A two-horse litter is better than a travois; but if the latter must be used, then make one shaft a little shorter than the other, so that, in crossing uneven places, the shock will not all come at one jolt.
"A travois may be improvised by cutting poles about 16 feet long and 2 inches in diameter at the small end. These poles are laid parallel to each other, large ends to the front, and 2 1/2 feet apart; the small ends about 3 feet apart, and one ot them projecting about 8 or 10 inches beyond the other. The poles are connected by a crossbar about 6 feet from the front ends and another about 6 feet back of the first, each notched at its ends and securely lashed at the notches to the poles. Between the crosspieces the litter bed, 6 feet long, is filled in with canvas, blanket, etc., securely fastened to the poles and crossbars, or with rope, lariat, rawhide strips, etc., stretching obliquely from pole to pole in many turns, crossing each other to form the basis for a light mattress or an improvised bed; or a litter may be made fast between the poles to answer the same purpose. The front ends of the poles are then securely fastened to the saddle of the animal. A breast strap and traces should, if possible, be improvised qnd fitted to the horse. On the march the bearers should be ready to lift the rear end of the travois when passing- over obstacles, crossing streams, or going up-hill." (U. S.A. Hospital Corps).
An emergency litter can be made of two coats and two strong poles. Turn the sleeves of the coats inside out. Place the coats on the ground, ends reversed, bottom edges touching each other. Run the poles through the sleeves on each side. Button up the coat, and turn the buttoned side down.
Another way is to spread a blanket on the ground with the two poles at the edges of its long sides. Then roll the edges on the poles till a width of about 20 inches is left between them. Turn stretcher over before using it.
An excellent litter is a big trough of heavy bark, padded or lined with browse, and attached to a frame swung between two poles.
Always test a stretcher before placing a patient upon it. Do not carry it upon the shoulders, except as the rear man doesi so in going up a steep place. Keep it level. Carry the occupant feet foremost, unless going up-hill. The bearers should walk out of step, to avoid a jolting motion.
Two men can carry one, if he is conscious, very comfortably by forming a "two-handed seat." Number 1 grasps with his right hand the left wrist, and with his left hand the right shoulder, of the other bearer. Number 2 grasps with his left hand the right wrist, and with his right hand the left shoulder, of No. 1. The injured person is seated on his comrades' crossed fore-arms, and throws his own arms over their shoulders.
One man can carry another across his back, even though the stricken one be insensible, and a heavy-weight at that. Turn the patient on his face. If he is conscious, tell him to relax (make himself limp). Step astride his body, facing toward his head. Lean forward and, with your hands under his arm-pits, lift him to his knees. Then, clasping your hands over his abdomen, lift him to his feet. Immediately grasp his right wrist with your left hand, draw the arm over your head and down upon your left shoulder. Then, shifting yourself in front, stoop and clasp the right thigh with your right arm passed between his legs, your right hand seizing the patient's right wrist. Finally grasp the patient's left hand with your left, steady it agains*-your side, and rise.