This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
If going into the woods or mountains in summer, you will require a lotion to keep off mosquitoes and flies. Many preparations are sold for this purpose, all of which have more or less merit; but the objection to most of them is that they are not durable. They evaporate rapidly and have to be applied every half-hour or so. I have tried nearly all of them, but have never found anything that did the work so thoroughly as the following mixture: To three ounces of pine-tar add two ounces of castor-oil and one ounce of oil of pennyroyal. This mixture has a good body, an odor like a tan-yard, will last all day, and can be relied on to stand off any herd of mosquitoes this side of New Jersey. Those muzzles that are made of gauze and intended to be worn over your head are a failure. Several times while wearing one I wanted to spit, and forgot that I was muzzled until I got myself in a most uncomfortable predicament. When I wanted to eat or drink I had to take the measly thing off, and then the mosquitoes crawled down my spine and made me wish I were dead. Finally, while wading a Trout-stream, an overhanging limb caught the gauzy gaud, flipped it over into the next school-district, and I have never seen it since. Then I greased myself with my tar-ointment and was happy.
Too much care cannot be given to this subject. Next to that of a good suit of clothing it is the most important part of a camp-outfit. As I have before had occasion to say, I would rather get into a good bed at night, without my supper, than sit at a feast and then sleep on the hard ground without covering enough to keep me warm. After a hard day's work at tramping or rowing, a good night's rest is absolutely necessary to prepare one for the labor and fatigue of the following day. This can be had only in a good bed. You may possibly tramp all day with your feet wet-all your clothing wet, if need be--without injury to yourself; but be sure you crawl into a good, warm, dry, soft bed at night. Blankets are the staple article of camp-bedding, and you should never go into camp with less than two pairs of good heavy ones, even in summer; and in fall or winter the number must be increased as the temperature descends.
But the boss camp-bed for all times and all climes, for all tramps and all climbs, is a sleeping-bag. I would as soon think of going into the woods without my rifle as without my sleeping-bag.
The following description of it, taken from my book, "Cruisings in the Cascades," is re-printed here for the benefit of such as may not have seen it there:
The outer bag is made of heavy, brown, waterproof canvas, six feet long, three feet wide in the centre, tapered to two feet at the head and sixteen inches at the foot. Above the head of the bag proper, flaps project a foot farther, with which the occupant's head may be completely covered, if desired. These are provided with buttons and button-holes, so that they may be buttoned clear across, for stormy or very cold weather. The bag is left open, from the head down one edge, two feet, and a flap is provided to lap over this opening. Buttons are sewed on the bag, and there are button-holes in the flaps so it may also be buttoned up tightly. Inside of this canvas bag is another of the same size and shape, less the head flaps. This is made of lamb skin with the wool on, and is lined with ordinary sheeting, to keep the wool from coming in direct contact with the person or clothing, and with one good heavy blanket inside, the whole business weighs but eighteen pounds. One or more pairs of blankets may be folded and inserted in this, as may be necessary, for any temperature in which it is to be used.
If the weather be warm, so that not all this covering is needed over the sleeper, he may shift it to suit the weather and his taste, crawling in on top of as much of it as he may wish, and the less he has over him the more he will have under him, and the softer will be his bed. Beside being waterproof, the canvas is windproof, and one can button himself up in this house, leaving only an air-hole at the end of his nose, and sleep as soundly, and almost as comfortably in a snowdrift on the prairie as in a tent or house. In short, he may be absolutely at home, and comfortable, wherever night finds him, and no matter what horrid nightmares he may have, he can not roll out of bed or kick off the covers.
Nor will he catch a draft of cold air along the north edge of his spine every time he turns over, as he is liable to do when sleeping in blankets. Nor will his feet crawl out from under the cover and catch chilblains, as they are liable to do in the old-fashioned way. In fact, this sleeping-bag is one of the greatest luxuries I ever took into camp, and if any brother sportsman wants one and cannot find an architect in his neighborhood capable of building it, let him write me and I will tell him where mine was made.
Good cot-beds are now made for camp-use, that fold into a small package, are light, but strong and durable, and if you have the means of carrying one, it is well to take it along, for it will add greatly to your comfort. If you have not, here is a map of one that you can carry on almost any trip: Take a piece of eight-ounce duck-canvas, about six inches longer than yourself and forty inches wide. Run a hem on each side six inches wide-double-seaming it, on a machine, with the heaviest thread it will carry. Then when you get into camp take two poles, about three inches in diameter and a foot longer than your canvas, and run them through the hems; lay the ends in four good strong forks driven in the ground, or lay them on two logs and brace the ends of the poles apart with two sticks cut to the proper length to stretch your canvas tightly. You now have a good springy cot, on which you can spread your blankets or sleeping-bag, and sleep more comfortably, after a hard day's tramp, than you would on your woven-wire or spring-and-hair mattress at home, after being shut up in your office all day.