Explorers 16. Andersson

Karl Johan Andersson (1827 – 1867) more often used his anglicised name, Charles John Andersson; Swedish/English trader, miner, hunter; and amateur naturalist and ornithologist. He explored and collected in Sweden as a young man. He was the son of British bear hunter Llewellyn Lloyd, ‘impoverished but of good family,’ and a Swedish lady, a servant of Lloyd’s in Sweden. He was in London arranging another expedition up north when he met Francis Galton.

Andersson describes his introduction to Galton as follows: “Shortly after my arrival in London, Sir Hyde Parker, “The King of Fishermen,” introduced me to Mr. Francis Galton, who was then just on the point of undertaking an expedition to Southern Africa; his intention being to explore the unknown regions beyond the boundary of the Cape-of-Good-Hope Colony, and to penetrate, if possible, to the recently-discovered Lake Ngami. Upon finding that I, also, had an intention of traveling, and that our tastes and pursuits were, in many respects, similar, he proposed to me to give up my talked-of trip to the far north, and accompany him to the southward – promising, at the same time, to pay the whole of my expenses. This offer awoke within me all my former ambition; and, although I could not be blind to the difficulties and dangers that must necessarily attend such an expedition, I embraced, after some hesitation, Mr. Galton’s tempting and liberal proposal.” [Four Years in Africa, p. 3]

After Galton returned home, Andersson stayed in the region and conducted further expeditions of his own. He reached Lake Ngami in 1853 (like we did in 2010!).

– ca.1850’s –
– ca.2010’s – skyscanner.net –

In 1855 he returned to London, where he published his book “Lake Ngami.” (In 2010 I just wrote a blog post ‘We Kayak the Kalahari’). He returned to Africa the same year, later reaching the Okavango and the Cunene rivers.  He also launched several ventures in Damaraland, including a copper mining scheme. He was briefly elected Chief of the Damara in 1864, but he was severely wounded in battle against the Nama Hottentots. He died in Ovamboland (or in Angola? Probably not, as he wrote that he was ‘unable to cross the Cunene river.’) in 1867. Andersson is considered the most important early European explorer of the region.

His account of the ‘Ovampoland’ expedition to the Cunene was published in his book Four Years in Africa, usefully supplementing Galton’s own account (Travels in South Africa, in which Galton spoke highly of Andersson. Galton also recommended him to the Royal Geographical Society, which presented him with some scientific instruments).

Andersson also published several other works, including Notes of Travel in South-Western Africa (1875), edited and issued after his death by his father, Llewellyn Lloyd – the ‘British bear hunter,’ remember?

Andersson was chronically short of funds. While in London he tried to borrow money from Galton, attempting to find a publisher for his book, but Galton curtly refused in a letter: “I for my part cannot help you in the way you wish. I have nothing like fortune sufficient to do so. If you had struggled hard with a scrupulous economy, and if as Sir James Brooke did, you had even worked your passage home like a common sailor, if you had lived thriftily and frugally determining to keep as much as possible of what you had so well earned in order to win more, the world would have respected you the more highly. The example you would have set the world would have been a noble one, but a fatal pride has made you take another course and placed you, as I am sure you must acknowledge, in a very false position. We all of us make our mistakes in life. The true plan is to use faults as lessons to make us wiser.” Galton could be this rude as he was titled, wealthy and connected, while Andersson was none of those – and “illegitimate.” Always remember: IMO, there’s no such thing as an illegitimate child. Parents may have been guilty of illegitimate behaviour; but there’s no such thing as an illegitimate child. That description should be erased from the language, and would be if they’d elect me to the Oxford Annual New Words Committee.

  • Bibliography:
  • Andersson, Charles J.  “Explorations in South Africa, with the Route from Walfisch Bay to Lake Ngami”, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 25 (1855), pp. 79-107.
  • Andersson, Charles J.  Lake Ngami, or Explorations and Discoveries in the Wilds of Southern Africa. New York, 1856.
  • Andersson, Charles J.  The Okavango River, a Narrative of Travel, Exploration and Adventure. London, 1861.
  • Andersson, Charles J.  The Lion and The Elephant (L. Lloyd ed.). London, 1873.
  • Andersson, Charles J. Notes of Travel in South-Western Africa New York 1875
  • Andersson, Charles J. The Matchless Copper Mine in 1857: Correspondence of Manager C. J. Andersson, edited by Brigitte Lau. Windhoek: National Archives, SWA/Namibia, 1987. 113p., il., maps. ([Archeia, Nr. 7]) .
  • Andersson, Charles J. Trade and Politics in Central Namibia 1860-1864: Diaries and Correspondence. Windhoek: Archives Services Division, Dept. of National Education, 1989. 338p., il., maps ([Archeia, Nr. 10]) .

Biography: Wallis, J.P.R. Fortune my Foe: The Story of Charles John Andersson, African Explorer 1827-1867 (foreword by the Rt. Hon. General J. C. Smuts), Jonathan Cape, London, 1936

sources: http://galton.org/books/south-west-africa/andersson/index.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_John_Andersson


Explorers 15. Galton

Francis Galton, (1822–1911) was an English polymath, geographer, meteorologist and much else. We are mainly interested here in his 1850 expedition to Namibia. For the rest – and there is a lot of it! – refer to the sources at the bottom. Grandson of Erasmus Darwin and cousin and contemporary of Charles Darwin, Galton is best known as the founder of eugenics, but his interests and subsequent contributions as Victorian traveler and scientist were myriad. The most important and lasting part of Galton’s work was his realisation that science (biology as much as physics) needs mathematics rather than words. Like Darwin, he set out to become a doctor but his curiosity led him further afield— to Africa. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1853, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1860, and was knighted in 1909.

He attended King’s College in London to study medicine, but became frustrated and discontented with his studies when he was confronted with his first cadaver, much like cousin Charles Darwin, and in 1840, went to study the Mathematical Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge. After suffering through three years of studying, he obtained a BA and was awarded an MA, but a nervous breakdown terminated his further studies. In February 1844 his father died and left him and his siblings a large inheritance.

Now independently wealthy, he became a charming social snob who never had to work a day in his long life to earn a living. He stopped studying and became a gentleman of leisure, though he might have disputed my terminology! He might have preferred being called an athlete, a sportsman (hunter) and then, on deciding to travel, an explorer.

Galton’s first trip was as a student from Germany through Eastern Europe to Constantinople. He rafted down the Danube and swam naked across the harbour in Trieste in order to avoid the hassle of quarantine procedures. In 1845 he went to Egypt and traveled up the Nile to Khartoum in the Sudan, and from there to Beirut, Damascus and down the Jordan.

In 1850 he joined the Royal Geographical Society, and decided to not just travel, but now to do some serious ‘exploring.’ Over the next two years he planned and mounted an expedition into then little-known South West Africa, now Namibia.

Between April 1850 and January 1852 Galton explored and charted ‘Damaraland’ and ‘Ovampoland’ in South West Africa, financing the expedition himself. In Cape Town he was warned by Sir Harry Smith about the “fierce Boers” that he might encounter in the interior, so he sailed to Walvis Bay and started his explorations from there instead. He was accompanied by Charles Andersson, who would stay on in the region to seek his fortune.  Plus, as I always like to emphasise, local people who knew their way around! Seldom mentioned, yet indispensable.

The original intention had been to penetrate from Damaraland to Lake Ngami, which had recently been described by Livingstone and promised an abundance of well-watered territory in the interior.  Galton’s party was ultimately unable to reach the lake, and contented itself with charting the previously unknown interior regions of Ovampoland in northern South-West Africa, where they came close to the Cunene river but were ultimately forced to withdraw short of it. 

– Galton’s travels in red –
– here’s Galton’s TLDR** instead of the 344 pages of his book! – how very 21st century! –

Once again at leisure back in England, he wrote a book entitled Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa (1853). This book was very well written and illustrated with numerous colour plates produced from the sketches made by the artist that accompanied Galton. The book proved to be a huge success. He was now a real author! Then he went on to pursue his many theories, some genius, some rather nutty. He himself proposed a connection between genius and insanity based on his own experience:

Men who leave their mark on the world are very often those who, being gifted and full of nervous power, are at the same time haunted and driven by a dominant idea, and are therefore within a measurable distance of insanity. – Karl Pearson, ‘The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton,’


Anthropologist & historian GT Bettany wrote, in his introduction to Galton’s book on his South West African journeys: Mr. Francis Galton, the third son of Samuel Tertius Galton, a banker in Birmingham, in whose family the love of statistical accuracy was very remarkable; and of Violetta, eldest daughter of the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, author of ‘Zoonomia’, ‘The Botanic Garden’, etc, was born on February 16th 1822, and educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where he gained no great admiration for ‘the unhappy system of education that has hitherto prevailed, by which boys acquire a very imperfect knowledge of the structure of two dead languages, and none at all of the structure of the living world.’

In 1855 he also wrote a wonderful book on The Art of Travel in which he advised future travelers on things he had learnt from experience and the experience of others


** TLDR – too long, didn’t read

Sources: galton.org; Prof Paul Kruger; Biography by Nicholas Wright Gillham; wikipedia;

More of Francis Galton’s gifts to the world: The first newspaper weather map The scientific basis of fingerprint analysis for forensics; Many statistical techniques, some the underpinnings of all statistics used today; foundational work on the psychology of syn­esthesia; and a vented hat to help cool the head while thinking hard. – From: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes – Author: Adam Rutherford – Orion Publishing Group 2016, 2017

Hacks, Shifts and Contrivances

The internet is full of ‘hacks’: Simple and – sometimes – effective solutions to everyday problems (or ‘problems’). Often quirky or inelegant. Sometimes satirised. Here’s a typical geek hack:

dirty dishes

I found some camping hacks – these are a bit more real: a handy tent floor; a shoe-holder kitchen; eggs in a bottle; a toilet paper jar; pre-made sangria; etc.

camping hacks

But here’s what really got me going: An 1872 book on ‘hacks’ for going on a long expedition into Darkest Africa called The Art of Travel, or Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries by Francis Galton, grandson of the famous Erasmus Darwin and cousin of the even more famous Charles Darwin.

The first edition was written in 1855. It provides detailed instructions on ‘wagons and boats, horses and oxen, tents and firearms, hunting and fishing, observing and collecting, carpentry and metal-working, camping requisites, bush cuisine, medical improvisation, the best ways to cross rivers, how to move heavy objects and how to build huts.’

– 1855 edition – Galton book – The Art of Travel – Shifts and Contrivances – My reprint –

Now, let me tell ya: If you have traveled before reading this book you didn’t know what you were doing. You took a big chance! Read this sound advice and find out what you SHOULD have done:


Travelers must be healthy, adventurous, and have ‘at least a moderate fortune.’ If your fortune isn’t quite large enough, shoot elephants for their ivory or collect insects, birds and plants and sell them to fund your travels. – Galton fortunately inherited enough so he no longer needed to practice medicine and could travel as he wished without collecting beetles!

Washing Clothes

Here’s how to wash your clothes after you have worn them night and day for six weeks: Kill an animal – any animal – take its gall bladder and add it to boiling water full of ash from the fire. Peel off your greasy clothes and soak them in this mess overnight. Next morning, take them to water and wash and beat them with a flat piece of wood. To get rid of the vermin with which you are infested by now, take half an ounce of mercury, mix it with old tea leaves reduced to pulp by mastication and add saliva (not water) to make a paste. Infuse this into a string which you hang around your neck. The lice will be sure to bite at the bait, swell, become red and die. See. Easy.

Making Soap

Save up the fat from the cooking till you have half a bucket-full. Collect as much wood as you can and wood ashes from plants whose ashes taste acrid. Correct, taste the ashes. Get a man to make two very large clay pots, ‘which is a very easy thing to do when proper clay can be obtained.’ In one pot place the ashes. In the other, under which a fire has been lit, place the fat. Now employ a Damara of sedentary disposition to supervise the process to the end, he or she simply having to keep the fire going under the grease-pot night and day, and from time to time ladle into it a spoonful of the ash-water or lye. This ash-water is sucked up by the grease and in only ten days of constant attendance the stuff is transformed into good white soap. See. Easy.

Make a Boat

If you need to cross a river with your belongings, a make-shift boat is useful: Kill two bulls – or in Africa, maybe buffaloes; skin them and sew the skins together. Cut down ten small willow trees, fourteen feet long. Lash the willow poles as shown, wrap the skins around them. Two men can make this craft in a mere two days.

Galton shift boat

Easy. Assuming, of course, that the buffaloes cooperate.

– uncooperative buffalo pic from Jock of the Bushveld –

Theory of Loads and Distances – and Women

You need to take a lot of stuff along, so Galton works out how much you can get animals and men to carry. He does this ‘partly by theory and partly by experiment’!

“Let d be the distance the beast or man could travel daily if unburdened; Let b be the burden which would just suffice to prevent an animal from moving a step; Let b’ be some burden less than b and let d’ be the distance he could travel daily when carrying b’.”

He comes to a magic formula b’d² = b(d – d’)² which ‘proves’ the pack animal can carry 4/9 of his maximum staggering load! From this he works out that a man can carry 119lbs a distance of 11 miles a day. By this of course, he means ‘some other man,’ not him. It’s a bit like the definition of minor surgery: Minor surgery is surgery on someone else.

He also confidently states that – unlike many travelers – he believes taking women along is an asset, ‘for they work hard and can carry double the load men can.’ Mind you, this is the man who once used his expertise in trigonometry to discreetly measure the posterior development (her bum) of a South African woman at a distance. Ahem, English gentlemen . . .

Taking along the wives of the hired hands ‘gives great life to a party,’ and they can endure a long journey ‘nearly as well as a man, and certainly better than a horse or a bullock.’ Women were also ‘invaluable in picking up and retailing information and hearsay gossip’ which the traveler might otherwise miss. Plus, they are cheap to run, as Samuel Hearne of the Hudson’s Bay Company had pointed out: ‘Women were made for labor, and though they do everything, they are maintained at a trifling expense, for, as they always cook, the very licking of their fingers, in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence.’

Noisy Donkeys?

Just tie a heavy stone around the ass’s tail. ‘When an ass wants to bray, he elevates his tail, and, if his tail be weighted down, he has not the heart to bray.’

Solitary Travel

‘Neither sleepy nor deaf men should think of traveling alone.’ What’s that!?

On Being Held Up by Brigands

When the robber orders you to lie down, draw your own gun and yell, ‘If this were loaded, you should not treat me thus!’ Then lie on the ground as ordered. As the robber approaches to relieve you of your belongings, ‘aim quickly and shoot him dead – the pistol being really loaded all the time. It’s a trick that has been practiced in most countries, from England to Peru.Right. Although one supposes that if this happened in South West Africa it might be best to utter that dramatic speech in fluent Damara?


After giving long lists of necessities per day and per person and per six months, he comes to a final rough formula for ‘Stores for Individual Use’: You need 7lbs a month for every white man and 3lbs a month for every black man. Cos, you know . . .


You need to take aperient, cordial, quinine, camphor, carbolic acid, Warburg’s fever drops, glycerine, mustard paper, and emetic. Or, for an emetic you could use a charge of gunpowder in a tumblerful of warm water, then tickle your throat with a feather. A bustard feather works best.

Boots Pinching?

‘A raw egg broken into the boot before putting it on, greatly softens the leather.’ Probly also stops your companions from crowding around you?


Your bedding must be warm and windproof, but not airtight, as ‘sleeping clothes that are absolutely impervious to the passage of the wind necessarily retain the cutaneous excretions. These poison the sleeper, acting upon his blood through his skin, and materially weaken his power of emitting vital heat: the fire of his life burns more languidly.’ He also advises you to sleep outside: ‘a tent is too much like home.’

Always Keep a Diary

Keep a daily travelogue: ‘It appears impossible to a traveler, at the close of his journey, to believe he will ever forget its events, however trivial. They seem branded into his memory. But this is not the case – the crowds of new impressions during a few months of civilised life will efface the sharpness of the old ones. I have conversed with . . many men . . the greater part of whose experiences in savagedom had passed out of their memories like the events of a dream. So: Every day, write up your diary.

Galton camp SWA
– Galton’s camp in Damaraland – or savagedom –

To Raise and Move a Heavy Body

When a violent hurricane had driven his eighty ton schooner several hundred yards inland, Mr Williams, a missionary in the South Sea Islands, said, ‘The method by which we raised and moved the vessel was exceedingly simple and we accomplished the task with great ease.’ They raised her out of the 4ft hole she had worked herself into by levering her out with long levers and stone weights. Then they filled the bog that lay between her and the sea with stones and logs as rollers. Then they used a chain cable and ‘compelled her to take a short voyage upon the land before she floated in her pride on the sea once more.’ It was easy.

Oh, and then he did deign to mention, the ‘great ease with which they accomplished this task’ took ‘the united strength of about 2000 people.’ ‘Twas nothing, the missionary reverend murmured modestly . .


What a delightful book of days gone by! I love it! Days of adventure, of knowing everything, including what other men and women thought, needed and wanted – without ever having to go through the tedious process of asking them! 366 pages of the Good Old Daze indeed.

– just get me to the river and I’ll make a boat of your hide – OK? –


Another Book Of Advice

Sixteen years later, in 1871 Thomas Baines decided he too, had advice for travelers:

– Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life –

Thomas Baines 1871 book: Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life, Travel & Exploration, written with William Barry Lord, a soldier with the Royal Artillery, built on Galton – and offered even more detail.

Your clothes – have them made. Firstly, shirts:

Have them made to measure from flannel which has been previously well shrunk, of thoroughly good quality, of medium substance, and unobtrusive pattern or colour. It will be well to order them of extra length, both of sleeve and body, so as to allow for the shrinkage which is certain to take place after a few washings, in spite of all precautions. Two breast pockets should be made in each. These are very convenient for holding a variety of small matters when no waistcoat is worn. For outer clothing nothing can surpass good heather-coloured tweed, or Waterford frieze, for ordinary wear; jackets of shooting-coat pattern, made with plenty of pockets, formed from much stronger materials than are usually made use of by tailors for that purpose, will be found most useful for knocking about in.

Your coat:

Take a blue cloth pilot coat, cut long enough to reach just below the knees; have it lined throughout with woollen material; let the pockets be made extra strong, and order the buttons to be large, of black horn, and sewn on with double-waxed thread. The left hand breast pocket should be deep and lined with leather, as it not unfrequently becomes a resting-place for the revolver when you do not wish to make an ostentatious display of it.

Boots and shoes:

For real work these are in no part of the world equal to those made at home, and a thoroughly good stock should be laid in before quitting England; ‘Butcher boots,’ so made as to fit the leg compactly just below the bend of the knee, with low heels, and broad heel seats; several pairs of shooting boots of the regular ankle-jack gamekeeper’s pattern, tipped at toe and heel; A pair or two of high shoes made from soft undressed russet leather will be found very useful to wear instead of slippers, or for camp use when the ground is dry; A pair of Cording’s wading boots will be found invaluable. They occupy little space, are comparatively light, and keep the legs and feet dry and warm when nothing else will; It will be well also to provide two or three pairs of brown leather shooting boots without heels and with single soles, free from nails, and flexible enough to admit of the wearer walking softly and with perfect freedom.

Making your own shoes:

– a velschoen –

Most countries have some form of shoe easily made from materials obtainable upon the spot, and in Africa the ‘velschoen’ of untanned leather is the general wear. Sometimes these are very clumsily made, the naked foot is planted on the piece of leather intended for the sole, and the outline is marked out with the point of a knife, the blade being held so far clear as to obviate all danger of cutting the foot, a plan which certainly has the merit of making the shoe sufficiently roomy.

The hides of the giraffe, the eland, or the buffalo are used for soles, and a piece large enough for a pair may generally be purchased for eighteenpence. These are simply dried, and a native must be hired to beat and soften them, working grease into them as he does so till they become so soft and supple that, though they are not waterproof in the sense of absolutely repelling the liquid, they may be wetted through and dried again without becoming hard. Sometimes a native will do this for a knife (value ninepence or a shilling) and the grease; but a sharp look-out must be kept upon the latter, or he will rub it into his own skin instead of that which he is employed to soften. An African can no more be trusted with fat than many of our own countrymen with ardent spirits.

What? Only one gun?

To the traveler whose means of transport confine him to the possession of only one gun, we say without hesitation, purchase a plain, strong, muzzle-loading, double-barrelled smooth bore of 11 or 12 gauge. Length of barrel, 2ft. 6in., weight 8½lb. without the ramrod, a front action bar, side locks, and ramrod pipes large enough to carry a rod of extra large size and power. Two pairs of spare nipples, and one pair of fitted main springs, in addition to those in the locks. Bullets. A bell-metal or iron spherical bullet mould must be selected with the greatest care, as it by no means follows that because the figure 12 or 11 is stamped on it, that, like a wadding punch, it is calculated for a gun of the same gauge. And so on and on – I have given here 130 words of Baines’ 4628 words on guns!


For persons wishing to employ their leisure in pleasing mementoes of the scenes they visit, perhaps the following brief list—amplified, should they desire it—will afford sufficient guidance; and they will also do well to choose one or more of the shilling handbooks published by Rowney and Co., or Winsor and Newton.

A sketching portfolio, with folding tin frame to confine the paper while in use, and pocket for spare paper—quarto size.

A good strong havresac of canvas, with leather slings for each folio. Stout canvas is almost waterproof. This should have pockets for colour box, water bottle, pencils, and penknife.

Half quire Whatman’s drawing paper (white). Some of it should be cut to the size of the folio.

Half quire sketching cartridge for less finished work.

Half quire tinted drawing paper (pearl, light drab, cool and warm greys).

A proportion of all these papers should be cut to the size of the sketch book when purchased; but a few sheets should be kept whole, as a larger drawing may be required.

Two dozen drawing pencils—8 HH., 12 H., and 4 HB. In practice, it will be found HB. is black enough, and it should be used sparingly, as, unless a drawing is fixed immediately, the deep shades are very apt to smear when the backs of other sketches are packed against them.

Two single bladed penknives.

Very compact sketching boxes with assorted colours in cakes, in porcelain pans, or in collapsible tubes, are provided; and the amateur can hardly do better than select one of these with any number of colours.

One tube of sepia and a cake of Chinese white. With these we should advise three brown sable pencils in flat German silver ferrules—Nos. 1, 3, and 6. With the addition to these of the three primitive colours—red, blue, and yellow—a considerable range of subjects may be painted; indeed could we obtain these in perfect purity, we should require no other. But, as this is impossible, we subjoin a list of colours, placing first in order those that we have found most useful:—

  • Indian yellow,
  • Carmine,
  • French blue,
  • Yellow ochre,
  • Light red,
  • Prussian blue,
  • Gamboge,
  • Rose madder (perhaps in cake),
  • Cobalt,
  • Raw sienna (cake),
  • urnt sienna,
  • Indigo,
  • Yellow lake,
  • Mars orange,
  • Payne’s grey,
  • Vermilion (cake),
  • Vandyke brown,
  • Emerald green,
  • Scarlet lake (cake),
  • Crimson lake,
  • Purple lake,
  • Cadmium yellow (cake),
  • Brown madder (cake),
  • Purple madder (cake).

With these, the whole set from 1 to 6 of the sables in flat albata will be needed, and we advise two each of 1, 2, and 3, as well as one or two large swans’ quills for washing in the sky or flat tints. A tripod sketching stool folding to the size of a special’s staff would be useful, but the rivet should be strong and well clinched. Let the watercolour box have divisions on the edge of the palette for every colour it contains. If you take an easel, let the joint be brass. (Note: I give you 516 words of 1677. Baines being an artist, this subject would have been close to his heart).

The Traveler’s Library:

I usually take about ten books and sometimes think I’m overdoing it! Baines says I should take these 32:


Outlines of Astronomy. Sir J. Herschel, Bart (Longman and Co. 1858) 11s.

Astronomy and General Physics. W. Whewell (W. Pickering. 1857) 4s.

Illustrated London Astronomy. J. R. Hind (Ingram and Co. 1853) 1s. 6d.

Handbook—Descriptive and Practical Astronomy. G. F. Chambers (J. Murray. 1861) 10s.

Elements of Plane Astronomy. J. Brinkley, D.D (Hodges and Smith. 1845) 6s.

Orbs of Heaven; Planetary and Stellar Worlds. O. M. Mitchell (N. Cooke. 1856) 2s. 3d.


Navigation and Nautical Astronomy. Rev. J. Inman (Rivingtons. 1862) 6s. 3d.

Complete Epitome of Practical Navigation (J. W. Norie. 1864) 14s. [N.B. The latest edition should be asked for.]

Lunar Time Tables. J. Gordon (Imray. 1853) 7s.

Handbook for the Stars. H. W. Jeans (Levey, Robson, and Co. 1848) 3s. 6d.

Mathematics, Trigonometry, and Spherics.

Manual of Mathematical Tables. Galbraith and Houghton (Longman and Co. 1860) 2s.

Mathematical Tracts. G. B. Airy (J. W. Parker. 1842) 9s. 6d.

Treatise on Practical Mensuration. A. Nesbit (Longman and Co. 1864) 5s. 4d.

Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy. P. Kelly, LL.D (Baldwin and Co. 1822) 7s.

Treatise on Trigonometry. G. B. Airy (Griffin and Co. 1855) 2s. 3d.

For Travellers.

What to Observe; or, Travelling Remembrancer. Col. Jackson. Revised by Dr. Norton Shaw (Houlston and Wright. 1861) 9s. 6d.

Geodesy and Surveying, Military, Nautical, and Land Surveying.

Treatise on Military Surveying. Lieut. Col. Jackson (Allen and Co. 1860) 12s.

Outline of Method of conducting a Trigonometrical Survey. Col. Frome (Weale. 1862) 10s. 6d.

Practical Geodesy. J. W. Williams (Parker and Son. 1835) 7s. 6d.

Trigonometrical Surveying, Levelling, and Engineering. W. Galbraith (Blackwood and Son. 1842) 6s. 9d.

Engineering Field Notes on Parish and Railway Surveying and Levelling. H. J. Castle (Simpkin and Co. 1847) 8s.

Practice of Engineering Field Work. W. D. Haskoll (Atchley and Co. 1858) 17s. 6d.

Treatise on Nautical Surveyings. Com. Belcher (Richardson. 1835) 12s.

Weights and Measures.

Weights and Measures of All Nations. W. Woolhouse (Virtue Bros. 1863) 1s. 6d.

Foreign Measures and their English Values. R. C. Carrington (Potter. 1864)

Construction of Maps.

Manual of Map-making. A. Jamieson (Fullarton. 1846) 2s.

Manual of Topographical Drawing. Lieut. R. Smith (J. Wiley. 1854) 5s.

Projection of the Sphere.

Projection and Calculation of the Sphere. S. M. Saxby (Longman and Co. 1861) 4s. 3d.

Use of Instruments.

Treatise on Principal Mathematical and Drawing Instruments. F. Williams (Weale. 1857) 3s. 2d.

The Sextant and its Applications. Simms (Troughton and Simms. 1858) 4s. 6d.

Treatise on Mathematical Instruments. J. Heather (Virtue Bros. 1863) 1s.


Geography Generalised. R. Sullivan (Longman and Co. 1863) 2s.

In addition to these, every one ought to possess the Admiralty Manual of Scientific Enquiry, which is a series of papers written for the direction of explorers by men of the highest standing in various sciences; and no better general work can be recommended.

– my little sample book set for a trip to Botswana – mammals missing! –

Off we go then:

Should twenty one of us decide on an eighteen month expedition, we would need – among other stuff – the following:

The Commander (that would be me!), an Assistant (you), a Geologist, an Artist and Storekeeper, a Surgeon and Naturalist (me too), a Botanist, a Collector, Natural History, &c., an Overseer, a Farrier and Smith; a Harness-maker; Stockmen and Shepherds (you could be one of these too).

Provisions, &c. for 18 months.—17,000lb. flour, 5000lb. salt pork, 2000lb. bacon, 2000lb. preserved fresh meat in 6lb. tins, 2800lb. rice, 2500lb. sugar, 400lb. tea, 350lb. tobacco, 350lb. soap, 50lb. pepper, 500lb. salt, 100 galls. vinegar, 300 sheep, 200lb. sago, 640 pints peas, 2 cwt. coffee, 500lb. lime juice, 6 galls. lamp oil, 1lb. cotton wick, 3 cwt. preserved potatoes.

Land Conveyance.—50 horses, 35 pack saddles, 15 riding saddles, 50 horse blankets, 800 fathoms tether rope 1½in. and 2in., 20 horse bells with straps, 100 pair hobbles, 3 light horse drays; 3 sets harness, 3 horses each; 50 spare girths, 50yds. strong girth web, 50 bridles, 10 pair holster bags, 10 pair stirrup leathers, 5 pair stirrup irons, 40 pair canvas pack-saddle bags, 100 straps, 200 buckles, 4 leather water bags, 20 pair spurs, 150lb. leather for repairs, 600 horseshoes and nails, 240 provision bags, 300 yds. canvas, 20lb. sewing twine, 100 needles, 6 palms, 24 saddler’s awls, 48 balls hemp, ½lb. bristles, 6lb. resin, 6lb. beeswax, 12 hanks small cord, 6 currycombs and brushes, 25 tether swivels.

Arms and Ammunition.—16 double guns, 4 rifles, 10 revolvers, 10 pistols, 200lb. gunpowder, 1000lb. shot and lead, 30,000 percussion caps, 20 belts and pouches, 15 gun buckets, straps, locks, spare nipples, moulds, punches, 4 ladles, powder flasks, shot pouches, &c., for each gun.

Camp Furniture.—5 tents 8ft. square calico, 150 yds. calico, 12 camp kettles (½ to 3 galls.), 6 doz. pannikins, 4 doz. tin dishes (small), 1 doz. large, 4 doz. knives and forks, 4 doz. iron spoons, 6 frying pans, 6 leather buckets, 6 water kegs (6, 4, and 2 galls.), 6 spades, 4 socket shovels, 4 pickaxes, 2 spring balances (25 and 50lb.), 1 steelyard (150lb.), 1 sheep net (150 yds.). And I’d need a deckchair – one of those that tilt back, with a footrest.

Instruments.—2 sextants (5in. and 6in.), 2 box do., 2 artificial horizons, 10lb. mercury in 2 iron bottles, 4 prismatic compasses, 11 pocket compasses, spare cards and glasses for compasses, 3 aneroid barometers, 4 thermometers to 180°, 2 telescopes, 1 duplex watch, 1 lever watch, 1 case drawing instruments; 2 pocket cases, pillar compass, and protractor; surveying chain and arrows, 2 measuring tapes, 1 drawing board (30 × 40 inches), 2 pocket lenses.

Stationery and Nautical Tables.

Tools.—1 portable forge, 1 anvil (½ cwt.), 2 hammers and set of tongs, 10lb. cast steel, 11lb. blister steel, 100lb. bar and rod iron, 3 smiths’ files, 3 large axes (American), 6 small do.; 1 large tool chest.

Clothing.—120 pair moleskin trowsers, 120 serge shirts, 120 cotton shirts, 60 pair boots, 40 oiled calico capes, 40 hats (Manilla), 40 blankets.

Artists’ Materials. See Baines’ needs above.

Miscellaneous.—5 yds. mosquito net, green; 500 fish-hooks, 25 fishing-lines, 2 gross matches, 1 gross tobacco-pipes; 2 strong cases, or instruments, stationery, &c.; 8 doz. pocket-knives, 8 doz. pocket-combs, 20 yds. red serge for presents to blacks, 20lb. iron wire, 5lb. brass ditto, grindstone and spindle, coffee-mill, 3 iron saucepans, 2 iron kettles, 6 galls. linseed oil, 6 pints olive oil, 2lb. red lead, 23lb. alum, 1lb. borax.

Forage for Horses and Sheep from Moreton Bay to Victoria River, 2200 miles, at 14lb. per diem.—13 tons pressed hay, 9 tons bran, 200 bushels maize or barley, 500 bushels corn for horses after landing.

Medical Chest for 2 years and 20 men.

Naturalists’ Stores.

I can’t help noticing – who else noticed? – he has forgotten the fridge and the beer!! This puts the rest of the book’s authority in some doubt, no?


Sometimes Baines would offer a simple solution. I like his blanket tent – this is a bit more like a Harrismith he-man traveling light !


I have given here about ten pages of information. The book is 831 pages! Just on Boats, Rafts and Make-Shift Floats, Baines and Lord write 36 786 words! And I’ve not even got to communication in the days before satellite phones. Suffice to say: You build a stone cairn; you dig a deep hole ten feet north of it; in the hole you leave instructions written on a lead sheet made from three melted bullets . . .


You can read it online at gutenberg.org – after the 831 pages there are useful advertisements for shops that can supply your needs, including gun shops where you can buy your muzzle loader; and you’ll find ladies waterproofs and portable boats are in the same department . . . What a WONDERFUL book!