“Manner of Making a Resting Place on a Winters Night, March 15th 1820” [drawn by George Back]

Nothing is easier when surrounded by comforts than to speak with gaiety of spending a night in the woods and scarcely anything is more difficult when in that situation than to unite one object with the pale of its relation. It may not be improper or uninteresting to give a description of such a place—The Canadians call it a hut or encampment—for what reason I know not—as there is no more comparison, than between an open space and a well covered house. After selecting a spot sufficiently large enough to admit the party—the men seperate [sic] to different employments, some with the snow shoe clearing the snow away—others felling large trees for fuel—this one is employed lopping the branches off the pine—that is, laying them along the ground for a bed—when these are ended the fire is kindled—not the least cheering sight to the traveller—the men assemble, liberate their dogs, suspend their traces &c on a tree and either dry their frozen shoes or busy themselves in some requisite occupation till the hour of supper when they make a prodigious meal, and having a blanket each, sleep soundly through the night. [Back's words, from C. Stuart Houston, ed. Arctic Artist: The Journal and Paintings of George Back, Midshipman with Franklin, 1819-1822 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994), pp. 28, 30.]