by Ernest Thompson Seton
White Man's Woodcraft
or Measuring Weights and Distance
Would you like to tell a dog's height by its track? Then take the length in
inches of his forefoot track, multiply it by eight, and that will give you his
height at the shoulder. A little dog has a a 1 1/4-inch foot and stands about
eighteen inches; a sheepdog with a 3-inch track measures twenty-four inches, and
a mastiff or any big dog with a 4-inch track gives thirty to thirty-two inches.
The dog's weight, too, can be judged by the track. Multiply the width of his
forefoot in inches by the length, and multiply that by five and you will have a
pretty close estimate of his weight in pounds. This, of course, does not apply
to freak dogs.
The Height of Trees
To get the height of a tree, cut a pole ten feet long. Choosing the smoothest
ground A, prop the pole some distance from the tree. Lay down so that the eye B
is level with the tree base and in line with the top of the pole and the tree.
Mark the spot B with a peg and measure the distance from the peg to the foot of
the pole, then from the peg to the foot of the tree. The height of the tree will
be found by the formula: the distance between the peg and the pole is to the
height of the pole as the distance between the peg and the tree is to the height of the tree or BA:
AC:: BE:X. This may be proved by selecting a knot on the tree which may be
easily climbed to. See inside line.
To Measure the Distance Across a Stream
Drive a stake at H. To measure distance from H to D cut three straight poles
of exactly the same length and peg them together in a triangle. Place the
triangle on the bank at A, B, C, sighting the line A B for the spot at D, and
put three pegs in the ground exactly under the three pegs where the triangle is. Move the
triangle to E F G and placing it so that F G should line with A C; and E G with
D. Now A G D almost must be an equilateral triangle; therefore, according to
arithmetic, the line D H must be seven eighths of A G, which can of course be
To Measure Distance Between Two Objects at a Distance
Cut three poles six, eight, and ten feet long and peg them together in a
triangle. A B C is a right angle according to the laws of mathematics if the
legs of the triangle are six, eight, and ten. Place the right angle on the
shore, the side A B pointing to the inner side of the first object D (say a
tree), and the side B C as nearly as possible parallel with the line between the two trees. Put
in a stake at B, another at C, and continue this line toward K. Now slide the
triangle along this till the side G F points to E, and the side H G is in line
with C B. The distance from D to E, of course, is equal to B G.
See Two Little Savages, 1903.
Birch Bark Roll