128 Art of Travel.
blowing of the wind. In dry weather there is nothing like furs ; but in a rainy country I prefer a thick blanket bag (see " Sleeping Bags "), a large spare blanket, and a macintosh sheet and counterpane. It may be objected that the bag and macintosh would be close and stuffy, but be assured that the difficulty when sleeping on mother earth, on a bitter night, is to keep the fresh air out, not to let it in. On fine nights I should sleep on the bag and under the spare blanket.
Stuffy Bedding.-It must be understood that while recommending coverlets that resist the wind, I am very far from advocating extreme stuffiness, and for the following reason. Though a free passage of the wind abstracts an excessive amount of animal heat from the sleeper, yet the freshness of pure air stimulates his body to give it out in an increased proportion. On the other hand, sleeping-clothes that are absolutely impervious to the passage of the wind, necessarily retain the cutaneous excretions : these poison the sleeper, acting upon his blood through his skin, and materially weaken his power of emitting vital heat : the fire of his life burns more languidly. I therefore suspect it would be more dangerous to pass a very cold night enclosed tightly in thin macintosh buttoned up to the chin, than without it. Much less heat would be robbed from the sleeper in the first case, but he would have very much less heat to spare. There is, therefore, an intermediate arrangement of sleeping - gear, neither too stuffy on the one hand nor too open on the other, by which the maximum power of resisting the chill of the night is obtainable.
Sleeping Clothes. - Some travellers prefer to have their blanket at once made up into a loose coat, trousers, and cap, pockets ad libitum, and a tape in the trouser band. An extra suit is thus always at hand, the sleeper loses little of the advantages of comfortable bedding, and is always, in some sense, dressed for any emergency.
Feathers.-When you collect bed feathers for coverlets, recollect that if they are cleanly plucked, they will require no dressing of any kind, save drying and beating.
Brown Paper.-Brown paper is an excellent non-conductor
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