A tent of some kind is an essential part of the outfit of every canoeist, as he never knows when it may be needed, even on a short trip. A head wind, foul tide or sudden storm may make it impossible to reach the proposed stopping p]ace end force the canoeist to seek refuge for a night or from the rain as quickly as possible.
Tents for canoes are of three kinds: First, a small shelter. merely for sleeping under; second, a square tent, high enough to sit under and to cook or read in; third, shore tents large enough for two or three. The simplest of all is improvised from a rubber blanket hung over a boom or paddle, one end of which is lashed to the mizzenmast the other resting on the deck. The sides will need to be tied down or kept in place by stones. A better device is the shelter used on the Windward; shown in the drawing. This tent has a ridge rope, one end of which is hooked to an eye or cleat at fore end of well, the other end being made fast to the mizzenmast about 3f t. above deck. The cover is a piece of sheeting or drilling hemmed around the edges, with a hem also down the center in which the ridge rope is run. A triangular piece is fitted to the after end, running across the foot, and tapes are sewn at intervals along the edges to tie down with. This tent, shown with the flap open, makes a good shelter and sheds rain well, but is hardly roomy enough where much sleeping aboard is done. It has, how-ever three advantages, in being easily set and stowed, taking up little room in the canoe, and offering little surface when riding head to wind.
A better tent on the same plan is made with the top triangular, the after end, about 20 in. wide, having a hem in which a stick is inserted, a cord from each end of the stick running to the mast. The after end is square instead of triangular, and the sides are triangular, all coming to a point at the fore end. This tent is roomier than the former, but is easily set and stowed.
Of the second class the favorite one is that commonly known as the Mohican, but first used by Mr. C. L. Norton on the Kittiwake. This tent in its present form is also shown. The top piece is of canvas, 112 in. wide and 6 to 7 ft. long. At each end a hem is turned in, to take a round stick, 3/4 in. in diameter and 22 in. long. The sides and ends of the tent are made of striped awning stuff, which comes 29 in. wide, so that three breadths may be used. The tent is 30 in. wide at bottom, and about 1 ft. longer on bottom than on top. The sides and ends are sewed together at the corners, but the middle breadth on each side is sewed only to the top, making a curtain which may be rolled up, as shown. These curtains lap over the adjoining sides a little, and are provided with tapes to tie them fast. The bottom of the tent is fitted with grommets which hook over small screw-heads under the beading of the deck. The tent is supported by two ropes fastened to the masts. It is sometimes desirable to have small windows in the tent, which may be made of circular pieces of glass 2-1/2 in. diameter, each having two holes drilled near the edge by which it is sewn fast.
For use on shore a ground cloth 2-1/2x7 ft. may be used under the tent. The sides should be about 5 in. high, to keep out rain and wind under the sides. The floor cloth should be waterproofed.
In another form of tent two bamboo uprights, one at each end of the well, are used, the tent being square, with a rounded top, somewhat like a wagon. A ridgepole, jointed in the middle for stowage, is supported on the uprights, the tent spread over these, and the top extended by four strips of bent oak, let into hems across the top. The Pearl canoe is fitted with a tent of this description, the uprights being made in two pieces, one sliding in the other, so that by extending them the tent is raised, for cooking or reading, but at night they are let down, making the tent lower and less exposed to the wind.
An A tent is sometimes fitted to a canoe, using an upright at each end of the well, or one at the fore end and the mizzenmast, with the painter stretched across as a ridge rope, but a wider top, as shown in the Mohican tent, is better.
For shore use a tent is usually carried large enough to accommodate two or three persons. The simplest form is the ordinary A tent, made about 6-1/2 ft. square at the bottom, and 6 ft. high. It is supported by two upright poles and a ridge pole, or the latter may be dispensed with and a ridge rope used, the ends being made fast to stakes in the ground.
A better and roomier form is the wall tent, a very good style being that devised by some of the Clyde C. C. This tent is usually about 6 ft. wide, 7 ft. long, and 6 ft. high, the wails being 2 ft. high. The bottom is sewn to the sides and ends, except the flap, which serves as a door, thus preventing all drafts. It is well to have a second bottom of light stuff laid inside over the main one, and not sewn fast, so that it may be lifted out for cleaning the tent. A ridge pole and two upright poles, all jointed, are used. Where the walls join the roof, a hem 2 in. wide is sewn, and in this four or five grommets are set to take the tent ropes. The tent pins are of iron rod 1/4 in., galvanized, 10 in. long, with the upper end turned into a ring to draw them out by. A flap is sometimes made in each side of the roof for ventilation. In setting this tent, it is unfolded on the ground and each corner fastened with a pin, then the four pins for the corner ropes are driven, each at the proper distance from its corner, which will be found the first time that the tent is set and marked permanently on one of the poles for future measurement; the corner ropes are made fast to the pins, allowing slack enough to hoist the tent. then the ridge pole is run through, the canoeist goes inside the tent, raises the after end, slips the upright under the ridge pole, walks to the other end, holding up the latter, and slips in the other pole. Now the corner ropes may be looked over and tightened, the remaining pegs driven and the ropes made fast to them, and the ground sheet spread inside. The entire operation, if the tent is properly folded, can be performed by one man in five minutes. Sometimes the ridge pole is made to extend about 18 in. beyond the front of the tent, thus keeping the upright out of the way of the door. It is as well to have the rear upright inside, as it is useful to hang clothes on, a few hooks being screwed in it. It will also be convenient to have a few canvas pockets hung to the wails for brush, and comb, etc.
Canoeists in America have used for the past few years a very good tent, of the form known as "Marquee." The ground space may be 7x7 ft., the height to peak being about the same. But one pole is needed, which is in the center of the tent. The roof portion may be 2-1/2 ft. on each side, and is extended by four small sticks running from the central pole to each corner. The four lower corners are first staked down, the pole is slipped into the center of the roof, raising the latter, then the four sticks are pushed into place, and all is ready. These tents are usually made without a bottom, but a ground cloth should be used in any ease.
For small tents, heavy unbleached sheeting may be used, and for the larger ones a light drill or duck. To render them waterproof they may be coated with boiled linseed oil and terebin, one gill of the latter to two quarts of oil, two coats being sufficient. The Mohican tent has a top of heavy canvas and sides of awning stuff, neither being waterproofed, and the marquees are generally made of the latter material. If a stay is made in any place for some time, the shanty tent, described by "Nessmuk" in "Woodcraft," is probably the best known, but in canoeing the halts are usually but for a day or two, and often for a night, so the tent must be quickly set and stowed.
Next to the question of shelter comes the bed, a point of special interest to most canoeists, who for fifty weeks of the year sleep in a comfortable bed at home.
Many canoes are now furnished with a mattress of cork shavings, which makes an excellent bed, and also answers as a life preserver. This mattress, the invention of Mr. C. H. Farnham, is 50 in. long, 18 in. wide and 4 in. thick, made of some light material, such as burlaps or Japanese canvas. It is divided by two partitions, each made of muslin sewn to top, bottom and ends, into three parts, each 50x6x4 in., and in each of these about 1-1/4 pounds of cork shavings is -placed. The partitions are intended to keep the cork distributed evenly. Hooks and rings at the ends, with straps for the shoulders, make it easily adjustable as a life preserver, as it is long enough to encircle the body.
In connection with this mattress, Mr. Farnham, much of whose canoeing has been done in cold climates, has devised a sleeping bag or quilt and cover. The quilt, when extended, is nearly heart-shaped, being 7 ft. long and 7 ft. at the widest part. The small end does not come quite to a point, but an oval end piece is sewn in. The quilt is made of silk or silesia, stuffed with 2-1/4 pounds of down, evenly quilted in, the edges being strengthened with a binding of tape. Around the edges are buttons and buttonholes, by which the quilt may be converted into a closed bag, in which a man may sleep warmly in the coldest weather. A cover of the same shape is made of fine muslin, coated with boiled oil, and being provided with buttonholes, may be buttoned closely, keeping off entirely the dampness of the ground or even rain. The entire weight of the quilt is 4-1/4 pounds, and of oiled cover 2 pounds 6 ounces, and both may be rolled into a very small bundle for stowage. The amount of covering may be regulated to suit the weather, the canoeist sleeping with either oiled cover, quilt, or both over him, or if very cold, rolling up in both and lying on the cork mattress. The cork mattress is used in several ways as a cushion during the day. Canoeists usually carry in summer a good pair of blankets, and sometimes a sleeping bag, made of a quilt or blanket doubled and sewn together at the edges and across one end, the other being kept open for ingress.
If weight and space are of importance on short summer cruises, a single good blanket may be taken, with a lining of sheeting or drill sewed to one edge and buttoning along the bottom and other edge. In very warm weather the canoeist sleeps under the drilling only, or if colder, under the blanket; but in still colder weather the lined blanket will be almost as warm as a double one, and much lighter. A rubber water-bed is sometimes carried and is very comfortable to sleep on, but they are quite expensive.
One or two rubber blankets are usually found in a canoeist's outfit, and are very useful, as a tent may be improvised from one; it is necessary on damp ground or in a wet canoe, and during the day the bedding may be rolled in it. Whatever bedding is carried, it is highly necessary that it should be kept dry, which is best accomplished by wrapping in a waterproof cover or bag, strapping it very tightly, and carrying it well under the deck or in a compartment. In many localities a few yards of mosquito netting are indispensable, as it may be used in connection with any of the tents described. Several varieties of camp cot are sold in the sporting goods stores, but, though good in a permanent camp, they are too heavy and bulky for a canoe.