Bags of this sort are in common use among amateur trappers, hunters and camping parties, and are very warm and comfortable. They should be nearly seven feet in length and of a “loose, easy fit.” With one of these contrivances it is impossible to “kick the clothes off” and the warmth is continual instead [Page 250] of “intermittent,” and even on the bare ground it is said to be sufficient protection. Hammocks are also in very general use, but we can confidently recommend the suspended bed above described as decidedly preferable.
There are various kinds of hammocks in the market, from the light fibered silk, weighing only a few ounces, to the large corded variety of several pounds weight and capable of holding many persons. They are an established article of trade, and as the details of their manufacture would be of little practical use to the reader, we will leave them without further consideration. They can be had at almost any sporting emporium, at comparatively small cost.
We have described a most excellent contrivance for a bedstead and recommend its use whenever possible; but when the bed is desired to be made on the ground the following method is usually employed, by which the whole interior of the tent, hut or shanty is carpeted with a soft, even covering of green.
Spruce or hemlock boughs are generally used, and should be from the tips of the branches where the wood is not too large. Commence at the back part of the shelter, and lay down a row of the boughs with the butt of the branch towards the front. Overlap these with another nearer row and continue the operation, laying the evergreen as evenly as possible until the whole interior is smoothly covered. The projecting ends at the front, should now be secured by the weight of a medium sized log, or by a pole pegged down firmly at intervals. A similar log should now be laid at the back portion of the shelter over the tips of the boughs after which the bed is complete, and will be found easy and comfortable in proportion to the care and skill shown in its construction. A blanket should be thrown over the boughs before reclining to rest, as the fresh green gives forth considerable dampness.