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page 23
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HINTS ON DESERT TRAVELING. 23 heavy loads can only crawl through the sands at the rate of 2 to 3 links an hour. Sand and sharp flints will wear out the soles of boots and shoes very rapidly. Hence stout hobnailed footwear should be worn. PROVISIONS. In the more important mining camps and at the principal railroad points there are eating houses, where the traveler who follows railway and stage lines may procure food; but in actual desert travel in regions far away from these few local points full provision must be made at the outset for the entire period to be occupied in the journey. The staples of camp supplies, such as flour, sugar, tea, coffee, rice, bacon, beans, breakfast foods, etc., are well known, but means and personal taste will to a great extent dictate the further choice. The monuments of tin cans at the various camping places testify to the popularity of the various foods preserved in tin. The better brands of canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are excellent and will form an important and most refreshing part of the menu of the more elab-orately equipped parties. Where long journeys are planned and transportation facilities are limited, canned goods must be eliminated, largely because of their weight, and dried foods substituted. Soups, meats, potatoes, and other vegetables, as well as fruits, may be had in dried form, and a considerable range of choice is possible. Condensed cream is recommended, even where it is necessary to econo-mize in weight, for it not only makes possible a much wider range in cooking, but it counteracts in great measure the irritation produced in the digestive tract by the alkaline desert waters, and is therefore especially desirable. WATER. Owing to the intense heat of the desert there is a rapid and abun-dant growth of minute forms of animal and vegetable life in waters thill are not too saline. All water should therefore be boiled before drinking. Filters form a part of the more elaborate outfits. There are now on the market several small, compact filters from which the traveler may select such as he may think desirable. It is not prac-ticable to distill water except for mining camps or for large parties. It is advisable to drink heartily in the morning and at night and as little as possible during the day. The practice of drinking water in excess of the amount necessary to relieve thirst may easily become a habit and should be avoided. At best it places an unnecessary tax on the system, and, when alkaline waters are used, may easily result in illness that could have been prevented by the exercise of greater foresight and self-control. It has been recommended that raw oat-meal be placed in the canteens, and some travelers even add to this a

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