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australia:campfires

camp fires

Introduction

  • camping with an open fire is a traditional activity that harks back to the days of cave dwellers as an essential survival technique and perhaps that is why so many are attracted to the ambience and the social gathering aspects as well as just chilling out in front of the warmth while you watch the Milky Way
  • from April to Sept, the nights are long and cold in the southern states, by early April after Daylight Savings has ended, the sun sets around 6pm and this gets earlier as the days progress - a wood fire becomes an important source of warmth and light to those who wish to stay up and socialise
  • as much as it is loved, it can be problematic, dangerous or just despised by the many who believe that fire scars should not be left by campers - perhaps a mute point if there are already maintained fire pits
  • if there are no fire pits, please respect the environment and do not create new ones unless in an emergency
    • there are ways to reduce fire scars such as portable, elevated fire pits but even these can kill nearby vegetation
  • unattended camp fires are a significant cause of bushfires which can have devastating widespread impacts

So you plan on going camping and having a camp fire - well be prepared!

  • you MUST understand in detail the local laws and regulations regarding camp fires
  • you MUST be able to completely put the fire out
    • bring lots of extra water (~10-20L per night)
  • you may have to bring your own wood
    • dead branches and trees are important parts of the environment to allow many animals to survive
    • if collecting wood is permitted, you may need an axe and chainsaw!
      • watch out for snakes when collecting wood - snakes often sleep in or under wood and will think you are attacking them.
  • you are going to create fire and smoke - think well before you do so
    • don't light a fire in a valley on a night with no wind when it is likely to become foggy - the smoke will just settle around your camp sites and you will have extremely poor air quality to try to breathe all night!
    • check the wind direction and likely changes so the smoke does not blow into your tent or others
    • bring your “sitting around fire” clothing:
      • your clothing will become smokey and remain so until washed
      • avoid light flammable clothing near the fire - 3rd degree burns may be the result
      • don't get drunk - you may trip and fall into the fire
  • bring cooking options
    • don't forget aluminium foil!
  • don't forget to bring chairs!

Simple cooking ideas for dummies

  • potatoes or sweet corn
    • wrap potatoes or sweet corn in aluminum foil and place on hot coals, rotate frequently, and wait til cooked
      • perhaps 10-20 minutes for sweet corn
      • ~30 minutes or so for potatoes depending upon size
  • marshmallows - but don't let them catch fire!
  • bananas and chocolate or marshmallows
    • slit a banana longways through the concave inner curve through the peel and through the banana but stopping before you get to the peel on the other side
    • open the banana slit and place chocolates or marshmallows
    • close as best you can and wrap in aluminium foil
    • place in the edge of the fire or on coals and wait about 15-20minutes then open and eat with a spoon
australia/campfires.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/26 08:14 by gary1