Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making eBook

William Hamilton Gibson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making.

For winter traffic over deep snows there is no better sled in the world than the Indian toboggan.  To the trapper during a winter campaign it is often an indispensable convenience, and without it the Indian hunters of the North would find great difficulty in getting their furs to market.  All through the winter season the various trading posts of Canada are constantly visited by numbers of Indian trappers, many of whom have travelled hundreds of miles on their snow-shoes with their heavily laden toboggans.  Arrived at [Page 270] their market they sell or trade their stock of furs, and likewise dispose of their toboggans, reserving only their snow-shoes to aid them in their long tramp homewards.

[Illustration]

In Canada and northward the toboggan is in very extensive use, both for purposes of traffic and amusement.  It is quite commonly met with in the streets of various Canadian cities, and is especially appreciated by the youthful population, who are fond of coasting over the crust of snow.  For this purpose there is no other sled like it, and a toboggan of the size we shall describe will easily accommodate two or three boys, and will glide over a crust of snow with great ease and rapidity.  To the trapper it is especially valuable for all purposes of transportation.  The flat bottom rests upon the surface of the snow, and the weight being thus distributed a load of two or three hundred pounds will often make but little impression and can be drawn with marvellous ease.  Our illustration gives a very clear idea of the sled, and it can be made in the following way:  the first requisite is a board about eight feet in length and sixteen or more inches in width.  Such a board may be procured at any saw mill.  Oak is the best wood for the purpose, although hickory, basswood or ash will do excellently.  It should be planed or sawed to a thickness of about a third of an inch, and should be free from knots.  If a single board of the required width is not easily found, two boards may be used, and secured side by side by three cleats, one at each end and the other in the middle, using wrought nails and clinching them deeply into the board on the under side.  The single board is much to be preferred, if it can be had.  The next requisites are seven or eight wooden cross-pieces of a length equivalent to the width of the board.  Four old broom-sticks, cut in the required lengths, will answer [Page 271] this purpose perfectly, and if these are not at hand other sticks of similar dimensions should be used.  Two side pieces are next needed.  These should be about five feet in length, and in thickness exactly similar to the cross pieces.  Next procure a few pairs of leather shoe-strings or some strips of tough calf skin.  With these in readiness we may now commence the work of putting the parts together.  Begin by laying the cross pieces at equal distances along the board; across these and near their ends lay the two side pieces, as seen in the illustration. 

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Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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