Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
American exploration. They have the advantage of being insect and water proof and the disadvantage of being expensive.
It would be well if the traveller measured each case for personal equipment and computed the limit of weight that it could carry and still float. By careful distribution of light and heavy articles in the different containers, he could be sure of his belongings floating if accidentally thrown into the water.
It is not always possible to get comfortable native saddles. They are all constructed on heavy lines with thick padding which becomes water-soaked in the rainy season. A United States military saddle, with Whitman or McClellan tree, would be a positive luxury. Neither of them is padded, so would be the correct thing for all kinds of weather. The regulation army saddle-blanket is also advised as a protection for the mules back. The muleteer should wash the saddle-blanket often. For a long mule-back trip through a game country, it would be well to have a carbine boot on the saddle (United States Army) and saddle-bags with canteen and cup. In a large pack-train much time and labor are lost every morning collecting the mules which strayed while grazing. It would pay in the long run to feed a little corn at a certain hour every morning in camp, always ringing a bell or blowing a horn at the time. The mules would get accustomed to receiving the feed and would come to camp for it at the signal.
All the rope that came to my attention in South America was three-strand hemp, a hard material, good for standing rigging but not good for tackle or for use