by Perry D Frazer



A tent will be necessary if two persons cruise in company in open canoes. If decked canoes are used, supplied with canoe tents, then another tent will not be needed. For continuous cruising the canoe tent is best, as with it the labor of nightly selecting and making camp can be reduced. If two or more persons intend to camp several nights in one place, a regular tent will be best. A small round or square tent will be easiest to manage. It should be 7 feet in diameter at the bottom. Only one pole is needed. This can be made of a limb or small tree; sharpen both ends, insert one in the tent peak and the other in the ground, raise the canvas, and peg down smoothly and tightly.

The Protean tent is similar to the square peaked tent. It requires one pole; it has two walls, one 2 feet, and the other the full height of the tent. Three guy ropes are needed.

An A, or wedge tent, having ridge ropes, but no poles, is excellent for canoeists. The rope should be 25 feet long. Erect the tent between two trees, and stretch rope and canvas taut. Ten pegs are used. In the absence of trees, drive two strong stakes 12 feet apart, make an end of the rope fast to each, and




brace with forked poles slightly higher than the tent; that is, if the tent is 6 feet high, the poles should be 6-1/2 or 7 feet.

For a tent for one person, where extreme lightness is desired, a very small wedge tent is recommended. It cannot be had of the trade, but can be made to order for about $3. I have found these small tents satisfactory for the purpose. A similar tent is described by Arthur A. MacDonell, in Camping Out:


"A tent without side walls is made to suit the requirements of Canadian canoeists, being extremely light and portable. It weighs 6 pounds. The dimensions are 7 feet long by 5 feet wide, and 3 feet 6 inches high. Two uprights, which are without a ridge pole, are held in position by two ropes, one attached to a peg straight in front of the door, and the other to one straight behind the tent. Ten pegs are used. The material of the tent is brown holland."


If such a tent is used with a canoe which has masts 3-1/2 or 4 feet high, these can be used as poles, or if a ridge rope is used, poles will not be needed. With ridge rope the tent will be stronger, and two trees or stakes can be found almost anywhere, between which to pitch the tent.

Ridge ropes should be supplied with small wood or metal tighteners, one for each end. An end of the rope is passed through one of the holes and back through the other, then knotted, thus forming a loop. Drop the loop over a stake, and haul on the tightener until the rope is taut. In fastening to a tree, loose the knot, pull the rope through the tightener, pass it around the tree, and knot as before.

It will be well to treat the tent rope to a bath of linseed oil, applied hot; then place on a stretcher till dry. Braided cotton cord, a quarter inch in diameter will answer. It will not shrink and stretch like twisted cord.

It is very annoying to fasten the tent ropes tightly before retiring, and then wake up in the night to find it raining hard, the canvas sagging low, and the water dripping through, as it will unless the canvas is stretched taut. On the other hand, if the ridge rope is oiled, and remains taut when wet, and if the canvas is smoothly pegged, there need be no guy ropes on the sides, for the tent will stand in a gale.

This fact has been proved to me in a number of instances. While cruising down the South Platte river with George A. Irwin, of Jacksonville, Fla., in October, 1893, we camped one night on the river bank on the great plains, where there were no trees to protect us. The day had been very warm, but near midnight a furious norther swept the plains, and on looking out, we saw the last remnants of our campfire scoot across the level ground in front of the tent into the river. In our nightclothes we ran out in the cold wind, taking the ax with us, to tighten the tent pegs, but although the tent swayed and flapped in the gale, it held firm, and on arising at daybreak, we found everything in good shape but the fire, not a vestige of which remained. It was a peculiar night, for the sun rose on the dead calm of a black frost, with here and there a film of ice. Ours was a small A tent with ridge ropes.

On another cruise a companion and myself were camped in a dense forest on the high bank of a river. Our little A tent was pitched under some giant oaks




and maples; the canoe lay bottom up near by. We were awakened one night by the crash of falling trees, the flapping of the tent, and the roaring of the gale that made our position a hazardous one. We even made the canoe's bow and stern painters fast to trees, as the fierce gusts of wind threatened to carry it into the river. The tent held through the storm and the deluge of rain that followed.

A Wisconsin correspondent of a New York sportsman's journal has described a tent that may interest some canoeists. It is as follows:


"Buy 9 yards of cheap, heaviest unbleached sheeting, yard wide. Cut it into three pieces, each 9 feet long. Cut each piece diagonally. Sew edges together, leaving one seam open about 5 feet for entrance. Cut off bottom, then hem it up about 2 inches. Insert grommets, to admit tent pin loops. In the apex of tent insert a loop made of half-inch rope. A tent of this character cost me $1.27. The sides are so steep it sheds water nicely."


This tent can also be used with ridge rope.

Tent stakes form an important part of the camping outfit. The ordinary wedge tent will require ten pegs. For a long time I never carried pegs with me, but made them from any pieces of wood that could be found near where the tent was pitched. Afterward pegs were carried. The best wooden pegs were those made of seasoned hickory. They were 1/2 inch in diameter, and about 8 inches in length. A small knob was left at the top, and the ends made quite sharp. With a couple of smart raps of the ax these pegs held, even in very soft earth.

There are objections to wooden pegs. They are always covered with sand or mud, and soil everything with which they may be packed. Pegs made of aluminum are clean, can be washed, will not rust or corrode, are extremely light and compact, and can be stowed anywhere. Quarter-inch aluminum bars can be cut, bent to shape, with a ring or square at the top, and the ends slightly sharpened. When finished they should be about 5 inches long for corner pegs, and others shorter if it is desired. A set of aluminum pegs should not weigh more than 8 ounces. In a driving rain no tent will be absolutely waterproof unless it has an independent fly, or unless it is coated with oil or some waterproof preparation. Either of the former methods will add to the weight and are not necessary for ordinary use.

Rubber blankets of good quality, in size 4x6 feet, cost about $1. A sheet of oiled 8 or 10 ounce duck, in size 7x7 feet, will serve to keep the blankets clean and dry, both as a ground sheet and as a cover in which to roll them when afloat. As a shelter it will be serviceable if one gets caught in a sudden shower. A coat of boiled linseed oil will render it nearly waterproof; two will make it waterproof, but somewhat heavier. If it is desirable to use other preparations in waterproofing canvas, that it may be kept soft and pliable, the following old recipes may be used:

1.-Dissolve paraffin in naphtha or benzine, and soak the goods thoroughly in the solution.

2.-Dissolve a half pound of sugar of lead and a half pound of powdered alum in a bucket of rainwater, and pour off into another vessel; steep the canvas in it, but let it soak thoroughly. Hang canvas




up and let it dry, but do not wring it. Add to the quantity in same proportion, if insufficient.

3.-Take 11 Pounds of alum and 11 Pounds of Sugar of lead; dissolve in 10-3/5 quarts of boiling water. Pour both solutions, while hot, into a wooden dish, whereby a white precipitate of lead takes place. Let it cool; then draw the fluid off; dilute it as needed with 53 quarts of water. Then dissolve in water 17-1/2 ounces of isinglass, or 5-1/2 Pounds of white glue. Pour the first solution into the latter. Let the canvas soak in this solution overnight. Hang up to dry without wringing. Do not use sugar of lead for any thing in which provisions are to be stored, for it is poison.

A half Pound of white oak bark in 7 Pounds of boiling water will dye canvas dead grass color.


Yalden's Tent 

When purchasing blankets select dark colors and pure wool. Get the best you can afford; it will be cheaper in the end. Half cotton blankets are not warm, absorb moisture quickly, and soil easily. In the woods twigs, leaves, and grass will stick to them, causing no little annoyance to the sleeper. For Summer cruises one pair of blankets will be sufficient. if they are double and of good quality. In size they should be 6/2 feet long and almost as wide. For cold weather two pair of double blankets will be enough ordinarily. When an oiled sheet is taken it can be used over the blankets if the weather is cold. A better plan 15 to spread the blankets out on the sheet, and then roll up in them: this will bring the sheet over all, as well as under. It will add wonderfully to warmth.

Sleeping bags are now made and sold by the trade at moderate prices, compared with what was asked for them a few years ago. The best ones are superb for use at any season, but expensive. Cheap bags are made, and one may be had at about $5. If intended for use in the canoe, or under a tent, a low-priced bag may answer; but otherwise, if not waterproof, it will be an annoyance. If wet through it will take a long time to dry, and sleeping in it will be dangerous to health.

A sleeping bag is easily made. A piece of oiled 8-ounce duck is the first thing needed; it must be longer and wider than the blankets. Double the duck and sew along the bottom and half way up the side. Sew the top half way across from the folded side. The open part may be arranged to button. One or two pairs of blankets can be put inside. If preferred. these may be loosely sewed to the hag around the sides and bottom. If the blankets are folded lengthwise, put in the bag and sewed to it at the bottom and part way up the side, they will not wrinkle and become displaced. One may sleep under as many thicknesses as he likes.

I cannot pass lightly over the subject of cork cushions. As one must sit on the bottom of the canoe or kneel on the floorboards when paddling, some sort of cushion will not only be a luxury, but a necessity. If the body is raised three or four inches from the bottom, the limbs will not be subjected so much to cramps and aches, and more power can be exerted on the paddle. If the canoe leaks, or if the floor is made moist by rain or spray, the clothing will not come in contact with it when one is seated on a cushion. Then, too, the motion of




paddling serves to make one's seat on a hard surface an uncomfortable one, to say nothing of kneeling for any time on a hard surface.

Camp stools are not to be thought of as part of the outfit, and sitting on damp ground, rough logs, or stones in camp is foreign to the indolent and luxurious ease one likes to enjoy. Cushions of rubber are expensive and smell badly in warm weather; they will adhere to the varnish so tightly that in raising them part of the rubber will tear off and leave unsightly patches on the floorboards. Such cushions last only a short time, and when punctured or old they are worse than useless. Cushions of straw, excelsior, or cotton are still worse, for when saturated with water they cannot be easily dried, hut are rendered heavy and useless for the time being. Hair-filled cushions become hard, and cost too much to be thought of. Cushions of cork shavings are lighter than any other material, will never become soggy from wettings, are easily dried, are soft and springy, are cheap, and possess the merit of being life preservers.

It was only after long experiments that I found the secret of the canoe cushion, bed and pillow combination, which has been such a comfort on my cruises. It is as follows:


Buy three yards of awning cloth, which is usually striped blue and white, and weighs eight ounces to the yard. The width is 29 inches. Cut across the cloth every 20 inches, which will leave four pieces. Get some one to sew each piece into a bag on the machine. The edges should be boxed; that is, when finished the bag will be six-sided, with straight edges, or sides. An opening should be left at one end for the shavings.

Visit or send to some life-preserver manufacturer and buy three pounds of cork shavings. They should cost about 15 cents a pound. Fill the bags with these until they are of the same thickness throughout; then have the openings sewed up, and you will have four nice cushions, each 14x18-1/2 inches in size. If you wish them to be soft, leave them as they are; to make them flat and even, get some pieces of leather and cut out disks about 3/4 inch in diameter; place the leather disk on the proper place, run the needle and thread through it, the cushion and the disk on the opposite side, then back, when the doubled end of the thread can be tied as tight as you wish. Three or four bindings will keep the cushion flat.

The cost will be: Cloth, 40 cents; shavings, 45 cents: total, 88 cents. Weight, 1 pound each. Each cushion will be 1-1/2 inches thick. By using two or three you can have a much higher seat. In tandem cruising each person may have a cushion and backrest.

At night you can spread the four cushions on the floor of the canoe or on the ground for a bed, as soft and dry as a mattress. You can arrange them for a bed 56 inches long by 18 inches wide; turning them around. the bed will be 14 inches wide and 6 feet long. In either case it will be wide enough to sleep on, unless you are indeed fastidious. At each corner small pieces of tape may be sewed, in order that the cushions may be tied together. The cork is warm, and one will sleep much more comfortably than on the ground or on a bed of blankets.




The selection of a camp ax should be carefully made. One with a blade 4 inches broad is large enough. The handle should not be longer than 16 inches. It should weigh less than 2 pounds, and be of the best steel. Double bitted axes are preferred by many canoeists. These have the advantage of two cutting edges, and as the ax is seldom used as a hammer, except in driving tent pegs, the double bitted ones are advantageous. As one may use the ax when in the canoe or when wading, it is well to have it provided with a straight handle, which should be wrapped with cord at the end, to render the grasp firm. In cruising down some streams I have often been compelled to cut a way for the canoe through fallen treetops and drift with the ax, and at such times it would have been unfortunate to have dropped it in the water.

The use of the duffle hag by the canoeist was followed by that of the carryall bag of the Sportsman and tourist, and the war bag of the western man. No doubt the canoeist originated their use. Certain it is that the canoeist's duffle bag is more useful than any other article for carrying the outfit. Into it can be stowed every loose article of clothing or equipment. Carryall bags made of canvas, bound with leather and fitted with straps, are useful, but often expensive. In making portages the straps are slung over the shoulders, and the bag carried on the back. I have, after long experience, found a mere simple one which answers the purpose as well, and costs less than $1. It is a bag 30x36 inches, made of 10 ounce duck, with a wide hem at the top, through which a 1/4 -inch draw rope is run. The seams at bottom and side of such a bag should be double. Two coats of linseed oil will render it waterproof. A strap sewed on the bottom will answer for a handle, and the rope, when drawn tight and tied at the mouth, can be used for the same purpose. Another style has a round bottom, and is really more roomy. One of this style has been used by me for several years. It cost 75 cents. It has been packed across the Rocky mountains several times on ponies, has been roughly handled by expressmen and baggage smashers, has been in wagons, steamers, and various conveyances, as well as serving as a canoe duffle bag in numerous cruises. Its contents have been damp, but water never entered it, even in capsizes, or in the storms to which it has been exposed.

The trade offers a variety of articles for carrying provisions. As I said before, I have found an ordinary japanned tin bread box excellent. Any size can be had. The lid fits snugly down over the top, and a flap and staple are on the opposite side from the hinges, and this permits the use of a padlock. In one of these should be placed all perishable provisions. For the rest, the following plan will answer:


Have six sacks made, 12x18 inches in size. These should be of unbleached muslin, sewed on a machine, leaving hems at top for draw strings. In these put rice, sugar, flour, meal, ground coffee, salt, etc. The flour, salt, and meal should be put in the box; the other articles can go in the duffle bag, together with an extra bag of flour or meal. By ordinary care the provisions in the bag will not become even damp. Cans with screw tops are nice, but one-pound baking powder cans will answer. Have one for each --




baking powder, sugar, salt, coffee, rice, and cocoa. Stow them in the provision box, to be handy for use each meal, without having to open the bags to get the things wanted. These cans are light, waterproof, and very convenient. A small label on each, as "Sugar," "Salt," etc., will distinguish the cans.

Cooking outfits for canoeists can be had of the trade. These are complete for certain purposes, but are not always just what one needs. Besides, the cost is more than some will care to pay. These outfits are usually made to be used with a spirit stove. They are made to occupy the smallest space possible, and the smaller articles nest in the larger ones.

It will be well to buy a cheap outfit at first, and after some experience one can get just what is needed. Mistakes will be less costly then. Aluminum has been in the market for several years, but it is still expensive. Owing to its extreme lightness, it is perfectly adapted to canoeists' use. It does not rust or corrode, is easily cleaned, and is lighter than other metals. Cooking utensils made of aluminum are now sold in all of the cities.

Select the coffeepot first. For one person it should not hold more than a quart or three pints of water. See that the spout is riveted on; also the strainer. Solder will melt too easily. The low, broad pots are best. If one prefers tea, the same advice holds good. A good plan is to use a small pail, which has a tightly fitting lid, for the coffee, and use a small wire strainer when pouring the coffee. This will do away with the coffeepot, which is at best a difficult article to stow snugly.

If aluminum or steel frying pans cannot be had with folding or detachable handles, have them made. The pans should nest. They should be 10 inches in diameter at the bottom, and not more than 2 inches deep. If such pans cannot be had, then get iron or thin steel pans with long handles; the end of handle should be covered with tin, to prevent heating.

Two half-gallon seamless stew pans, with bales and flat covers, will be next. These will nest, and the coffeepot will go inside both when stowed. A gallon stew pan can be added, for use as a water bucket, if desirable.

Get one seamless pint cup for each person. See that the handle is a separate piece, riveted to the cup at the top, but loose at the bottom, that the cup may be nested in another cup or pan.

Four plates are enough. These will nest in the frying pan. Six will suffice for two persons. It is supposed that the plates will be used to keep bread and cakes warm near the fire, and to use otherwise than to eat from. For one person, select one fork, two teaspoons, two large spoons, one good table knife, two small shakers, one each for pepper and salt. If a pocket knife is carried -- and of course it will be -- its large blade will answer for cutting meat, etc., thus serving a double purpose.

Camp stoves, bake ovens, etc., need no comment here. They are too cumbersome for use. A folding spider is liked by many, on which meats, etc., can be broiled. Spirit lamps or stoves are much used. With a spirit stove one can cook a meal while afloat, and this may often be desirable, either in places where a landing cannot be made, or when cruising down stream, when one does not desire to stop.




E.B. White's Camp Stove (above, below)

Cooking can also be done in a canoe or other tent, and during a rain this will be a feature that is valuable. Cooking over a campfire in the rain is often disagreeable. With a spirit stove, however, only a few things can be cooked at one time, and the Campfire should be relied on generally. Single or double burner oil stoves may be used, but are heavy. With them one must also take a supply of kerosene oil. My own experience has taught me that the campfire is the place to cook, usually.

A well-known sportsman's paper some time ago contained an illustrated paper by E.B. White, of Aroostook county, Me., which I am enabled to reproduce here, and do so gladly, as the camp cooking range described has no little merit. I would only add that a canoeist could, no doubt, have one made much lighter, or modify its design to suit his own ideas. It is as follows:




"The sheet iron ring, e, Fig. 3, goes on top of post before hangers are put on, and is to protect the neck of the hangers from the fire; otherwise they would get so hot as to allow them to lap down. A short piece of larger pipe is driven down about 1/4 inch from the top, to hold the sheet iron ring (e) in position. To set up for use, drive the iron post into the ground, put on the sheet iron ring and hangers, and put in your kettles, etc. It weighs less than 2-1/2 pounds, and is very compact when taken apart. The frying pan is made to pack plates, knives, forks, and spoons. The plates are held in place by spring wires caught in holes drilled in edge of pan, shown in illustration. The coffeepot holds cups, pepper and salt shakers, teaspoons, and a box for sugar."

While fully aware that on no other subject do canoeists disagree so radically as on that of provisions, and while expecting some criticisms, I will give the results of personal experience, gained after practical tests during every season of the year. The list below is based on the assumption that game will be cooked an average of once each day. The list is for the use of one person, for twenty-eight days: Three pounds of coffee, five pounds of granulated sugar, ten pounds of corn meal, ten pounds of flour, one pound of baking powder, three pounds of breakfast bacon, one-half pound of table salt, one ounce of black pepper, three pounds of butter.

Butter and eggs can be bought at any farmhouse or country store. The sugar, meal, and flour can be had anywhere, if exhausted. If lard is preferred to bacon, take five pounds. If it is intended to make biscuits or white bread often, take less meal and more flour. From a point of health, corn meal bread and griddle cakes will be far better than wheat bread or biscuits, can be quickly made, and are delicious to the hungry canoeist. In selecting provisions, remember that the canoe is a light boat, and if it is overloaded, every pound of weight will require more exertion with the paddle. A fast canoe may be made to handle like a log by overloading. Therefore, it can be readily understood that in the heaviest portion of the outfit -- the provisions-many things must be left behind. Select those which are most healthful and wholesome first; then, if there is still room, take only such things as will be in the nature of a variety. It will be best for various reasons that the fare be plain but wholesome. If well cooked, plain food will take the place of many things which are luxuries-on a cruise.

Small cans of fruit jams are nice to take along. Canned beans, corn, tomatoes, fruit, evaporated cream, etc., are excellent, but all are heavy.

Whisky, brandy, or any liquor, will be best when left at home. The bottles are heavy, easily broken, and liquor is of no real value in camp. If one is chilled through from exposure, a cup of strong, hot coffee will do more good than whisky. As an antidote for bites of poisonous reptiles, strong black coffee and a burning coal applied to the affected part will be more likely to prove beneficial. Quinine capsules and cathartic pills should be taken. Add a bottle of carbolated vaseline, and one of petroleum jelly, for cuts, bruises, or chapped or sunburned hands. Some simple medicines, in small quantities, may not be amiss.







This is a more important subject than is generally supposed. What to take and what is not needed will often puzzle one when making ready for a cruise.

For underwear one extra suit will be enough for one month's use. Four pair of socks will meet all demands, and two pair will be better. Two flannel shirts should be taken. These should be large and have wide collars. A flap sewed on one side of the collar, and a button on the other side, to button round the neck, will be very comfortable in keeping the sun off the neck, and to keep mosquitoes and Insects from stinging one's neck, as well as for increased warmth. Two large pockets will be useful. A pocket in which the watch will fit tightly, that it will not drop out when one stoops, should be sewed on the left breast, where it will rest just below the collar bone. In that place it will be least liable to be broken or injured. Either in handling the canoe or in being "spilled" in shallow water. if carried in the fob pocket, the watch may be injured, and if carried in the large pockets in the shirt it will drop out when one stoops.

One or two extra handkerchiefs will be wanted. The large white silk ones are best, as they are easily washed and are soft to wear around the throat. Shirts, handkerchiefs, and underwear should be washed often, and if one suit is kept clean and dry, one can change at any time that may be desirable or necessary.

In summer a pair of knickerbockers and light wool hose will be best. The former should be made with both front and hip pockets, and should fit closely round the waist. If full length trousers are worn, they should be of wool, soft and light. Corduroy is much worn, but has the disadvantage of being heavy when wet. If desirable, the extra pair of trousers can be corduroy, and may be worn when in camp. The knickerbockers can then be kept to wear when afloat.

A light sack coat may be taken, but a vest is out of place. In cold weather a reefer or pea jacket. longer than the ordinary coat, will be very comfortable. It may at times be worn when paddling, and to that end it should be large and loose, that it will not retard the free use of the arms in paddling. Corduroy coats lined with wool or flannel are warm, but heavy when wet, and do not dry quickly. Leather coats are warmer than others, and a fairly good coat can be had at a moderate cost. Canvas shooting coats will answer, both for warmth and to keep out rain. A cap with a visor to shade the eyes, or a small crush felt tourist hat will be best. One cap or one hat is enough to take.

A wool sweater is an article of clothing that should never be. left behind. If necessary, leave the coat, but take the sweater. When cold or wet, or both, it will prove its value. I prefer a heavy sweater above




all other articles of clothing for cruising use. It will stretch or fit snugly, according to what is worn under it. When paddling, one will find more warmth and comfort in wearing two or more flannel shirts under a sweater than when a heavy coat is worn over it.

Every article of clothing should be wool. Even in summer light wool clothing is best. If clad in it one will not so easily take cold from exposure or from being wet. Outside clothing, to wear when hunting or fishing, should be gray or dead grass color. These colors will not be so readily seen by game, and will look neat, even when soiled. A long coat is out of place in a canoe. An oiled sou'wester, to reach slightly below the hips, will be better than a rubber coat. Macintosh coats are somewhat heavy. Many canoeists prefer oiled sheets about four feet square. One of the sides is cut to the center, where there is a bole to fit round the neck. These are worn as capes.

For hunting where the ground is not stony and rough, nothing is so comfortable for footwear as moccasins, with tops reaching slightly above the ankle bone. Moosehide moccasins can be had of the trade for $2 or $3. These are oil tanned, thick, strong, and will last a long time. They have neither heel nor sole. At first moccasins tire the feet, but after one becomes accustomed to them, they are the most comfortable of all footwear. One can walk in them in the woods without making a noise that will frighten game. With care one can travel through the woods without making twigs snap and leaves rustle. For cold weather. or for walking where there are pebbles or sharp stones, insoles can be put in the moccasins, or two pair of wool socks may be worn. Stepping on sharp-cornered stones or small pebbles is painful at first. For such wear sewed full length soles will answer. No footwear containing nails should be worn in the Canoe, if it is desired to keep it in good condition. The absence of heels may cause one to slip or fail at first, in hilly country. Low sewed heels are not objectionable, except that with heels one cannot walk noiselessly. Boots or leggins should not be worn. If wearing long trousers, fold the bottoms, draw the tops of the moccasins outside, and lace them tightly. Sand or dust can thus be kept out.

To wear in the canoe, moccasins are excellent. There are several kinds of low cut yacht shoes or slippers, made of canvas, with corrugated rubber soles. The rubber soles will not injure the canoe, and the shoes may be quickly changed for shore wear. if these are worn in cruising, it wilt be well to have a pair of high rubber shoes, to put over them when going ashore. To keep mud out of the canoe, these can be removed on reembarking. Footwear should be selected in which one can swim, if necessary. High hoots, leggins, heels, and heavy soles are objectionable, for this reason.

At first the paddle will blister the hands severely. This applies equally to double or single blade paddles. To prevent this, an old pair of kid gloves, having the fingers cut off, to leave the first joints of the fingers free, can be worn. In the hot sun the gloves will also prevent the wrists and hands from being severely burned and blistered. Fair-skinned




persons suffer intensely when exposed to the sun on the water for a few days. Although, when paddling, one's hands and wrists are constantly exposed to the sun, many canoeists will suffer greatly from burned and blistered hands and wrists in preference to wearing gloves. They dread being teased for wearing gloves when cruising. In cold weather a pair of knit wool gloves will be needed. Paddling is cold work at times, and unless protected, the hands will not be comfortable. In a head wind, when spray is flying, and when the paddle must be used constantly, wet and half frozen hands and fingers will cause a great deal of discomfort.





In this chapter no attempt is made to include all makes, and their respective merits, hut only such rifles and appliances as are safe, reliable, and accurate, which have withstood tests of men whose opinions are to be relied on. It will be observed I limit weights of rifles to about 7 pounds, and lengths of barrels to 26 inches. It has long been conceded by expert marksmen that long and heavy barrels are not best for hunting, and the canoeist must limit the weight of his rifle. Personal opinions or preferences are given with the knowledge that, after exhaustive tests by the best known marksmen at target and xxx game, the data is of practical value. It is difficult to name a particular rifle for certain uses, for sportsmen are fanciful in regard to rifles and ammunition, and the choice of a rifle will be largely a matter of individual preference. It is well to say, however, that for extreme accuracy single shot rifles are best.

For canoe cruising and camping, light rifles should be selected. Even in the large calibers 7 pounds should be the maximum weight, and 26 inches the maximum length of barrel. It is not necessary to have long barrels. Up to a certain limit one can do better shooting with a long barrel, but it is chiefly because the sights are




further apart, thus preventing errors in sighting. With a short barrel the rifle can be more easily stowed and handled in the canoe.

Take-down rifles are best for canoeists. Many of the best rifles are so made that the barrel may be easily and quickly detached from the stock. A takedown rifle with 22 or 24-inch barrel can be stowed in a very small space, and this is an advantage not to be forgotten.

Revolvers or pistols are nearly useless on a cruise, unless no rifle is taken; then one may not be amiss, and a great deal of pleasure may be had practicing with an accurate revolver in the woods, or when one is fishing and the rifle is left behind. The Stevens target pistols are excellent for some purposes, when fitted with target sights. These are made for .22 and .25 caliber rim-fire cartridges, and are very accurate. The Smith & Wesson model 1891 pocket revolver is nicely adapted to this use. The .38 caliber barrels are made in several lengths, up to and including 6 inches; they are often fitted with elevating target sights. The barrel and cylinder may be removed, and a pistol barrel substituted, making the arm a single shot pistol. These barrels are made in .22, .32, and .38 calibers, and in lengths up to 10 inches.

In large calibers, the Smith & Wesson .44 caliber Russian model is the most accurate, especially when fitted with target sights. It can also be had in .32 and .38 calibers. The Frontier model single action Colt revolvers are very reliable and durable. They are made in several calibers.

A shotgun is not recommended for the canoeist. In order to take one, a number of cartridges will be needed; these are heavy, and will increase the weight more than anything else in proportion to bulk. If a gun is taken, however, the same methods mentioned in regard to rifles will apply. Care must be exercised in shooting heavy charges from a light canoe with a shotgun.


The lightest weight rifles are made by the Stevens Company, of Chicopee Falls, Mass. The Pocket rifle is made for .22 and .25 caliber rim-fire cartridges, as well as for some of the pistol sizes. The barrels are 15 and 18 inches long. Skeleton stocks are fitted. These can be attached or detached quickly, or the barrel, by turning out a screw on the side of the frame, may be detached. One of these little rifles, with 15 or 18-inch barrel, will weigh about 3 pounds. It will do really fine shooting with .22 short, or .22-7-45 rim-fire cartridges. Two or more barrels of different caliber and length may be had for the same stock. The use of Lyman sights, with very small ivory bead front sight, and Lyman combination rear, is advantageous.

The Stevens Company's Favorite rifle is an ideal one for canoeists. It weighs 4-1/2 pounds. The barrel is 22 inches long, and it is fitted with shapely stocks and shotgun butt plate. By turning out a thumbscrew under the barrel, the barrel may be detached. This rifle is made for .22 and .25 caliber rim-fire cartridges. Two or more barrels may be had for the same stock. One of these, fitted with Lyman sights, will be excellent. The .22-7-45 is recommended, for




with it longer shots may be made, and a goose, turkey, hawk, or fox will not get away quickly if struck with one of these bullets.

The model 1890 Winchester repeater is of this class. Its weight is about 5-3/4 pounds. It may be had in .22 short or .22-7-45. With either it is very accurate, handy, and an excellent rifle for small game. It is made to take down. A 22-inch barrel will be better than the 24-inch regularly furnished. A sling strap will be convenient. These rifles do not foul badly. I have often fired a large number of shots without cleaning, being careful to breathe through the barrel often, to moisten the residue.


The Remington Fire Arms Co., of Ilion, N.Y., makes rifles of medium weight for .22 short, .25-20, and other cartridges, which are excellent. The company does not make take-down models. Ballard and Maynard rifles are no longer made. Both are excellent, particularly the latter, which was made with detachable barrel. Both are famous for accuracy and good material.

The Marlin Fire Arms Co., of New Haven, Coon., makes elegant little repeaters of medium weight. Those having half magazines are lightest. They are made with detachable barrels, and for model, finish, and accuracy they are among the best.

The Stevens Ideal rifle is perfectly adapted to canoeists' uses. It is like the Favorite, but heavier. By turning out a screw under the barrel the latter may be unscrewed from the frame. The rifle weighs 7-1/4 pounds when fitted with a 26-inch barrel. With this rifle one may have two or more barrels. The Ideal may be had in .22 short, .22-7-45, .25-20, .25-25, .32 Ideal, .32-40, and .38-55. The Stevens old model rifles, with tip-down barrels, are good, hut the Ideal is much better for all purposes. The old models can be had in any small caliber.

Winchester single shot rifles in medium weights are as good as any made, but are not supplied in take-down models. They are made for all calibers. Winchester repeaters are made to take down. They are made for .32-20 and nearly all large calibers.

With the large calibers the rifles should be heavier, to secure the best results. For canoeists this rule should be modified, for it will not be advisable to carry heavy rifles. Single shot rifles are lighter than repeating rifles, and are more accurate. Many hunters of large and dangerous game will not carry repeating rifles under any circumstances. There are reasons why canoeists should carry single shot rifles, chief among which is the danger of having a loaded rifle in the canoe, and cartridges carried in the magazine add to the element of danger. One can shoot rapidly enough for all purposes with a single shot rifle, and gain considerable in the weight of the magazine of the repeater. For the heaviest calibers 7 or 7-1/2 pounds will be sufficient. In hunting one does not notice the recoil, which will be slightly greater in light than in heavy rifles.


Below are named a few cartridges which have given good results in hunting, any one of which will be found reliable for certain purposes. It is not advisable to




hunt large game with small caliber cartridges. It is better to hunt small game with large calibers, than large game with small calibers, for, aside from a humane point of view, the results will be far from satisfactory:


For small game, excluding deer -- .22 short, .22-7-45, .25-10-67, .25-20-77, .25-25-86, .32 Ideal, and .32-40.

For deer -- .38-55-255, .40-70-330, .45-70-330, Gould bullet, and 45-80-350, Sharps shell.

For large game -- .45-70-330, Gould bullet, .45-80-350 or 405, .45-100-550, patched bullet, and .50-100-450.


The .22 short rim-fire cartridge is one of the best of the short range cartridges. Long years of practical use in every quarter of the universe has proved its value. It is so cheap one need hardly reckon its cost. Although it is often regarded as a toy charge, it will be sufficiently reliable for hunting where the game is not larger than squirrels, rabbits, ducks, etc., within the limit of its extreme accuracy. When one is cruising it is not expected every shot will be fired at game. A great deal of genuine pleasure may be had shooting at floating objects in the water, at tin cans or bottles on the beach, or at targets tacked on trees. With a supply of ammunition this may be done, and the practice will be of value in making one proficient in the use of the rifle for game shooting. The light report, absence of recoil, and light weight of the rifle, will all be in favor of the .22 short. The cartridges are light. In thickly settled places the bullets are not likely to do mischief, as they will be spent after going short distances. Neither do they tear game badly, but kill cleanly and quickly. There is little difference in the .22 short as made by the different companies. Hollow point bullets are much used. Nitro powders have been used in these cartridges, but the results obtained are not better than with black powder.

The .22-7-45 cartridge has been improved until it is now one of the most reliable and accurate of rimfire cartridges. The shell is longer than that of the .22 short, and the bullet, which has a flat point, is seated down in the shell, leaving no lubricant exposed to be smeared with dust and make the clothing greasy. It can be carried in the pocket nicely, and will remain clean. It has a low trajectory and considerable smashing power, combined with great accuracy.

The .25-10-67 rim-fire cartridge is preferred by many riflemen, It is a good cartridge, and kills cleanly at short range. Its high trajectory necessitates changes in elevation for long shots. The bullets are inside lubricated.

The .25-20-86 cartridge is a favorite of many small game hunters, and for target shooting at short range. It has a very flat curve, and is accurate up to 200 yards, besides having light report and little recoil. I used rifles taking this cartridge on a number of cruises, and found it more than satisfactory. My cartridges were loaded with 19 or 21 grains of powder, and 63, 77, or 86 grain bullets.

The .25-25-86 cartridge is not so well known as others, but its good qualities are so numerous as to recommend it. The shell being straight inside, light charges may be used with a short pointed bullet, which is an excellent one for use on small game, as it will not tear badly. For heavy charges




use 77 or 86 grain flat point bullets, which will give smashing force and accuracy. The powder charge should be 20 and 22 grains for the last two bullets. With 15 grains of powder and the 73 grain sharp point bullet, and 20 to 25 grains with the 77 or 86 grain bullet, one will be prepared for squirrels, grouse, ducks, or rabbits, and for larger game as well, as hawks, crows, turkeys, foxes, or even deer.

The .32 Ideal has many admirers. The shell is straight inside, and can be loaded with various charges. It is extremely accurate. The .32-40 cartridge is too well known to need much comment. With reduced charges it is accurate at short range, and if one has occasion to use the full charge on turkeys, or even deer, it will be satisfactory.

Like the above, the .38-55-255 cartridge is well known and reliable. It can be used on large game, and reduced charges may be used with good results.

The .40-70-330 or 370 cartridge is excellent for deer, or even larger game. Its shell is straight inside, and can be used with light charges.

For deer, moose, or dangerous game, any of the following cartridges will be reliable, and as they all possess great merit, the selection of any of them will not be amiss: .45-80-350, flat point; .45-80-405; .45-70-330, Gould hollow point bullet; .45-100-550, patched bullet; .50-100-450.

If cartridges loaded with nitro powder are used, extreme care must be taken in cleaning the barrel inside, or it will rust when least expected. One may think because the barrel seems to be free from fouling that it needs no cleaning, but that is how the most costly mistakes are made. The residue from nitro powder is transparent, or nearly so, but the acids used in its manufacture will rust steel quickly. Wipe out the barrel with a wet rag, then with dry rags, until no moisture remains; then use an oiled rag, followed by a dry one. If left over night without cleaning, after nitro powder has been fired in it, you may find your rifle rusted and perhaps ruined.

Too much cannot be said about care of rifles when in camp or afloat. Plenty of sperm oil or vaseline should be taken, and the rifle should often be carefully oiled, inside and out, to prevent rusting, and the locks kept well oiled and free from grit. After the rifle has been fired, or exposed to damp air, it should be wiped out clean and an oiled rag pushed through the barrel. After oiling the barrel inside it is better to wipe it out with a dry rag than to leave the oil in patches, which may collect moisture. Before going to bed, clean the rifle thoroughly, whether it has been used or not. Keep it as near the sane temperature as possible; if it becomes very hot when exposed to the sun or fire, and is then exposed to damp air at night, it will "sweat," or collect moisture, and will be badly rusted before morning. A jointed brass rod should be taken, and some strong flannel or cloth for cleaning. Do not use old cloth, which may tear in the barrel, and when the cleaning rod is pushed through it you may have great difficulty in extracting it, or may have the rifle rendered useless for the time. When cruising keep the rifle empty, and in some place under the deck where the spray will not rust it. If it is a take-down, and you have no immediate need for it, wrap the stock in a flannel garment, the barrel in another, and stow




them in the duffle bag. When in camp keep it away from the fire, and do not leave it where the moisture from the tent walls or ground may rust it.

Always keep the rifle empty. Never deviate from this rule under any circumstances, or permit others to do so. When in the canoe, even when expecting to see game at any time, follow this rule. Cartridges can be kept handy, to be instantly placed in the chamber when needed. When alone do not be careless in this respect. Accidents may prove fatal under these circumstances. Should the rifle be discharged, if you were struck with a bullet when on the water, you would have few chances of surviving the shock, even though the wound might be trivial. A life is worth more than anything else, and one should not take chances with it. Do not permit carelessness with fire arms by any person in your company. If cruising with a careless person, insist that he follow this advice; if he does not, leave him. It may save your life.

At all times be careful in firing. Persons unseen by you may be struck by a bullet, even a long distance away. When shooting at objects on the water, never fire unless the object is between you and a high bank, or unless you can see that no person is beyond and in line of your fire. Carelessness is inexcusable.

Do not shoot animals and birds just for the fun of killing them, except hawks, crows, foxes, and such game destroying vermin, but do not kill insectivorous or song birds. Such are of no value for food, and it is wrong for many reasons to kill them.

The number of cartridges to be taken depends largely on the amount of game likely to be seen and the length of your outing. In large calibers 200 cartridges will be sufficient for four weeks; in small calibers, add another hundred. If .22 or .25 caliber rim-fire cartridges are taken, one will shoot a great deal more, because he will find more small than large game, and will practice more.

Do not take reloading tools into the woods. They are heavy and often useless. Again, do not take a large number of cartridges with you, for emergencies. When firing at game, try to make each shot count. I have carried cartridges in ordinary 25 pound shot sacks, which had been treated to a coat of linseed oil. If the sack of cartridges is stowed in the duffle bag with the clothing, they will not be injured by moisture. A few may be taken out when needed, and carried in the pockets.





© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.