ADVICE TO BEGINNERS.
Men who are thinking of going to the
Klondyke regions and taking a trip of this character
for the first time, will do well to carefully read
the chapter on “Outfit for Miners.”
It is a great mistake to take anything except what
is necessary; the trip is a long arduous one, and a
man should not add one pound of baggage to his outfit
that can be dispensed with. I have known men
who have loaded themselves up with rifles, revolvers
and shot-guns. This is entirely unnecessary.
Revolvers will get you into trouble, and there is
no use of taking them with you, as large game of any
character is rarely found on the trip. I have
prospected through this region for some years and have
only seen one moose. You will not see any large
game whatever on your trip from Juneau to Dawson City,
therefore do not take any firearms along.
You will find a list of the implements
for the miner in the chapter on “Outfit for
The miners here are a very mixed class
of people. They represent many nationalities
and come from all climates. Their lives are certainly
The regulation miner’s cabin
is 12 by 14 with walls six feet high and gables eight
feet in height. The roof is heavily earthed and
the cabin is generally kept very warm. Two, or
sometimes three or four men will live in a house of
this size. The ventilation is usually bad, the
windows being very small. Those miners who do
not work their claims during the winter confine themselves
to these small huts most of the time. Very often
they become indolent and careless, only eating those
things which are most easily cooked or prepared.
During the busy time in summer when they are shovelling
in, they work hard and for long hours, sparing little
time for eating and much less for cooking.
This manner of living is quite common
amongst beginners, and soon leads to debility and
sometimes to scurvy. Old miners have learned from
experience to value health more than gold, and they
therefore spare no expense in procuring the best and
most varied outfit of food that can be obtained.
In a cold climate such as this, where
it is impossible to get fresh vegetables and fruits,
it is most important that the best substitutes for
these should be provided. Nature helps to supply
these wants by growing cranberries and other wild
fruits in abundance, but men in summer are usually
too busy to avail themselves of these.
The diseases met with in this country
are dyspepsia, anæmia, scurvy caused by improperly
cooked food, sameness of diet, overwork, want of fresh
vegetables, overheated and badly ventilated houses;
rheumatism, pneumonia, bronchitis, enteritis, cystitis
and other acute diseases, from exposure to wet and
cold; debility and chronic diseases, due to excesses.
Men coming to Klondyke should be sober,
strong and healthy. They should be practical
men, able to adapt themselves quickly to their surroundings.
Special care should be taken to see that their lungs
are sound, that they are free from rheumatism and
rheumatic tendency, and that their joints, especially
knee joints, are strong and have never been weakened
by injury, synovitis or other disease. It is also
very important to consider their temperaments.
Men should be of cheerful, hopeful dispositions and
willing workers. Those of sullen, morose natures,
although they may be good workers, are very apt, as
soon as the novelty of the country wears off, to become
dissatisfied, pessimistic and melancholy.