Additional Reading: Camp Stoves
CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGICAL
supply of natural resources must have seemed inexhaustible to our first
settlers. “Chop and burn” was a
way of life to them since the trees had to be cleared for building homes and
farming. Lumbering soon became a
major industry. Protection for
future generations was not a concern.
the development of natural resources management seeks a way to use our lands in
ways most beneficial to both present and future generations.
of the biggest problems facing resource managers who work to maintain our
outdoor recreation areas is the impact of campfires.
are now either discouraged or prohibited from building wood fires in many of our
wilderness and backcountry areas, especially in those that are frequently used.
wood fires can no longer be widely encouraged for general camp use, there are
some situations in which they are still permissible such as Resident Camps.
STOVES AND ALTERNATE SOURCES OF FUEL
a camp stove was a rare thing 20-25 years ago, but now is quite common.
There are several reasons:
It reduces the impact of
It is more convenient,
can be set up in minutes.
You don’t have to
search for dry fire wood.
They are clean burning
and produce an even heat intensity.
They are light, compact
and easy to use.
Canned heat – a jellied
fuel found in Sterno canned heat and heat tabs that give off very little heat.
Charcoal briquettes –
used in grills or on Dutch ovens.
White Gas – an unleaded
appliance gas that can be found at any outfitter store, used in backpacking
Propane and Butane –
gases compressed under low pressure and contained in a thin metal cylinder or
cartridge that attaches directly to the stove.
A FIRE SITE
choosing a fire site, you must be sure to choose one that will offer little
chance for your fire to spread.
Deeply wooded areas are
always dangerous because of low hanging branches.
Use a small shovel or
hand spade to remove the top layer of sod, set it aside and replace it after
your fire is out and the ground has cooled.
Dead leaves and broken
branches called duff and other organic
matter called humus are very
combustible and may smolder and then break out in an open blaze.
Avoid placing a ring of
rocks around the fire since they blacken from smoke and leave signs of your
presence or use existing ones.
Never build a fire
against a tree.
If your fire begins to
spread out of control, beat toward the wind to avoid fanning the fire and spreading sparks ahead
FOR YOUR CAMPFIRE
components are necessary for successful firebuilding:
Tinder – material that
will catch immediately.
Kindling – material
which, in turn, sets the fire.
Firewood – burns with
enough force to produce heat, light or atmosphere you want.
or torch matches are best to start your fire.
Be sure they are kept in waterproof containers.
Water is the best thing
to use for extinguishing a campfire.
Scatter all embers and
douse them thoroughly.
Stir the fire bed
repeatedly and keep sprinkling it with water.
Search for any remaining
heat with your hand.
If water is unavailable,
smother the fire with sand, gravel or dirt (choosing soil carefully).
Make sure it is dead
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