"There's really nothing like standing around a blazing campfire on a cold morning"
Ahhhh!!! There's really nothing like standing around a blazing campfire on a cold morning, with a brisk north wind blowing in your face. First you warm the front part of your body, and then you turn and scorch your backside. That's roughing it! This is the kind of outdoor living that men enjoyed a hundred years ago, before conditioned air and filtered water. This is my kind of morning!
Whether you are hiking, fishing, hunting or just camping, if you're going to spend the night, you have to have fire wood. While having a camp fire is not the necessity it used to be, it is one of those experiences that make an overnight stay in the woods memorable. Today there are very few places to build a campfire without being arrested for arson unless you go to state or national parks where they have camping facilities.
There are private camping compounds but usually they don't have the money to spend on upkeep that government owned facilities enjoy. Camp grounds can accommodate everything from enormously expensive motor homes, fifth wheelers, pop-ups or even pup tents.You can rough it in any manner you choose.
After you've set up the accommodations of your choice, unpacking all the necessary equipment for your stay, it's time to build a fire. First though, check the rules for camp fires. In dry seasons you may not have the luxury of a fire. Be safe!
First, pick your spot. Find an area away from dry grass, tree limbs or other campers. It's very easy for an errant breeze to float a spark, igniting a field of dry grass. A spark could also melt a hole in the synthetic fiber of some camper coverings. Use a fire ring. If a metal one is not provided, you can build one out of stone. The latter is more aesthetically pleasing, but both hold the ashes and keep the fire from spreading on the ground.
Hopefully, you have brought all the firewood you will need for your stay. If not, in most campgrounds you can locate a place that will sell you all you need, if you can afford it. Forget about trying to find leftover wood from previous campers. If there were campers there before you arrived, they will have scavenged any wood available.
Think small when you're about to build a fire! To start the fire you need tinder; small sticks, dry leaves twisted newspaper, pine needles or anything that will easily catch fire. When you have a small flickering fire, then it's time to gradually add larger sticks of wood. As the fire gets larger and hotter you can add even larger chunks of wood. You can lay the wood on the fire any way you like as long as there is enough air flow from the bottom of the coals to the top of the fire, to keep the logs burning.
Building a fire is just common sense. If you have a small fire, add enough wood, any way you like, to make it into a larger fire. After you have the larger fire, add more wood if you want it bigger.
Raging, blazing fires are not cool. There's too much of a chance that a spark will glide on the wind and set fire to someone's tent or camper, not to mention the fields and forests! Keep the fire at a reasonable level and have a safe, happy stay in the great outdoors!
About the Author: Bob Alexander is the author and sole owner of this article. Bob is greatly experienced in the art of southern barbequing, the great outdoors and leisure activity.
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