I am sure that beds and mattresses like this go back to antiquity, but they became common in the later days of the fur trade era in the northern U.S. and Canada. To make a bough bed you don't need much in the way of tools--just a pair of gloves should do it. This is one occasion when harsh weather can be of help, as pine branches become even easier to snap off when temps are below freezing. Gather three armloads of needle-bearing branches and boughs to get you started. For the bed in this photo, I used red cedar and Virginia pine. White pine and loblolly will make an even softer bed, with their long, soft needles. Any other needle-bearing trees can work, too. However, the sharp, square needles of spruce can be a pain. And fish out those pine cones while you are working, otherwise they'll feel like rocks in your back.