A Hunter's Lamp
from Things To See In Springtime
A Hunter's Lamp
In the old pioneer days, every hunter used to make himself a lamp, for it was much easier to make than a candle. It is a good stunt in Woodcraft to make one. Each woodcrafter should have one of his own handiwork. There are four things needed in it: The bowl, the wick, the wick-holder and some fat, grease, or oil.
For the bowl a big clam shell does well.
For wick a strip of cotton rag rolled into a cord as thick as a slate pencil, and about two inches long; a cotton cord will do, or perhaps the fibrous bark of milkweed or other native stuff is the truly woodcraft thing.
For wick-holder get a piece of brick, stone, or a small clam shell about as big as a half dollar. Bore a hole through the middle to hold the wick. It is not easy to get the hole through without splitting the stone, but sometimes one can find a flat pebble already bored. Sometimes one can make a disc of clay with a hole in it, then burn this hard in a fierce fire, but the most primitive way is to rub the bump of a small clam shell on a flat stone till it is worn through.
For oil use the fat, grease, lard, or butter of any animal, if it is fresh, that is without salt in it.
Fill the bowl with the grease, soak the wick in grease and set it in the holder so that half an inch sticks up; the rest is in the grease. The holder rests on the bottom of the bowl.
Light the end that sticks up. It will burn with a clear, steady light till all the oil is used up.
To have made a lamp that will burn for half an hour is counted an "honour" in Woodcraft, and may win you a badge if you belong to a Woodcraft Tribe.
Next: The Coon Hunt