Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Pack Train Life - Camp Set Up:

"When we arrive in the evening at a suitable spot for an encampment, Captain W. rides round a space which he considers large enough to accommodate it, and directs where each mess shall pitch its tent.  The men immediately unload their horses, and place their bales of goods in the direction indicated, and in such manner, as in case of need, to form a sort of fortification and defense.  When all the messes are arranged in this way, the camp forms a hollow square, in the centre [sic] of which the horses are placed and staked firmly to the ground." 

John Kirk Townsend recorded the above description in his Journal on April 29,  while traveling with Nathaniel Wyeth's pack train to the 1834 Rendezvous.      

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