staying warm at night
Picture from “The Way of the Woods, A Manual for Sportsmen in Northeastern United States and Canada” by Edward Breck, 1908.

These tips on how to stay warm at night in a tent were taken from “The Complete American and Canadian Sportsman’s Encyclopedia of Valuable Instruction,” by “Buzzacott” – Revised edition, 1913. It was interesting that even in those times, the danger of forest fires was acknowledged and safety considerations pointed out, as in only having campfires in areas where it was safe to do so and wouldn’t risk starting a forest fire. Using iron pails seemed to be the norm. Another consideration, modern tents have floors or at least tarps put down underneath, so these methods would only work in tents with dirt floors. I’d be curious to know from anyone reading to the end if they’ve ever heard of anyone being “Moonstruck” besides Cher.

How to heat a tent at night without a stove

bucket with coals
1st method of staying warm at night.

Throw into camp fire a lot of stones, the larger the better, let them get red hot, put into bucket and carry into tent, invert the bucket over them, and it will surprise you. With a change of stones in the fire you can renew and keep warm all night long; -or use camp kettle.

Still another way

2nd method of staying warm at night.
2nd method of staying warm at night.

(Perfectly safe if common sense is used). Dig a pit half a bucket in size somewhere in tent. Fill it heaping full of red hot clear coals (embers) from the camp fire, taking care no unburnt or smoky wood is therein. Now cover this with the kettle or pail. With mud, plaster up the edges, and it will keep your ten and you warm all night long. Use camp pails (iron of course).

In case of fire in tent

If serious, lay hold of the bottom of the bedding and pull out, and with a blanket smother the fire, quickly. If fire is caught in time you can smother it.

Let the tent go, but save the outfit therein, if possible. You can improvise shelter but not the outfit, so save that part first.

Don’t Sit or lay on the bare ground

Military statistics has proven beyond question that one-half of the sickness incident to camp and field life is due to neglect of this important caution. Better sit on your hat, anyting except the bare ground, even the Indian avoids this, he squats, as he knows it is harmful to even him. The United States Government now issues camp cots or beds to the United States troops in camp whenever possible, over 200,000 cots being issued to the United States Troops (Gold Medal Brand). By all means avoid sitting or sleeping on the ground, is a golden rule in camp, even though it feels dry.


An odd bit of night-time advice…


Don’t Sleep with the moon shining on your face, you can get moonstruck, and it’s as bad almost as sunstroke

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