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MEASURING INACCESSIBLE DISTANCES

To ascertain the width of a difficult gorge, a deep river, or treacherous swamp without crossing and measuring, sight a conspicuous object at the edge of the bank on the farther side; then as nearly opposite and square as possible plant a stake about five feet high, walk along the nearer margin to what you guess to be half the distance across (exactitude in this respect is not material to the result), there plant another stake, and continuing in a straight line put in a third. The stakes must be equal distances apart and as nearly as possible at a right angle to the first line. Now, carrying in hand a fourth stake, strike a line inland at right angles to the base and as soon as sighting over the fourth stake, you can get the fourth and second stakes and the object on the opposite shore in line your problem is complete. The distance between No. 4 and No. 3 stakes is the same as that between No. 1 and the opposite bank.


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