Porters Of The Portage
Old-Time Indian Fighters And Wild Animals
Modern Stampede For The Open
How To Get Ready For Camp
Cut Your Finger Nails
Go To Your Dentist
Get A Hair Cut
Protection Against Black Flies, Mosquitoes,
Midgets And No-See-Ums The Call Of The Wild
Many people are so accustomed to have other people wait upon them that they are absolutely funny when you meet them in the woods; when their canoe runs its prow up upon the sandy beach and there is a portage to make, such people stand helplessly around waiting 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, Wisconsin, 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 realize 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 the meals. Yes, and to wash the dishes, too!
One reason we outdoor people love the woods is that it develops self-reliance and increases our self-respect by increasing our ability to do things; we love the work, we love the hardship, 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 improved 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" decline to drop from an overhanging limb 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 lived 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, recreation camps,girls' camps and boys' camps, that it is somewhat difficult for a writer to tell what to do in order to "Be Prepared." There are freight car side-track camps, gypsy Avagon 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 Lake, North Dakota, and in the few groves that are back of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
But such camps have little attraction for the real hard-boiled camper, and 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 untruthful owners; such people belittle the name of camp and if they want to be honest 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 like one of these American houses as a corn-crib does like a church.
When we talk of camping we mean living under bark, brush or canvas 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.