Boy Scout Handbook – Boy Scout Troop – PDF Drive – Useful Links
Tie a taut-line hitch on a rope under tension. Planning Your Hikes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you. It is only when every member gang keeps moving of the ahead that you’ll have the kind of patrol you’ll all be proud of.
This is a newly re-edited version not a scan , complete with black and white pictures and many of the original advertisements. It is a collection of my essays and reviews and bagatelles on appearances, institutions, and society, writers, travel, and war written over the past fifteen years or so, and written on very different occasions and for different purposes.
Featuring instruction in outdoors life, woodcraft, campcraft, and high-quality living, this classic text is foundational for outdoors youth programs in America. Inspired by an “unofficial” preceding handbook written by Ernest Thompson Seton and Lord Robert Baden-Powell in , this version of the scout handbook is the first “official” version that scouts used during the birth of boy scout programs in the U.
This text includes rank and badge requirements from , along with skills. Learn how to make a bow for shooting arrows, make a fire or tent from scratch, identify plants and animals, or find your way in the wilderness with the timeless tips in this book!
Includes the following main topics: 1 scoutcraft, badge requirements for , and knots; 2 woodcraft and nature lore; 3 campcraft, camping, and equipment; 4 tracking, trailing, and signaling; 4 healthy lifestyle and exercise; 5 chivalry; 6 first aid and lifesaving; 7 games; 8 patriotism and citizenship; 9 scout equipment; and 10 book lists for topics of interest to scouts.
This classic book makes a perfect gift for scouts or scout leaders, or any outdoors enthusiast who wants to master the skills of the outdoors and woodcraft! Readers can enjoy this Legacy Edition for generations to come and learn from its timeless knowledge. This book is provided for historical education and contains content in the public domain. The original Boy Scout Handbook standardized American scouting and emphasized the virtues and qualifications for scouting, delineating what the American Boy Scouts declared was needed to be a -well-developed, well-informed boy.
Scouts past and present will be fascinated to see how scouting has changed in the ensuing years, and how it has stayed the same. Scouts past and present will be fascinated to see how scouting has changed, as well as what has stayed the same over the years. Includes unique illustrations. This edition will be perfect present for someone you care for!
After several draft editions, this first official Scoutmaster Handbook was released in Things have changed a bit since Although current at the time with medical and health procedures, this reprint should be considered for entertainment purposes only. Travel to yesteryear and enjoy this unique unabridged historic reproduction.
Popular Books. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Say You’re Mine by Alexa Riley.
Used for tying silk-worm gut for fishing purposes. It never slips; is easily unloosed by pulling the two short ends. The two ropes are laid alongside one another, then with each end an overhand knot is made around the standing part of the other. Pull the standing parts to tighten. Turn the end of one rope A over its standing part B to form a loop. Pass the end of the other rope across the bight thus formed, back of the standing part B over the end A, then under the bight at C, passing it over its own standing part and under the bight again at D.
The Mariner’s Compass. Boxing the Compass consists in enumerating the points, beginning with north and working around the circle as follows:. The watch is often used to give the compass point exactly.
Thus: Point the hour-hand to the sun; then, in the morning, half-way between the hour-hand and noon is due south. If afternoon, one must reckon half-way backward. Thus: at 8 A. The south is at two o’clock. The “half-way” is because the sun makes a course of twenty-four hours and the clock of but twelve. If we had a rational timepiece of twenty-four hours, it would fit in much better with all nature, and with the hour-hand pointed to the sun would make 12 o’clock, noon, always south.
If you cannot see the sun, get into a clear, open space, hold your knife point upright on your watch dial, and it will cast a faint shadow, showing where the sun really is, unless the clouds are very heavy. Finding Your Latitude by the Stars. The use of the stars to the scout is chiefly to guide him by showing the north, but the white man has carried the use a step farther: he makes the Pole-star tell him not only where the north is, but where he himself is.
From the Pole-star, he can learn his latitude. It is reckoned an exploit to take one’s latitude from the North Star with a cart-wheel, or with two sticks and a bucket of water.
The first attempt I made was with two sticks and a bucket of water. I arranged the bucket in the daytime, so that it could be filled from rim to rim; that is, it was level, and that gave me the horizon line; next, I fastened my two sticks together at an adjustable angle.
Then, laying one stick across the bucket as a base, I raised the other till the two sight notches on its upper edge were in straight line for the Pole-star. The sticks were now fastened at this angle and put away till the morning. On a smooth board–the board is allowable because it can be found either far on the plains when you have your wagon, or on the ship at sea–I mapped out, first a right angle, by the old plan of measuring off a triangle, whose sides were six, eight, and ten inches, and applied the star angle to this.
To make a scout’s sundial, prepare a smooth board about fifteen inches across, with a circle divided into twenty-four equal parts, and a temporarily hinged pointer, whose upper edge is in the middle of the dial. Place on some dead level, solid post or stump in the open. At night fix the dial so that the twelve o’clock line points exactly to north, as determined by the Polestar. Then, using two temporary sighting sticks of exactly the same height so as to permit sighting clear above the edge of the board set the pointer exactly pointing to the Pole-star; that is, the same angle as the latitude of the place, and fix it there immovably.
Then remove the two sighting sticks. As a timepiece, this dial will be found roughly correct for that latitude. The angle of the pointer, or style, must be changed for each latitude. May, There are as many different kinds of log cabins as of any other architecture.
It is best to begin with the simplest. The tools needed are a sharp ax, a crosscut saw, an inch auger, and a spade. It is possible to get along with nothing but an ax many settlers had no other tool , but the spade, saw, and auger save much work.
For the site select a high, dry place, in or near the woods, and close to the drinking-water. It should be a sunny place, and with a view, preferably one facing south or east. Clear off and level the ground. Then bring your logs. These are more picturesque with the bark left on, but last longer peeled. Eight feet by twelve feet outside makes a good cabin for three or four boys. Cut and carry about twelve logs, each ten feet long; and twelve more, each fourteen feet long.
The logs should be at least six inches through. Soft wood is preferable, as it is easier to handle; the four ground logs or sills, at least, should be of cedar, chestnut, or other wood that does not rot. Lay two of the fourteen-foot logs on the ground, at the places for the long sides, and seven feet apart. Then across them, at the end, lay two short ones, eleven feet apart. This leaves about a foot projecting from each log.
Roll the last two into their resting places, and flatten them till they sit firmly. It is of prime importance that each log rest immovably on the one below. Now cut the upper part of each end log, to an edge over each corner. Next put on two long logs, roll them onto the middle, taking care to change off, so the big end at a given comer may be followed next time by the small end and insure the corner rising evenly. Roll one of these large logs close to where it is to be placed, then cut on its upper surface at each end a notch corresponding with the ridge on the log it is to ride on.
When ready, half a roll drops it into place. Repeat the process now with the other sides, then the two ends, etc. As the walls rise, it will be found necessary to skid the larger logs; that is, roll them up on two long logs, or skids, leaning against the wall. When the logs are in place to the height of four and a half feet from the ground, it is time to decide where the door and window are to be; and at that place, while the next long log is lying on top, bottom up, cut out a piece four feet long and four inches deep.
Roll this log into place. One more log above this, or certainly two, will make your shanty high enough for boys. Put on final end logs, then two others across the shanty.
Roll up the biggest, strongest log of all for the ridge sometimes two are used side by side ; it should lie along the middle of the four cross pieces shown in Fig.
The two cross logs, B and C, and the ridge log should be very strong, as the roof is heavy. Now we are ready to cut the doorway and window. First, drive in blocks of wood between each of the logs, all the way down from A to the ground, and from B down to D, and C to E.
Saw down now from A half-way through the ground log F. Then from B down to half-way through the log D; now continue from G, cutting down to half through the ground log. Use the ax to split out the upper half of the ground log, between the saw-cuts and also the upper half of the log D.
Hew a flat piece of soft wood, five or six inches wide, about two inches thick, and as long as the height of this doorway.
Set it up against the ends of the logs A to F. Bore an auger hole through it into the end of each log these holes must not be in line lest they split the jamb , including the top and bottom ones, and drive into each a pin of oak. This holds all safely. Do the same on the other side, H to E, and put a small one down B, D, which is the side of the window. Now we are ready to finish the roof.
Use the ax to bevel off the corners of the four cross-logs, A and B. Then get a lot of strong poles, about five feet long, and lay them close together along the two sides of the roof till it is covered with poles; putting a very heavy one, or small log, on the outer edge of each, and fastening it down with a pin into the ridge log.
Cut two long poles and lay one on each of the lower ends of the roof poles, as at A, B, and C Fig. Pack this down. It will soon squeeze all that foot of straw down to little more than one inch, and will make a warm and water-tight roof. As the clay is very heavy, it is wise, before going inside, to test the roof by jumping on it. If it gives too much, it will be well to add a centre prop.
Now for the door: Hew out planks; two should be enough. Fasten these together with two cross-pieces and one angle-piece, using oak pegs instead of nails, if you wish to be truly primitive. For these the holes should be bored part way with a gimlet, and a peg used larger than the hole. The lower end of the back plank is left projecting in a point. This point fits into a hole pecked with a point or bored with an auger into the door-sill.
Bore another hole near the top of the door A , and a corresponding one through the door-jamb between two logs. Set the door in place. A strip of rawhide leather, a limber willow branch, or a strip of hickory put through the auger hole of the door and wedged into the hole in the jamb, makes a truly wild-wood hinge.
A peg in the front jamb prevents the door going too far out, and a string and peg inside answer for a latch. The window opening may be closed with a glass sash, with a piece of muslin, or with the rawhide of an animal, scraped clear of hair and stretched on a frame. Chinking is best done from the inside. Long triangular strips and blocks of wood are driven in between the logs and fastened there with oak pins driven into the lower log till nothing but small crannies remain.
Some cabins are finished with moss plugged into all the crannies, but mud worked into plaster does better. It should be put on the outside first, and afterward finished form the inside.
It is best done really with two plasterers working together, one inside and one out. The fireplace may be in one corner, or in the middle of the end. It is easiest to make in the former. Across the corner, peg three angle braces, each about three feet long. These are to prevent the chimney falling forward. Now begin to build with stone, using mud as mortar, a fireplace this shape.
The top corner-piece carries the rafter that may be cut off to let the flue out. Build the chimney up outside as high as the highest part of the ridge. But the ideal fireplace is made with the chimney on the outside of the cabin, at the middle of the end farthest from the door.
For this you must cut a hole in the end log, like a big, low window, pegging a jamb on the ends as before. With stones and mud you now build a fireplace inside the shanty, with the big chimney carried up outside, always taking care that there are several inches of mud or stone between the fire and any of the logs. In country where stone cannot be found, the fireplace is often built of mud, sustained by an outside cribbing of logs.
If the flue is fair size, that is, say one quarter the size of the fireplace opening, it will be sure to draw. The bunk should be made before the chinks are plastered, as the hammering is apt to loosen the mud. Cut eight or ten poles a foot longer than you need the bunk; cut the end of each into a flat board and drive these between the long logs at the right height and place for the bunk, supporting the other end on a crosspiece from a post to the wall.
Put a very big pole on the outer side, and all is ready for the bed; most woodsmen make this of small fir boughs. There are two other well-known ways of cornering the logs–one is simply flattening the logs where they touch. This, as well as the first one, is known in the backwoods of Canada as hog-pen finish. The really skilful woodsmen of the North always dovetail the comers and saw them flush: Fig.
Sometimes it is desirable to make a higher gable than that which one ridge log can make. Then it is made thus: Fig. This is as much slope as a clay roof should have; with any more, the clay would wash off. This is the simplest way to build a log-cabin, but it illustrates all the main principles of log building.
Shingle roofs and gables, broad piazzas outside, and modern fitting inside, are often added nowadays in summer camps, but it must be clear that the more towny you make the cabin, the less woodsy it is, and less likely to be the complete rest and change that is desired. For fuller instructions, see “Log-Cabins and Cottages. Wicks, Forest and Stream, N. The height of a tree is easily measured when on a level, open place, by measuring the length of its shadow, then comparing that with your own shadow, or that of a ten-foot pole.
Thus, the ten-foot pole is casting a fifteen-foot shadow, and the tree’s shadow is one hundred and fifty feet long, apply the simple rule of three. But it is seldom so easy, and the good old rule of the triangle can be safely counted on: Get a hundred or more feet from your tree, on open ground, as nearly as possible on the level of its base.
Set up a ten-foot pole A B, page Then mark the spot where the exact line from the top of the tree over the top of the pole touches the ground C. Now measure the distance from that spot C to the foot of the ten-foot pole B ; suppose it is twenty feet. Measure also the distance from that spot C to the base of the tree D ; suppose it is one hundred and twenty feet, then your problem is:. To make a right angle, make a triangle whose sides are exactly six, eight, and ten feet or inches each or multiples of these.
The angle opposite the ten must be a true right angle. There are many ways of measuring distance across rivers, etc.
The simplest, perhaps, is by the equilateral triangle. Cut three poles of exactly equal length; peg them together into a triangle. Drive in three pegs to mark the exact points of this triangle A,B,C. Then move it along the bank until you find a place F,E,G where its base is on line with the two pegs, where the base used to be, and one side in line with the point across the river D.
The width of the river is seven eighths of the base of this great triangle. Another method is by the isosceles triangle. Make a right-angled triangle as above, with sides six, eight, and ten feet A,B,C ; then, after firmly fixing the right angle, cut down the eight-foot side to six feet and saw off the ten-foot side to fit. Place this with the side D B on the river bank in line with the sight object X across. Then take the triangle along the bank in the direction of C until C’ D’ are in line with the sight object, while B’ C’ is in line with the pegs B C.
Then the length of the long base B C’ will equal the distance from B to X. To measure the space between two distant objects, D and E. B G equals the space between D and E then. If the distance is considerable, it may be measured sometimes by sound. Thus, when a gun is fired, a man is chopping, or a dog barking, count the seconds between the sight and the hearing of the sound, and multiply by eleven hundred feet, which is the distance sound travels in a second.
Occasionally, the distance of an upright bank, cliff, or building can be measured by the echo. Half the seconds between shout and echo, multiplied by eleven hundred gives the distance in feet.
The usual way to estimate long distances is by the time they take to cover. Thus, a good canoe on dead water goes four to five miles an hour. A man afoot walks three and a half miles an hour on good roads.
A packtrain goes two and a half miles an hour, or perhaps one and a half on the mountain trails. Some answered, “Yes; once or twice. It is quite certain to come sooner or later; if you go camping, you will get lost in the woods. Hunters, Indians, yes, birds and beasts, get lost at times. You can avoid it for long by always taking your bearings and noting the landscape before leaving the camp, and this you should always do; but still you will get lost some time, and it is well to be ready for it by carrying matches, knife, and compass.
When you do miss your way, the first thing to remember is, like the Indian, “You are not lost; it is the teepee that is lost.
It cannot be so unless you do something foolish. The first and most natural thing to do is to get on a hill, up a tree, or other high lookout, and seek for some landmark near camp. You may be sure of this much:. The worst thing you can do is to get frightened. The truly dangerous enemy is not the cold or the hunger so much as the fear. It is fear that robs the wanderer of his judgment and of his limb power; it is fear that turns the passing experience into a final tragedy.
Only keep cool and all will be well. If you see no landmark, look for the smoke of the fire. Shout from time to time, and wait; for though you have been away for hours it is quite possible you are within earshot of your friends.
If you happen to have a gun, fire it off twice in quick succession on your high lookout; then wait and listen. Do this several times and wait plenty long enough–perhaps an hour. If this brings no help, send up a distress signal–that is, make two smoke fires by smothering two bright fires with green leaves and rotten wood, and keep them at least fifty feet apart, or the wind will confuse them. Two shots or two smokes are usually understood to mean “I am in trouble.
If you have a dog or a horse with you, you may depend upon it he can bring you out all right; but usually you will have to rely on yourself.
The simplest plan, when there is fresh snow and no wind, is to follow your own track back. No matter how far around or how crooked it may be, it will certainly bring you out safely. If you are sure of the general direction to the camp and determined to keep moving, leave a note pinned on a tree if you have paper; if not, write with charcoal on a piece of wood, and also make a good smoke, so that you can come back to this spot if you choose.
But make certain that the fire cannot run, by clearing the ground around it and by banking it around with sods. And mark your course by breaking or cutting a twig every fifty feet. You can keep straight by the sun, the moon, or the stars, but when they are unseen you must be guided by the compass.
I do not believe much in guidance by what are called nature’s compass signs. It is usual to say, for example, that the north side of the tree has the most moss or the south side the most limbs, etc.
While these are true in general, there are so many exceptions that when alarmed and in doubt as to which is north, one is not in a frame of mind to decide with certainty on such fine points.
If a strong west wind, for example, was blowing when you left camp, and has blown ever since, you can be pretty sure it is still a west wind; but the only safe and certain natural compass guides are the sun, moon, and stars. Of course, they go around it once in twenty-four hours, so this makes a kind of clock.
The stars, then, will enable you to keep straight if you travel. But thick woods, fog, or clouds are apt to come up, and without something to guide you are sure to go around in a circle. Old woodsmen commonly follow down the streams. These are certain to bring you out somewhere; but the very worst traveling is along the edges of the streams, and they take you a long way around.
All things considered, it is usually best to stay right where you are, especially if in a wild country where there is no chance of finding a farm house. Make yourself comfortable for the night by gathering plenty of good wood while it is daylight, and building a wind screen on three sides, with the fire in front, and something to keep you off the ground. Do not worry but keep up a good fire; and when day comes renew your two smokes and wait.
A good fire is the best friend of a lost man. I have been lost a number of times, but always got out without serious trouble, because I kept cool.
The worst losing I ever got was after I had been so long in the West that I qualified to act as a professional guide, and was engaged by a lot of Eastern farmers looking for land locations.
This was in the October of on the Upper Assiniboin. The main body of the farmers had remained behind. I had gone ahead with two of them. I took them over hundreds of miles of wild country. As we went northward the country improved. We were traveling with oxen, and it was our custom to let them graze for two hours at noon.
One warm day, while the oxen were feeding, we went in our shirt sleeves to a distant butte that promised a lookout. We forgot about the lateness till the sun got low. Even then I could have got back to camp, but clouds came up and darkness fell quickly.
Knowing the general direction I kept on, and after half an hour’s tramp we came to a canyon I had never seen before. I got out my compass and a match and found that I had been circling, as one is sure to do in the dark. I corrected the course and led off again. After another brief turn I struck another match and learned from the compass that I was again circling.
This was discouraging, but with corrected course we again tramped. I was leading, and suddenly the dark ground ten feet ahead of me turned gray. I could not make it out, so went cautiously nearer. I lay down, reached forth, and then slowly made sure that we were on the edge of a steep precipice. I got out my match box and compass and found I had but one match left. Shall I use it to get a new course from the compass, or shall we make a fire and stay here till morning? We groped into a hollow where we got some dead wood, and by using our knives got some dry chips from the inside of a log.
When all was ready we gathered close around, and I got out the one match. I was about to strike it when the younger of the men said:. There was sense in this. I have never in my life smoked. Jack was an old stager and an adept with matches. I handed it to him. With the help of the firelight we now found plenty of dead wood; we made three blazing fires side by side, and after an hour we removed the centre one, then raked away all the hot ashes, and all lay down together on the warm ground.
When the morning came the rain ceased. We stretched our stiffened limbs and made for camp. Yes, there it was in plain view two miles away across a fearful canyon. Three steps more on that gloomy night and we should have been over the edge of that canyon and dashed to the bottom. How to Make Fire by Rubbing Sticks. I tried it once for an hour, and I know now I never would have got it in a thousand years as I was doing it.
Others have had the same experience; consequently, most persons look upon this as a sort of fairy tale, or, if they believe it to be true, they think it so difficult as to be worth no second thought.
I have taught many boys and men including some Indians to do it, and some have grown so expert that they make it nearly as quickly as with an old-fashioned sulphur match.
When I first learned from Walter Hough, who learned from the Indians, it took me from five to ten minutes to get a blazing fire–not half an hour, as some books have it. But later I got it down to a minute, then to thirty-one seconds from the time of taking up the rubbing-sticks to having a fine blaze, the time in getting the first spark being about six seconds. My early efforts were inspired by book accounts of Indian methods, but, unfortunately, I have never yet seen a book account that was accurate enough to guide anyone successfully in the art of fire-making.
All omit one or other of the absolute essentials, or dwell on some triviality. The impression they leave on those who know is that the writers did not. The surest and easiest method of making a friction fire is by use of the bow-drill.
Two sticks, two tools, and some tinder are needed. The two sticks are the drill and the fire-board, or fire-block. The books generally tell us that these must be of different kinds of wood. This is a mistake. I have uniformly gotten the best results with two pieces of the same kind–all the better, indeed, if they are parts of the same stick. This is a very important question, as woods that are too hard, too soft, too wet, too oily, too gummy, or too resinous will not produce fire.
The wood should be soft enough to wear away, else it produces no punk, and hard enough to wear slowly, or the heat is not enough to light the punk, and, of course, it should be highly inflammable. Those that I have had the best luck with are balsam fir, cottonwood roots, tamarack, European larch, red cedar, white cedar, Oregon cedar, basswood, cypress, and sometimes second-growth white pine.
It should always be a dry, sound stick, brash, but not in the least punky. In each part of the country there seems to be a kind of wood well suited for fire-making. The Eastern Indians used cedar; the Northern Indians, cedar or balsam fir; the plains Indians used cottonwood or sage-brush roots. Perhaps the most reliable of all is dry and seasoned balsam fir; either the species in the North woods or in the Rockies will do.
It gives a fine big spark or coal in about seven seconds. When in the grinding the dust that runs out of the notch is coarse and brown, it means that the wood is too soft; when it is very fine and scanty it means that the wood is too hard.
The simplest kind of bow; a bent stick with a stout leather thong fastened at each end. A more elaborate bow with a hole at each end for the thong. At the handle end it goes through a disc of wood. This is to tighten the thong by pressure of the hand against the disc while using. Simplest kind of drill-socket; a pine or hemlock knot with a shallow hole or pit in it.
A more elaborate drill-socket; a pebble cemented with gum in a wooden holder. A very elaborate drill-socket; it is made of tulip wood, carved to represent the Thunderbird. It has eyes of green felspar cemented in with resin. On the under side 5a is seen, in the middle, a soapstone socket let into the wood and fastened with pine gum, and on the head a hole kept filled with grease, to grease the top of the drill before use.
The best wood for the drill is old, dry brash, but not punky, balsam fir or cottonwood roots; but basswood, white cedar, red cedar, tamarack, and sometimes even white pine, will do. Shows the way of using the sticks. The block a is held down with one foot, the end of the drill b is put in the pit, the drill-socket c is held on top in left hand, one end of the bow d is held in the right hand, while the bow is drawn back and forth.
Is a little wooden fire-pan, not essential but convenient; its thin edge is put under the notch to catch the powder that falls.
I have made many experiments to determine whether there is anything in the idea that it is better to have the block and the drill of different woods. The preparing of the fire-board is one of the most important things. At the edge cut a notch half an inch wide and about three fourths of an inch deep; at the top of this notch make a pit or shallow hole, and the board is ready.
The importance of this notch is such that it is useless to try fire-making without it. While these are the essentials, it is well to get ready, also, some tinder. I have tried a great many different kinds of lint and punk, including a number that were artificially prepared, soaked with saltpetre or other combustibles. But these are not really fair play. The true woodcrafter limits himself to the things that he can get in the woods, and in all my recent fire-making I have contented myself with the tinder used for ages by the red men: that is, cedar wood finely shredded between two stones.
Some use the fringes that grow on birch, improving it by rubbing in powdered charcoal. Now that he has the tools and material ready, it will be an easy matter for the matchless castaway to produce a fire. Pass the leather thong once around the drill–and this should make the thong taut; put the lower point of the drill in the pit at the top of the notch in the fire-board, and hold the socket with the left hand on top of the drill.
The notch of the fire-board should be resting on a chip or thin wooden tray. Hold the bow by the handle end in the right hand, steady the board under the left foot, and the left arm against the left knee.
Now draw the bow back and forth with steady, even strokes, its full length. This causes the drill to turn in the pit and bore into the wood; ground-up wood runs out of the side of the notch, falling on the chip or tray.
At first it is brown; in two or three seconds it turns black, and then smokes; in five or six seconds it is giving off a cloud of smoke. A few more vigorous strokes of the bow, and now it will be found that smoke still comes from the pile of black wood-dust on the chip. Fan this gently with the hand; the smoke increases, and in a few seconds you see a glowing coal in the middle of the dust. There are never any visible flying sparks. Hold it down on the coal, and, lifting tray and all, blow or fan it until in a few seconds it blazes.
Carefully pile over it the shreds of birch bark or splinters of fat pine prepared beforehand, and the fire is made. If you have the right wood and still cannot get the fire, it is likely because you do not hold the drill steady, or have not cut the side notch quite into the middle point of the little fire pit.
Second: A boy is better equipped having learned it. He can never afterward freeze to death for lack of matches if he has wood and an old shoe lace.
Third: For the very reason that it is difficult, compared with matches, it tends to prevent the boys making unnecessary fires, and thus reduces the danger of their setting the woods ablaze or of smoking the forbidden cigarette. There is such a fascination in making the rubbing-stick fire that one of my Western cooks, becoming an expert, gave up the use of matches for a time and lit his morning fire with the fire-drill, and, indeed, he did not find it much slower than the usual way.
Walter Hough told me a story of an Apache Indian who scoffed at the matches of white men, and claimed that he could light a fire with rubbing-sticks faster than Hough could with matches. So each made ready. They were waiting for the word “go” when the Indian said:. I see if him right. Just as Mr. Hough was going to strike the match, he said: “Stop–stop him no good. The white man struck the slow, sizzling match.
The Indian gave half a dozen twirls to the drill–the smoke burst forth. He covered it with the tinder, fanned a few seconds, then a bright flame arose, just before the white man got his twigs ablaze. So the Indian won, but it was by an Indian trick; for the three times when he pretended to be trying it, he was really warming up the wood–that is, doing a large part of the work.
I am afraid that, deft as he was, he would have lost in a fair race. Yet this incident shows at least that, in point of speed, the old rubbing-sticks are not very far behind the matches, as one might have supposed.
It is, indeed, a wonder that the soldiers at West Point are not taught this simple trick, when it is so easily learned, and might some day be the one thing to save the lives of many of them. No woodcraft education is complete without a knowledge of archery. It is a pity that this noble sport has fallen into disuse. We shall find it essential to some of our best games. The modern hunting gun is an irresistible weapon of wholesale murder, and is just as deadly no matter who pulls the trigger.
It spreads terror as well as death by its loud discharge, and it leaves little clew as to who is responsible for the shot. Its deadly range is so fearfully great as to put all game at the mercy of the clumsiest tyro. Woodcraft, the oldest of all sciences and one of the best, has steadily declined since the coming of the gun, and it is entirely due to this same unbridled power that America has lost so many of her fine game animals. The bow is a far less destructive weapon, and to succeed at all in the chase the bowman must be a double-read forester.
The bow is silent and it sends the arrow with exactly the same power that the bowman’s arm puts into it–no more, no less–so it is really his own power that speeds the arrow. There is no question as to which hunter has the right to the game or is responsible for the shot when the arrow is there to tell. The gun stands for little skill, irresistible force supplied from an outside source, overwhelming unfair odds, and sure death to the victim.
The bow, on the other hand, stands for all that is clever and fine in woodcraft; so, no guns or fire-arms of any kind are allowed in our boy scout camp. The Indian’s bow was short, because, though less efficient, it was easier to carry than a long one. Yet it did not lack power. It is said that the arrow head sometimes appeared on the far side of the buffalo it was fired into, and there is a tradition that Wah-na-tah, a Sioux chief, once shot his arrow through a cow buffalo and killed her calf that was running at the other side.
But the long bow is more effective than the short one. The old English bowmen, the best the world has ever seen, always shot with the long bow. The finest bows and arrows are those made by the professional makers, but there is no reason why each boy should not make his own. Take a perfectly sound, straight, well-seasoned stick five or six feet long your bow should be about as long as yourself ; mark off a five-inch space in the middle for the handle; leave this round and a full inch thick; shave down the rest, flat on one side for the front and round on the other for the back, until it is about one inch wide and three fourths of an inch thick next the handle, tapering to about one half that at the ends, which are then “nocked,” nicked, or notched as shown in Cut I.
These notches are for the string, which is to be put on early. Draw the bow now, flat side out, not more than the proper distance, and note carefully which end bends the most; then shave down the other side until it bends evenly.
The middle scarcely bends at all. The perfect shape, when bent, is shown in Cut II. Trim the bow down to your strength and finish smoothly with sandpaper and glass.
It should be straight when unstrung, and unstrung when not in use. Fancy curved bows are weak affairs. The bow for our boy should require a power of fifteen or twenty pounds shown on a spring balance to draw the string twenty-three inches from the bow; not more. The best string is of hemp or linen; it should be about five inches from the middle of the bow when strung Cut II. The notches for the string should be two-thirds the depth of the string.
If you have not a bought string make one of strong, unbleached linen thread twisted together. At one end the string, which is heaviest at the ends, should be fast knotted to the bow notch Cut V ; at the other it should have a loop as shown in Cut IV. In the middle it should be lashed with fine silk and wax for five inches, and the exact place marked where the arrow fits it.
The arrow is more important than the bow. Anyone can make a bow; few can make an arrow, for, as a Seminole Indian expressed it to Maurice Thompson, “Any stick do for bow; good arrow much heap work, ugh. Web icon An illustration of a computer application window Wayback Machine Texts icon An illustration of an open book.
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Includes unique illustrations. This edition will be perfect present for someone you care for! After several draft editions, this first official Scoutmaster Handbook was released in Things have changed a bit since Although current at the time with medical and health procedures, this reprint should be considered for entertainment purposes only.