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Comfort In Camp

Camp Beds

There are many ways of making a comfortable bed in camp, but always have a waterproof groundsheet over the ground between your body and the earth. Cut grass or straw or bracken is good to lay down thickly where you are going to lie.

I think you never find out how full of corners you are till you have to sleep on a hard bit of ground where you cannot get straw or grass.

Of course, every Scout knows that the worst corner in him is his hip-bone, and if you have to sleep on hard ground the secret of comfort is to scoop out a little hole, about the size of a tea-cup, where your hip-bone will rest. It makes all the difference to your sleeping.

Your night's rest is an important thing; a fellow who does not get a good sleep at night soon knocks up, and cannot get through a day's work like the one who sleeps in comfort. So my best advice is: make a good thick straw mattress for yourself.

Making a Mattress

To make a mattress, set up a camp loom (as described at the end of this yarn) and weave it out of bracken, ferns, heather, straw, or grass, six feet long, and two feet nine inches across. With this same loom you can make straw mats, with which to form tents, or shelters, or walls (page 109).

Another good way of giving yourself a comfortable bed is to make a big bag of canvas or stout linen, 6 ft. long and 3 ft. wide. This will do to roll up your kit in for travelling. When you are in camp you can stuff it with straw, or leaves, or bracken, etc., and use it as a nice soft mattress.

A pillow is also a useful thing for comfort in camp. For this you only need a strong pillow-case about two feet long by one foot wide. This you can also make for yourself. It will serve as your clothes-bag by day and your pillow by night with your clothes, neatly rolled and packed in it, serving as the stuffing.

I have often used my boots as a pillow, rolled up in a coat so that they don't slip apart.

How to Squat

It is something to know how to sit down in a wet camp. You "squat" instead of sitting. Indians squat on their heels, but this is a tiring way if you have not done it as a child. It comes easy if you put a sloping stone or chock of wood under your heels.

South African Boers and other camp men squat on one heel. It is a little tiring at first.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


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