rope under tlie corners and lower edge 
of the off side of the aparejo (G, H, Fig. 189, and G, H, Fig. 
191). The second packer now takes the blind off his pack 
animal and is supposed to lead it forward a few steps while 
the head packer examines the load from the rear to see if it 
is properly adjusted. 

Then the blind is again put upon the animal for the final 
tightening of the rope. While the second packer is pulling 
the parts taut, the head packer takes up the slack and keeps 
the pack steady. The tightening should be done in such a 
manner iis not to shake the pack out of balance or position, 
(Figs. 188 and 190). 

The second (or off side) packer gnisps the lash rope above 
the hook, and puts his knee against the stern corner of the 
aparejo, left-hand group (Fig. 188). The head packer takes 
hold with his right hand of the same part of the rope where it 



comes from the pack on the inner side, and with the left 
hand at J (Fig. 189), and his right shoulder against the cargo 
to steady it, he gives the command "Pull!" Without jerks, 
but with steady pulls, the second packer now tightens the 





1 \ \_ // L 






rope, taking care not to let it slip back through the hook. 
He gives the loose part to the head packer, who takes up the 
slack by steady pulls. 

When the second packer is satisfied that it is all right he 
cries, "Enough!" The head packer then holds steady with 
his right hand and sUps the other hand down to where the 
rope passes over the front edge of the aparejo. There he 


holds steady; his right hand then takes hold of the continua- 
tion of the rope at the back corner of the pad and pulls tight. 
Placing his right knee against the rear corner of the pad he 
pulls hard with both hands until the rope is well home, left- 
hand group (Fig. 188). 

The second packer now takes up the slack by grasping 
the rope ^^^th both hands, E (Fig. 189). 

The head packer steps to the front to steady the pack. 
The second packer pulls taut the parts on his side, taking up 
the slack. This draws the part of the lash rope K, K (Fig. 
189), weU back at middle of the pack, giving the center hitch 
the diamond shape from which the name is derived, X (Fig. 
191). He then, w^th the left hand at the rear corner H, pulls 
taut and holds solid, while with the right hand in front of G, 
he takes up slack. Next with both hands at the front corner 
and with his knee against it (Fig. 188), the second packer pulls 
taut, the head packer at the same time taking up the slack 
on his side and then pulls steady, di-aTv^g the part L, L 
(Fig. 189), of the rope leading from the hook well forward at 
the middle of the pack, finishing off the diamond at X. He 
then carries the loose end under the corners and ends of the 
aparejo, and draws that taut and ties the end fast by a half 
hitch near the cincha end of the lash rope. 

After passing under the corners, if the rope is long enough 
to reach over the load, it can then be passed over and made 
fast on the off side by tying around both parts of the lash 
rope above the h(X)k and by drawing them well together 
(Fig. 191). 

Alongside of Fig. 190 are a series of sketches showing how 
to lash and cinch two parcels or bags togetlier; one bag is 
made black so that its position can better be understood. 
In other words, it makes it easier to follow the different hitches. 



Learn to pack at home and you will not lose your packs 
on the trail. 

In following these instructions, whenever in doubt forget 
the perspective views and keep in mind Figures 181, 183, 185, 
187, 189 and 191, which tell the whole story. The perspective 
views are principally to show the relative position of the 
packers; the position of the rope can best be seen by looking 
on top of tlie pack. 

La packing a live horse you will learn by practice not to 
pull in such a way as to cause the horse to step on your feet; 
you will also learn that a hve horse will not stand as still as 
a wooden horse, but when you have learned to pack a wooden 
horse quickly and well, it will only take you a short time to 
become expert with a live horse. 

The Squaw Hitches 

These are useful when one has no one to help in packing 
the animal, and when one has no pack saddle like Fig. 200. 
With this squaw hitch you must throw your burden across 
the back of the horse, over the pad made by a blanket (Fig. 



192), then put a loop over the end M, see X (Fig. 192), and 
another one over the end N, see Y (Fig. 192) . At the end of 
the lash rope Z make a loop; now pass that loop down under 
the horse's belly and through Y (Fig. 193), bring the end Z 
back again over the horse's back, also pass the end T down 
through X, and bring it back over the horse's back, also pass 
the end Z down through Y, and bring it back over the horse's 


back, pass T through Z (Fig. 193), cinch tight and fasten on 
top of pack (Fig. 194). Fig. 195 shows another throw in 
another squaw hitch. Fig. 196 shows the next position. 
Fig. 197 shows the thing made fast. 

Anyone who travels with pack horses should know how 
to arrange the lead rope in a manner so that it may be quickly 
and easily loosened, and at the same time be out of the way, 
so that the horse will not get his foot over it when climbing 
or descending steep places, which often happens when the 
lead rope is fastened to the pack in the usual manner. If 
you will take the rope and wind it loosely around the horse's 


neck, behind his left ear and in front of his right ear (Figs. 
198 and 199), then tuck the end under the strands, as shown 
in Fig. 198, the thing may be undone in an instant, and in 
the meantime the rope is out of the way where it will not 
bother either the man or the horse. 

Practise all this on the wooden horse, then it will come 
natural when the time comes to handle a real horse. The 
manner of looping up the lead rope, just described, I learned 
from the explorers of the Mt. McKinley expedition, who had 
many occasions to test the best, as well as the worst methods 
of packing and arranging their duffel. There are a number 
of other hitches, some given by Stewart Edward White, in 
Outing, called the Miner's Hitch, the Lone Packer's Hitch, 
but possibly we have given the reader enough to start him 
on his way; remember for the pack horse the necessary outfit 
is a horse blanket, the cincha and lash rope, the sling rope, 
the lead rope, the manta, which is a cover for the pack, some- 
times called the tarp — short for tarpaulin, and the blind, 
but as a rule a handkerchief is used for a blinder. The 
aparejo is a sort of a leather mattress which goes over the 
horse's back and on which the pack rests, but you will find 
all about that when you hit the trail with a pack train. The 
alforjas is a Spanish name for the saddle-bags used on a pack 
horse. When the reader knows how to pack his horse, knows 
all the Spanish names for the pack saddle and all that sort 
of thiug, there may come a time when he will have a horse 
which needs to be hitched at night, and it may happen 
he must needs 

Hitch the Horse 

On some trail where there are no trees, sticks, or even stones; 
but if he is a good woodcrafter and plainsman, with his hunt- 
xig knife he will proceed to dig as narrow and deep a hole as 


possible in the earth, tlicn he will tic a knot in tlie end of the 
picket rope and drop the knot to the bottom of tlie hole 
(Fig. 201) (tlie picket rope in reality should be one-half inch 
rope, fifty feet long); tlie only way to get that knot out of 
the hole is to stand directly over the opening and pull the 
knot up perpendicularly. It will never occur to the horse 
to shorten tlie Ime by taldiig hold of it with his teeth, so that 
it may stand over the hole and pull up the knot, consequently 
the animal will be as securely hitched as if tied to a post. 


For the front legs may be purchased at any outfitter's (Fig. 
202) , or home-made from unravelled rope (Fig. 203) . Make a 
loop from a strand from a large rope and then fasten it 
round one leg, as in diagram; after that twist the rope to make 
tlie connections between the two loops, tie another knot to 
prevent the rope from untwisting, then tie the two ends 
around the leg of the horse (Fig. 203) ; the unravelled rope is 
soft and will not chafe tlie horse's leg. 


Figs. 204 and 205 show the famous Indian mode of pack- 
ing by travois. 

How TO Throw a Saddle Down 

General Miles once told the author that the handsomest 
man he had ever seen came dashing into their camp in a 
cloud of alkaU dust; having ridden right through bands of 
hostile Indians which surrounded the camp, he dismounted, 
took off his saddle and threw it on the ground, put the bridle 
bit, girth, etc., inside tlie saddle, put the saddle-cloth over it, 
then he calmly stretched himself out in front of the campfire. 
"Thatman,"said General Miles,**was Bill Cody, Buffalo Bill !" 


When Cody put tlio Siuliilo on tJio ground ho placed it on 
its side (Fig. C0(0 ; iu plaeiiig the saddle in this [position it 
preserves the e\u-ve of the skirts, and thus the form of the 
sp.diile is not destri\ved and tlie reins and the stirrup stra[)s 
are proteeted; at the saine time tJie saddle makes a good 
pillow, and if it should rain at night the saddle bhmket is the 
only thing, besides the rider, whieh gets a ducking, unless 
the latter has a good waterproof sleei)ing-bag. 

Itcnv TO Tuuow A Saddle on a Horse 

So manage the saddle that with one s\\-ing it will light on 
the horse's back with the pununel towards the horse's head 
(Fig. '207). Ciraspwith your right hand thehorn of the saddle, 
and as you swing the saddle on the horse with a graceful 
sweep, use your left hand to push the further skirt outward 
and thus prevent it from doubling up on tlie horse's back. 
He careful to thww the girth far enough so tliat it will hang 
down so avS to l>e easily ivaclied inider the horse. I once had 
an Kngiish farm hand who put a western saddle on a horse 
with the puniuicl toirarcL'i tJie hul, and was very indignant 
when I told him tJiat a pummel should face tlie bow of a 
craft; he told me lie knew more about horses tiian I did, 
which is possibly true, as I am not a horseman; he also said 
that in tlie "hold country" he used to ride to "the 'ounds," 
all of which gcH\s to prove custouLs are ditVerent in ditl'crent 
countries. Here we put the pununel of tlie saddle towards 
the horse's head; we won't argue about it; we may be wrong, 
but it is a matter of custom, and riglit or wrong is the rule 
the reader nuist follov>- in America, even though the reader 
may have ridden to tJie "'ounds'' while abroad. Do not 
misunderstand me, some of the best horsemen in tiie world 
are English, but this fellow was not one of them. 


How TO Mount a Western Horse 

Years ago wlion the rider was in MonUina on Howard 
Eaton's Ranch, near the celebrated ranch of Theodore Roose- 
velt, he had his first experience with Western horses, and 
hcing sensitive and standing in great terror of being called 
a tenderfoot, he shyly watched the others mount before he 
attempted to do so himself. Each one of these plainsmen, 
he noticed, took the reias in his left hand wfiile standing on 
tlie left-hand side of the horse; then holding the reins over 
the shoulders of the horse he gra.sped the mane with the 
same hand, and put his loft foot into the stirrup; but to put 
the left foot in the stirrup he turned the stirrup around so 
that he could mount while facing the horse's tail, then he 
grabbed hold of the pummel with his right hand and swxmg 
into the saddle a.s the horse started. 

That looked ea,sy; the writer also noticed that jast before 
the others struck the saddle they gave a whoop, so without 
showing any hesitation the author walked up to his cay use, 
took the reins confidently in his left hand, using care to stand 
on the left-hand side of the horse; then he placed the left 
hand with the reins between the shoulders of the horse and 
grabbed the mane, then he turned the stirrup around, turned 
his back to the horse's head, put his left foot in the stirrup 
and gave a yell. 

On sober afterthought he decided that he gave that yell 
too soon; the horse almost went out from under him, or at 
least so it seemed to him, or maybe the sensation would be 
better described to say that it appeared to liim a.s if he went 
a mile over the prairie with his right leg waving in the air 
like a one-\\'inged aeroplane, before he finally settled down 
into the saddle. 

But this could not have been really true, because every- 


body applauded and the writer was at once accepted by the 
crowd without question as a thoroughbred Sourdough. 
Possibly they may have thought he was feehng good and just 
doing some stunts. 

It may interest the reader to state that the author did 
his best to Kve up to the first impression he had made, but 
he did not go riding the next day, there were some books he 
thought necessary to read; he discovered, however, that even 
lounging was not without some discomfort; for instance, he 
could not cross his knees without helping one leg over with 
both his hands; in fact, he could find no muscle in his body 
that could be moved without considerable exertion and pain. 

But this is the point of the story : Had the author tried to 
mount that cayuse in any other way he would have been 
left sprawling on the prairie. The truth is that if you mount 
properly when the horse starts, even if he begins to buck and 
pitch, the action will tend to throw you into the saddle, not 
out of it. 


When you approach a horse which has a brand on it, always 
approach from the left-hand side, because practically all the 
Western horses have brands on them, and you can, as a rule, 
count on a branded horse being from the West, with the hale 
and hearty habits of the West, which to be appreciated must 
be understood. If you want to make a real cayuse out of 
your wooden horse, brand it and any cowboy who then sees 
it will take off his hat. 










don't fight your PACK 










There is no good reason why every hiker should not be 
accompanied by 

A Hiking Dog 

For if there is anything a dog does love better than its own 
soul it is to hike with its master, and every normal boy and 
girl, and every normal man and woman, loves the company 
of a good dog. When they do not love it the fault is not 
\\ith the dog but with them; there is something wrong with 
them that the outdoor world alone will cure. 

But if a dog is going to enjoy the pleasure of a hike with 
you, if it is a good square dog it should be willing to also 
share the hardships of the hike with you, and to help carry 
the burdens on the trail. Any sort of a dog can be trained as 

A Pack Dog 
But the sturdier and stronger the dog is, the greater burden 
he can carry and the more useful he will be on the trail. 
The alforjas for a dog, or saddle-bags, can be made by anyone 
who is handy with a needle and thread. A dog pack consists 
primarily of two bags or pouches (Figs. 209 and 210), with a 
yoke piece attached to slide over the dog's head and fit across 
the chest (Figs. 209, 210, 211 and 212). Also a cincha to 
fasten around the waist or small part of the dog's body, back 
of its ribs. The pouches (Fig. 210) should have a manta, or 
cover (Figs. 211, 213, and 214), to keep the rain, snow or dust 
out of the duffel. Simple bags of strong light material on the 
pattern of Fig. 210 are best, because the weight of anything 
unnecessary is to be avoided. 



The Dog Hitch 

Is not as complicated an affair as the diamond hitch, and 
anyone who knows how to do up an ordinary parcel can learn 
the dog hitch by one glance at Figs. 213 and 214. 

Shp the breast band over the dog's head, put the saddle- 
bags well forward on the dog's shoulders, tie the cinch around 
its waist, after which spread the cover or manta over the bag, 
and throw the hitch as shown by Figs. 211 and 214. Fig. 21 3 
shows a bundle with a breast band made of the lash rope, in 
which case the lash rope is usually made of cloth Uke that in 
Fig. 211; the whole thing is simplicity itself and a good dog 
can carry quite a load packed in this manner. 

A Dog Travois 

Can also be used at times with advantage, as it was used by 
our red brothers of the wilderness. Fig. 217 shows a dog 
harnessed to a travois, made of two shaft poles; the harness 
consists of a padded collar similar to those used in Northern 
Quebec for sled dogs, and a cincha of leather or canvas and 
traces of rope or thong. Figs. 215 and 216 show a rig made 
by one of my Boy Scouts; the material used was the green 
sapUngs cut in the woods, the traces were made of rope manu- 
factured from the roots of the tamarack tree, so also was the 
cord used to bind the parts of the frame together. The hooks 
to which the traces were fastened were made of wire nails 
bent over, and the staples to which the collar was fastened 
by thongs to the shaft were made of wire nails, the heads of 
which were ground off by rubbing them on stones; the nails 
were then bent into the proper curve and driven into the 
shaft in the form of a staple. Fig. 216 shows the same rig 
with a leather harness. The American Indian used the 


travois on dogs the same as they did upon horses and the 
sudden appearance of game often produced a stampede of 
dog travoises, scattering the duffel, including papooses, 
loaded on the travois. 

It is not expected that the reader will make every one of 
these contrivances, but if he does he will learn How, and to 
be a good woodsman he sJiould know how, so as to be prepared 
for any emergency. It is possible to make the whole pack 
for the dog from birch bark, but however it is made, if it 
serves the purpose of making the dog carry part of the pack, 
when you put the bark on the dog's back, you will teach the 
animal that there are two kinds of harks; one of which is useful 
as a duffel bag, and the other as an alarm. 

In Alaska and other parts of the far North, as well as in 
Holland and other parts of Europe, the dog is generally used 
as a beast of burden; it draws sleds in North America and 
milk carts and market wagons in Holland, but it is not 
necessary for us to hve in Holland or in the far North in 
order to make use of the dog ; a good dog vriW cheerfully carry 
the packs on tlie trail, loyally guard the camp at night, and, 
if necessary, die in defense of its master. 

Any uncomfortable pack is an abomination; too hea\^^ a 
pack is an unhappy biu-den, no pack at all is fine — until you 
reach camp and hunt around for something to answer for a 
toothbrush, comb and brush, something on which to sit and 
sleep, something overhead to protect you from the rains and 
dews of heaven, something to eat and something to eat with 
besides your fingers, something from which to drink which 
holds water better than the hollow of your hand or the 
brim of your hat, and, in fact, all those necessary Httle 
comforts that a fellow wants on an overnight hike. 
Without these useful articles one yd\[ wish that he had 


subjected himself to the slight fatigue necessary to pack a 
small pack on his back. 

The word "pack" itself is a jov to the outdoor man. for 
it is only outdoor men who use the word pack for carry, and 
who call a bundle or load a pack. The reason for tMs is that 
the real wilderness man, explorer, prospector, hunter, trapper 
or scout-, packs all his dulfel into a bundle which he carries 
on his back, in two small saddle-bags which are carried by 
his husky dogs, or a number of well-balanced bundles which 
are lashed on the pack saddle with a diamond hitch over the 
back of a pack horse. 

You see we have pack dogs, pack horses and pack animals. 
pack saddles and packers, as well as the packs themselves, 
which the packers pack and these animals pack on their 
backs, or which the man himself packs on his own back. 
Then we also have the pack rat, but the pack rat does not 
carry things with our consent. The pack rat comes flippitv*- 
flop, hopping over the ground from the old hermit. Bill 
Jones's, packing with him Bill Jones's false teeth which he 
has abstracted from the tin cup of water at the head of Bill 
Jones's bunk. The pack rat deposits the teeth at the head 
of your cot, then deftly picking up your watch, the rat packs 
it back to Bill Jones's cot and drops it in the tin cup of water, 
where it soaks until morning. 

It is easy to see that however funny the pack rat may be, 
and however useful he might be to the Sunday comic paper, 
the rat's humor is not appreciated by the campers in the 
Rocky Mountains, where it is called a pack rat from its habit 
of carrying things. Thus it is that in a newly settled country 
the word "cany" is almost forgotten; one "packs" a letter 
to the post lx)x, or packs a horse to water, or packs a box of 
candy to his best girl, or a pail of water from the spring. 


Man Packing 

When you, my good reader, get the pack adjusted on 
your back and the tump line across your forehead ''Fig. 226;, 
remember that you are being initiated into the great frater- 
nity of outdoor people. But no matter how tough or rough 
you may appear to the casual observer, your roughness is 
onJy apparent ; a boy or man of refinement carries that refine- 
ment inside of him wherever he goes ; at the same time when 
one Is carrj-ing a pack on one's back and a tump line on 
one's forehead (Fig. 2263/^, or a canoe on one's head, 
even though a lady should be met on the trail it would 
not l>e necessarj' for one to take oflp one's hat, for even 
a foolish society woman would not expect a man to doff the 
canoe he might be cany-ing on his head. Under all circum- 
stances use common sense; that is the rule of the wilderness 
and also of real culture. 

The most important thing that you must learn on the 
trail is not to fret and fume over trifles, and even if your load 
is hea\y and irksome, even though the shoulder straps chafe 
and the tump line makes your neck ache 

Don't Fight Yous Pack 

When we speak of "fighting the pack" we mean fighting 
the load ; that does not mean getting one's load up against a 
tree and punching it with one's fi-sts or "kicking the stuflSngs 
out of it," but it means complaining and fretting because the 
load is imcomfortable. 

There are two kinds of "packs" — the pack that you cany 
day after day on a long hike, and the pack that you carry 
when on a canoe trip and you are compelled to leave the water 
and carry your canoe and duffel overland around some bad 


rapids or falls. The first-named pack should be as light as 
possible, say between 30 and 40 pounds, for on a long tramp 
every pound counts, because you knoiv that you must carry 
it as long as you keep going, and there is no relief in sight 
except when you stop for your meals or to camp at night. 
But the last-named pack, the 

Portage Pack, 

Figs. 218 and 223, the kind that you carry around bad pieces 
of water, may be as heavy as you can, with safety, load upon 
your sturdy back, because your mind is buoyed up by the 
fact that you know you will not have to carry that load very 
far, the work will end when you reach the water again, and — 
strange to say — the mind has as much to do with carrying 
the load as the muscles. If the mind gives up you will fall 
helpless even under a small load; if the mind is strong you 
will stagger along under a very heavy one. 

When I asked a friend, who bears the scars of the pack 
straps on his body, how it was that he managed to endure 
the torture of such a load, he replied mth a grin that as soon 
as he found that to "fight his pack" meant to perish — meant 
death ! — ^lie made up his mind to forget the blamed thing and 
so when the pack w^earied him and the straps rubbed the skin 
off his body, he forced himself to think of the good dinners 
he had had at the Camp-fire Club of America, yum! yum! 
Also, of all the jolly stories told by the toastmaster, and of 
the fun he had had at some other entertainments. Often 
while thinldng of these things he caught himself laughing out 
loud as he trudged along the lone trail. Forgetting the hate- 
ful pack on his back. "In this way," said he, with a winning 
smile upon his manly and weather-beaten face, "I learned 
how not to fight the pack but to Forget It! Then he braced 


himself up, looked at the snow-capped mountain range aliead, 
hummed a httle cowboy song and trudged on over tlie frozen 
snow at a scout's pace. 

Now that you know what a pack is, and what "fighting 
a pack" means, remember that if one's studies at school are 
hard, that is one*s pack. If the work one is doing is hard, 
difficult or tiresome, that is one's pack. If one's boss is cross 
and exacting, that is one's pack. If one's parents are worried 
and forget themselves in their worry and speak sharply, 
that is one's pack. Don't fight your pack; remember that 
you are a woodcrafter; straighten your shoulders, put on 
your scout smile and hit the trail like a man ! 

If you find that you are tempted to break the Scout Law, 
that you are tempted at times to forget the Scout Oath, that 
beciiuse your aimp mates use language unfit for a wood- 
crafter or a scout, and you are tempted to do the same, if 
your playmates play craps and smoke cigarettes, and laugh 
at you because you refuse to do so, so that you are tempted 
to join them, these temptations form your pack; don't give 
in iind fall under your load and whimper like a "sissy," or 
a "mollycoddle," but straighten up, look the world straight 
in the eye, and hit the trail like a man ! 

Some of us are carrying porti^ge packs which we can dump 
off our shoulders at the end of the "cany," some of us are 
carrj-ing hiking paclcs which we must cany through life and 
can never dump from our shoulders until we cross the Grand 
Portage from which no voyagers ever return. All our packs 
vary in weight, but none of them is easy to carry if we fret 
and fume and complain under the load. 

We outdoor folks cidl our load "pack," but our Sunday 
School teachers sometimes speak of the pack tliey bear as a 
"cross." Be it so, but don't fight your pack. 


Men Who Have Carried the Pack 

The whole north country is sprinlded with the bones of 
the men who fought their packs. Our own land is also 
sprinkled with men we call *' misfits'* and failures, but who 
are really men who have fought their packs. But everj^ post 
of eminence in the United States is occupied by a man who 
forgot his pack; this country was built by men who forgot 
their packs. George Washington carried a portage pack in 
weight all through his life, but it was a proud burden and he 
stood straight under it. Good old Abe Lincoln had even a 
hea\aer pack to carry, but in spite of the weight of it he 
always had a pleasant scout smile for everyone and a merry 
story to send the visitor away smihng. If Daniel Boone and 
Simon Kenton had fought their packs we would never have 
heard of them ! 

In the illustrations are shown many figures, and one should 
not forget that these are sketches of real men in the real 
\\ilderness, and not fancy pictures di'awn from imagination. 
Figs. 230, 231 and 232 show many different methods of carry- 
ing big game on one's shoulders or back. Fig. 232 also shows 
a couple of prospectors on the trail. One has the bag on his 
back, held in place by shoulder straps; the other has a bag 
thrown over his shoulder Hke a ragman. 

The alpine rucksack will carry — or to speak more properly 
— ^with it one can pack a camera, notebook, sketching material, 
lunch and all those things which a fellow wants on an enjoy- 
able hike. The alpine rucksack is a many -gored poke about 
18 inches wide and about 22 inches long without the gores. 
These pokes can be made so that the gores fold in and produce 
an orduiary -sized pack, or they may be pushed out hke an 
umbrella so as to make a bag in which one can carry a good- 
sized boy. 


The Broad Band 

Fig. SS-^-D shows the broad band used by the men of 
the far north. The reader will note that the broad canvas 
bands come over the shoulders from the top of the pack; 
also that a broad breast band connects the shoulder 
bands, while rope, whang strings or thongs run through 
eyelets in the band and to the bottom of the pack. This 
IS said to be the most comfortable pack used and has an 
interesting history ; it was evolved from an old pair of over- 
alls. There was a Hebrew peddler who followed the gold 
seekers and he took a pair of canvas overalls and put them 
across his breast, and to the legs he fastened the pack upon 
his back. The overalls being wide and broad did not cut 
his chest, as do smaller straps, thongs or whang strings. 

But breast straps of any kind are not now recommended 
by all authorities. It is claimed that they interfere with 
the breathing and a fellow "mouching" along the trail needs 
to have his chest free to expand, for not only his speed 
but his endurance depends up>on the free action of his lungs. 

The Tump 

Figs. 2!?6 and 'i'iQyz show the use of the celebrated tump 
strap. This tump strap is used from Central America to the 
Arctic Circle. The Mexican water carrier uses it to tote his 
burden; the Tete Bule Indian and the Montenais Indian in 
the Northeast also carr>' their packs ^-ith a tump line. 

Fig. i^-^e} 2 shows how the tump line is made. It is a strap 
or lash rope with a broad band to fit over the packer's head, 
and thus reheve the weight which the shoulders have to bear. 

Fig. 218 shows the well-known portage pack basket which 
is used by the guides in the Adirondack regions. Fig. 219 
shows the Nessmuk knapsack. Fig. 222 shows a pack harness 


of straps by which two duffel bags are borne on the back. 
Fig. 225 shows a duffel bag which is laced up at one end -wdth 
a thong ; also the end of the bag open. 

The Duffel Bag is Useful 

The duffel bag is the ideal poke in which to pack one's 
belongings. It is waterproof, it makes a good pillow, a far 
better pillow than an axe and pair of boots on which I myself 
have rested my weary head many a night, and it also makes 
a good cushion upon which to sit. The duffel bag may be 
procured from any outfitting estabhshment. The ones I 
own are now shiny with dirt and grease, gathered from the 
camps and forests extending from Maine to the State of 
Washington, from Northern Quebec to Florida. I love the 
old bags, for even though they be greasy and shiny, and black- 
ened with the charcoals of many campfires, they are chuck 
full of dehghtful memories. 

Fig. 220 is the old-time poke made of a bandanna hand- 
kerchief, with its ends tied together and swung over a stick. 

This is the pack, a cut of which may be found in all the 
old newspapers antedating the Civil War, where runaway 
negroes are advertised. It is the sort of pack respectable 
tramps used to carry, back in the times when tramps were 
respectable. It is the kind of pack I find represented in an 
old oil painting hanging on my dining-room wall, which was 
painted by some European artist back in the seventeenth 
century. "Wlien fellows carry the runaway pack they are 
"traveling light." 

Fig. 229^ows how to construct a makeshift pack. A 
rope of cedar bark is arranged with a loop C (Fig. 229), for the 
yoke the ends A and B are brought up under the arms and 
tied to the yoke C, which then makes a breast band. 


For a long hike thirty pounds is enough for a big \x)y to 
carry, and it will weigh three hundred and fifty pounds at the 
end of a hard day's tramp. Hea\y packs, big packs, like 
those shown in Fig. :2'23, are only used on a portage, that is, 
for short distance. Of course, you fellows know that in all 
canoe trips of any consequence one must cross overland 
from one lake to another, or overland above a waterfall to 
a safe place below it, or around quick water, or to put it in 
the words of tenderfeet, water which is too quick for canoe 
travel, around tumultuous rapids where one must carr\^ his 
canoe and duffel. But these carries or portages are seldom 
long. The longest I remember of making was a trifle over 
five miles in length. 

Remember that the weight of a load depends a great deal 
upon your mind. Consequently for a long distance the load 
should be light ; for a short distance the only limit to the load 
is the limit of the packer's strength. 


People differ so in regard to how to cany a pack and what 
kind of a pack to carry, that the author hesitates to recom- 
mend any particular sort ; personally he thinks that a pack 
harness hitched on to the duffel bags (Figs. 221, 222 and 224), 
is the proper and practical thing. Duffel bags, by the way, 
are water-proof canvas bags (Fig. 225), made of different 
sizes, in which to pack one's clothes, food, or what not. The 
portage basket (Fig. 218), is a favorite in the Adirondacks, 
but it is not a favorite with the writer; the basket itself is 
hea\y and to his mind unnecessary, the knapsack (Fig. 219), 
is good for short hikes when one does not have to carrj- much. 
The best way for the reader to do is to experiment, see how 
much of a load he can carry; fifty pounds is more than enough 


for a big strong man to carry all day long, day in and day 
out, and forty pounds is more than he wants to carry, but a 
good husky boy may be able to carry forty pounds on his 
back. At the Army and Navy stores and at the outfitter's 
you can find all sorts of duffel bags and knapsacks, and at 
any of the big outfitting stores they will tell you just what 
kind of baggage you will need for the particular trip, for some- 
one in the stores has been over the very ground that you 
are going over, for all the clerks and proprietors of the out- 
fitting stores are sportsmen. But — ^yes, there is a "but" — 
the real genuine American boy will construct his own outfit 
duffel bags, mess kit and tents. 







]\L\NY people are so accustomed to have other people wait 
ui)on them that they are absolutely fumiy when you meet 
them in the woods; when theu" canoe runs its prow up upon 
tJie sandy beach and tliere is a portage to make, such people 
stand helplessly around waitmg for some red -capped porter 
to come and take their baggage, but the only red caps in the 
woods are the red-headed woodpeckers and they will see you 
in Germany before they will help tote your duffel across 
the portage. 

When one gets into the real woods, even if it is only in 
Maine, ^Yisconsin, the Adirondacks, or the Southern pine 
forests, one soon discovers that there are no drug stores 
around the corner, the doctor is a long way off, the butcher, 
the baker, the candle-stick maker, trolley cars, telephone 
and taxi cabs are not within reach, sight or hearing; then a 
fellow begins to reahze that it is "up to" himself to tote his 
own luggage, to build his own fires, to make his own shelters, 
and even to help put up the other fellows' tents, or to cook 
Uie meals. Yes, and to wash the dishes, too! 

One reason we outdoor people love the woods is that it 
develo})s self-reliance and increases our self-respect by in- 
creasing our ability to do things; wc love the work, we love 
tlie hardsliip, we like to get out of sight of the becapped 
maids, the butler and the smirking waiters waiting for a tip, 
and for the same reason the real honest-to-goodness American 
boys love a camp. Why bless your soul! — every one of them 
in his inmost heart regrets that he did not live away back in 
the time when the long-haired Wetzel, Daniel Boone and 



Simon Kenton roved the woods, or at least back when Colonel 
Bill Cody, Buffalo Jones and Yellowstone Kelly were dashing 
over the plains with General Miles, General Bell and the 
picturesque blond, long-haired General Custer. 

Sometimes the author is himself guilty of such wishes, 
and he used to dream of those days when he was a barefooted 
boy. But, honest now, is it not really too bad that there are 
no longer any hostile Indians? And what a pity that im- 
proved firearms have made the big game so very shy that it 
is afraid of a man with a gun ! 

But cheer up, the joy of camping is not altogether ruined, 
because we do not have to fight all day to save our scalps 
from being exported, or even because the grizzly bears refuse 
to chase us up a tree, and the mountain lions or "painters'* 
dechne to drop from an overhanging Kmb on our backs. 

Remember that all things come to him who will but wait : 
that is, if he works for these things while he is doing the 
waiting. The Chief has spent his time and energy for the 
last thirty odd years hammering away at two ideas : the big 
outdoors for the boys, and Americanism for all the people. 
Thank the Lord, he has Hved long enough to see the boys 
stampede for the open and the people for Americanism. 

Because of the stampede for the open, in which people 
of all ages have joined, there are so many kinds of camps 
nowadays : scout camps, soldier camps, training camps, recre- 
ation camps,girls' camps and boys' camps, that it is somewhat 
difficult for a writer to tell what to do in order to "Be Pre- 
pared." There are freight car side-track camps, gypsy wagon 
camps, houseboat camps, old-fashioned camp-meeting camps 
and picnic camps; the latter dot the shores of New Jersey, 
the lake sides at Seattle, and their tents are mingled with 
big black boulders around Spokane; you will find them on the 


shores of Devil's J.iike, North Dakota, and in the few groves 
that are back of Winnipeg, ^Manitoba. 

Bnt such camps have Httle attraction for the real hard- 
boiled camper, ;ind have no better claim to being the real 
thing than the more or less grand palaces built in the woods, 
camouflaged outside with logs or bark, and called "camps" by 
their untrutliful owners; such people belittle the name of camp 
and if they want to l^elionest they should stick to the bungling 
bungalow — but wait a minute — even that is far-fetched; the 
bungalow belongs in East India and looks as much hke one 
of these American houses as a corn-crib does hke a church. 

When we talk of camping we mean living under bark, 
brush or cimvas in the "howling wilderness," or as near a 
howling wilderness as our money and time will permit us to 
reach; in other words, we want a camp in the wildest 
place we can find, except when we go to our own scout 
camp, and even then we like it better if it is located in a wild, 
romantic spot. 

How TO Get Ready for Camp 

There are some little personal things to which one should 
give one's attention before starting on a long trip. If it is 
going to be a real wild camping trip it is best to go to the 
barber shop and get a good hair cut just before one starts. 
Also one should trim one's nails down as close as comfort will 
allow. Long nails, if they are well manicured, will do for the 
drawing room and for the office, but in camp they have a 
habit of turning back (Fig. 232) — and gee willikens, how 
they hurt! Or they \\ill spht down into the quick (Fig. 233) 
and that hurts some, too ! So trim them down snug and close; 
do it before you start packing up your things, or you may 
hurt your fingers while packing. But even before trimming 
your nails 


Go TO Your Dentist 
And insist upon him making an examination of every tooth 
in your head; a toothache is bad enough anywhere, goodness 
knows, but a toothache away out in the woods with no help 
in sight will provoke a saint to use expressions not allowed 
by the Scout Manual. The Chief knows what he is talking 
about — he has been there ! He once rode over Horse Plains 
alongside of a friend who had a bad tooth, and the friend was 
a real saint! His jaw was swelled out like a rubber balloon, 
but he did not use one naughty word on the trip, notwith- 
standing every jolt of that horse was like sticking a knife 
in him. 

The writer could not help it; he was thoughtlessly cruel 
and he laughed at his friend's lugubrious expression — Take 
heed, do not be as cruel as was the writer, for sooner or later 
you will pay for such thoughtless levity. It was only next 
season, away up in the mountains of the British possessions 
on the Pacific Coast, that the friend's turn came to laugh at 
the author as the latter nursed an ulcerated tooth. Wow! 
Wow! Wow! 

Well, never mind the details, they are too painful to talk 
about, but remember the lesson that they teach — Go to the 
Dentist and get a clean bill of health on the tooth question 
before you start for a lengthy camp. 

A Buckskin Man's Pocket 

When we speak of his pocket that includes all of his 
clothes, because on the inside of his coat, if he wears one, 
are stuck an array of safety pins (Fig. 234), but usually the 
pins are fastened onto his shirt. A safety pin is as useful to 
a man in camp as is a hairpin to a woman, and a woman can 
camp with no other outfit but a box of hairpins. One can 


A Buckskin's Pocket 


use safety j)iiis for cl()thesi)Ins when one's socks are drying at 
night, one can use them to pin up the l)hinkets and thus 
make a sleeping-hag of them, or one can use them for the 
purpose of temporarily mending rips and tears in one's 
clothes. These are only a few of the uses of the safety pin 
on the trail. After one has tra\'eled with safety pins one 
comes to believe that they are almost indispensable. 

In one of the pockets there should be a lot of bachelor 
buttons, the sort that you do not have to sew on to your 
clothes, but which fasten with a snap, something like glove 
buttons. There should be a pocket made in your shirt or 
vest to fit your notebook (Fig. 244), and a part of it stitched 
up to hold a pencil and a toothbrush. Your mother can do 
tliis at home for you before you leave. Then you should 
have a good jack-knife; I always carry my jack-knife in my 
hip pocket. A pocket compass, one that you have tested 
before starting on your trif), should lodge comfortably in one 
of your pockets, and hitched in your belt should be your 
noggin carved from a burl from a tree (Fig. 235) ; it should 
be carried by slipping the toggle (Fig. 236) underneath the 
belt. Also in the belt you should carry some whang strings 
(Fig. 237); double the w^hang strings up so that the two ends 
come together, tuck the loop through your belt until it comes 
out at the other side, then put the two ends of the 
string through the loop and the whang strings are fast but 
easily pulled out when needed; whang strings are the same 
as belt lashings. A small whetstone (Fig. 238) can find a 
place somewhere about your clothes, probably in the other 
hip pocket, and it is most useful, not only with which to 
put an edge on your knife but also on your axe. 

Inside the s^eat band of your hat, or around the crown 
on the outside of your hat, carry a gut leader with medium- 


sized artificial flies attached, and around your neck knot a 
big gaudy bandanna handkerchief (Fig. 239) ; it is a most use- 
ful article; it can be used in which to carry your game, food 
or duffel, or for warmth, or worn over the head for protection 
from insects (Fig. 240). In the latter case put it on your 
head under your hat and allow it to hang over your shoulders 
like the havelock worn by the soldiers of '61. 

Carry your belt axe thrust through your belt at your back 
(Fig. 241), where it will be out of the way, not at your side 
as you do on parade. 

No camper, be he hunter, fisherman, scout, naturalist, 
explorer, prospector, soldier or lumberman, should go into 
the woods without a notebook and hard lead pencil (Fig. 242). 
Remember that notes made with a hard pencil will last longer 
than those made with ink, and be readable as long as the 
paper lasts. 

Every scientist and every surveyor knows this and it 
is only tenderfeet, who use a soft pencil and fountain pen 
for making field notes, because an upset canoe will blur all 
ink marks and the constant rubbing of the pages of the book 
will smudge aU soft pencil marks. 

Therefore, have a pocket especially made (Fig. 244), so 
that your notebook, pencil and fountain pen (Fig. 243), if 
you insist upon including it — will fit snugly with no chance 
of dropping out; also make a separate pocket for your tooth- 
brush wliich should be kept in an oil-skin bag (Fig. 243) . 

A piece of candle (Fig. 245) is not only a most convenient 
thing with which to fight a fire on a rainy day, but it has 
ofttimes proved a life saver to Northern explorers benumbed 
with the cold. 

It is a comparatively easy thing to light a candle under 
the shelter of one's hat or coat, even in a driving rain. When 


one's fingers are numb or even frosted, and with the candle 
flame one ciin start a life-saving fire; so do not forget your 
candle stub as a part of your pocket outfit. 

In the black fly belt it is \Nise to add a bottle of fly dope 
(Fig. 251) to one's personal equipment. If you make your 
own fly dope have a slow fire and allow to simmer over it 

3 oz. pine tar 
2 oz. castor oil 
1 oz. pennjToyal 

or heat 3 oz. of pine tar with two oz. of olive oil and then 
stir in 1 oz. of pennyroyal, 1 oz. of citronefla, 1 oz. of creosote 
and 1 oz. of camphor. 

If you propose traveling where there are black flies and 
mosquitoes, let your mother sew onto a pair of old kid gloves 
some chintz or calico sleeves that will reach from your wrists 
to above your elbow (Fig. 246), cut the tips of the fingers oflF 
the gloves so that you may be able to use your hands handily, 
and have an elastic in the top of the sleeve to hold them onto 
your arm. Rigged thus, the black flies and mosquitoes can 
only bite the ends of your fingers, and, sad to say, they will 
soon find where the ends of the fingers are located. 

A piece of cheese cloth, fitted over the hat to hang down 
over the face, ^-ill protect that part of your anatomy from 
insects (Fig. ?46), but if they are not very bad use fly dope 
(Fig. 251), and add a bottle of it to your pocket outfit. One 
doesn't look pretty when daubed up Mith fly dope, but we 
are in the woods for sport and adventure and not to look 
prettA\ Our vanity case has no lip stick, rouge or face powder; 
it only possesses a toothbrush and a bottle of fly dope. 

Certain times of year, when one goes camping in the 
neighborhood of the trout brooks, one needs to Be Prepared, 
for one can catch more trout and enjoy fishing better if pro- 



tected against the attacks of the black flies, mosquitoes, 
midges and '*no-see-ums." 

Anything swung by a strap across one's shoulder will in 
time "cut" the shoulders painfully unless they are protected 
by a pad (Fig. 246 J/2)- A few yards of mosquito netting or 
cheese cloth occupies little space and is of little weight, but 

is very useful as a protection at night. Bend a wand (Fig. 
247) into a hoop and bind the ends together (Fig. 24 7A), with 
safety pins; pin this in the netting and suspend the net from 
its center by a stick (Fig. 248). 

The black fly, C (Fig. 249), is a very small hump-backed 
pest, the young (larvse) (Fig. 249a) Hve in cold, clear running 
water; Fig. 249b is the cocoon. 

There are many kinds of mosquitoes; all of them are 
Bolsheviks, and with the black flies and other vermin they 
argue that since nature made them with blood suckers and 
provided you with the sort of blood that they hke, they have 
an inherent right to suck your blood — and they do it! 


But some mosciuitoes are rcgiihir Iluns iiiul i)rofes.sional 
germ carriers, and besides annoying one they skillfully insert 
the germs of malaria and yellow fever into one's system. 
The malaria mos(|uitoes are known as anopheles. The In'gh- 
brow name for the United States malaria distributor is 
"Anopheles quadrimaculatus " (Fig. 550 F). It is only the 
females that you need fear; drone bees do not sting and buck 
mosquitoes do not bite. 

Fig. 250d shows lower and uj)per side of the anopheles 's 
egg. Fig. 250e is the wiggler or larvae of the anopheles; 
tlie anopheles likes to let the blood run to its head, and any 
careful observer will know him at a glance from his pose 
while resting (P'ig. "ioOg). 

Of course, you will not need fly dope on the picnic grounds, 
and you will not need your pocket compass on the turnpike 
hike, and you will not need your jack-knife wath which to 
eat at the boarding house or hotel, but we Boy Scouts are 
the real thing; we go to hotels and boarding houses and picnics 
when we must, but not when we can find real adventure in 
wilder places. We shout: 

There is life in the roar of plunging streams, 

Tht'ie is joy in the cumpfire's blaze at night. 

Hark! the elk bugles, the panther screams! 

And the shaggy bison roll and fight. 

Let your throbbing heart surge and bound, 

List to the whoop of the painted Reds; 

Pass the flapjacks merrily round 

As tlie gray wolf howls in the river beds. 

We weary of our cushions of rest; 
God of our Fathers, give back our West. 
What care we for luxury and ease? 
Dam the tall houses, give us tall trees! 


However crude tbese verses may be, the sentiment is 
all right. But may be it will express our idea better if we do 
not attempt rhyme. Suppose we try it this way — 

Listen to the whistle of the marmots; 

The hooting of the barred owl, the bugling of the elk! 

The yap, yap, yap of the coyote, the wild laugh of the loon; 

The dismal howl of the timber wolf, 

The grunting of the bull moose, the roaring of the torrent. 

And the crashing thunder of the avalanche! 

Ah, that's the talk ; these are the words and sounds that 
make the blood in one's veins tingle like ginger ale. Why do 
all red-blooded men and real American boys like to hear 

The crunching of the dry snow; 
The flap, flap, flap of snowshoes; 
The clinJiing of the spm-s and bits; 
The creaking of the saddle leather; 
The breathing of the bronco; 
The babbling of the rivulet; 
The whisper of the pines, 
The twitter of the birds, 
And the droning of bees. 

Why? Because in these sounds we get the dampness of the 
moss, the almond-like odor of twin flowers, the burning dry- 
ness of the sand, the sting of the frost, the grit of the rocks 
and the tang of old mother earth! They possess the magic 
power of suggestion. By simply repeating these words we 
transport our souls to the wilderness, set our spirits free, and 
we are once again what God made us; natural and normal 
boys, listening to nature's great runes, odes, epics, lyrics, 
poems, ballads and roundelays, as sung by God's own bards ! 


When packing, remember that a partly filled bag (Fig. 
252) is easy to pack, easy to carry on one's shoulders; but a 
tightly filled bag (Fig. 253) is a nuisance on the trail. When 





; ^o 


^67 266 

Making a Pack 


Making a Pack 

To ship as baggage, fold the blankeU lengtliwise (Fig, 254), 
place them in the middle of your tarpaulin or fl(K>r cloth 
(Fig. 2o4); fold tlie cover over (Fig. !i,55), then tuck in the 
ends and roll the package into a bundle and cinch (Figs. 
^5 and 256). A 

Sleeping -Bag 

Can be improvised from one's blankets by the use of safety 
pins (Fig. 257). A section of the bag (Fig. 258) shows how 
the blankets are doubled. To make a 

Back Pack 

Fold as in Fig. 259, then bend up the end as indicated by 
Figs. 260 and 261, fold again, Fig. 262, then fold in the two 
edges. Figs. 268 and 264, which show both sides of pack; 
bend over the top. Figs. 265 and 266, and strap ready to 
carry, Figs. 267 and 268. For a 

Blant?:et Roll 

Fold as in Fig. 269; bend in the ends and roll (Fig. 270). 
Strap or lash the ends together (Fig. 271), 






We know that comparatively few of our boys take their 
hikes on horseback, especially their camping hikes. But a 
lot of tJieir daddies and big brothers do take their horse, and 
the pack horse on their hunting and fishing trips, and every 
boy wants to know how to do the things his daddy knows 
how to do. Besides all that, the author is aware of the fact 
tliat the daddies and the uncles and the big brothers are 
reading all the stuff he puts out for the boys. They are con- 
stantly quoting to the author things that he has said to the 
boys, so that now in writing a book for the boys he must 
count them in. 

Choose a Saddle that Fits 

Everyone knows the misery of an ill-fitting shoe, and no 
one in his right mind would think of taking a prolonged hike 
in shoes that pinched his feet, but everybody does not know 
that a saddle should fit the rider; an ill-fitting saddle can 
cause almost as much discomfort as an ill-fitting shoe. The 
best all-around sportsman's saddle in the world is the cowboy 
saddle of the West. A writer in the Saturday Evening PosU 
who has WTitten a delightfully intelligent article on saddles, 
in speaking of the Western cow-puncher's saddle, says: 

"There are many good riders who have never thrown a 
leg over any other sort of saddle, and for work on the plains 
or in the mountains no man who has used one would ever 
care for any other type. It is as much a distinct product of 
this continent as is the birch bark canoe or the American 
axe or rifle." 



Like the cowboy hat, the diamond hitch and the lariat, 
the cowboy saddle is evolved from the Spanish adaptation 
of the Moorish saddle. The old-fashioned Spanish saddle 
with the hea\y wooden block stirrups, not the bent wood 
stirrups, but the big stirrups made out of blocks of wood 
(Fig. 273) ;such a saddle with stirrups often weighed over sixty 
pounds. These saddles were garnished with silver and gold, 
and the spurs that the rancheros wore had big wheels with 
"bells" on them, and spikes longenough to goad the thick skin 
of an elephant. I formerly possessed one of the picturesque 
old saddles on which all the leather work was engraved by 
hand, by the use of some tool like a gi*aver, probably a sharp- 
ened nail ; consequently none of the designs was duplicated. 

Tn the good old cow days there were two sorts of saddles : 
the'*California Center Fire" and the "Texas Double Chinch," 
and all those that I remember seeing had rather a short horn 
at the bow with a very broad top sometimes covered with a 
silver plate; the seat was also much longer than it is to-day. 

Fig. 272 shows a military saddle which is a modified cow- 
boy saddle, and Fig. 274 shows a comparatively modern cow- 
boy saddle. The up-to-date saddle of to-day has a bulge in 
front, not sho"WTi on the diagram. 

In the olden days there were no societies for the prevention 
of cruelty to animals, and on the ranges horses were plenty; 
therefore, when one of the long-haired plainsmen, w^th his 
long rifle in front of him on the long saddle, and the hea\y 
Spanish-American trappings to the horse, killed the horse by 
overwork, he simply took off his saddle and trappings, caught 
another horse, mounted it and continued his journey; there 
were plenty of horses — why should he worry .'^ 

Later when the cowboy age came in, the cowboys them- 
selves on the Southern ranges used the Spanish-American 


Pack Train Outfit 


outfit; the only blessing the poor horse had was the blanket 
under the saddle. 

When the block wooden stirrups were abandoned and the 
thinner oval stirrups adoj^ted, tlie latter were protected by 
long caps of leather, tlie dangling ends of which were silver 
tii){x?d. The cowboys themselves wore heavy leather breeches 
called chains (an abbreviation of tlie Spanish chaparejo). 
Thus with the feet and legs protected they could ride through 
the cactus plants and dash tli rough the mesquite country 
f)ened to the horse. Not only did this leather armor protect 
tliem from thorns and branches, but it also prevented many a 
broken leg resulting from kicks by burros, mules and horses. 

The rolled coat or blanket, which the bronco busters on 
the lower ranges in early times lashed across the horse in 
front of their seat, is the thing from which the bucking roll 
was evolved, and the buckskin bucking roll, we are told, is 
the daddy of the swell or bulged front saddle now used. 

The old-fashioned cowboy saddle has a narrow front, but 
about two decades ago 

The Vidalia Saddle-tree 

Migrated slowly from CaHfomia over the plains, and was the 
first one to show the bulged front, and to change the narrow 
bow of the cow saddle to the bluff bow of the saddle as used 
to-day. It is claimed that while this protects the rider from 
injuries more or less, it has a tendency not to give a 
fellow the opportunity of as firm a grip with his legs as did 
the old narrow bowed cowboy seat. Later, in Oregon, they 
began to manufacture "incurved saddles," so that the rider's 
legs could fit better under the front, and the Wyoming saddle 
makers caught the idea, so that to-day the vanishing race of 


cowboys are using saddles, which it would have taken a brave 
man to straddle in the early days, not because the saddle is 
dangerous but because it would have looked funny to the 
old-time boys, and they would not have been slow in giving 
expression to boisterous and discomforting merriment. 

It is an odd thing, this law of growth or evolution, and it 
is a law, and a fixed law, certain pecuHarities go together; 
for instance, if one goes systematically to work to produce 
fan-tail pigeons, one finds that he is also producing pigeons 
with feathered legs. The breeders have also discovered that 
in producing a chicken with silky white feathers they unwill- 
ingly produce a fowl with black meat. What has this got 
to do with saddles? Only that the same law holds good here: 
the more the front bulges in the saddle the more the horns 
shrivel, developing a tendency to rake forward and upward; 
the stirrups also dwindle in size. The saddle, which the 
writer possessed, has stirrups made of iron rings covered with 
leather and the caps were lined with sheep's wool. We read 
that now the narrow half-round oval stirrup is a favorite 
with the cow-punchers, which the cowboy uses with his foot 
thrust all the way in so that the weight of the rider rests 
upon the middle of the foot. This is as disturbing to the 
European idea of "proper form*' as was the Declaration of 
Independence, but the Declaration of Independence has 
proved its eflBciency by its results; so also has it been proved 
that for those who ride all day long the nearer they can come 
to standing on their feet, and at the same time relieving the 
feet of the total weight of the body byresting it on the saddle, 
the easier it is to stay in the saddle for long stretches of time; 
in other words, the more comfortable the saddle, the longer 
one can occupy it without discomfort, and that is the reason 
a saddle should fit the rider. 


With Western Horses 
One must use Western ways; remember the horses were 
edueated in the West if you were not, but it is not necessary 
to use tlie cruel, old jaw-breaking Spanish bits witli a ruig on 
them. I have one, but it only Iiangs on the studio wall as a 
souvenir and a curious object of torture. But don*t try a 
straight bit on a Western horse; he may spit it out and laugh 
at you; use the modern Western bits, saddles, and cinch 
and you will not go far wrong. Of course 

The Pack Horse 
Is another projx)sition, for here you vdW need a pack sawbuck 
saddle (Figs. 276, 277, 278 and 279); over this saddle you 
can swing your two saddle bags, called alforjiis (Fig. 283). 
Fig. 284 is after Stewart Edward ^\^lite's diagram, and shows 
how the alforjas are lashed fast to the horse *s back with a 
latigo (Fig. 2So). Fig. 280 is the lash rope which the man 
above Fig. 284 is using. In Chapter VH we tell how to 
throw the diamond hitch. Fig. 282 shows the cowboy favorite 
cooking utensil, the old Dutch oven, and it is practically the 
same model as the one once belonging to Abraham Lincoln. 
A glance at the cross-section of the cover shows you how the 
edges are dented in to hold the hot ashes heaped on top of it 
when the bake oven Ls being used. Fig. 281 is a sketch of 
two essentials for any sort of a trip: an axe and a frymg pan. 
Of course, one could write a whole book on horseback 
work, saddles and pack saddles. The truth is that one could 
write a whole book on any subject or any chapter in tliis book. 
But my aim is to start you off right; I believe that the way 
to learn to do a thing Is To Do It, and not depend upon 
your book knowledge. Therefore, when I wTite a book for 
you boys, I do the best I know how to make you understand 


what I am talking about, and to excite in your mind and heart 
a desire to do the thiags talked of; you must remember, how- 
ever, that no one ever could learn to skate from a school of 
correspondence or a book, but one could gain a great deal 
of useful knowledge about anything from a useful book, 
knowledge that will be of great help when one is trying to do 
the things treated of in the book. 

I can tell you with the aid of diagrams how to pack a 
blanket, and you can follow my diagrams and pack your 
blanket; but in order to ride, skate, swim or dance, you must 
gain the skill by practice. A book, however, can tell you the 
names of the part of the things. 

Names of Paets of Saddle 

For instance (Fig. 272), T is the saddle-tree; a good 
saddle-tree is made of five stout pieces of cottonwood which 
are covered with rawhide; when the rawhide shrinks it draws 
the pieces together more tightly and perfectly than they could 
be fastened by tongue and groove, glue, screws or nails; in 
fact, it makes one soUd piece of the whole. The horn is 
fastened on to the tree by its branched legs, and covered with 
leather or braided rawhide. The shanks are covered first and 
then attached to the tree and the thongs are tacked to the 
saddle-tree, after which the bulged cover is fitted on. When 
a good saddle-tree is finished it is as much one piece as is 
the pelvis of a skeleton. 

P is the pummel, A is the cantle, S is the side bar of the 
saddle-tree, C is a quarter strap side, B is the quarter strap 
cantle, E is the stirrup buckle, F is the outer strap safe, G is 
the cincha ring, H is the cincha cover; the cincha strap is 
unlettered but it connects the cincha ring with the quarter 
strap ring D; J is the cap or leather stirrup cover, L is the 


wooden stirrup, K is the horsehair cincha. Fig. 275 is one of 
the saddle pads to fit under the saddle. On Fig. 274M is the 
horn, N the cantle, O the whang leather, which your saddler 
^\^ll call tie strings. 

You will note that in Fig. 274 there are two cinchas, and 
in Fig. 272 but one. You will also note that in Fig. 274 the 
skirt of your saddle seems to be double, or even triple, and 
the stirrup rigging comes on top of the skirt, and this is made 
up of the back jockey, front jockey, and side jcx'key or seat. 
Now then, you know all about horseback; there is nothing 
more I can tell you about the pack horse, but remember 
not to swell up with pride because of your viist knowledge, 
and try to ride an outlaw horse with an Eastern riding school 
bit. But acknowledge yourself a tenderfoot, a short horn, a 
shavetail, a Cheechako, and ask your Western friends to 
let you have a horse that knows all the tricks of his trade, 
but who has a compassionate heart for a greenhorn. There 
are lots of such good fellows among the Western horses, and 
they will treat you kindly. I know it because I have tried 
them, and as I said before, I make no boast of being a horse- 
man myself. WTien I get astride of a Western horse I lean 
over and whisper in his ear, and confess to him just how green 
I am, and then put him on his honor to treat me white, and 
so far he has always done so. 



'ware single trees or small groups of trees 

safety ix woods or forest 

keep your eyes open for good camp bites 

cross streams while crossing is good 

keep to windward of mosquito holes 

'ware ants' nests 

how to tell when wind blows 

e\'olution of the shack 

how to sweep 

how to make camp beds 

how to divide camp work 

tent pegs 

how to pitch a tent single-handed 

how to ditch a tent 

use of shears, gins and tripods 


When choosing a camp site, if possible, choose a forest 
or grove of young trees. First, because of the shade they 
give you; secondly, because they protect you from storms, 
and thirdly, because they protect you from li.f^htning. 

Single trees, or small groups of trees in open pastures are 
exceedingly dangerous during a thunder storm; tall trees on 
the shores of a river or lake are particularly selected as targets 
for thunder bolts by the storm king. But the safest place 
in a thunder storm, next to a house, is a forest. The reason 
of this is that each wet tree is a lightning rod silently conduct- 
ing the electric fluid without causing explosions. Do not 
camp at tlie foot of a very tall tree, or an old tree with dead 
branches on it, for a high wind may break off. the branches 
and drop them on your head with disastrous results; the big 
tree itself may fall even when there is no \\ind at all. 

Once I pitched my camp near an immense tree on the 
Flathead Indian Reservation. A few days later we returned 
to our old camp. As we stopped and looked at the site where 
our tents had been pitched we looked at each other solemnly, 
but said nothing, for there, prone upon the ground, lay that 
giant veteran tree ! 

But young trees do not fall down, and if they did they 
could not create the havoc caused by the immense bole of the 
patriarch of the forest when it comes crasliing to the earth. 
A good scout must "Be Prepared," and to do so must remem- 
ber that safety comes first, and too close neighborhood to a 
big tree is often unsafe. 



Remember to choose the best camp site that can be found; 
do not travel all day, and as night comes on stop at any old 
place; but in the afternoon keep your eyes open for likely spots. 

Halt early enough to give time to have everything snug 
and in order before dark. 

In selecting camping ground, look for a place where good 
water and wood are handy. Choose a high spot wath a gentle 
slope if possible ; guard your spring or water hole from animals, 
for if the day is hot your dog will run ahead of the party and 
jump into the middle of the spring to cool himself, and horses 
and cattle will befoul the water. 

If camping in the Western states on the shores of a shallow 
stream which lies along the trail, cross the stream before 
making camp or you may not be able to cross it for days. 
A chinook wind suddenly melting the snows in the distant 
mountains, or a cloud-burst miles and miles up stream, may 
suddenly send doTVTi to you a dangerous flood even in the 
dry season. I have knowTi of parties being detained 
for days by one of these sudden roaring floods of water, 
which came unannounced, the great bole of mud, sticks and 
logs sweeping by their camp and taking with it everything 
in its path. 

A belt of dense timber between camp and a pond or swamp 
will act as a protection from mosquitoes. As a rule, keep to 
windward of mosquito holes; the little insects travel with the 
wind, not against it. 'Ware ant hills, rotten wood infested 
with ants, for they make poor bedfellows and are a nuisance 
where the food is kept. 

A bare spot on the earth, where there are no dry leaves, 
is a wind-swept spot; where the dust-covered leaves lie in 
heaps the wind does not blow. A windy place is generally 
free from mosquitoes, but it is a poor place to build a fire; 


a small bank is a great protection from high wind and twisters. 
During one tornacio I had a camp under the lee of a small 
elevation; we only lost the fly of one tent out of a camp of 
fifty or more, while in more exposed places nearby great 
trees Mere uprooted and houses unroofed. 

It nuist not be supposed that the camping season is past 
because the summer vacation is over. The real camping 
season begins in the Wild Rice Moon, that is, September. 
Even if school or business takes all our time during the week, 
we still have week-ends in which to camp. Saturday has 
always been a boys' day. Camping is an American institu- 
tion, because America affords the greatest camping ground 
in the world. 

The author is seated in his own log house, built by him- 
self, on the shores of Big Tink Pond. Back of him there is 
pitched a camp of six rows of tents, which are filled with a 
joyful, noisy crowd of youngsters. 

It is here in the mountains of Pike County, Pennsylvania, 
where the bluestone is stratified in horizontal layers, that one 
may study the camp from its very birth to the latest and 
finished product of this century. 

Everywhere in these mountains there are outcroppings 
of the bluestone, and wherever the face of a ridge of this 
stone is exposed to the elements, the rains or melting snows 
cause the water to drip from the earth on top of the stone and 
trickle down over the face of the cliff. Then, when a cold 
snap turns the moisture into ice in every little crack in the 
rock, the expansion of the ice forces the sides of the cracks 
apart at the seams in the rock until loose pieces from the 
undersides slide off, leaving small spaces over which the rock 
projects. The little caves thus made make retreats for white- 
footed mice and other small mammals, chipmunks and cave 


rats. When these become deeper they may become dens in 
which snakes sleep through the winter. 

The openings never grow smaller, and in course of time 
are large enough for the coon, then the fox, and in olden 
times they made dens for wolves and panthers, or a place 
where the bear would "hole" up for the winter. 

Time is not considered by Dame Nature; she has no trains 
to catch, and as years and centuries roll by the httle openings 
in the bluestone become big enough to form a shelter for a 
crouching man, and the crouching man used them as a place 
in which to camp when the Norsemen in their dragon ships 
were braving the unknown ocean. When Columbus, with 
his toy boats, was blundering around the West Indies, the 
crouching man was camping under the bluestone ledges of 
old Pike County, Pennsylvania. There he built his camp- 
fires and cooked his beaver and bear and deer and elk, using 
dishes of pottery of his own make and ornamented with crude 
designs traced in the clay before the dishes were baked. 

We know all this to be true history, because within a 
short walk of the author *s log house there are overhanging 
ledges of bluestone, and underneath these ledges we, our- 
selves, have crouched and camped, and with sharp sticks 
have dug up the ground from the layer of earth covering the 
floor rock. And in this ground we have found bits of pottery, 
the spht bones of different wild animals — split so that the 
savage camper might secure the rich marrow from the inside 
of the bones — arrowheads, bone awls and needles, tomahawks, 
the skulls of beaver and spearheads; all these things have 
been found under the overhanging bluestone. 

Wherever such a bluestone ledge exists, one may make a 
good camp by closing up the front of the cave with sticks 
against the overhanging chff and thatching the sticks with 


browse or balsam boughs, thus making the simplest form of 
a loari-to. 'llic Indians used sucli shelters before the advent 
of tlu> white man; Daniel Boone used them when he first 
visited Kentueky and, in spite of the great improvement in 
tents, the overhanging ledge is still used in Pennsylvania by 
fishermen and hunters for overnight camps. 

But if one uses such a site for his overnight camp or his 
week's-end camp, one should not desecrate the ancient abode 
by introducing under its venerable roof, modern up-to-date 
cooking and camp material, but should exercise ingenuity 
and manufacture, as far as possible, the conveniences and 
furniture necessary for the camp. 

Since the author is writing this in a camp in the woods, 
he will tell the practical things that confront him, even though 
he must mention a white man's shop broom. 

In the first place, the most noticeable defect in the tender- 
foot's work is the manner in which he handles his broom and 
wears the broom out of shape. A broom may be worn to a 
stub w^hen properly used, but the lopsided broom is no use 
at all because the chump who handled it always used it one 
way until the broom became a useless, distorted, lopsided 
affair, with a permanent list to starboard or port, as the case 
may be. 

To sweep properly is an art, and every all-around outdoor 
boy and man should learn to sweep and to handle the broom 
as skillfully as he does his gun or axe. In the first place, turn 
the broom every time you notice a tendency of the latter to 
become one-sided, then the broom will wear to a stub and 
still be of use. In the next jilace, do not swing the broom up 
in the air with each sweep and throw the dust up in the clouds, 
but so sweep that the end of the stroke keeps the broom near 
the floor or ground 


Now a word about making beds. In all books on wood- 
craft you are directed to secure balsam boughs from which 
to make your beds, and there is no better forest bedding than 
the fragrant balsam boughs, but unfortunately the mountain 
goose, as the hunters call it, from which you pluck the feathers 
to make your camp bed, is not to be found in all localities. 

A bag filled with dry leaves, dry grass, hay or straw will 
make a very confortable mattress; but we are not always 
in the hay and straw belt and dry leaves are sometimes 
difficult to secure; a scout, however, must learn to make a bed 
wherever he happens to be. If there happens to be a swale 
nearby where brakes and ferns grow luxuriantly, one can 
gather an armful of these, and \;v^th them make a mattress. 
The Interrupted fern, the Cinnamon, the Royal fern, the 
Lady fern, the Marsh fern and all the larger ferns are useful 
as material. 

A camping party should have their work so divided that 
each one can immediately start at his own particular job 
the moment a halt is made. One chops up the firewood and 
sees that a plentiful supply of firewood is always on hand; 
usually he carries the water. One makes camp, puts up the 
tents, clears away the rubbish, fixes the beds, etc., while a 
third attends strictly to kitchen work, preparing the meals, 
and washing up the dishes. 

With the labor divided in this manner, things run like 
clock work and camp is always neat and tidy. Roughing it 
is making the best of it; only a slob and a chump goes dirty 
and has a sloppy-looking camp. The real old time veteran 
and sourdough is a model of neatness and order. But a clean, 
orderly camp is much more important than a clean-faced 
camper. Some men think so much of themselves and their 
own personal cleanliness that they forget their duty to the 


others. One*s duty is about in this proportion: first to the 
animals if an}', secondly to the men, and lastly to oneself. 

Before pitching your tent, clear out a space for it to occupy ; 
pick up the stones, rul)bish and sticks, rake off the ground 
with a forked stick. But do not be rude to your brother, 
the ground pine; apologize for disturbing it; be gentle with 
the fronds of the fern; do not tear the trailing arbutus vine 
up by its roots, or the plant of the almond scented twin 
flowers; ask pardon of the thallus of the lichen which you 
are trampling under your feet. Why? O! well — because 
they had first right to the place, and because such little civili- 
ties to the natural objects around you put your own mind 
in accord with nature, and make camping a much more 
enjoyable affair. 

When you feel you are sleeping on the breast of your 
mother, the earth, while your father y the sky, with his millions 
of eyes is watching over you, and that you are surrounded by 
your brother, the plants, the w^lderness is no longer lonesome 
even to the solitary traveler. 

Another reason for taking this point of \new is that it 
has a humanizing effect and tends to prevent one from 
becoming a wilderness Hun and vandal. It also not only 
makes one hesitate to hack the trees unnecessarily, but 
encourages the camper to take pride in leaving a clean trail. 
As my good friend, Jolm Muir, said to me: "The camping 
trip need not be the longest and most dangerous excursion 
up to the highest mountain, through the deepest woods or 
across the wildest torrents, glaciers or deserts, in order to 
be a happy one; but however short or long, rough or smooth, 
calm or stormy, it should be one in which the able, fearless 
camper sees the most, learns the most, loves the most and 
leaves the cleanest track; whose camp grounds are never 


marred by anything unsightly, scarred trees or blood spots 
or bones of animals." 

It is not the object of this book to advertise, or even 
advise the use of any particular type of outfitting apparatus 
other than the plain, everyday affairs with which all are 
familiar. What we want to do is to start the reader right, 
then he may make his own choice, selecting an outfit to suit 
his own taste. There are no two men, for instance, who will 
sing the praise of the same sort of a tent, but there is perhaps 
no camper who has not used, and been very comfortable in, 
the old style wall tent. It has its disadvantages, and so 
has a house, a shack or a shanty. As a rule, the old wall 
tent is too heavy to carry with comfort and very difficult for 
one man to pitch alone — unless one knows how. 

Tent Pegs 

Are necessary for almost any kind of a tent; you can buy 
them at the outfitter's and lose them on the way to camp; 
they even have iron and steel tent pegs to help make camping 
expensive, and to scatter through the woods. But if you are 
a real sourdough you will cut your own tent pegs, shaped 
according to circumstances and individual taste. Fig. 286 
shows the two principal kinds : the fork and the notched tent 
pegs. For the wall tents one will need a ridge pole (Fig. 288), 
and two forked sticks, or rods, to support the ridge pole; 
the forks on these should be snubbed off close so that they 
will not thrust themselves up against the canvas on the 
top of the tent and endanger the fabric; these poles should 
be of a proper height; other^vise if the poles are too long, the 
tent will not touch the ground at all, or if the poles are too 
short, the tent will wrinkle all over the ground like a fellow's 
trousers when his suspenders break. 


See that the ^ound U comparatively level, but with a 
slant in one direction or another so that water will drain off 
in case of rain. Never, for instance, pitch yoilr tent in a 
hollow or basin of ground, unless you want U) wake up s^^me 
night slopping around in a ptxA of water. Do not pit^jh your 
tent near a standing dead tree; it i.s liable to fall over and 
crush you in the night. Avoid r;amping under grf;en trees 
vsith heavy dead branches on them. RememFx*r the real 
camper always has an eye to safety first, not because he Is a 
coward, but bc'^ause the real camper Is as brave a person as 
you \^*ill find anywhere, and no rc^al brave person beheves 
in the carelessness which produces accidents. Do not pitch 
your tent over protruding stones whi-rh will make stumbling- 
blrxjks for you on which to stub your toes at m'ght, or tr^rture 
you when you spread your blankets over them to sleep. Use 
common sense, use gumption. Of crjurse, we all know that 
it hurts one's head to think, but we must all tr^' it, nevertheless, 
if we are going to live in the big outdoors. 

At a famous military academy the splendid cavalrymen 
gave a brilliant exhibition of jjutting up wall tents; it required 
four men to put up each tent. Immediately follo^^-ing this 
some of the scouts took the same tents, with one scout to 
each tent, and in less time than the cavaln-'men took for the 
same job, the twelve year old boys, single-handed, put up the 
same tents. 

How TO Pitch and Ditch Single-handed 

Spread out your tent all ready to erect, put your ridge 
pole and your two uprights in place, and then drive some 
tent stakes, using the flat of your axe \^^th which to drive 
them, sfj that you ^nll not split the tops of the stakes (Fig. 
287) ; drive the two end stakes A and B (Fig. 289) at an 


angle to the ends of the tent. After the tent stakes are arranged 
in a row, like the ones in Fig. 289, adjust the forks of the 
uprights two inches from the ends of the ridge pole (Fig. 288), 
then make fast the two extreme end guy ropes A and B to 
the tent pegs; the others are unimportant for the present; 
after that is done, raise one tent pole part of the way up (Fig. 
290), then push the other part of the way up (Fig. 291); 
gradually adjust these things until the strain is even upon 
your guy ropes. You will now find that your tent will stand 
alone, because the weight is pulling against your guy ropes 
(Fig. 292). This will hold your tent steady until you can 
make fast the guy ropes to the pegs upon the other side, not 
too tightly, because you need slack to straighten up your 
tent poles. 

Next see that the back guy pole is perpendicular, after 
which it is a very easy matter to straighten up the front pole 
and adjust the guy rope so that it will stand stiff as in Fig. 293. 

Remember, when you are cutting the ridge poles and the 
uprights, to select fairly straight sticks, and they should be 
as free as possible from rough projections, which might 
injure the canvas; also the poles should be as stiff as possible 
so as not to sag or cause the roof to belly. 


Just as soon as your tent is erected and you feel like 
resting, get busy on ditching; no matter how dry the weather 
may be at the time, put a ditch around the tent that will 
drain the water away from your li^Tng place. There is no 
positive rule for digging this ditch; it varies according to 
surface of ground, but the gutter should be so made that 
the water will run away from the tents and not to it, or stand 
around it (Fig. 294). Fig. 295 shows how to make a tent by 





folding a flrxjr cloth or piece of tarpaulin; of course it must 
have a tent fXile trj sup[X;rt the tr^p, and the flfxjr pifx-es may 
hx; drawn together in the center. Make one out of a piece 
of writing paf>er and you will leam how t/j do it, F>ecause 
although the papjer Is small, the folds would be jost the same 
as if it was as large as a church. 

In sandy or soft grrjund it often taxes one's ingenuity to 
supply anchors for one's tent; an anchor is a weight of sr^me 
sort to which the guy ropes may be attached. Fig 296 shows 
a tent anchored by billets of wood; these are all siipposed 
to be buried in the ground as in Pig. 308, and the ground 
tramplecJ down over and above them to keep them safe in 
their graves. Fig. 297 shows the first throw in the anchor 
hitch. Fig. 298 the second throw, and Fig. 299 the complete 
hitch for the anchor. Fig. 303 shows the knot by which the 
anchor rope is tied to the main line. Figs. 300, 301 and 302 
show the detail of tying this knot, which Ls simpUcity itself, 
when you know how, like most knots. Fig. 303 shows the 
anchor hitch complete. 

Stones, bundles of fagots; or bags of sand all make useful 
anchors; Fig. 304 Ls a stone; Fig. 30o are half billets of wood, 
Fig. 306 shows fagots of wood. Fig. 307 a bag of sand. All 
may be used to anchor your tent in the sands or loose ground. 

Sheabs, Grss or Tripods 

.Are the names used for different forms of rustic supports for 
the tents. Fig. 312 shows the ordinary shears, Fig. 313 shows 
the tent supported by shears; you will also note that the 
guy ropes for the tent ''Fig. 313) are made fast to a rod 
instead of to the pegs in the ground. This has many advan- 
tages, because of the tendency of the rope to tighten or shrink 
whenever it becomes wet, which often makes it necessary 


for a fellow to get up in the night to adjust the guy ropes and 
redrive the pegs. When the rain is pouring down, the thunder 
crashing and the hghtning flashing, it is no fun to go poking 
around on the wet gTound in one's nightie in order that the 
tent pegs may not be pulled out of the ground by the shrink- 
ing ropes, and the cold mass of wet canvas allowed to fall 
upon one's head. It is always necessary to loosen and tighten 
the guy ropes according to the weather; naturally the longer 
the guy ropes are the more they will shrink and the more they 
will stretch as the weather varies. To prevent this, lay a rod 
over the ends of the guy rope between the pegs and the tent 
(Fig. 316A) and it will be an automatic adjuster. When 
the ropes are dry and stretch, the weight of this pole will hold 
them down and keep them taut; when the guy ropes shrink 
they will lift the pole, but the latter will keep the tension on 
the ropes and keep them adjusted. The arrangement of 
Fig. 313 has the advantage of making a clothes rack for your 
bed clothes when you wish to air them, while the weight of 
the suspended log keeps the tension on the ropes equalized. 
Fig. 314 shows the shears made by the use of forked sticks. 
Figs. 315 and 318 show the ridge pole supported by shears, 
and the ridge poles supported by forked sticks; the advantage 
of the shears in Fig. 315 is that it gives a clear opening to the 
tent. Fig. 316 shows an exterior ridge pole supported by 
shears to which the top of the tent is made fast. Fig. 317 
is the same without the tent. Fig. 318 shows the famous 
Vreeland tent; in this case the ridge pole is supported by a 
crotched upright stick, but may be equally well supported 
by the shears as in Fig. 815. Fig. 319 shows the gin or tripod 
made by binding the three sticks together. Fig. 320 shows 
the same effect made by the use of the forked sticks; these 
are useful in pitching wigwams or tepees. 

Common Tents of tue Open Country 



Fig. 309 shows some of the ordinary forms of tents, the 
wall tent, the Baker tent and the canoe tent. Fig, 310 shows 
a tent with a fly extending out in front, thus giving the ])iazza 
or front ix)rcli. Li tlie background is a tepee tent. Fig. 311 
shows two small Baker tents in the background, and the 
Dan Beard tent in the foreground. These comprise the 
principal forms, but the open-front tents to-day are much in 
vogue with the crimpers. A mosquito netting in front will 
keep out the insects and allow the air to come in freely, 
whereas the old-fashioned way of closing the tent flap stops 
circulation of air and makes conditions as bad as that of a 
closed room in a big house, and the air becomes as foul as it 
did in the little red school houses and does now in the Courts 
of Justice, jails and other places of entertainment, 





HOW TO remont: a brokex axe haxdle 






HOW TO "fall" a TREE 













To all good, loyal Americans, the axe is almost a sacred 
tool, for our greatest American, A])raham Lincoln, was one 
of our greatest axemen . When he was President of the United 
States he used to exercise by chopping wood, then laughingly 
extended his arm holding the axe in a horizontal position by 
the extreme end of the handle. This he would do without a 
tremor of the nmscle or movement of the axe — some stunt! 
Try it and see if you can do it ! 

The American Indians, and practically all savages, used 
stone and bone implements, and with such implements the 
Redmen were wont to build the most beautiful of all crafts, 
the birch bark canoe. If an American Indian produced such 
wonders with implements made of stones, flint and bones, a 
good red-blooded American boy should be able to do the 
same with a sharp axe; therefore it should not only be his 
pleasure but his duty to learn to be a skillful axeman. 

Brother Jonathan, the imaginary character who repre- 
sented tlie American people, was almost invariably pictured 
with a jack-knife whittling a stick, because all early Americans 
were skillful in the use of tlie jack-knife, but they were also 
skilled in the use of the axe, and every boy of twelve years 
of age knew how to handle an axe. 

Importance of the Axe 

While lecturing at the Teachers' College, Columbia Uni- 
versity, I was asked to give a demonstration of the use of the 
axe. It then and there suddenly occurred to me that if these 



grown men needed and asked for instructions in the use of 
this t^'pical American tool, a talk on the same subject ^^■ould 
be welcomed by the American boys. 

The axe is the one necessan.* tool of the woodsmen; the 
axe occupies the same position to the wilderness man that 
the chest of tools does to the carpenter; -^ith the axe the 
woodsman cuts his firewood; with the axe he makes his traps; 
with the axe he spHts the shakes, clapboards, slabs and 
shingles from the balsam tree, or other wood which splits 
readily, and with the shakes, clapboards, or slabs he 
shingles the roof of his hogan, his barabara, or makes the 
framework to his sod shack or his dugout, or with them 
builds the foundation of a bogken. With his axe he cuts 
the birch for his birch bark pontiac, for his lean-to or his log 
cabin. Without an axe it is most difficult for one to even 
build a raft or to fell a tree to get the birch bark for one's 
canoe, or to "fall" the tree to make a dugout canoe. A tree 
may be felled by fire, as the Indians of old used to "fall" 
them, but this takes a wearisome time. 

The Kind of Axe to Use 

TMien bound for a real camp, take along with you a real 
axe. Never take an axe which ls too large and hea\'y for 
you to swing with comfort. It is also best to avoid an axe 
which Ls too hght, as with such a tool you must use too much 
labor to ciit the wood. You should select your o^ii axe 
according to your strength. Pick up the axe, go through the 
motions of chopping and see if it feels right, if its balance 
suits you; hold up the axe and sight along the top of the 
handle as you would along the barrel of a gun to see that 
your handle Ls not warped. 


Axes may be had of weight and size to suit one*s taste. 
In New England they use short -handled axes which are not 
popular in the woods. The axe handles should be well 
seasoned, second growth hickory; a J^ axe has a 19-inch 
handle and weighs two pounds. A Y2 axe has a 24-inch 
handle and weighs two and a half pounds. A 3€ axe has a 
28-inch handle and weighs three pounds. A full axe has a 
36-Lnch handle and weighs five pounds. 

Probably the best axe for camp work, when you must 
carry the axe on your back, is one with a 30-inch second 
growth hickory handle, weight about two and three-quarter 
pounds, or somewhere between two and three pounds. A 
light axe of this kind will cut readily and effectively provided 
it has a slender bit; that is, that it does not sheer off too 
bluntly towards the cutting edge. AVhen you look at the 
top of such an axe and it appears slender and not bulky, 
it will cut well and can be Tsdelded by a boy and is not too 
light for a man (Fig. 322). 

Fig. 321 shows the long-handled Hudson Bay axe used 
much in the North country. It is made after the tomahawk 
form to save weight, but the blade is broad, you notice, to 
give a wide cutting edge. The trouble "with this axe is that 
it is too Hght for satisfactory work. Fig. 323 shows a belt 
axe of a modified tomahawk shape, only three of which are 
in existence; one was in the possession of the late Colonel 
Roosevelt, one in the possession of a famous EngHsh author, 
and one in the possession of the UTiter. These axes were 
made for the gentlemen to whom they were presented by the 
President of a great tool works; ihey are made of the best 
gray steel and are beautiful tools. Fig. 324 is an ordinary 
belt axe practically the same as those used by the Boy Scouts. 
When it was proposed to arm the Boy Scouts with guns, the 


writer put in strenuous objections and suggested belt axes 
in place of guns; the matter of costume and arms was finally 
referred to him as a committee of one. The uniform was 
planned after that of the Scouts of the Boy Pioneers of Amer- 
ica, and the belt axe adopted is the same as that carried by 
the Scouts of the Sons of Daniel Boone, which axes are mod- 
elled after Daniel Boone's own tomahawk. Fig. 325 is a 
very heavy axe. 

A Word About Swinging the Axe 

Grasp the axe with the left hand, close to the end of the 
handle, even closer than is shown in the diagram (Fig. 326) ; 
with the right hand grasp the handle close to the head of the 
axe, then bring the axe up over your shoulder and as you 
strike the blow, allow the right hand to slide down naturally 
(Fig. 327), close to the left hand; learn to reverse, that is, 
learn to grasp the lower end of the handle with the right hand 
and the left hand near the top, so as to swing the axe from the 
left shoulder down, as easily as from the right shoulder. 

To be a real axeman, a genuine dyed-in-the-wool, blown-in- 
the-glass tjrpe, each time you make a stroke with the axe 
you must emit the breath from your lungs with a noise like 
Huh ! That, you know, sounds very professional and will duly 
impress the other boys when they watch you chop, besides 
which it always seems to really help the force of the blow. 

How TO Remove a Broken Axe Handle 

It was from a colored rail splitter from Virginia, who 
worked for the writer, that the latter learned how to burn 
out the broken end of the handle from the axe head. Bury 
the blade of your axe in the moist earth and build a fire over 


the protruding butt (Fig. S-SS) ; the moist earth will prevent 
the heat from s{X)iling the temper of your axe blade while 
the heat from the fire w411 char and burn the wood so that it 
can easily be removed. 

If you are usmg a double-bitted axe, tliat is, one of those 
veiy useful but villainous tools with two cutting edges, and 
the handle breaks off, make a shallow trench in the dirt, put 
the moist soil over each blade, leaving a hollow in the middle 
where the axe handle comes and build your fire over this 
hollow (Fig. 3:29). 

To Tighten the Axe Head 

If your axe handle is dry and the head loosens, soak it 
over night and the wood will swell and tighten the head. 
Scoutmaster Fitzgerald of New York says, ' 'Quite a number 
of scouts have trouble with the axe shpping off the helve 
and the first thing they do is to drive a nail which only tends 
to split the helve and make matters worse. I have discovered 
a practical way of fixing this. You will note that a wire 
passes over the head of the axe in the helve in the side view. 
Then in \he cross-section in the copper wire is twisted and a 
little staple driven in to hold it in place." This may answer 
for a belt axe but the hole in the handle -^-ill weaken it and 
would not be advisable for a large axe (Fig. 330). 


We have said that the axe is a chest of tools, but it is a 
dangerous chest of tools. Wliile aboard a train coming from 
one of the big lumber camps, the writer was astonished to 
find that although there were but few sick men aboard, there 
were many, many wounded men in the car and none, that he 


could find, wounded by falling trees; all were wounded by the 
axe itself or by fragments of knots and sticks flying from 
blows of the axe and striking tiie axeman in the eyes or 
other tender places. 

Yor Must Supply the Br.\ixs 

I have often warned my young friends to use great care 
with firearms, because firearms ai-e made for the express 
purpose of killing. A gun, ha^TQg no brains of its own, will 
kill its owner, his friends, his brother or sister, mother or 
father, just as quickly and as surely as it will kill a moose, a 
bear or a panther. Therefore it is necessary for the gimner 
to supply the brains for his gun. 

The same is true with the axeman. Edged tools are made 
for the express purpose of cutting, and they will cut flesh 
and bone as quickly and neatly as they "^tU cut wood, unless 
the user is skillful in the use of his tool; that is, unless he 
suppHes the brains which the tools themselves lack. 

So you see that it is "up to you " boys to supply the brains 
for your axes, and when you do that, that is, when you 
acquire the skiU in the use, and judgment in the handling, 
you will avoid painful and may be dangerous or fatal acci- 
dents, and at the same time you will experience great joy in 
the handling of your axe. Xot only this but you will acquire 
muscle and health in this most \'igorous and manly exercise. 

We are not telling all this to frighten the reader but to 
instil into his mind a proper respect for edged tools, especially 
the axe. 

Etiquette of the Axe 

1. An axe to be respected must be sharp and no one 
who has any ambition to be a pioneer, a sportsman or a 
scout, should carr^' a dull axe, or an axe with the edge 



nicked like a saw blade. It may interest the reader to 
know that the x>cncil I am using with which to make these 
notes was sharpened with my camp axe. 

2. No one but a duffer and a chump wUl use another man's 
axe without that otlier man's wLlhng permission. 

3. It is as bad form to ask for the loan of a favorite axe 
as it is to ask for the loan of a sportsman's best gun or pet 
6shing rod or toothbrush. 

Axes and Sheaths 

4. To turn the edge or to nick another man's axe Ls a 
very grave offense. 

5. Keep your own axe sharp and clean, do not use it to 
cut any object lying on the ground where there is danger of 
the blade of the axe going through the object and striking a 
stone ; do not use it to cut roots of trees or bushes for the same 
reason. Beware of knots in hemlock wood and in cold weather 
beware of knots of any kind. 

WTien not in use an axe should have its blade sheathed 
in leather (Figs. 331, 332, 333 and 334), or it should be struck 


into a log or stump (Fig. 335). It should never be left upon 
the ground or set up against a tree to endanger the legs and 
feet of the camper. Fig. 341 shows how a firewood hod is 
made and used. 

How TO Sharpen Your Axe 

On the trail we have no grindstones, and often have re- 
course to a file Tvdth which to sharpen our axe; sometimes we 
use a whetstone for the purpose. New axes are not always 
as sharp as one would T\dsh; m that case if we use a grind- 
stone to put on an edge we must be sure to keep the grind- 
stone wet in the first place, and in the second place we must 
be careful not to throw the edge of the blade out of line. 
When this occurs it will cause a "binding strain'* on the 
blade which tends to stop the force of the blow. If the edges 
are at all out of line, the probabilities are one will knock a 
half moon out of the blade in the first attempt to cut frozen 
timber. The best axe in the world, with an edge badly out 
of line, cannot stand the strain of a blow on hard frozen 
wood. While grinding the axe take a sight along the edge 
every once in a while to see if it is true. 

The Best Time to Cut or Prune Trees 

Is when the sap is dormant, which I will explain for my 
younger readers is that time of year when the tree is not 
full of juice. The reason for this is that when the sap or 
juice is in the wood when cut, it will ferment, bubble and 
fizzle the same as sweet eider or grape juice will ferment, 
and the fermentation will take all the "life" out of the 
lumber and give it a tendency to decay; again to translate 
for my younger readers, such wood will rot quicker than wood 
cut at the proper season of the year. 













\ ^ 



\ ? 


With pine trees, however, this is not always the case, 
l)ecause the pitchy nature of the sap of the pine prevents it 
from fermenting Hke beech sap; in fact, the pitcli acts as a 
preservative and mununifies, so to speak, the wood. Pine 
knots will last for a hundred years lying in tlie soft, moist 
ground and for aught I know, longer, because tliey are fat 
with pitch and the pitch prevents decay. 

Beech when cut in June is unfit for firewood the following 
winter, but authorities say that the same trees cut in August 
and left with the branches still on them for twenty or thirty 
days, will make firmer and "liveher" timber than that cut 
under any other conditions. 

An expert lumberman in ten minutes' time will cut down a 
hardwood tree one foot in diameter, and it will not take him 
over four minutes to cut down a softwood tree of the same size. 

Cle.\r Aw^ay Everything 

Before attempting to chop down a tree; in fact, before 
attempting to chop anything, be careful to see that there are 
no clothes lines overhead, if you are chopping in your back- 
yard, or if you are chopping in the forests see that there are 
no vines, twigs, or branches within swing of your axe. By 
carefully removing all such things you will remove one of the 
greatest causes of ticcidents in the wilderness, for as shght a 
thiug as a little twig can deflect, that is, turn, the blade of 
your axe from its course and cause the loss of a toe, a foot, 
or even a leg. This is the reason that swamping is the most 
dangerous part of the lumberman's work. 

How TO "Fall" a Tree 

If the tree, in falhng, nmst pass between two other trees 
where there is danger of its "hanging," so cut your kerf that 


the tree in falling will strike the ground nearest the smallest 
of the trees, or nearest the one furthest away. Then, as 
the tree falls, and brushes the side of the smallest tree or the 
one furthest away, it will bounce away, thus giving the fallen 
tree an opportunity to bump its way down to the place on 
the ground selected for it, in place of hanging by its bough 
in the boughs of other trees. 

Do not try to "fall" a tree between two others that are 
standing close together; it cannot be successfully done, for 
the tops of the three trees will become interlaced, and you 
will find it very difficult and hazardous work to attempt to 
free your fallen tree from its entanglement; probably it can- 
not be done without cutting one or both of the other trees 
down. The truth is, one must mix brains with every stroke 
of the axe or one will get into trouble. 

Where possible select a tree that may be made to fall in 
an open space where the prostrate trunk can be easily handled. 
Cut your kerf on the side toward the landing place, let the 
notch go half-way or a trifle more through the trunk. Make 
tlie notch or kerf as wide as the radius, that is, half the diam- 
eter of the tree trunk (Fig. 344), otherwise you will have your 
axe pinched or wedged before you have the kerf done and 
will find it necessary to enlarge your notch or kerf. Score 
first at the top part of the proposed notch, then at the bottom, 
making as big chips as possible, and hew out the space be- 
tween, cutting the top parts of the notch at an angle but the 
bottom part nearly horizontal. When this notch or kerf 
is cut to half or a little more than half of the diameter of the 
tree, cut another notch upon the opposite side of the tree at a 
point a few inches higher than the notch already cut; when 
this notch is cut far enough the tree will begin to tremble 
and crack to warn you to step to one side. Don't get behind 


the tree ; it may kick and kill you ; step to one side and watch 
the tree as it falls; there are many things that may deflect 
it in falling, and one's safety lies in being alert and watching 
it fall. Also keep your eye aloft to watch for limbs which 
may break off and come down with sufficient force to disable 
you; accidents of this kind frequently happen, but seldom 
or never happen where the axeman uses common sense or 
due caution. 

How TO Trim or Swamp 

After a tree is felled, the swampers take charge of it and 
cut away all the branches, leaving the clean log for the team- 
sters to "snake.'* They do the swamping by striking the 
lower side of the branch with the blade of the axe, the side 
towards the root of the tree, what might be called the under- 
side, and chopping upwards towards the top of the tree. 
Small branches will come off with a single blow of the axe. 

^Vhen the tree has been swamped and the long trunk lies 
naked on the turf, it ^^11, in all probability, be necessary to 
cut it into logs of required lengths. K the trunk is a thick 
one it is best to cut it by standing on the tree trunk "^ith legs 
apart (Fig. 336), and chopping between one's feet, making 
the kerf equal to the diameter of the log. Do this for two 
reasons : it is much easier to stand on a log and cut it in two 
that way than to cut it part the way through the top side, 
and then laboriously roll it over and cut from the underside; 
also when you make the notch wide enough you can cut all 
the way through the log without wedging your axe. To split 
up tlie log you should have 

A Beetle or Mall, 

A thing usually to be found among the tools in the back- 
woodsman's hut and permanent camps; of course we do not 


take the time to make them for an overnight camp or a 
temporary camping place, but they are very handy at a 
stationary camp. To make one select a hardwood tree, which, 
when stripped of its bark will measure about five inches in 
diameter. The tree selected should not be one that would 
split easily but may be a young oak, beech or hickory, which 
with the bark on is six or seven inches in diameter at the butt. 
In chopping this tree down leave a stump tall enough from 
which to fashion your beetle, and while the stump is still 
standing hew the top part until you have a handle scant two 
feet in length, leaving for the hammer head, so to speak, a 
butt of ten inches, counting from the part where the roots 
join the trunk. Before cutting the stump off above the 
ground, dig all around the roots, carefully scraping away all 
stones and pebbles, then cut the roots off close up to the 
stump, for this is the hardest part of the wood and makes the 
best mall head (Fig. 337). 

How TO Make the Gluts or Wedges 
Farmers claim that the best wedges are made of apple- 
wood, or locust wood; never use green wedges if seasoned 
ones may be obtained, for one seasoned wedge is worth many 
green ones. In the north woods, or, in fact, in any woods, 
applewood cannot be obtained, but dogwood and ironwood 
make good substitutes even when used green (Figs. 338 
and 357). 

How to Harden Green Wood 
Many of the Southern Indians in the early history of 
America tipped their arrows with bits of cane; these green 
arrow points they hardened by slightly charring them with 
the hot ashes of the fire. Gluts may be hardened in the 
same manner; do not burn them; try to heat them just suflS- 


ciently to force the sap out and harden the surface. Wliere 
dogw(X)d, ironwood and apple wood are not to be obtained, 
make your gluts of what is at hand; that is true woodcraft 
(Fig. 337). 

A year or two ago, wliile traihng a moose, we ran across 
the ruins of a lumber camp tliat had been wij)ed out by fire, 
and here we picked up half a dozen axe heads among the 
moose tracks. These axe heads we used as gluts to split 
our wood as long as we remamed in that camp, and by their 
aid we built a shack of board rived from balsam logs. 

Fig. 341 shows how to make and how to use firewood 
hods on farms or at permanent camps. 

How TO Make a Chopping Block 

After you have cut the crotch and trimmed it dowTi into 
the form of Fig. 339, you may find it convenient to flatten 
the thing on one side. This you do by hewing and scoring; 
that is, by cutting a series of notches all of the same depth, 
and then sphtting off the wood between the notches, as one 
would in making a puncheon (Fig; 342). (A puncheon is a 
log flattened on one or both sides.) With this flattened 
crotch one may, by sinkuig another flattened log in the earth 
and placing the chopping block on top, have a chopping 
block like that shown in Fig. 343. Or one may take the crotch, 
spike a piece of board across as in Fig. 339 and use that, and 
the best chopping block or crotch block is the one shown in 
Fig. 339, with the puncheon or slab spiked onto the ends of 
the crotch. In this case the two ends of the crotch should be 
cut off with a saw, if you have one, so as to give the proper 
flat surface to which to nail the slab. Then the kindling 
wood may be split without danger to yourself or the edge 
of the hatchet. 


Chop it the Right Way 

If you are using an ordinary stick of wood for a chopping 
block, and the stick you are about to chop rests soHdIy on 
top of the block where the axe strikes it will cut all right, but 
if you strike where the stick does not touch the chopping 
block the blow will stun the hand holding the stick in a 
very disagreeable manner. If you hold your stick against 
the chopping block with your foot, there is always danger of 
cutting off your toe; if you hold the stick with your hand and 
strike it with the axe, there is danger of cutting off your 
fingers. When I say there is danger I mean it. One of our 
scouts cut his thumb off, another cut off one finger, and one 
of my friends in the North woods of Canada cut off his great 
toe. In hunting for Indian relics in an old camping cave in 
Pennsylvania, my companion, Mr. Elmer Gregor, made the 
gruesome find of a dried human finger near the embers of an 
ancient campfire, teUing the story of a camping accident 
ages ago, but evidently after white man's edged tools were 

If you have no choppmg block and wish to cut your fire- 
wood into smaller pieces, you can hold the stick safely with 
the hand if you use the axe as shown in Fig. 345. This will 
give you as a result two sticlvs, and the upper one will have 
some great splinters. 

How TO Split Kindling Wood 

When sphtting wood for the fire or kindling, make the 
first blow as in Fig. 346, and the second blow in the same 
place, but a trifle slanting as in Fig. 347; the slanting blow 
wedges the wood apart and splits it. If the wood is small 
and spKts readily, the slanting blow may be made first. These 


things can only be indicated to the readers because there 
are so many circumstances wliich govern the case. If there 
is a knot in the wood, strike the axe right over the knot as 
in Figs. 348 and 349. 

If you are chopi)ing across the grain do not strike per- 
pendicuhirly as in Fig. 350, because if the wood is hard the 
axe will simply bounce back, but strike a slanting blow as in 
Fig. 351, and the axe blade will bite deeply into the wood; 
again let us caution you tliat if you put too much of a slant 
on your axe in striking the wood, it will cut out a shallow 
chip without materially impeding the force of the blow, and 
your axe will swing around to the peril of yourself or anyone 
else within reach; again this is a thing which you must learn 
to practice. 

In using tlic chopping block be very careful not to put a 
log in front of the crotch as in Fig. 340, and then strike a 
hea\y blow ^ith the axe, for the reason that if you split the 
wood with the first blow your axe handle will come down 
heavily and suddenly upon the front log, and no matter how 
good a handle it may be, it will break into fragments, as the 
\\Titer has discovered by sad experience. A lost axe handle 
in the woods is a severe loss, and one to be avoided, for 
although a makeshift handle may be fashioned at camp, it 
never answers the purpose as well as tlie skillfully and artis- 
tically made handle which comes with the axe. 

Holders or Saw Bucks for Logs 

Select two saplings about five inches in diameter at the 
butts, bore holes near the butts about six inches from the 
end for legs, malie a couple of stout legs about the size of an 
old-fashioned drey pin, and about twenty inches long, split 
the ends carefully, sufficiently to insert wedges therein, then 


drive the wedge and ends into the hole bored for the purpose. 
When the sticks are driven home the wedge will hold them 
in place. You now have a couple of "straddle bugs," that is, 
poles, the small ends of which rest upon the ground and the 
butt ends supported by two legs. In the top of the poles 
bore a number of holes for pins, make your pins a little longer 
than the diameter of the log you intend to saw; the pins are 
used exactly like the old-fashioned drey pins, that is, you 
roll the log up the incline to the two straddle bugs and hold 
the logs in place by putting pins in the nearest holes. Of 
course, the pins should work easily in and out of the holes 
(Fig. 357). 

With such an arrangement one man can unaided easily 
roll a log two feet in diameter up upon the buck; the log is 
then in a position to be cut up with a cross-cut saw (Fig. 357). 
Another form of sawbuck may be made of a puncheon stool 
(Fig. 358), T\ath holes bored diagonally in the top for the inser- 
tion of pins with which to hold the log in place while it is 
being sawed. But with this sawbuck one cannot use as 
heavy logs as with the first one because of the difficulty in 
handling them. 

I have just returned from a trip up into the woods where 
they still use the primitive pioneer methods of handling and 
cutting timber, and I note up there in Pike County, Pennsyl- 
vania, they make the sawbuck for logs by using a log of wood 
about a foot in diameter and boring holes diagonally through 
the log near each end (Fig. 359); through these holes they 
drive the legs so that the ends of them protrude at the top 
and form a crotch to hold the wood to be sawed. The saw- 
buck is about ten or twelve feet long; consequently, in order 
to provide for shorter logs there are two sets of pegs driven 
in holes bored for the purpose between the ends of the buck. 


The Parbuckle 

When one person is handling a hea\'y log it is sometimes 
difficult, even ^ith the lumberman's canthook, to roll it, but 
if a loop is made in a rope and placed over a stump or a 
heavy stone (Fig. 360), and the ends run under the log, even 
a boy can roll quite a hea\y piece of timber by pulling on 
the ends of the rope (Fig. 300). 

To Split a Log 

The method used by all woodsmen in splitting a log is the 
same as used by quarrymen in splitting bluestone, with this 
difference: the quarryman hunts for a natural seam in the 
stone and drives the wedge in the seam, while the lumberman 
makes a seam in the form of a crack in the log by a blow from 
his axe. In the crack he drives the wedge (Figs. 352 and 353). 
But if the log is a long one he must lengthen the crack or 
seam by driving other wedges or gluts (Fig. 353), or he may 
do it by using two or more axes (Fig. 352). 

If he wishes to split the logs up into shakes, clapboards or 
splits, he first halves the log, that is, splitting it across from 
A to B (Fig. 356), and then quarters it by splitting from C 
to D, and so on until he has the splits of the required size. 

A Sawpit 

In the olden times, the good old times, when people did 
things ^ith their owti hands, and thus acquired great skill 
with the use of their hands, boards were sawed out from the 
logs by placing the log on a scaffolding over a sawpit (Fig. 361) 

In the good old times, the slow old times, the safe old 
times, a house was not built in a week or a month; the timber 
was well seasoned, well selected, and in many cases such 


houses are standing to-day ! On the next block where I Hve 
and from where I am writing, and across the street, there 
stands a house still occupied which was built in 1661. It is 
the house that Fox, the Quaker, was quartered in when he was 
preaching under the spreading oaks on Long Island. The 
timbers of this house are still sound and strong, although the 
woodwork in nearby modem houses is decaying. 

In the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee they still 
use the sawpit, and the logs are held in place by jacks (Fig. 
355), which are branches of trees hooked over the log and 
the longest fork of the branch is then sprung under the sup- 
porting cross-piece (Fig. 361). 

Of course, the boy readers of this book are not going to 
be top sawyers or make use of a sawpit; that is a real man's 
work, a big He man's work, but the boys of to-day should 
know all these things ; it is part of history and they can better 
understand the history of our own country when they know 
how laboriously, cheerily and cheerfully their ancestors 
worked to build their own homesteads, and in the building 
of their own homesteads they unconsciously built that 
character of which their descendants are so proud; also they 
built up a physique that was healthy, and a sturdy body for 
which their descendants are particularly thankful, because 
good health and good physique are hereditary, that is, boys, 
if your parents, your grandparents and your great grand- 
parents were all healthy, wholesome people, you started your 
life as a healthy, wholesome child. 

In this chapter the writer has emphasized the danger of 
edged tools for beginners, but he did that to make them care- 
ful in the use of the axe, not to discourage them in acquiring 
skill with it. We must remember that there is nothing in 
life that is not dangerous, and the greatest danger of all is 


not firearms, is not edged tools, is not wild beasts, is not 
tornadoes or earthquakes, avalanches or floods, but it is 
Luxi'RY; expressed in boy language, it is ice cream, soda water, 
candy, servants and automobiles; it is everj'tliing which tends 
to make a boy dependent ujjon others and soft in mind and 
muscle and to make him a sissy. But hardship, in the sense 
of undergoing privation and doing hard work like chopping 
trees and sawing logs, makes a rugged body, a clean, healthy 
mind, and gives long life. So, boys, don't be afraid to build 
your own little shack, shanty or shelter, to chop the kindling 
wood for your mother, to split up logs for the fun of doing it, 
or just to show that you know how. Don't be afraid to be a 
real pioneer so that you may grow up to be a real Abe Lincoln ! 
If I am talking to men, they need no detailed definition of 
luxury; they know all about it, its cause and its effect; they 
also know that luxury' kills a race and hardship preserves a 
race. The American boy should be taught to love hardship 
for hardship's sake, and then the Americans as a race will 
be a success, and a lasting one. 















Now that we have learned about the serious part of 
camping, hiking and woodcraft, about fire-building, cooking 
and axe work, we will leave the long trail and the hard trail 
and dump our duffel bag in a recreation camp, a Boy Scout 
camp, a Y. M. C. A. camp, or a school camp, and after we 
have pitched our tent and arranged our cot to suit our own 
convenience and everything is ship-shape for the night, it is 
time for us to get busy on our "good turn" and do something 
for the crowd. 

Like the great Boy Scout Movement, the council fire is 
also a product of America. The council fires were burning 
all over tliis land when Columbus discovered America. It was 
around the council fires that the Indians gathered in solemn 
conclave to consult and discuss the affairs of their tribes. 

Originally the council ground was surrounded by a pali- 
sade; that is, the fire was in the center of a circular fort. 
Around this fire the old men of the trilje made their eloquent 
addresses; also around this fire the warriors danced the scalp 
dance, the com dance, the buffalo dance, and all their various 
religious dances. 

Later the Cherokee Indians changed the council fire into 
a barbecue, where they roasted whole beefs in pits of glowing 
coals. Tliis custom was adopted by the politicians in Ken- 
tuck}', and the Kentucky barbecues became very famous; 
they were what might be called a by-product of the old 
Indian council fires and a European feast combined. But 
in 1799 the old Indian council fires became camp meetings, 



and around the blazing fagots the pioneers gathered to engage 
in religious revivals. It was at one of these meetings that 
Daniel Boone's great friend, Simon Kenton, was converted 
and became a Methodist. 

The camp meetings were originated by two brothers by 
the name of McGee. Bill McGee was a Presbyterian, and 
John McGee a Methodist minister. They came to Kentucky 
from West Tennessee. John McGee was such a great back- 
woods preacher (a pioneer Billy Sunday) that he drew im- 
mense crowds of buckskin-clad men, each of whom carried 
a cow's horn powder flask and a long barreled rifle. 

The small buildings used for churches in the pioneer 
settlements could not hold the crowd, so they gathered around 
blazing council fires, and from this beginning came the great 
religious revival which swept the border with a wave of 
religious enthusiasm. 

It is a far call back to the old Indian council fire, and the 
blazing council fires of the pioneer camp meetings, but to-day 
all over this land we are holding similar council fires, many of 
them conducted witli much ceremony, and not a few with 
religious fervor. The summer hotels have their council fires; 
the great Camp Fire Club of America, composed of all the 
famous big game hunters, have lately bought a tract of land 
for the purpose of holding their council fires in the open, and 
the writer interrupted the writing of this chapter to attend 
one of the club's council fires. The military schools are 
holding council fires, and everywhere the Boy Scouts have 
their council fires blazing; even the girls have fallen in line, 
and this is as it should be. Therefore it is time that some 
regular plan was made for these assemblies, and some sug- 
gestion of ceremony and some meaning given to the council 


The Indl\n Origins 

We have searched the legends of the Red Man for sug- 
gestions, and from various sources have learned that the 
Indian had a general belief that at the north there is a yellow 
or black mountain, at the east there is a white mountain of 
light, at the south there Ls a red mountain, and at the west 
there is a blue mountain. At tlie east and west there are 
also holes in the sky, through which the sun comes to light 
us by day, and through which the sun disappears so that we 
may sleep by night. That is news to most of my readers, 
but not to the Red Men. 

In the "Dawn of the World," Dr. C. Hart Merriam gives 
a collection of "The Myths and Weird Tales told by the 
Alewan Indians of California, " wliich are full of poetry and 
suggestions useful for the council fire work. 

It seems that when the white-footed mouse man, and some 
other of the animal people, were trying to steal the sun, or 
the fire from which the sun was made, the robin man, Wit- 
tab-bah, suspected these \isitors to be sort of German spies, 
and so he hovered over the fire, spreading his wings and tail 
to protect it. Now if you don't believe this you look at the 
robin's breast and you will see that he still carries the red 
marks of the fire, which is proof enough for anyone; hence 
we will give the fire-keeper for our council the name of 
Wit-tab-bah, the robin. 

Since the north is presided over by the totem of the moun- 
tain Hon, or panther, we will give the officer occupying that 
court the Indian name of the mountain Hon, He-le-jah. The 
totem of the east is the white timber wolf, Too-le-ze; the 
color of that court is white, representing light. The totem 
of the south court is the badger; the color is red and the 


Indian name is Too-winks. The color of the west court is 
blue and the totem is the bear; Kor-le is the Indian name 
of the bear, and the title of the oflScer presiding over the 
blue totem. 

The golden or yellow court is the throne of the presiding 
officer, the scoutmaster of the troop, the headmaster of tlie 
school, the gangmaster of your gang, the campmaster of your 
camp, or the captain of your team. The second in command 
occupies the white court, the third the red court, and the 
fourth the blue court. If your council is a military school 
the commandant occupies the yellow court, the heuten- 
ant-colonel the white court, the major the red court 
and the first captain the blue court. Now that you 
have that straight in your heads we will proceed to lay out 
the court. 

The author is aware of the fact that the general reader 
may be more interested in scout camping, summer camping, 
and recreation camps than in real wilderness work, but he 
has tried to impress upon the boys and girls, too, for that 
matter, the fact that the knowledge of real wilderness work 
will make even the near-at-home camping easier for them, 
and very much more interesting; it will also cause them to 
enjoy the council fire better and have a greater appreciation 
for everything pertaining to outdoor life. The wilderness 
campfire over which the solitary explorer or hunter hovers, 
or around which a group of hunters assemble and spin their 
yarns, magnified and enlarged to a big blazing fire becomes 
the council fire around which gather all the members of a 
recreation camp, the pupils of an outdoor school, a troop or 
many troops of Boy Scouts ; therefore we have given the coun- 
cil fire serious study, because the most inconvenient as well 
as the most romantic place to talk is at 


The Council Fire 

There could be no more impractical plan for a place to 
speak tliun a circle with a l)ig fire in the middle of it, and that 
is the plan of all tlie council grounds. The audience nnist be 
seated on the circumference of the circle, and the Master 
of Ceremonies must stand necessarily with his face to the 
fire and his back to part of his audience, or his back to the 
fire and consequently also to the part of the audience on the 
other side of the fire. Having had occasion over and over 
again to address the scouts at a council fire, the writer has 
had all the discomforts impressed uix)n him many times. As 
a rule, the boys are enthusiastic, and so are the men, and the 
enthusiasm is most often displayed by the size of the fire; the 
bigger the fire the greater the delight of the boys and the 
more difficult the position of the orator or Master of Cere- 
monies. All this may be overcome, however, if in place of a 
circle the council grounds are laid out in an oval or an ellipse, 
and the fire-place located near one end of the ellipse (Fig. 371). 

How TO Describe an Ellipse 

After you have decided upon the size of your council 
grounds, drive two stakes A and B (Figs. 363 and 365) 
firmly into the ground ; then take a cord, clothesHne, or some 
kind of t^\^ne (Fig. 36^2), and tie the ends together, thus 
forming a loop (Fig. 363) ; put the loop over the two stakes 
A and B; next make a marker stake C (Fig. 366), and with it 
draw the slack of the line taut as in Fig. 36-i. The ellipse 
is marked out as in Fig. 365. This is done by taking firm 
hold of the top of the stake and using care to keep the line 
taut while the marker walks around the ground scratching 
the earth with the pomt of the marking stick, and allowing 


the cord to slip smoothly across the stick while the marking 
is being done (Fig. 364). 

What is an Ellipse? 

An ellipse might be called a flattened circle. If you take 
a tin can and press the two sides of the open end of it mwards, 
it will form an ellipse. The dictionary says that an ellipse is 
a conic which does not extend to infinity and whose inter- 
sections with the line of infinity are imaginary. Now that 
is a very lucid explanation! I hope you understand it, it is 
so simple, but it is just like a dictionary to say such terrible 
things about a harmless ellipse. To tell the truth, I thought 
I knew all about an eUipse until I read this explanation; but 
never mind, we know what it looks Uke and if we do not 
know what it is, we do know that there are a lot of things 
besides ellipses that do not extend to infinity, and we also 
know that an ellipse is a practical form for a council fire in 
spite of the hard names the dictionary calls it. This oval is 
really shaped hke the body of a theatre and it gives the 
audience a chance to see what is doing on the stage, and the 
people on the stage a chance to see and address the audience. 

How TO Divide the Council Fire Ground 

This infinity talk has suggested to us a good idea, so we 
must thank our highbrow dictionary while we lay our council 
ground out with the major axis (the longest diameter) ex- 
tending due north and south, and the minor axis (the shortest 
diameter) extending due east and west, like any other well 
regulated council or lodge, and we will put the fire-place near 
the southern end S (Fig. 37l), while around the ellipse we will 
arrange the seats, which may be of logs or stumps or sections 


of logs set up on end, as I used in one of my camps, or the 
seats may be rough plank benches, or they may be ponchos 
spread upon the ground with the shiny side down to keep the 
dampness from the audience as it squats tailor-fashion upon 
the ponchos. 

The Four Courts 

Are composed of shacks, such as are shown by Fig. 367. 
He-le-jah (Fig. 371), being the Court of Knowledge, is the 
only court having an elevated platform, or pulpit, or 
speaker*s stand (Fig. 368). On each side of each court there 
should be a torch; Fig. 369 is what we wall call the camp 
meeting torch; Fig. 370 is what we will call the steamboat 
torch; it must be made by a blacksmith. It is an iron basket 
supported by iron chains, hung down from an iron band at 
the top of a staff; the latter is shod with an iron point so that 
it may be thrust into the ground. These fire baskets I have 
used w4th success in one of my camps. But homemade torches 
are to be preferred (see Fig. 369). A hand torch (Fig. 373) may 
be made of pine, spruce or cedar slivers and used for proces- 
sions entering the coimcil groimds; tliis gives a thrilling effect. 

In the diagram (Fig. 370), the staff is short, but it should 
be long enough to place the torch as high above the ground 
as a chandelier is above the floor at home. Fig. 372 shows 
the method of piling up the wood for the council fire. The 
kindhng wood is first placed upon the ground ready to light 
at a moment's notice; over that the hea\y wood is piled, 
as shown in the diagram. This fire should never be hghted 
with a match; that is terrible bad form. The use of flint 
and steel or a rubbing stick to make fire is the proper cere- 
mony for such occasions. 

Fig. 374 show^s how to make a fire box of sticks. This is 


an aeroplane view of a fire box, that is, a view from above, 
looking down upon it. This box should be filled with sand, 
clay or dirt, upon which the fire is built. Fig. 375 and Fig. 
376 show you how to lash the framework together. Fig. 377 
shows how to put up the framework. Fig. 369 is the finished 

The idea of this torch is to have the light above the heads 
of the campers. The trouble with a fire upon the ground is 
that while the flames give light they also hide part of the 
crowd, and the smoke is always in someone's face. This 
elevated torch is a brand new idea for this purpose. It will 
be adopted all over the country and credited to all sorts of 
sources and people, but you must remember that it was 
designed for the readers of this book. 

If milled lumber is used in building the shacks for the 
four courts, it should be camouflaged with paint or stain so 
as to look rustic. It may be roofed with boards and the 
boards covered with tar paper, or any of the modem roofing 
materials to be had, but in that case the roof should be 
camouflaged by laying poles over the top of it, or, if poles 
are not available, covering the top mth sods. 

You see the idea is this : we are having a Council Fire — 
not something else — and we want the thing to look wild and 
rustic because that is part of the game, and if we are compelled 
to go to the lumbeiyard for our material, which most of us 
will have to do, then we must conceal this fact as far as pos- 
sible by camouflage. In front of the South Court on Fig. 371 
is the fire-place made of flat stones set in the earth. 

Council Fire Ceremonies 

On entering the council grounds always enter from the 
east, salute Too-le-ze, the white wolf, then go across the 



Ghost Walk with the sun to the West Court, and salute 
Kor-le, the hear; about face and march ])ack to the S<juth 
Court and salute Too-winks, the badger; then about face and 
march up and salute He-Ie-jah, the panther; remain standing 
at salute until He-le-jah who is the commanding officer, 
gives you permission to retire, or gives you orders what to do; 
then go back, always moving along these walks like a soldier, 
to your seat. 

On Sundays the council ground is a splendid place for 
holding religious ser\aces. On such occasions the minister 
sits in the Court of Knowledge, the North Court on tlie 
right-hand side of the presiding officer, and the two torches 
in the da}i:ime are replaced by flags or banners. The one 
on the right-hand side of the presiding officer must be Old 
Glor>% the one on the left the flag of the school, the troop or 
the club to which the council fire belongs. 

The center of the council fire may be occupied by a 
*' Liberty Pole," which is the good old American name for 
the flag pole, from which Old Glory flies. Never forget to 
respect the colors and greet them with the greatest ceremonial 
deference, for those colors possess a magic quality; they 
represent to you everything that is grand, noble and inspir- 
ing, and if you have any other kind of thoughts, this country 
is no place for you. Remember that the council fire is 
American, and we are proud to be called Americans. 

The walk, or path from the east to the west is the Ghost 
Walk, or the Spirit's Walk; it is the path which Indians 
believe the spirit takes after leaving the body, an idea which 
was consciously or unconsciously adopted by our brave boys 
during the recent war and it explains what they meant when, 
vdih bowed heads, they reported that their bunky, pal or 
friend had "gone West.'* 


The Western Court has the totem animal of the black 
bear; the color of the court, however, is not black but blue, 
blue from the blue Pacific; the totem object is a blue mountain. 

The walk from the south to the north is the Path of Knowl- 
edge ; anyone traveling that trail is seeking further knowledge 
of the benefits of woodcraft, nature and the big outdoors; 
the totem animal of the North Court is the American panther, 
cougar or mountain lion; the color of the North Court is 
yellow or black, the latter representing the long arctic night. 

The Southern Court has the badger for its totem animal, 
and the red mountain for the totem object; red is its totem 

Thus we have white for the totem color of the east, mean- 
ing light, peace and purity; red for the south, meaning 
violence, disturbance, auction, danger, revolution, love and 
hfe. This color is both stimulating and disturbing to man, 
animal and plant. 

Perhaps when we read of the turmoil that is constantly 
disturbmg our southern border, we may thmk that the 
Indians had a knowledge of the real meaning of red when 
they made the totem of the south a red mountain. Red is 
the ruling color, the king of color, the dominant color, the 
strong color, and symbolizes the blossoming of plants and is 
the color of berries and fruit. Red tints the spring leaves 
and stains the fall leaf. In the spring the thickets and tree 
trunks are tinged with red ; they are blushing, so to speak, as 
Ruskin says, *'in order to show the waiting of love." Red is 
emphatically a masculine color, a Man's Coix)R. 

Blue is a feminine color; it stands for sentimental affec- 
tions, blue fight has a depressing effect and creates nervousness. 

Black is the ogre among colors; it devours every other 
color; sometimes the North Court is black; black stands for 


war iind death, and yet the path to the north is the path of 
knowlcdf^e. It may be that some of the Indians used hhick 
for the north because they may have noted that cHniate 
affects tlie color of birds and animals. According to Frank 
Chapman, the famous ornithologist at the Museum of 
Natural History in New York, the animals of the humid 
climate of the northwest are especially dark in color. 

If you use yellow for the north color, yellow means 
laughter and mirth. Notwithstanding the fact that we use 
yellow as a sign for contagious disease, women suffragists and 
cowardice, a yellow hght makes a gathering cheerful and 
merry; so in approaching the North Court you may sing. 

The Indian names for the four courts are Too-le-ze, the 
east, for the south Too-winks, for the west Kor-le, and for 
the north Kon-win. He-le-jali is the Indian name for the 
panther or mountain lion that guards the north mountain. 

Now then you have the symbolism; in other words, know 
what these things stand for, and that will give a meanmg 
to your ceremony around the council fire. Since red means 
life and black means death, possibly the Indians have placed 
a deep significance on the path from the Red Court to the 
Black Court, from life to death! when they call it the Path of 
Knowledge. At any rate, we will take it as we find it and 
adapt ourselves to the suggestions these meanings give us. 

We vnh claim that colors are the spirits, fairies or what 
not who govern the council fire. Wit-tab-bah is the name of 
the fire itself or the fire-place. When tlie fire is built, i)laced 
near the Soutliem or Red Court, it gives tlie chief, the 
captain, the superintendent, or the scoutmaster, who occu- 
pies the North Court, a space in front of him big enough to 
accommodate his audience. The real way to illuminate, or 
light up, the council grounds is by having 


Torch Fires 

Erected at each of the four courts. These fire torches at 
the four courts, if kept replenished mth dry wood, will light 
up the council grounds and give a most picturesque and wild 
appearance, and at the same time will not interfere with the 
ceremonies nor will they scorch the back or face of the 
speaker. Wit-tab-bah may be used on occasions when the 
crowd is not large. 

No council fire anywhere within the borders of the United 
States should open without the pledge to the American flag, 
and the reciting in unison by all present of the American creed. 
(See page 268.) 

The council should close with the singing of "America." 
Especially should these ceremonies be gone through with 
when the assembly is composed of many young people, 
because what George Washington said in his farewell address 
is as true to-day as it was a hundred years ago. 

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influences I conjure 
you to believe me, fellow citizens, the jealousy of a free people 
ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience 
prove that foreign influence is one of the most powerful foes 
of republican government." 

There is no reason why we should not have a lot of fun 
at the council fires, and at times it may even be riotous fun, 
but always American fun, and the patriotic spirit should never 
for a moment be forgotten, nor yet the poetic spirit which 
links us up in bonds of sympathy with all created things so 
that we may, with seriousness, recite the 


Indian Invocation 

O Great Mystery, wc Ik'scmhIi tlux'. 

That we may walk revcrt'iitly 

Beneath Lah-pah our brothers, the trees. 

That we may step Hghtlj- 

On Kis-so our kinsmen, the praises. 

That we may walk lovingly 

Over Ixx)-poo-oi-yes our brothers, the rocks. 

That we may rest trustfully 

WTiere the 0-lel-le bird sings — 

Beside Ilo-ha-oe, the talking waters. 

or this, 

Weave for us, O Great Mystery, 

A bright blanket of wisdom; 

Make the war]) the color of Father Sky, 

Let He-koo-las, the sun-woraan, 

Lend her bright hair for the weft. 

And mingle ^s-ith it the red and gold threads of evening. 

O Great Mystery; O Mother Earth! O Father Sky! 

We, your children, love the things you love; 

Therefore, let the border of our blanket 

Be bending Ku-yet-tah, the rainbow. 

And the fringe be glittering Nuk-kah, the slashing rain. 

or with abandon we may sing, or chant the song of the elves, 
• Oh, we are the fays, oh, we are the elves. 
Who, laughing at everything, laugh at ourselves. 
If Fortune's wheel is broke, 
WTiy, we can put a spoke in it. 
Misfortune hits no stroke. 
But we can put a joke in it. 
The owl can do our thinking. 
As he sits awinking, blinking. 
We act from intuition. 
Fun and mischief is our mission; 
•Solemn duty, we have none of it, 
Wliat we do is for the fim of it; 
Fun is none too light to prize. 
Thought is naught but fancy's flight. 
Folly's jolly, wit is wise. 
Laughter after all is right. 

•From unpublished verses by Captain Harry Beard. 








The ceremonies of the Council Fire may be conducted 
with the accompaniment of pageantry to any extent desir- 
able. At the Council Fire of the Dan Beard Outdoor School, 
the officers dress in costume ; not masquerade costumes but 
the real ones. The M1\n of the North, who attends to the 
Northern I^ights, is garbed in the blanket clothes of a northern 
lumberman and carries an axe. The Man of the East, 
who attends the fire where the sun maidens dwell, may be 
arrayed in the clothes of one of our Pilgrim fathers. The 
Man of the West, who attends the fire of the Blue Moun- 
tain, is decked in the fringed buckskin clothes of the trapper, 
plainsman, or mountaineer. The Man of the South, who 
guards the fire of the Red Mountain, is dressed in the pic- 
turesquecostumeof a Mexican w4th a high-crowned sombrero. 
The seats of the different courts are draped with the colors of 
the courts. 

Program of a Council Fire 

The guests enter and take their seats, then the Herald 
enters dressed in the costume of a scout, a frontiersman, or a 
medicine man, according to the plan of the particular Coun- 
cil Fire. The Herald faces the north from his stand in the 
center of the council ground and blows asseml)ly call, or a 
blast on a cow's horn, then wheels about and faces the east, 
then the south and then the west, and at each he blows 
assembly. With the last notes and the last call the Scouts, 
Woodcrafters, Pioneers or students enter the circle, marching 
single-file around imtil the circle is complete, and they stand 
opposite where they are to sit. The Herald now blows a fan- 



fare and the oflBcers march into the council ground with the 
colors and the color guard. The officers group themselves 
around their Chief, the Scout Executive, the Scout Commis- 
sioner, the Headmaster or the man in authority at the North 


The Leader, or head officer, steps forward and throwing 
both hands up in a gesture of appeal, in which he is imitated 
by the assembly, he repeats : 

Weave for us, O Great Mystery, etc. (as already given). 

Then he cries : 

Four Winds of the Earth, we have saluted you! 
Wind of the North, from whence come our snow and ice. 
Wind of the East, from whence come our clouds and rains. 
Wind of the West, from whence comes our sunshine. 
Wind of the South, from whence comes our warmth. 
Send us your men to guard the mystic fires. 

The Men of the North, East, West and South, now step 
in front of the Chief, and he directs them to 

See that the mystic fires are blazing. 

The fires, having already been carefully prepared, are now 
lighted by the fire- keepers under the direction of the men of 
the Four Winds, and the latter return and report to the Chief 
in the following manner : 

Chief .... Man of the North, you whose mighty axe bites to the heart of 
the pine. 

Are the mystic Northern Lights burning at Kon-win? 

Is He-le-jah, the Mountain-lion, on guard on the yellow momitain of the 

Man of the North Chief, the Medicine fire has been lighted, the Moun- 
tain-lion is guarding the yellow mountain of the North, 
All is well. 


Chief. . . .Man of the East, is the Me^licine Fire at Too-le-ze blazing.' 

Is the White Wolf on guard at the White Mountain, where the sun-maidens 

Man of the Ktist .... Chief, Too-le-ze blazes in the East, the White Wolf is 

on guard. Wah-tab-bah, the robin, shields the fire. 
All is well. 
Chief .... Man of the West, ma n of the plains and mountains, does the mystic 

fire at Kor-le blaze.' 
Is the Black Hear guarding the Blue Mountain, where the sun sets? 
Man of the West. . . .Chief, Kor-le is ablaze, the Black Bear's growls may 

be heard in the torrent that guards the Blue Mountain. 
All is well. 
Chief. . . .Man of the South, how blazes the fire at Too-winks? 
Has the Red Badger come from its burrow to stand guard on the Red 

Man of the South .... Chief, Too-winks flames to the sky. The Red Badger 

is on guard. 

All is well. 

The Color Guard now enters, marches up to In front of 
the officers and all stand at salute. The Color Guard with 
colors about faces and the guests and all present recite in 

The Fledge and Creed of All Americans 

*T believe in the people of the United States, I believe in 
the United States form of government, I believe in the pre- 
amble of the Declaration of Independence, I believe that all 
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their 
Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are 
Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. 

*'I believe in our Government of the People, by the People 
and for the People, a government whose just powers are de- 
rived from the consent of the governed, a Sovereign Nation 
of many Sovereign States, a Democracy in a Reoublic, a per- 
fect Union, one and inseparable. 

"A Union which wiU live because of the vital principles of 


Freedom, Equality, Justice, Humanity and Kindness which 
it contains, and for which American Patriots have wiUingly 
sacrificed their Hves and fortunes. 

"I therefore beHeve that in order to respect my own man- 
hood I must love my country, support its Constitution and 
obey its Laws; also that I must respect its Flag, and defend 
it against all enemies." 

After which may come the Scout oath, Pioneer oath or 
Camp-fire oath, as the case may be. Then the command is 
given to "spread ponchos," followed by the command 
"squat!" when all the Scouts, Woodcrafters, Pioneers, or 
students squat tailor-fashion upon their ponchos, and the 
guests seat themselves on the benches which have been pro- 
\aded for them. 

Following this comes the address by the speakers, the 
entertainments and exhibitions of woodcraft, scoutcraft, or 
handicraft, the games, and other entertainment; then follows 
the awarding of honors. After which all stand to sing 
"America." Then the Chief or Leader steps forward and 
repeats the following 


O Great Mystery, we beseech thee (as previously given) 
and ends up with the benediction, in which he uses the Indian 
phraseology : 

"May the Great Mystery put sunshine in all your hearts.