The watch as a compass

Illustrated catalogue and price-list of drawing and tracing papers, sun print papers and equipments, drawing instruments and materials, surveying instruments, accessories, etc. / Kolesch & Company.

This tip was found in “The Way of the Woods: A Manual for Sportsmen in Northeastern United States and Canada,” by Edward Breck, 1908. I have been trying it out all week and it seems to work. Let me know your experience with it. It works differently depending on whether you are in the northern or southern hemispheres.

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What to do when you are lost in the wilderness

Green River Canyon
Green River. Canyon of Lodore, unidentified man standing with foot on dead tree, hat in hand, side view, with the river behind him and the canyons rising on either side of the tree.

Having never been truly lost while hiking, I imagine that it’s terrifying. In the world of GPS I have an artificial reliance on technology to keep me on the straight and narrow.  The entry below is the second part of 3 having to do with navigating mountains and wilderness from “Mountain Scouting, A Hand-Book for Officers and Soldiers on the Frontiers” by Edward S. Farrow, U.S. Army, 1881. Near the end of the explanation Farrow explains through numbers how to calculate your escape. Math is not my strong point so lets just say it took several readings for me to grasp what he was saying. In the coming days I’ll be researching the next and final entry in this series about mountain travel covering ways to signal for help when you are lost in the wilderness.

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A unique method of tree stump removal

Felling snags on fire line around the Coquille CCC camp, Siskiyou National Forest, California.
Felling snags on fire line around the Coquille CCC camp, Siskiyou National Forest, California.

This unique method of tree stump removal comes from “The New England Farmer; A Monthly Journal Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture and their Kindred Arts and Sciences,” 1855. The funny thing is, I thought about doing this once but figured if it was this easy, no one would pay a tree service to come out and remove their tree stumps this way. Now I wish I had at least tried.

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How to start a campfire without matches

Lou Ambers cooking over a campfire, using a tin can on a stick, from New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

This advice for starting a campfire without matches came from “Mountain Scouting, A Hand-Book for Officers and Soldiers on the Frontiers,” by Edward S. Farrow, U.S. Army, 1881. I’d be interested to hear if any readers have methods other than those described below. Please respond in the comments.

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How to prevent the spread of red ants

Ants as depicted in “The New Students Reference Work.”

In the past few weeks the ants have come out in force. I have a feeling my cat Izzy is taking care of most of them but I did some research as to how to prevent or get rid of ants once you have them. I found these tips in “The Country Gentleman,” August 10, 1912. The part about boiling seems a bit medieval, so for me personally, I’ll stick to the oil trick.

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Marble maintenance

Marble Mantelpiece
Design for a Chimney Piece in the Gallery, now Dining Room, Harewood House, Yorkshire (Elevation)

Everyone needs to know a little marble maintenance, right? Maybe. But you never know when this will come in handy. As taken from “The Household Encyclopedia; or, Family Dictionary of Everything Connected with Housekeeping and Domestic Medicine.” By an association of Heads of Families and Men of Science. Volume II. London: 1859

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