Permanent Camp. Lean-To. Open Camp

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

fire spreading.

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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