Fires

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philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
most of my outdoor activities have been conducted without fires except maybe a small stove fire for cooking.

I come from an army background and on military exercises fires aren't use after dark and even in daylight hours a small hexamine fire for cooking is your lot. My own trips have either been on a camp site or on open moorland or on the hills that have mostly been national park area. for warmth you are reliant on having with you suitable clothing and a suitable sleeping system.

from looking at youtube videos most of the bushcraft related items more often than not involve fires and some quite large open fires. now I can see the advantages a fire can bring especially in survival situations were the kit you have may be far below optimal. but the work going into some of these fires seems be too high to be practicable to the point where it becomes the main focus of the trip. Now it may be that people find pleasure in going out and build fires and camping out and I can understand that. so are your fires built to be minimal to provide what you need but keeping the workload down or is it the main undertaking during your trips

or maybe it is just natural to talk about fires on videos as it is of interest and simple to demonstrate.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,369
2,139
McBride, BC
Campfires here are a human social experience.
Most people here have some sort of a stone enclosure and a steel rack for backyard open camp fires whenever they want.
One thing leads to another and something delicious gets cooked.
Of course dry season and total campfire ban and it's back to the gasser BBQ!

But true, I've seen some "cooking fires" for a sausage on YouTube that would do justice to an entire beef.
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,644
593
Afon Tyweli
Here in England & Wales where open fires & wild camping are pretty much banned everywhere the style of the bushcraft leans more towards escape and evasion. Small, fast fires mainly for cooking or water purification. Big enough to stop you from freezing but not enough to keep you toasty warm.
 

Hammock_man

Full Member
May 15, 2008
1,323
359
kent
There is a certain joy to sitting round a fire of an evening that is like no other. Understand that on exercise, a hexi for a cup of tea could be the high point of a days work but outside of that "Game" a lot of us here play to different rules.
While not everyone is of the same opinion there is a lot of cross over between "exercise" and "playing" in the woods. Many skills serve you well in both places. That is not to say that both may be taken very serious. I would suggest that the big difference is within bushcraft we make our own rules and there is no one or group trying to kill you. Remove the RSM from the game and we can chill a bit more. Add in your choice to come or not and it is no longer a chore. Maybe keep the noise down to be polite and not to survive and it becomes fun. Have a good size fire so we can be seen, cook a real meal on said fire and it becomes a must have and no longer a must not.

Yes we do place great store on that fire. Some are are only just big enough ( with great pride ) to do the job, some demand an entire tree be offered up to please the group but no longer do fires betray us, rather identify us.
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
I agree with RV and hammock man entirely!!👍👍
It's really a social thing for me , I like staring into the fire too , I guess that's why they call it the bush TV ...

It warms you , entertains and provides the cooking heat too...

I do agree that some are just way too much...
I'm guilty of that too.
I like to learn about different fire lays for different purposes and the different tinders and methods of starting a fire in different situations.
Primitive and modern , friction and percussion methods .

Wet , windy , or dry and cold etc etc.

It's part of the fun I guess and I found its actually quite difficult to manage in certain situations....
But I do like coming home smelling of wood smoke ...
It's just a personal preference for me...
Not to mention the pleasure that is to sit around a campfire telling stories, Jokes or having a sing song...

The kids love it too , and some of my fondest memories as a kid was exactly that of a campfire and laughter...
👍
 
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philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
yes I agree with the sentiments above. maybe my curiosity comes from definitions of activities. It has been said many times that "bushcraft" is a big umbrella covering many subjects but I guess I associated sitting around a large camp fire more with camping than anything else but I do see the appeal.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,280
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I use two different sizes of fires.
A social one: large, high flames, perfect to sit and imbibe alcoholic beverages around with friends ( that gather the firewood)

A "bushcrafty" one, which for me is as small as possible, so I do not have to spend hours getting wood.
Purpose of this: drying clothes, cooking food and coffee. Warmth.

If I am dry and warm I do not make a fire. Use a Trangia then.

I think a fire gives a nice comforting feeling. Of course warmth, light and so on, but the psychological effect is what is so nice with a fire.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,369
2,139
McBride, BC
That psychological factor to dispel the darkness might go back a million years.

I think that it's really important to be able to operate a functional wood fire for food and warmth and a little light.
Dry wood, wet wood, rain, you name it.

Like Leshy says: how to get it done? How to make it happen under different conditions?
That to me is the bushcraft part.
 

Adze

Native
Oct 9, 2009
1,874
0
Cumbria
www.adamhughes.net
I like fires, I like the techniques, I like the activity in collecting fuel, I like the starting of them, I like to cook over them, be warmed by them and I like staring into the flames and embers.

I also hate fires, the enormous fire scars left on land with public access by the antisocial, the cutting of trees in search of fuel, the discarded tin foil and burned food and beer tins, all too frequently the still smouldering fire bed killing the surrounding tree roots.

It's a mixed bag, done well and properly it's a great thing! Done poorly and it's a blight at best and outright dangerous at worst.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,853
1,070
64
Florida
This weekend I'll be running a cold camp (deer camp) No time for fires because as soon as we're through hunting it'll be time for bed. Andy heating will be over the stove in the small camper I'm renting and even that will be minimum because we don't want to spend time cleaning up (muster every morning at 04:00 and hunt until dark)

That said, if it were a less organized hunt where we could get up a bit later I'd have a fire, and a big one at that. When I have a fire at night my philosophy is the same as for bacon: there's no such thing as too much bacon and no such thing as too big a fire.
 
most of my outdoor activities have been conducted without fires except maybe a small stove fire for cooking.

I come from an army background and on military exercises fires aren't use after dark and even in daylight hours a small hexamine fire for cooking is your lot. My own trips have either been on a camp site or on open moorland or on the hills that have mostly been national park area. for warmth you are reliant on having with you suitable clothing and a suitable sleeping system.

from looking at youtube videos most of the bushcraft related items more often than not involve fires and some quite large open fires. now I can see the advantages a fire can bring especially in survival situations were the kit you have may be far below optimal. but the work going into some of these fires seems be too high to be practicable to the point where it becomes the main focus of the trip. Now it may be that people find pleasure in going out and build fires and camping out and I can understand that. so are your fires built to be minimal to provide what you need but keeping the workload down or is it the main undertaking during your trips

or maybe it is just natural to talk about fires on videos as it is of interest and simple to demonstrate.

I don't like large fires, I don't see the need. I only make fire if I have a need, either for warmth in winter, or cooking.
Keith.
[video=youtube;Y8BicvgUMuI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8BicvgUMuI[/video]
 

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