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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 370

with many pockets. Very light underclothes are good. If one’s knees and legs are unfortunately tender, knicker-bockers with long stockings and leggins should be worn; ordinary trousers tend to bind the knee. Better still, if one’s legs will stand the exposure, are shorts, not coming down to the knee. A kilt would probably be best of all. Kermit wore shorts in the Brazilian forest, as he had already worn them in Africa, in Mexico, and in the New Brunswick woods. Some of the best modern hunters always wear shorts; as for example, that first-class sportsman the Duke of Alva.
  Mr. Fiala, after the experience of his trip down the Papagaio, the Juruena, and the Tapajos, gives his judgment about equipment and provisions as follows:
  The history of South American exploration has been full of the losses of canoes and cargoes and lives. The native canoe made from the single trunk of a forest giant is the craft that has been used. It is durable and if lost can be readily replaced from the forest by good men with axes and adzes. But, because of its great weight and low free-board, it is unsuitable as a freight carrier and by reason of the limitations of its construction is not of the correct form to successfully run the rapid and bad waters of many of the South American rivers. The North American Indian has undoubtedly developed a vastly superior craft in the birch-bark canoe and with it will run rapids that a South American Indian with his log canoe would not think of attempting, though, as a general thing, the South American Indian is a wonderful waterman, the equal and, in some ways, the superior of