If it is practical it is naturally better to shovel away the snow, but personally I have never done this except in case of newly fallen snow. Old snow which is more or less frozen to the ground may be tramped down until it is hard and then covered with a corduroy of sticks for a hearth (Figs. 55 and 56) or with bark (Fig. 57) and on top of this flooring it is a simple matter to build a fire. Use the turkey-" lay " in which one of the sticks acts the part of the fire-dog (Fig. 56).
Don't fail to collect a generous supply of small wood (Fig. 58) and then start the fire as already directed (Fig. 58).
The reader will note that in all these illustrations (Figs. 55, 56 and 57), there is either a log or stone or a bank for a back to the fire-place. When everything is covered with snow it is perfectly safe to use a log for a back (Fig. 56) but on other occasions the log may smoulder for a week and then start a forest fire.
No one but an arrant, thoughtless, selfish Cheechako will use a live growing tree against which to build a fire.
A real woodcraft knows that a fire can ruin in a few minutes a mighty forest tree that God himself cannot replace inside of from forty to one hundred years.
While we are talking of building fires in the snow, it may be well to remark that an uninhabitable and inaccessible swamp in the summer is often the best of camping places in the winter time. The water freezes and falls lower and lower, leaving convenient shelves of ice (Fig. 57) for one's larder. The dense woods and brush offer a splendid barrier to the winter winds. Fig. 59 shows an arrangement for a winter camp-fire.