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On occasion you may find yourself in a rocky area where the soil is thin, and it’s difficult to get the tent stakes in more than a couple of inches. Self-supporting tents have a real advantage here. If you don’t have such a tent, try to look for another site, or use nearby trees or bushes to help tie out the tent. Don’t forget that an area with bedrock underneath and poor drainage could flood with water if it rains.

Avoid setting up in meadows and directly on vegetation when there’s a choice. Sometimes you won’t be able to camp without flattening some grass or small plants. As long as you’re not in a fragile area or at high elevations, and are remaining for only a night or two, the damage is probably acceptable. But be aware that your presence is indeed having an effect. The more ways you can reduce your impact on the natural environment, the better.

If your campsite is on hilly or bumpy ground, stretch out on your groundsheet and move around to find the most comfortable way to orient your body. Then set up the tent and situate the door accordingly. If you can’t avoid being on an incline, sleep with your head uphill.

After you’ve set it up, make sure the body of the tent and the fly are taut. There should be a space of at least two to four inches between the fly and inner tent wall, with the two not touching. If they do, you’re likely to get some dripping inside from condensation. Also, stakes tend to shift slightly in the earth with time, so they may need to be readjusted later, especially during and after rain. See Chapter 2 for more about tents.

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The signs of such an association with the devil could, according to the prevailing belief system, be found in any number of ordinary occurrences, including the death of an animal, loss of a crop, spoiling of a batch of beer, or coming down with an illness. Miami Metro Map These common afflictions became associated with witchcraft when those who were subject to such troubles accused another settler of causing the problem through magic. Disastrous events, such as wars or widespread drought or famine, could also be attributed to the evil intentions of a witch in the community. Witchcraft was specifically addressed in colonial laws, and most of these laws were adopted in the mid-seventeenth century. Between the years of 1636 and 1647, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Haven adopted such legislation. All of the New England colonies, as well as Virginia and Maryland, prescribed the death penalty as punishment for those convicted of practicing witchcraft. Massachusetts law not only required the execution of convicted witches but also punished those who consulted witches; the consequences of doing so ranged from banishment to death. Equally important were the colonial laws that allowed settlers to sue for slander those who accused them of witchcraft. New England records report at least twenty-six such cases, most occurring in Massachusetts.

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