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.
I never could see the value that many hunters attach to a hatchet. A large hunting knife will do almost an)' work that a hatchet will do, and much in the way of cutting up game, etc., that it will not do. When there is a log to chop off or a tree of considerable size to cut down, I want a full-grown ax. Even when canoeing or tramping in the woods I carry an adult ax.
It is possible to dispense with a number of the articles enumerated in the foregoing pages, when it is desirable, from any cause, to travel very lightly. For instance, when traveling on foot, in a big woods, and carrying the entire outfit on your own back, you will find that you can get along with a limited supply of bedding, extra clothing, and cooking utensils; and for such work it is almost impossible to give absolute instructions. Each man must act in a measure on his own judgment, his own taste, and his own willingness to carry a big load or to live like an Indian. One cannot be too careful in sifting out all unnecessary articles, in a case of this kind. It is possible for a man to go into the woods and live in comparative comfort for a month with no other outfit than a gun, a supply of ammunition, a pair of blankets, a few fish-hooks, a line, a bag of hard-tack and two pounds of salt.
In nearly every company of three or more men will be found one who, if not a professional mechanic or artisan, is at least handy in the use of tools. When possible, such an one should carry with him a kit of tools and materials, such as are most likely to be needed for repairing possible injuries or breakdowns that may occur to guns, fishing tackle, boat, harness, wagon, cooking utensils, or other portions of the camp-outfit. This kit need not be complete, however, nor expensive, for under compulsion an ingenious mechanic may make one tool answer several purposes. He may draw on nature for many implements and materials needed, if he have not brought them with him. The kit should include one of the latest and largest tool-holders, which has a thumb vise attached, and contains brad-awls, chisels, screw-driver, file, and several other tools in the handle. The list should also include a pair of strong pliers, a hammer, small hand-saw, two or three shoemaker's awls, a harness-needle, and a sail-needle. Among materials to be carried should be a strip of thong-leather, a piece of strap spring-steel, and half a pound each of Nos. 18 and 24 copper wire; a few wire nails, and brads -assorted sizes, a few horseshoes-assorted sizes, a few horseshoe nails, a few screws, and a supply of the component parts of each rifle and gun carried by members of the party. All these except the saw should be carried in a stout canvas-case, made after the same pattern as the toilet-case described on page 26 of "Camping and Camp Outfits."
It should be made large enough to hold, in addition to these articles, the reloading tools, if any are to be taken along, though as a rule it is not advisable to carry them. The saw should be tied between two thin pieces of board, of the proper size and shape to hold it so that the teeth can not come in contact with any other object.
A temporary vise may be made anywhere in the woods by cutting down a small tree and splitting the stump in the center. You can spread the jaws open with the ax, insert the article you wish to work on, and then, if the pressure should not be sufficient to hold it firmly, put a rope around the stump just below, rig a tourniquet, and turn it until you get the proper pressure.
On this subject there is really little that can be said in a paper of this character. It is presumed that every man who reads this book has already formed his idea as to the best arm for his use. This must of course depend on where you are to go and what kind of game, if any, you are to hunt. It is presumed, furthermore, that nearly every man who goes on a camping trip of any kind, either for pleasure or on business-and even if the principal business is to be fishing, or resting-is to carry a firearm of some kind; for in nearly every wild country there is game, either large or small, and nearly every man likes to shoot at it when he sees it. Personally, I prefer a large-bore rifle for all kinds of large game, and recommend nothing smaller than a 50-caliber for anything from deer to moose and bear. There are those, however, who object to carrying so heavy an arm and such heavy ammunition. Deer, antelope, and even larger game may be killed, and often is killed, with a 32, 38, or 40-rifle; but unless hit in a vital part an animal shot with either of these is liable to run a long distance before giving way, and many animals, although killed, are thus lost. I consider it more humane and sportsman-like, therefore, to use a 50-caliber express, which will kill the game dead in its tracks if fairly hit.
If one is not expert in the use of the rifle and prefers to use the shotgun, he will of course in most cases have made his choice as to the make, size and weight of the gun. In this line I prefer a 10-bore, and heavy charges for all -line larger than quails and snipe. As already stated, I advise for either class of arms the carrying of a full supply of loaded cartridges, and that reloading tools be left at home.
If you carry your cartridges in a belt you should be provided with suspenders, bringing the weight on your shoulders instead of at your waist. To this belt should be attached-if you are hunting big game-the scabbard containing your heavy hunting knife, skinning knife and steel. For wing-shooting the better plan is to wear a vest with cartridge-holders distributed over the front. If going long distances, you should provide for your guns heavy wooden cases, with lock and key, and well ironed, so that they may be checked with your other baggage.
This is another subject that may not here be spoken of at length, for reasons stated in the chapter on guns, and for the further reason that my colleagues have prescribed the kinds and qualities of tackle needed for taking every variety of fish treated of by them. It may be briefly said that if one is going into the Far West he should carry both a fly and a bait rod. These should be packed into a strong wooden case that may be carried in a pack, and cinched tightly, or may be thrown into a wagon and buried up in boxes of grub and other bric-a-brac without danger of injury. If on a special hunting trip, take as little other fishing tackle as possible. What you do carry should be in a wooden box. Your tin tackle-box is no good for the wild and woolly country.