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by Ernest Thompson Seton 

For camp use, there is nothing better than the Stonebridge folding lantern, with a good supply of candles. A temporary torch can readily be made of a roll of birch bark, a pine knot, or some pine-root slivers, in a split stick of green wood.

Hunter's Lamp

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A fairly steady light can be made of a piece of cotton, or twisted rag stuck in a clam shell full of oil or melted grease. An improvement is easily made by putting; the cotton wick through a hole in a thin, flat stone, which sets in the grease and holds the wick upright.

Another improvement is made by using a tin instead of the shell. It makes a steadier lamp, as well as a much larger light. This kind of a lamp enjoys wide use and has some queer names, such as slot-lamp, grease-jet, hunter's lamp, etc. 

To win the honor that is allowed for it the hunter's lamp must be made entirely of wildwood material and without the use of white-man's tools.

Some have protested that this is impossible, today or unlawful at certain times. "How," they ask, "are you you going to get your oil--even the small spoonful that is needed?"

The answer is: Any bird, beast or fish has in it oil that is easily rendered out by one or other of the ordinary modes known in the kitchen--either by boiling the flesh and skimming off the oil as it comes to the top, or by letting it slow roast on a couple of sticks across a pan, so that the hot grease is secured as it drops. A cat-fish, a crow or a rat will, under such treatment, surrender enough oil for a big lamp, while a woodchuck will give enough for as score or two.

Nevertheless, Woodcrafters are unwilling to sacrifice even these creatures of doubtful reputation, so the Council has decided to allow the use of any animal or vegetable oil that can be obtained in the house, but of course, not kerosene or its kin. 

The simplest oil-holder-is a big clam shell, and the easy and natural wicker-holder is a small clam shell with a hole bored in it.

"But how," exclaims the Wayseeker, "are we to bore the hole without forbidden tools?" Very easily. Rub the sharp rounded bump of the little shell (that on the outside, next the hinge) up and down many times on a flat but gritty stone. In two or three minutes, a hole is worn through, which is easily enlarged or shaped by turning a sharp flint point in it.

The wick of truly wild material has puzzled many who assumed that they might use a cotton rag: Silk in the pod of a milkweed will be found perfectly satisfactory, as is also the bark of the Indian hemp or dog-bane.

Last week I saw one of these silkweed wicks in a clam shell lamp that burned clearly and steadily for three hours.

Woodman's Lantern

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When nothing better is at hand, a woodman's lantern can be made of a tomato can. Make a big hole in the bottom for the candle, and punch the sides full of small holes, preferably from the inside. If you have a wire to make a hanger, well and good; if not, you can carry it by the bottom. This lets out enough light and will not go out in the wind. If you want to set it down, you must make a hole in the ground for the candle, or if on a table, set it on two blocks.  

Another style is described in a recent letter from Hamlin Garland:

"Apropos of improved camp lights, I had a new one 'sprung on me,' this summer: A forest ranger and I were visiting a miner, about a mile from our camp. It came on dark, pitch dark, and when we started home, we could not follow the trail. It was windy as well as dark, and matches did very little good. So back we went to the cabin. The ranger then picked up an old tomato can, punched a hole in the side, thrust a candle up through the hole, lighted it, and took the can by the disk which had been cut from the top. The whole thing was now a boxed light, shining ahead like a searchlight, and the wind did not affect it at all! I've been camping, as you know, for thirty years, but this little trick was new to me. Perhaps it is new to you."

Still another style, giving a better light, is made by heating an ordinary clear glass quart bottle pretty hot in the fire, then dipping the bottom part in cold water; this causes the bottom crack off. The candle is placed in the neck, flame inside and the bottle neck sunk in the ground.

The Birch Bark Roll 

 

 

   

 

 


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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.