The simplest way to carry a light marching kit is in a blanket roll. It is made up as follows: Spread the shelter cloth or tent on the ground, fold the blanket once, end for end, and place it on top, with same amount of cloth left uncovered at front and rear. Divide the other equipment into two piles of equal weight, arrange one of these along one end of blanket, the other along the other end. Fold free sides of shelter cloth over all. Roll the whole affair as tightly and smoothly as possible, and secure with straps or cords, one at middle and one half-way to either end, making a roll about six feet long. Then fasten each end tightly with a slip-knot, leaving enough free cord on each to tie the ends of the roll together in horse-collar form. It takes two men to make a neat job of this.
The roll is worn over one shoulder with end? over opposite hip. Some pedestrians like the blanket roll because it saves the expense and weight of a pack-sack or harness, and because it can be shifted from one side to the other. In reality nothing is gained in ease of canying, but rather the contrary. All the weight is thrown on one shoulder at a time, and there is no help from the hips. A man can carry a heavier load in a pack-sack with less fatigue in the long run.
The blanket roll is oppressive in hot weather, and its pressure on the chest is a handicap at all times. It is much in the way when one has to climb or crawl, and even more so when you go to shoot. It will not hold half the equipment mentioned in my summer list, and if a haversack is added, you have a particularly irksome "flip-flop" to impede you, and the "advantage" of shifting weights is then lost. A blanket roll is suitable only for a day's hike and a one-night camp; even so, it is much less comfortable than a light pack on one's back.
I leave out of account simple tump lines and the like, because they are practical only for canoeists carrying heavy burdens across portages.
A pack harness is an arrangement of straps for carrying an outfit made up into a bundle inside the blanket, or for toting two duffel bags strapped side by side. The illustration (Fig. 23) shows one with tump or head-band added. If bags are not used, the bundle must be wrapped in a pack cloth of strong waterproof canvas (the tent or shelter cloth will Fig. 23. Pack Harness not do, for it needs pro- with Head Strap tection from rough usage). As to this method of packing I quote from the book on Winter Camping (Outing Handbooks) by Warwick S. Carpenter, who has had more experience with it than I:
"The arrangement that I have frequently used is that of the pack cloth, with the outfit and blankets or sleeping bag folded inside. Its flexibility for various sizes of load commend it strongly, and the pack cloth may be used as shelter "besides, or as a ground cloth in a lean-to or tent. The method of making this pack is to lay the pack cloth on the ground and place the blankets or sleeping bag folded once on top of the cloth. Place the outfit as compactly as possible on the blankets or bag and fold it tightly in, making the bundle . . . considerably longer than it is wide and thick. Then takts the end of the pack cloth which runs along the bottom of the pack, and bend it up over the folded bundle. Next take the sides of the pack cloth and fold them over, or if there isi much cloth, roll the whole pack over from side to side, keeping everything snug and tight.
This will leave the bottom of the pack cloth folded inside and the sides of the cloth lapping all around so that no snow or wet will sift in at the bottom. Fold the still open top down as a flap, just as you, would the end of a paper package, with the folded flap at the side of the pack away from the back. Pass a rope or a strap lengthwise around the whole and then attaich the harness with its shoulder straps or tump line. Such a pack is absolutely secure against snow or rain.
The best form of pack-harness is that which is made with a broad shoulder piece shaped like a sailor's collar, the wide bands of which run well over the shoulders and about eight inches down in front. From the back of the collar, about five inches apart, two vertical straps run downward about fifteen inches to the small of the back and bend up under the arms to meet the broad bands in front. There they are fastened with buckles, and the straps are made long enough to permit considerable taking up or letting out. Riveted horizontally to the straps behind, one at the height of the collar piece and the other fifteen inches lower, are two straps six feet long, which go around the pack. This harness may be bought of any dealer in Camping outfits, but the collar portion of all that I have seen is made of heavy canvas. This very quickly wrinkles and draws up and cuts the shoulders. It is far better to have it made of a very heavy piece of leather.
One of these that I put together myself has been used for years and the broad bands that go over the shoulders are still as smooth and comfortable as when new. To the back of the collar should be riveted two short straps about six inches long, extending upward, as the others go downward. To these can be buckled a broad tump which goes over the forehead. It will be adjustable with the buckles or can be removed entirely".
The chief merit of this kind of pack is its adaptability to any size or shape of bundle. On the other hand, the weight of harness and pack cloth S)?ether C/UŁ to 5 pounds) is considerably more than that of a roomy pack-sack. True, the cloth can be used as a ground sheet under the blanket at night, but that is not needed if one has a sleeping-bag, or a browse-bag (and rubber cape to go over it when things are wet) which weighs but a pound and makes a far better bed. Pack cloths are made fiom 5 x 6 to 6 x 7 feet, which is too small for a shelter cloth. Another disadvantage is that whenever you want to get at anything in the pack, the whole thing must be undone and repacked.