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By Dan Beard

A Safe Heater

for a tent, or a birch lodge, can be made by digging a hole in the floor and filling it with the hot embers from the campfire, and then covering the hole and embers with an inverted metal pail; or stones may be used heated very hot, heaped on the floor and covered with a galvanized bucket.

The objection to the Pontiac is the objection to all birch-covered lodges used for winter camp.  They are difficult to build tight enough to prevent the wind from blowing in under the bark shingles; but if the campers are provided with good sleeping bags, the wind will bother them but little, even when there is no roof at all over their heads.  If, however, there is a supply of sphagnum moss handy the wind can be kept out of the shack by covering the bark with moss and then putting on another lot of bark outside the moss, as many of the northern Indians treat their bark tents. 

When it can be procured, there is no doubt a good, snug shack of some kind is the thing to have for a winter camp.  There need be no fear that such structures will prevent the camper from getting a good supply of fresh air, for unless the reader is a much better work man than even the most skilful backwoodsman, there, will be an abundant supply of ozone in any of the shacks here described. 

A Camp for the Night 

can be made with two forked sticks driven into the ground, a cross stick laid in the crutches, and the whole covered with brush, thus making a miniature open-faced camp of the form of one half of the Pontiac (Fig. 441).  This one-night shack need only be built tall enough to admit the camper when he creeps to cover to sleep.  The small size of this shack makes little work in construction, and less work in collecting the material of bark or boughs with which to cover the simple framework.

A Big Bonfire,

built in the morning and kept burning all day, will dry and warm the earth so as to make a most comfortable place to sleep upon, after the hot coals and ashes have been carefully brushed away.  A thorough baking of this kind will cause the earth to retain the heat for hours after the fire is extinguished, and give forth a most grateful warmth on a bitter cold night.

Wind Shields 

A large rock, a steep back, or the flat, upright mass of clay and roots of an overturned tree are all good wind guards, behind which one may camp with more or less comfort when the cutting north winds are sweeping through the woods.  

Upon some occasion a big, hollow log is not to be despised as a bunk in which to spend a cold winter's night. 

FFHB

 

 

   

 

 


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Last modified: October 15, 2016.