Birch-Bark Torch

 

 

 

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Site Contents

By Dan Beard

Peel off several strips of birch bark, four or five inches wide; double and fold them two or three times if the pieces are long.

Split one end of a stick for a torch handle and slip one or more of the doubled strips into the end of the stick.

The Northern Indian always keeps a lot of nearly folded bunches of birch bark, tied with cedar-bark rope, on hand for use as torches in spearing fish at night.

Remove the outside bark of a cedar tree, and then from the bottom up strip off the fine inner bark, and from these fibers twist what ropes or strings you need around camp.

Keep your feet dry; that is, keep them dry while in camp. To do this take an abundant supply of old socks with you and two pairs of shoes --one pair for dry shoes and an old pair for wet ones. With an old pant of trousers all some leaky shoes you may wade a trout stream and stand in the water for hours without suffering any ill effects if you are prompt in removing the wet clothes ,and replacing them with dry shoes, socks, and trousers as soon as you leave the water. Experience has taught many sportsmen that this method is far more comfortable and healthful than wearing expensive hot and clumsy rubber boots.

I was never lost in the woods, but once. I remember that I had read in books that the moss grew thickest on the north side of the trees. Upon careful examination I could distinguish no difference between the moss on one side of the trees and that on the other side; the moss grew all around! The thick interlacing branches overhead concealed the sun. After wandering around in a circle for hours I at last heard the rushing of water, and, following the sound, soon discovered the brook I had been fishing, down which I waded until I struck camp at 4 PM, having left there at 4 AM. I was wet, cold, and hungry, but otherwise all right.

An Indian in starting out always carefully notes the direction of the wind. Where the sky is not obscured the sun and stars serve as guides, but the safest way is to blaze trees as you go (mark them with your hatchet), or every now and then break a twig or branch, bending the broken end in the direction you are pursuing, thus making a trail that is easily retraced. Streams always flow toward greater bodies of water, and somewhere along these water roads, farms or settlements are located; so if you are really lost, follow the first stream until it leads you, as it invariably will, to some road, settlement, or camp.

While the trapper, scout, and guide can sleep peacefully wrapped in a blanket with his feet to the fire, it takes a green city boy some time to accustom himself to the katydids "pinching bugs," and various other harmless but more or less annoying small creatures of the wood. If the "tender foot" will get his mother to make him

A Sleeping Bag

of an old blanket, he can creep into it at night and cover his head with a bit of mosquito-netting and sleep as soundly as his guide, with no fear of insects or other small creatures interrupting his slumber.

OHB

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Activities ] Archery ] Axe, Boy Scout ] Axe, Saw, Forestry ] Axe, Saw,  Knife ] Axe Use: Beard ] Axe Use: Seton ] Axe Use: Traditional ] Axe Throwing ] Beds, Woodcraft ] Bedding Materials ] Bicycle Maintenance ] [ Birch-Bark Torch ] Birds ] Bird Houses ] Blocks Tackles Purchase ] Blood Red Cross ] Broom: Camp or Witch's ] Buttons ] Campcraft ] Camp Hygiene ] Camp Planning ] Campfire Programs ] Catapult ] Chainsaws ] Checklists ] Chuck Box Riddance! ] City-Craft ] Compass Bear Song ] Compass, Home-Made ] Cooking ] Cotton Kills Bear Song ] Deduction in Tracking ] Deduction & Detective ] Drum ] Dyes ] Edible Plants ] Equipment, Leader ] Equipment, Personal ] Equipment Maintenance ] Equipment, Lightweight ] Equip, Pickle Bucket Camp ] Estimation ] Field Signals ] Fire-Building ] Fire Building ] Fire Laying ] Fire Lighting ] Fire Starters ] Fire: Rubbing-Stick ] Fire Types, Wood Types ] Fire Council Ring ] Fires: Woodcraft ] First Aid ] First Class Journey ] Flint & Steel ] Flowers ] Forest ] Gesture Signals ] Ground to Air Signals ] Handicraft Stunts ] High Adventure ] Hiking ] Hike Planning ] Indian Sundial Clock ] Insect Collecting ] Insect Preserve ] Indian Well ] Knife & Hatchet ] Knots, Bends, Hitches ] Knots: Diamond Hitch ] Knots: Lashings ] Knots: Rope Work ] Knots: Seton ] Knots: Traditional ] Knots & Whipping ] Lashings ] Lashing Practice Box ] Lace or Thong ] Learn by Doing ] Leave No Trace ] Leave No Trace ] Lights ] Local Knowledge ] Log Ladders, Notched ] Log-Rolling ] Logs: Cut Notch ] Logs Split with Axe ] Loom and Grass Mats ] Lost in the Woods ] Manners ] Maps ] Map & Compass ] Maps: Without Compass ] Measurement ] Measurement Estimation ] Menu Worksheet ] Menu (Adult IOLS) ] Mosquitoes ] Mushrooms ] Night Tracking ] Observation ] Old Trails ] Paints ] Pioneering, Basic ] Pioneering Models ] Plaster Casts ] Preparations ] Proverbs ] Rake ] Rope Care ] Rope Making ] Rope Spinning ] Scout Reports ] Signal & Sign ] Sign Language ] Silent Scout Signals ] Smoke Prints ] Snakes ] Spanish Windlass ] Spoons ] Staff/Stave Making ] Stalking Skills ] Stalking & Observation ] Stars ] Stools ] Story Telling ] Stoves & Lanterns ] Summoning Help ] Sun Dial: Scientific ] Survival Kit ] Tarp Poles ] Teepee (4 Pole) ] Tent Care ] Tent Pitching ] Tom-Tom ] Tomahawk Throwing ] Tomahawk Targets ] Totem Making ] Totem Animals ] Totem Poles ] Training in Tracking ] Tracks, Ground, Weather ] Tracking & Trailing ] Trail Following ] Trail Signs & Blazes ] Trail Signs of Direction ] Trail Signs: Traditional ] Trail Signs for Help ] Trees of the NE ] Wall Hangings ] Watch Compass ] Weather Wisdom ] Wild Things ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.