Permanent Camp. Lean-To. Open Camp
Category: Iii Camping
Another kind of lean-to intended for a permanent camp is in general use
throughout the Adirondacks. It is built of substantial good-sized logs
put together log-cabin fashion, with open front, slanting roof, and low
back (Fig. 20). This shelter has usually a board floor raised a few
inches above the ground and covered thick, at least a foot deep, with
balsam. Overspread with blankets, the soft floor forms a comfortable
bed. A log across the front of the floor keeps the balsam in place and
forms a seat for the campers in the evenings when gathered for a social
time before the fire. The roof of the log lean-to can be either of
boards or well-thatched poles which have first been overlaid with bark.
One of the most comfortable and delightful of real forest camps which I
have ever been in, was a permanent camp in the Adirondacks owned and run
by one of the best of Adirondack guides. The camp consisted of several
shelters and two big permanent fireplaces.
Over the ground space for the large tent outlined with logs was a strong
substantial rustic frame, built of material at hand in the forest and
intended to last many seasons (Fig. 21). The shelter boasted of two
springy, woodsy beds, made of slender logs laid crosswise and raised
some inches from the ground. These slender logs slanted down slightly
from head to foot of the bed, and the edges of the bed were built high
enough to hold the deep thick filling of balsam tips, so generously deep
as to do away with all consciousness of the underlying slender-log
foundation (Fig. 22). Each bed was wide enough for two girls and the
shelter ample to accommodate comfortably four campers. There could have
been one more bed, when the tent would have sheltered six girls.
In the late fall, the guide removed the water-proof tent covering and
kept it in a safe, dry place until needed, leaving the beds and bare
tent frame standing.
There was a smaller tent and also a lean-to in this camp.
The dining-table, contrived of logs and boards, was sheltered by a
square of canvas on a rustic frame (Fig. 23). The camp dishes of white
enamel ware were kept in a wooden box, nailed to a close-by tree; in
this box the guide had put shelves, resting them on wooden cleats. The
cupboard had a door that shut tight and fastened securely to keep out
the little wild creatures of the woods. Pots, kettles, frying-pan, etc.,
hung on the stubs of a slender tree where branches and top had been
lopped off (Fig. 24). The sealed foods were stowed away in a box
cupboard, and canned goods were cached in a cave-like spot under a huge
rock, with opening secured by stones.
The walls of the substantial fireplace, fully two feet high, were of big
stones, the centre filled in part-way with earth, and the cook-fire was
made on top of the earth, so there was not the slightest danger of the
The soft, warm, cheerful-colored camp blankets when not in use were
stored carefully under cover of a water-proof tent-like storehouse, with
the canvas sides dropped from the ridge-pole, both sides and flaps
securely fastened and the entire storehouse made proof against
This camp was located near a lake in the mountain forest and its charm
was indescribably delightful.
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