The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The incredible Camp of Ninja

The night camping of ninjas

Naturally, ninjas had many opportunities to camp at night because ninjas were spies and if they were in hostile territories it was often the case that they couldn’t stay in an ordinary inn. Of course, ninjas had to camp in the mountains. In some cases it may have lasted several months but needless to say, there were neither water services nor gas stoves in those days therefore ninja’s camps were for their survival.
We can find original ninja's techniques and wisdom in the camps they made. Let's take a look at them.

A ninja's emergency provisions and portable rations

Ninjas had specific, tiny, and nourishing portable rations that they brought with them. They were called " Hyoro-Gan (兵糧丸) ", " Kikatsu-Gan (飢渇丸) " , and " Suikatsu-Gan (水渇丸) ". To learn more about them, please refer to the article " A ninja's special food ". The provisions of a ninja were so great that they were adopted as the diets of long-distance pilots in WWU. " Katayaki (かたやき) ", which is famous for selling Iga souvenirs (伊賀) today sells the portable rations of ninjas for expeditions and camps.
Ninjas were familiar with foods and nutrition. Ninjas wrapped rice balls with bamboo grass and put drinking water into bamboo canteens. By doing this, they allowed the food to stay preserved. Of course, ninjas knew well about such things.

Getting fresh water

When long-term camping, fresh water is indispensable. How did ninjas assure they had it? If there was a clean river or source nearby their tents, it was OK. But even if such a situation, there was the possibility that they sometimes got muddy because of rain or storms. If they did, what would a ninja do? In that case, ninjas filtered out the dirt from the water by " Sansyaku-Tunugui (三尺てぬぐい) ". Sansyaku-Tenugui is a towel with a length of about 180 cm and one of the six necessities of ninjas (忍者六具). Well, how about moments where water itself cannot be found around their camp? Ninjas had some methods for finding it.
To begin with, Ninjas observed plants and worms around them. Water is often found in places where the holes of ants and mole crickets are or in a valley where arrowheads, reeds, or rabbit-ear iris grow. Otherwise, ninjas would stick the feathers of a crow into the all ground around their camp, if some feathers gradually got wet, there was a possibility that water existed under the ground. Or else, ninjas put a towel on the ground and waited until next day. It is said that if the cloth dampened then there was the water under it. Or else ninjas dug under the ground about one meter in depth and they put their ear on the earth. If they felt a beat, it proved the existence of water. Or it is said that ninjas had a technique of telling whether there was water on a mountain only by means of watching one from afar. A certain document says ninjas decided their camping place using this method.

How to make use of fire

Fire was vital for camps. Fire keeps people warm and we can cook dishes with fire. Especially in the age of ninjas, the importance of fire at camps was clear. Firstly, there were a lot of Japanese wolves on the mountains which are extinct today and Japanese wolves often raided men at that time so ninjas kept a bonfire burning at the camp all night for protection from wolves.
Not only that, but fire was really useful for their camps. When ninjas slept, they removed the bonfire and they laid themselves right there. As the ground was warm, they could avoid the chill as it was like a warm carpet. Likewise, ninjas put a bag under the ground of the bonfire in which rice and water were packed. Several hours later, the cooked rice was ready to eat.
These ways of using fire at camps were very useful for ninjas who were the specialists of fire.

The bedtime at the camp

Ninjas couldn’t relax their guard even when they slept at a camp because for their enemies, such a moment was the golden opportunity to raid them so ninjas prepared themselves to be ready for such an attack. A ninja would tie his sword and short sword with the sword strap called " sageo (下げ緒) " and put them on the ground. Next, he laid himself on the strap sideways with his right shoulder facing upward. Then, the ninja could notice soon if his swords were taken by someone and one more meaning from this position was that even if he got raided suddenly, the attack would not be fatal because his heart was covered with the right side of his body. In addition to this, the ninja could begin to run with his two swords from this posture in an emergency immediately. Then, his two swords would hang by sageo from his neck. This technique was called " Tabi-Makura (旅枕) ". For ninjas, sageo was so convenient as it could be used in various ways. In other cases when a ninja slept outdoors, he could make a plain tent with hi sageo and his haori (羽織) coat. If a ninja could create two nodes like trees and a support like a tree branch, it was enough. He would tie these two points with his sageo tightly and lay out his haori coat on the rope. After that, he would sprawl the haori coat over the support and it became a mini tent. The ninja could keep out of the rain and wind the tent.
It can be thought that ninjas could create various ways of creating cover for themselves and surviving because their lives were at risk.