Constipation is a frequent camp complaint, and is usually the result of change in diet and drinking water. The habit of having a daily movement of the bowels is of great importance to a boy’s health. The retention of these waste products within the body for a longer period tends to produce poisonous impurities of the blood, a muddy-looking skin, headaches, piles, and many other evils. Eat plenty of fruit, prunes, and graham bread. Drink plenty of water. Take plenty of exercise.
One bath a day in fresh water is all that is necessary. Boys go into the water too often and remain too long. This accounts for the rundown appearance of some boys. The body gives off heat every minute it is in cool water, and also when exposed wet to the breezes, and heat is life. All boys should be encouraged to take a dip before breakfast with a rapid rubdown. Then a good swim in the warm part of the day. Usually about 11:30 A.M. is a good time for the swim. If a swim is taken after supper, be careful to dress warm afterward.
Normal boys need nine or ten hours sleep. Sleep is a time for physical growth. Have the tent open back and front at night to insure plenty of fresh air. There must be a complete change of clothing on retiring. Flannel clothing should be worn at night. Sleep alone. Nine o’clock or nine-thirty, at latest, should find every boy in bed.
Wear clean clothing, particularly underwear. Frequently a rash appearing on the body is a result of wearing dirty-shirts. The wearing of belts tends to constrict the abdomen, thus hindering the natural action of the intestines, which is essential to good digestion. Hernia (ruptures) may result from wearing tightly drawn belts. To dress the body too warm lessens the power to resist cold when there happens to be a change in the atmosphere. Put on extra clothing at sundown, without waiting to begin to feel cold. During eating of meals it is well to have the legs and arms covered when it is at all cool. The cooling of large surfaces of the body while eating, even if it is not noticed, retards digestion, and taxes the vitality. Many a boy gets a cold by neglecting to take this precaution.
Two flannel shirts are better than two overcoats.
Don’t wring out flannels or woolens. Wash in cold water, very soapy, and then hang them up dripping wet, and they will not shrink.
If you keep your head from getting hot, and keep your feet dry, there will be little danger of sickness.
If your head gets too hot, put green leaves inside your hat.
If your throat is parched and you can get no water, put a pebble in your mouth. This will start the saliva and quench the thirst.