Tents


Shanties like the foregoing are in general use among the old veteran

trappers of all countries, and even to the amateur there is a charm

in a shelter constructed from the rude materials of the woods which

the portable tents do not possess.



Tents, however, are much used both by professionals and amateurs,

and are indeed valuable acquisitions to the trapper's outfit, and

where time is valuable, do away with
the labor which the construction

of a hut or shanty involves.



Tents are of several kinds. Those most commonly used by the trapper

are the house-tent, fly-tent, and half-tent, or shelter-tent.



The first of these is made for prop-poles and a ridge pole, closed

on one end and buttoning up at the other. The sides are perpendicular

for two or three feet, before the slope commences, and the stay-ropes

are fastened to the eaves.



The fly-tent is generally a large, square piece of canvas, with

ropes extending from opposite sides. This is thrown over a ridge

pole, or over a rope extending between two trees, and the sides

are held to the proper slope by tightening and pegging the side

ropes to the ground. Fly-tents are also made with ends, which can

be lowered, and the whole tent may be pegged close to the ground.



The shelter-tent, when erected, resembles, in general shape, the

bark shanty already described. It consists of a strip of canvas,

having each end cut off to a point. The tent is pitched over three

slanting poles, and the ends are brought down and securely pegged.

This is clearly shown in our illustration.







We do not propose giving any extended directions for making tents,

as they are a staple article of trade, and, as a general thing, can

be bought for a figure which would render their domestic manufacture

of little saving or profit. The shelter-tent, however, is so useful

an affair, and withal so very simple made, that we will give a few

directions in regard to its manufacture. It should be made from

stout cotton drilling, or very heavy sheeting. Let the piece

be about thirteen feet in length by six in width. Each end of the

piece should now be cut to a rectangular point, commencing to cut

at a distance of three feet from each corner. In order to render

the cloth waterproof, it should now be dipped in a pail containing

a solution of equal parts of alum and sugar of lead, a couple of

handfuls of each, in tepid water. It should be allowed to remain

several minutes in soak, being dipped and turned occasionally,

after which it should be spread out to dry. This treatment not

only renders the cloth impervious to rain, but the alum tends to

make it fire-proof also. A spark from the fire falling upon a tent

thus prepared, will often rest upon the cloth until it goes out,

without doing the slightest damage.




The manner of pitching the tent has already been alluded to, and

is clear from our illustration. The poles should be three or four

in number, and seven feet in length, inserted in the ground at the

angle denoted. The two outside poles should be seven feet apart,

and the intermediate ones equally disposed. The tent piece should

now be laid over the poles, and the ends brought down and pegged

to the ground at the apex, and rear corners of each side through

loops, which should have been previously attached to these parts.

A tent, thus arranged, affords a safe shelter from the wind or

a moderate storm, and with a bright fire in front, is warm and

comfortable.



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