Water for Drinking. 227
Fill the Water-vessels." Never mind what the natives may tell you concerning the existence of water on the road, believe nothing, but resolutely determine to fill the girbas (watervessels)." (Baker.)
Small Water-vessels.-No expedition should start without being fully supplied with these ; for no bushman however ingenious, can make anything so efficient as casks, tin vessels or macintosh bags. A tin vessel of the shape shown in the sketch, and large enough - to hold a quart, is, I believe, the easiest to carry, the cleanest, and the most durable of small water-vessels. The curve in its shape is to allow of its accommodating itself to the back of the man who carries it. The tin loops at its sides are to admit the strap by which it is to be slung, and which passes through the loops underneath the bottom of the vessel, so that the weight may rest directly upon the strap. Lastly, the vessel has a pipette for drinking through, and a larger hole by which it is to be filled, and which at other times is stopped with a cork or wooden plug. 'When drinking out of the pipette, the cork must be loosened< in order to admit air, like a vent hole. Macintosh bags, for wine or water, are very convenient to carry, and they will remain water-tight for a long period when fairly used. (Mera. -Oil and grease are as fatal to macintosh as they are to iron rust.) But the taste that these vessels impart to their contents is abominable, not only at first but for a very long time ; in two-thirds of them it is never to be got rid of. Never believe shopkeepers in an india-rubber shop, in their assurances to the contrary; they are incompetent to judge aright, for their senses seem vitiated by the air they live in. The best shape for a small macintosh water-vessel has yet to be determined. Several alpine men use them; and their most recent patterns may probably best be seen at Carter's, Alpine Outfitter, 295, Oxford Street. A flask of dressed hide (pig, goat, or dog) with a wooden nozzle, and a wooden plug to fit into it, is very good. Canvas bags, smeared with grease on the outside, will become nearly waterproof after a short soaking. A strong glass flask may be made out of a soda-water bottle ; it should have raw hide shrunk upon it to preserve it from sharp taps.