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Old 10-06-2013, 11:27 AM   #547
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As a former park ranger and tent camper I love camp fires. I like building them, I like the heat, I like the smell (heck I even like smelling like the smell), I like stoking them. And most of all, I like cooking breakfast in a cast iron skillet over an open fire early in the morning. Nothing smells better to me than bacon cooking outside.

I am aware that not everyone has these primitive instincts so I've always tried to be aware of what's downwind.

Poppy
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:58 PM   #548
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Originally Posted by Wanderingjee View Post
To add to my last post, I am a firefighter/paramedic. We do a lot of wildland firefighting. Because fires are extinguish far too often, the forest floors are very flammable. If an area hasn't had a fire for quite some time, you will find lots of burnable wood on the forest floor. In general, gathering firewood near a campground is not going to harm anything. This is true mostly because the firewood people gather for their fires is usually pretty small stuff because you can't use a chainsaw. Therefor, you are not really upsetting the truly habitat forming deadfall. You are also removing the "ladder" fuels that allow a fire that is in the duff to climb into the crowns that create truly devastating fires.
]
Good post. I wish more folks understood forestry management regarding deadfall and letting underbrush getting under control. I was surprised at how variable the practices were across USFS districts.

I was supervising a seismic acquisition project in part of Bridger-Teton NF about 6-7 years ago where there was so much deadfall & under brush that we were in fear of every lightning strike. When I asked the district head why they did not do prescriptive burning they replied that it was their duty to keep the forest as pristine as possible. Thought it was kind of weird since it was almost opposite of the practices the NPS uses in the same region. Hope they change their mind because it was one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen and I'd hate to have to wait a lifetime for it to grow back from a really large fire.

I carry similar equipment (large bow saw, axe, and a light tomahawk) when I camp. A good wood cutting for me is better than the fire.

Cheers.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:35 AM   #549
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Thank you, SteveSueMac. Hopefully your travel plans will involve a western journey soon-- or perhaps some place closer where you have some more elbow room.

But yeah-- we're OK with the bugs (at least mostly) and dirt if it means something comparable to our older style of car & tent camping-- provided we have that wonderful Airstream to curl up in at night.

BTW, there are no campfire possibilities at all at the RV sites in the Lake Louise and Waterton Lakes townsite CGs in the Canadian Rockies. A real pity, but the scenery sort of compensates. Maybe these are good places for the un-woodsy crowd.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:27 PM   #550
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Seems like this thread has been going on longer than it takes to grow a tree.

I have very mixed feelings about campfires. I love to look at them, to gaze into the depths of the fire seeing at all the colors of red and blue; I become transfixed and have passed more than a few nights in the wilderness savoring the intensely alive colors and smelling the wonderful smells of burning wood.

But, then, the smoke blows in my face—my eyes water and burn. This can't be good for me, I think. I inhale the smoke and no doubt some nasty particulates for my asthmatic and aging lungs. Or maybe my neighbor has managed to light some of the green wood and smoke billows in my direction and I run for the trailer, rushing in to find the smoke coming in the fan vents. I press the switch to close the cover and it takes forever to close—now I have a smoky trailer instead smelling crisp and clean night air.

However maybe we are lucky—our other neighbor has a small campfire with dry wood. No smoke, but pretty colors dancing in the heart of the fire. Keeps us a little warm and our good neighbor is fun to talk too.

I don't want to ban campfires, though that is an easy solution. I really do like them. I do want to ban dumb people who build conflagrations of epic proportions, or who insist on trying to burn green wood. I do want to ban them from camping anywhere near me.

I understand campfires are very important to many people. They evoke pleasant memories of long ago family outings. Some people are so engaged in that they ignore the needs of others.

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Old 10-07-2013, 10:48 PM   #551
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We (most) have always been drawn to the flames more so then bugs. however the smoke can get a little intense and there has always been those who and will object to them. I love a good camp fire (not 10 feet high or with green wood) I have dishes for cooking on them and alot of great conversations have started around them! Yes I think that they are a necessary evil!
Cliff
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:34 AM   #552
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I can't remember.. Was there a poll associated with this thread? It has gone on for quite a while. I think it keeps getting new posts because most people can't believe there is even a thread titled "hate campfires".
Just ball parking the posts from the last several months. I'd say its about 90% pro campfire, but I'm biased. If you take your kids camping, and don't build a fire, that's borderline child abuse.. Just kidding!! They will be missing a few memories though.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #553
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After camping quite a bit more this past summer I can fully understand both sides of the issue. At one state park campground back in July all the weekend warriors (we are one also) must have had a fire - I was flat out miserable. I don't have lung problems but I felt like I was gasping to find fresh air.

I have come to the conclusion that:
- Wood campfires - October thru April - great in cooler weather for warmth and cooking
- Propane campfires - May thru September - just enough to keep the bugs away, not too hot on a summer evening and our clothes or the trailer won't smell like smoke.

Sometimes just party lights and a citronella tiki torch are all I need.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:18 AM   #554
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After our last trip I must weigh in on the no campfires side of this. We wanted our windows open for cross ventilation and we were choking on the smoke from the space next to us.
We are newbies but I have yet to be in a park where the spaces are far enough apart to eliminate intrusion from a neighbor, even if their intentions are honorable.
I would love these parks to say fires out after 9PM.
Larry
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #555
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Fire out by 9PM and then you have to go with the IPAD!
Virtual HD Fireplace video 1080p (Large Log fire) - Fireplace Downloads - YouTube
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:04 AM   #556
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I posted earlier about not liking campfires. I am sure this has been mentioned since, but I just experienced the "Future of Campfires" - the big propane fueled charcoal fire ring. YEAH! That's what I'm talking about. Big heat, nice glow, no smoke, I rest my case.

Have fun out there.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #557
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I posted earlier about not liking campfires. I am sure this has been mentioned since, but I just experienced the "Future of Campfires" - the big propane fueled charcoal fire ring. YEAH! That's what I'm talking about. Big heat, nice glow, no smoke, I rest my case.

Have fun out there.
Propane fueled CHARCOAL ring? Any pics or links? Do you get any of that wood smell?
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:38 PM   #558
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I bought a fire dancer for my patio (love it so far) and for camping

I'll be tinkering with both in different seasons

But it's been great in back yard so we will see

Like poking around with "the real thing though" and if very cold then wood fire will be used I suspect
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:18 PM   #559
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Propane fueled CHARCOAL ring? Any pics or links? Do you get any of that wood smell?
Er, make that "fake charcoal." (Lava rock?)
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #560
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Er, make that "fake charcoal." (Lava rock?)
Ok. Well, I'm sure it serves a good purpose! I just love the smell of campfire!
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