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Old 06-23-2009, 04:54 AM   #1
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Does anyone else hate camp fires?

I may be in for a lynching here, but Sam and I hate camp fires.

It seems that state campgrounds have more of them, in our experience. We prefer state campgrounds for everything about them except the fact that every site has to build a fire. I know it's part of the camping thing for families, but frequently there is a blanket of smoke over the whole place every night. It's so thick it irritates your throat and you carry the smell with you for ever. We end up closing all the windows in an attempt to keep some of the smoke out of the trailer so we can sleep.

Most campgrounds have more than one "loop" or section of camp sites. So we thought why don't they make one section a no campfire zone? Unless we are the only ones......

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Old 06-23-2009, 04:58 AM   #2
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If you think state parks are bad, try camping at any NASCAR event, Spring, Summer or Fall!

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Old 06-23-2009, 05:31 AM   #3
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Love Campfires...Hate The Smoke

I love campfires, but hate the smoke. I think a lot of it has to do with ones prowess at building fires. A good campfire using good wood doesn't produce that much smoke.

We were at a KOA near Lake Seneca, NY a few years ago and there was an elderly gentleman with what I assumed was his grandson. They sat by their campfire ring all day long placing scraps of lumber on a "fire" and I never once saw a flame, it was just one large billow of white smoke, all day, which forced us to keep our Airstream sealed up tight in order to keep it from smelling like a smoke house.

We got around the smoke issue at our permanent site by installing a propane "campfire." it doesn't throw the heat that a normal campfire does but we can still roast marshmellows and hot dogs over it.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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I would like campfires but my wife has very bad asthma. We do the same thing shut the windows up tight to keep the smoke out. If you look around some places dont alow campfires.

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Old 06-23-2009, 06:04 AM   #5
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We usually take seasoned firewood with us to have a fire a few times during the trip. Some campgrounds, but not all, have good firewood available to purchase for a good fire but we have seen the smokey fires to. There have been a few who know nothing about fires that have actually cut down fresh green wood to try and burn. That makes for some of the worst fires, not to mention appalling to cut young growth.

We like tamarack the best for the clean burn and the snap, crackle, pop effect. It burns pretty clean and leaves little ash behind.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:29 AM   #6
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We've been known to produce campfires that are more smoke than fire---had a fellow camper once ask if we were trying to send smoke signals. Have gotten better at building them over the years. We do love them in the morning, nothing better than a nice fire while drinking coffee.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:32 AM   #7
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I agree to a point.
We love a good campfire and know how to build one and keep it flaming. I am alergic to smoke and we have been near smoky fires several times. Campers do not take their neighbors into consideration at all. They do not check to make sure the wind is not going to blow right into the neighbors camper. We recently were camping near one of theses smoky fires. The camper was burning wet leaves to clean up his site. A good camper is a considerate camper.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:51 AM   #8
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Shucks, they came up with smokeless tobacco, so why not smokeless fires?

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Old 06-23-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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We're not real big on campfires, either. Too much smoke, not enough fire. We are often entertained and have gotten some really great laughs at campgrounds watching other campers build and "enjoy" their smoke fest. We have seen many campers build, and then run from their own camp fire.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:09 AM   #10
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Can't think of camping without a fire. Glass of wine, a cold beer, ghost stories, sitting back and starring at the fire. Love it! Will be out West in a few days and bought a Campfire in a Can (propane fire) in case there are fire restrictions.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:15 AM   #11
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WOW ---- and we were just remarking on how our last trip was so dampened by the lack of a fire. I didn't actually think it was camping without a fire. Isn't that why there are rings on most every site. It's something that I look forward to - regardless of temperature. It sets the mood for me! And sorry if the smoke blows into the other campers (though I rarely observe any other RV's with their windows open - they're running their heat/ac instead). Here, the wind can be blowing from the south one minute and then suddenly change to the east. Not much you can do about that situation. Wind seems to take no notice.

What I don't like are those who believe a fire cannot be built/maintained without saturating logs with firestarter/charcoal fluid.

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:29 AM   #12
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I agree with the original post. The last time we went to a State Park our trailer smelled like smoke for several days. NOT pleasant.

My Mom & Dad bought their 1st. Airstream in 1955 to TRAVEL, not to camp. They called themselves boulevard campers. In fact, Wally Byam promoted caravans and rallies rather than camping. That is what set him and Airstream apart from the hundreds of other travel trailers out there. The canned hams and boxes were for camping, but Airstreams were for traveling.

That is what makes Airstream special. It is not just that it tows better, but that Wally created a mystic about these trailers that attracted a more "sophisticated" clientele.

We did sometimes have campfires while caravanning, but it was in the center of the wagon wheel, and far away from the trailers.

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:35 AM   #13
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Put me in the group "I don't think it's camping without a campfire". We prefer dry camping or boon docking anyway, but the primary reason we avoid campgrounds with hookups is that most don't allow campfires. I can't stand the idea of spending $40- $50 for a campsite and not being able to toast a marshmallow over a campfire. Luckily the best campsites are usually those that are more primitive, allow campfires, and cost the least. There are a lot of private campgrounds that don't allow campfires though.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:44 AM   #14
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What we find here is that around one in ten will want a campfire. We permit it, but with restrictions: No too close to other folks, off-the-ground pit (we provide a few of them), not directly under trees, no fires during fire-ban season, etc.

During Memorial Day, somebody "accidently" took one of our big fire pits, so now we check them out rather than just handing them out willy-nilly. Swineolas.


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