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12 Days Maine Woods -- where to cut?
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John A
(JohnA) - F

Locale: Great Lakes State
12 Days Maine Woods -- where to cut? on 04/30/2010 08:29:45 MDT Print View

Outfit for an Excursion

The following will be a good outfit for one who wishes to make an excursion of twelve days into the Maine woods with a companion and one Indian, for the same purposes that I did.

Wear, -- a check shirt, stout old shoes, thick socks, a neck ribbon, thick waistcoat, thick pants, old Kossuth hat, a linen sack.

Carry, -- in an India-rubber knapsack, with a large flap, two shirts (check), one pair thick socks, one pair drawers, one flannel, shirt, two pocket-handkerchiefs, a light India-rubber coat or a thick woolen one, two bosoms and collars to go and come with, one napkin, pins, needles, thread, one blanket, best gray, seven feet long.

Tent, -- six by seven feet, and four feet high in middle, will do; veil and gloves and insect-wash, or, better, mosquito-bars to cover all at night; best pocket-map, and perhaps description of the route; compass; plant-book and red blotting-paper; paper and stamps, botany, small pocket spy-glass or birds, pocket-microscope, tape-measure, insect-boxes.

Axe, full size if possible, jackknife, fish-lines, two only apiece, with a few hooks and corks ready, and with pork for bait in a packet, rigged; matches (some also in a small vial in the waistcoat pocket); soap, two pieces; large knife and iron spoon (for all); three or four old newspapers, much twine, and several rags for dishcloths; twenty feet of strong cord, four-quart tin pail for kettle, two tin dippers, three tin plates, a fry-pan.

Provisions. – Soft hardbread, twenty-eight pounds; pork, sixteen pounds; sugar, twelve pounds; one pound black tea or three pounds coffee; one box or a pint of salt; one quart Indian meal, to fry fish in; six lemons, good to correct the pork and warm water; perhaps two or tree pounds of rice, for variety. You will probably get some berries, fish, &c., beside.

A gun is not worth the carriage, unless you go as hunters. The pork should be in an open keg, sawed to fit; the sugar, tea or coffee, meal, salt, &c., should be put in separate water-tight India-rubber bags, tied with a leather string; and all the provisions, and part of the rest of the baggage, put into two large India-rubber bags, which have been proved to be water-tight and durable. Expense of the preceding outfit is twenty-four dollars.

An Indian may be hired for about one dollar and fifty cents per day, and perhaps fifty cents a week for his canoe (this depends on the demand). The canoe should be a strong and tight one. This expense will be nineteen dollars.

Such and excursion need not cost more than twenty-five dollars apiece, starting at the foot of Moosehead, if you already possess or can borrow a reasonable part of the outfit. If you take an Indian and a canoe at Oldtown, it will cost sever or eight dollars more to transport them to the lake.

Thanks for your input,

H.D. Thoreau

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Re: 12 Days Maine Woods -- where to cut? on 05/03/2010 12:40:40 MDT Print View

I'd say you're right on target.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Good, except . . . on 05/03/2010 12:43:44 MDT Print View

What? No weights listed? :-D


John A
(JohnA) - F

Locale: Great Lakes State
Adding weights to list on 05/04/2010 12:59:11 MDT Print View

Heh! I considered trying to add weights to the list, but figured I wouldn't get past the "Axe, full size if possible" before surpassing your base weight! : )

I just finished reading Mr. Thoreau's The Maine Woods and thought maybe some readers on here would get a kick out of his recommendations from 1857, listed in the appendix.

Reading in the main part of the book, the tent listed here is actually more of a tarp, the blanket acts as more of a quilt than a sleeping bag, and he lists a veil (mosquito head net); sounds like the backpacking style I started using last year! Minus the twenty-eight pounds of pork.