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The craftsman
Vol. XXIV, Number 3 (June 1913)

Home comforts in outdoor life,   pp. 340-341 PDF (855.0 KB)

Page 340

T omost of us, the lure of the road
         grows stronger with the coming of
         the brilliant days of spring, when
         the sun vivifies the air and when
 brisk winds blow as though to freshen tired
 brains as well as blossoming meadows.
 These are the days when all normal people
 begin to feel in increased measure the long-
 ing to get out into the nature world, some-
 where away from closed-in houses and of-
 fices and out to where trees are budding
 over carpets of tender green and near the
 banks of rushing brooks where inquisitive
 fish are waiting to investigate a bit of gaudy
 plumage on the end of a fishline.
   Happy are the people who can satisfy this
 impulse by a trip to green meadows or to
 a bit of woods just awakening from its
 winter's rest, even if it is only for a few
 hours of fresh air and freedom. From al-
 most every city can be reached by trolley
 lines or railroads some bit of ground not
 crowded with houses or overrun with peo-
 ple. In the spring these spots are not visit-
 ed so much as later in the summer, when
 the city's multitude goes fresh-air hunting.
   Thrice fortunate, however, are they who
 do not have to follow the curving steel rails
 of trolley or railroad on their jauntings, but
 who may go to places far off the main road
 of travel by means of a motor car. This
 sometimes prosaic vehicle of modern inven-
 tion has many times proved itself a magic
 carpet that will transport the wisher into
 some delightful haven of content. And it
 has helped to transform the old-fashioned
 picnics, whose delights were often flavored
 with duist and ants and aching bones, into
 outings that are truly restful and refresh-
 The motor car is available for a spin of
 an hour or two, just to rush fresh air into
 the lungs, as well as for protracted trips,
 with frequent camps by the wayside to af-
 ford refreshment and relaxation from the
 strain of an inactive position. A most pop-
 ular kind of motor trip takes the form of a
 week-end party, where the host and hostess
 entertain their guests under the rooftree of
 Nature instead of in their own home.
 Again, this powerful engine of transporta-
 tion offers the means of leisurely reaching
 some desired camping spot, with opportuni-
 ties to enjoy the beauty of the road while
 journeying over it.
   Modern science and invention have joined
 hands in smoothing the road to the enjoy-
 ment of outdoor life in a way that we sel-
 dom stop to understand. Anything that
 makes for a greater opportunity to get close
 to Nature, to seek her out in all her beauty
 and vigor, is something to be appreciative
 of, and there are many of us who would
 lack the courage or the inspiration to. get
 far out of doors if the way were not cleared.
 as it were, and made easy by the addition
 of comforts that belong essentially to civili-
   Few of us have been inured to actual life
 in the woods, and many who have tried even
 a few days of it with insufficient prepara-
 tion have returned to the city with aching
 muscles and sometimes incipient colds or
 rheumatism.    Sleeping   on  the   damp
 ground or even a bed of boughs holds lurk-
 ing dangers that need not be encountered
 if the camper is safeguarded by a folding
 mattress, a sleeping bag or a hammock that
 can be stowed away compactly in the tire-
 less monster of modern ingenuity. Tents
 of comparatively generous proportions can
 be folded and packed into small compass.
 to emerge when needed into adequate shel-
 ter against storm and chill.
   For use on long trips and camping par-
ties, innumerable household articles have
been made in portable form. Only expert
woodsmen understand the making of a fire
that will afford sufficient heat to cook food
properly without burning it, which requires
practice. Of course, nothing equals in de-
liciousness a camp breakfast or supper of
bacon and eggs or fish and fragrant coffee
that have been prepared in primitive uten-
sils over the pungent embers of a wood
fire, but there is also pleasure to be gained
in eating out of doors meals that have been
cooked in more prosaic fashion, and a port-
able gasoline or kerosene stove has often
solved the problem of supplying toothsome
camp food at short notice.
  Another invention that can be adapted to
camp use is the fireless cooker, and its con-
struction is so simple that it would not be
necessary to pack and carry all of it all the
way. An ordinary wooden box that can be
secured at almost any country grocery will
answer the purpose. A hinged lid can be
contrived for it, and a pad made of muslin
and cotton batting about an inch thick, or
even a quilt or blanket will help keep the
box air-tight. First, the box should be
lined with several thicknesses of newspaper,

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