Camping Tips and Trips


The Laws of the Forest: A Camper's Guide

By Jon Weaver

In the woods and fields and camping grounds there are certain rules to be obeyed, certain laws to be respected. Like most rules and laws, there is a good reason for them. You already know that you must put out your fires completely and not trespass on private property, nor will you harm a living tree. As you feel more and more at home in the out-of-doors, you will be able to make your own list of do's and don'ts. But here are a few tips to help you improve your camping skills.

The rabbit gives birth four to five litters of one to five young during the year, the first toward the end of February. The doe has one or two fawns in April. The badger has three to five young in February. Everywhere in the woods the young creatures cower in fear, and the older animals worry about their young. You should not frighten them by making noise and beating the bushes.

Don't close the openings of fox and badger burrows, and don't build a fire in front of the burrow. Closing up the openings means starvation for the young, and they would suffocate in the smoke.

Rabbits and deer bring their young into the thickest part of the underbrush for safety when there is a disturbance. For that reason leave these places alone.

Every good outdoorsman knows that animals always flee uphill when there is a disturbance. Therefore, if you have to make a lot of noise, do it along the streams and in the hollows. If a mother is forced to leave her young, the babies can easily fall victim to dogs and foxes when they are unprotected and helpless.

Be careful of trees of any age. You can damage a tree even by climbing on it with hobnailed shoes.

Woodpiles are the fruit of much hard work. Do not take the result of some stranger's labor.

Light fires only in ditches, stony spots, paths, or sizable clearings.

Route signs and no-trespassing posters were not put up as targets for stones.

Farmers spend a lot of time and money every year to keep their fences in shape, so do not use them for gym equipment.

If you find young animals out-of-doors, leave them where you find them without touching them. Attempts to raise them at home seldom succeed. As soon as you leave quietly, the mother will return to pick up her young.

When you prove, by following the rules of the woods, that you know how to be considerate and sensible, you will have made friends of the farmers, foresters and all the people who love the forest. And this can only work to your own advantage.

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