Camping & Life Hacks from 1911
TAKE A SEAT
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of the Irishman who was “hanging between nothing and space” with only a rope to hold on to, you should be able to form quite a comfortable little seat if you hold the rope as depicted in this sketch.
All you have to do is to hang on for a moment or two with your left hand, catch the end of the rope with the right, and bring it up under you in the form of a loop. Then grip both the end and the rope itself together, and you will find yourself sitting in the loop, and easily able to support your own weight.
TO CLEAN PLATES
Greasy plates are hard to clean without hot water, and when out scouting, or in camp, boiling water is not always easy to obtain. A tuft of grass with damp earth adhering to it is a good substitute. Rub the earth well over the plate, and it will soon remove the grease. Then rinse the plate in cold water, and it will be perfectly clean.
Failing sand, earth will also clean grease or oil out of bottles.
A BOTTLE OF LIGHT BEACON
An uncovered signal light displayed on the top of a hill is, of course, in the very finest position for being blown out by the wind.
On the other hand, when you want to make use of such a light, a glass-protected lantern is not always at hand.
But a candle, or a piece of one, and an empty bottle are generally to be obtained, and with those you can get along very famously if you know how, even on the very gustiest of nights.
Break off the bottom of the glass bottle, which should be without a cork. Plant the candle in the ground, light it, and quickly pop the bottle over it, pressing the latter down firmly into the earth.
There you have a cheery little beacon, that will shine out and not blow out, no matter how the gale rages.
OPENING A NEW BOOK
Many people soil the binding of new books by carelessly opening them. The proper way to open a volume when it is new is to place it with its back on the table and then to let both the board covers gently down while holding the leaves in one hand. Then open a few leaves at the front, then a few at the back, until the center is reached.
By going slowly like this the first two or three times the book is opened, you will make it last much longer than you would by opening it in a great hurry.
THE GLASS WILL NOT CRACK
When hot water is poured into a glass, the latter is very likely to crack if precautions are not taken. To prevent the glass from breaking, you should place a spoon in it and let the hot liquid run down the metal, as shown in the illustration.
This will take the heat away from the glass, and so enable you to keep your store of glass intact.
HIDDEN IN SOAP
Some people when they wish to hide anything go to a great deal of trouble.
There is not the slightest reason to make such a fuss, for the best place to hide anything is in an object which does not seem to offer any scope as a hiding place.
Soldiers seem to have realized this, and it is said that when “Tommy Atkins” received his money he used to make a hole in a bar of soap, place the coins in the middle, as shown in the illustration, and seal up the end by banging the bar down on something hard. Who would think of looking for anything in such a place?
Tobacco has been smuggled into this country in imported broom handles and lady smugglers used to cross the Atlantic with babies who were never known to cry. The reason was made apparent when it was discovered that the babies consisted of lace and other contraband articles.
So when you want to hide something give a simple hiding place a preference.
FRESH OR STALE?
The difference between a fresh and a stale egg can be detected, however, the moment they are put in the water for boiling the fresh egg immediately sinks to the bottom and lays flat upon its side, whereas, the stale egg will be seen to rise on end. If it rises slightly it may only be a trifle stale, but according to the angle at which it inclines with the bottom of the saucepan, its staleness can be told. If it rises to the top, as shown in the illustration — well, take it out to the dust bin, but be careful not to break it. One disadvantage to our camp boiling receptacle, described above, is that it prevents the testing of the egg in its boiling water, and in this case it is advisable to test the egg in a fairly shallow vessel beforehand, or with cold water in the billy-can.
AN EASY CURE FOR A STITCH
One of the most annoying things that can happen when you are running is to feel that unpleasant pain in the side known as the stitch. The accompanying illustration shows a quick and easy cure for this annoyance.
Bend down in the manner shown, place your hands on your hips, with thumbs to the rear, and then start walking along in this undignified position.
When you have proceeded a few yards, then get up again and you will find that the pain has disappeared.