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chrisoc
04-15-2011, 09:43
There is nothing more relaxing in the evening than to sit by a campfire. I keep them small, and forego them if it is too windy. Some people seem to be against having a fire, but I love it.

d.o.c
04-15-2011, 09:50
small fires are alright i like to cook on em but usually only make them myself if its cooollllldddd out..

Namaste
04-15-2011, 10:05
If there's a fire ring and it's cool out I'm all for making a fire. I keep them small and usually enjoy them while sipping on some whiskey or rum before bed.

chrisoc
04-15-2011, 10:07
Nothing better when its cold, except maybe a mug of something warming.

dr.rock
04-15-2011, 10:17
Make a fire, it is nice. I would make one every night

fredmugs
04-15-2011, 10:53
I never make my own but always appreciate someone elses.

general
04-15-2011, 13:30
by gathering fire wood, fuel load is reduced in the immediate area around a campsite, thus reducing the chance of a fire getting out of control. only you can prevent forest fires.

Jay_NJ
04-15-2011, 13:33
If it's legal in the state then I love it! I prefer cooking on them over my alc stove if it is a small pit as it is just sort of relaxing. Sadly in NJ it is illegal so it is nice to wander over to NY for weekend trips.

88BlueGT
04-15-2011, 13:34
by gathering fire wood, fuel load is reduced in the immediate area around a campsite, thus reducing the chance of a fire getting out of control. only you can prevent forest fires.

Well, right... and wrong.

You are reducing the 'fuel load' AROUND the campsite BUT you are increasing your chances because your taking the 'fuel' around the camp site and dumping it right INTO camp, in the fire. PLUS, typically, when someone has a fire they start a wood collection. Where is that collection stored? Oh yea, right next to the fire! :D

Only you!!! can stop the forest fire you started :p

88BlueGT
04-15-2011, 13:36
If it's legal in the state then I love it! I prefer cooking on them over my alc stove if it is a small pit as it is just sort of relaxing. Sadly in NJ it is illegal so it is nice to wander over to NY for weekend trips.

You can have fires in NJ, just tell them BlueGT said so, you'll be fine :p

Seriously though, I've had quite a few fires in NJ and have never had a problem. The WORST thing thats going to happen is someones going to tell you to put it out and mayyyyyyyyyyybe give you a small fine.

Wonder if my PBA card will work in the woods? LOL

hikerboy57
04-15-2011, 13:43
although I love a fire, I always bring my stove. I just did an overnight at west Mtn shelter (NY) and was able to scavenge what twigs and branches I could find for a small fire that lasted a few hours. I had thought it was early enough in the season I would find plenty of wood, but all too often the arsas around the sites are usually pretty barrren.

1azarus
04-15-2011, 13:54
...i never make one myself, and when in a shelter or near one i'm always hoping that i don't get smoked to death from someone else's fire. i do like it when someone starts one... as long as they've figured out the wind direction thing first! there have been times when i've kept on walking to get away from a smokey fire. sorry if this sounds so grumpy! dogs are more predictable than fires (is that dog comment called trolling?)

88BlueGT
04-15-2011, 14:02
+1 fires can definitely be annoying when they are really smokey. BUT smokey fires are good for getting rid of horrible smells.

hikerboy57
04-15-2011, 14:16
+1 fires can definitely be annoying when they are really smokey. BUT smokey fires are good for getting rid of horrible smells.
and helps keep the bugs away too.

general
04-15-2011, 14:25
Well, right... and wrong.

You are reducing the 'fuel load' AROUND the campsite BUT you are increasing your chances because your taking the 'fuel' around the camp site and dumping it right INTO camp, in the fire. PLUS, typically, when someone has a fire they start a wood collection. Where is that collection stored? Oh yea, right next to the fire! :D

Only you!!! can stop the forest fire you started :p

i stop the forest fires that everyone else starts. right, wood is stored next to the fire, and there won't be another stick of wood within 50 yards of that fire ring other than that. still plenty of leaf litter but no real combustables. clear out some leaves and you've got a pretty good fire break. most forest fires are started along road sides not in fire rings.

Panzer1
04-15-2011, 14:28
by gathering fire wood, fuel load is reduced in the immediate area around a campsite, thus reducing the chance of a fire getting out of control. only you can prevent forest fires.

+1 yea, that makes sense.

Panzer

Panzer1
04-15-2011, 14:30
The only reason I don't usually start a camp fire is because by the end of the day I'm just too tried to gather and break the wood.

But if someone else wants to do the work, I'm all for it.

Sometimes in the winter I carry a small folding saw to cut wood. Its a lot easier to cut than to break wood.

Panzer

Jay_NJ
04-15-2011, 16:42
You can have fires in NJ, just tell them BlueGT said so, you'll be fine :p

Seriously though, I've had quite a few fires in NJ and have never had a problem. The WORST thing thats going to happen is someones going to tell you to put it out and mayyyyyyyyyyybe give you a small fine.

Wonder if my PBA card will work in the woods? LOL

Blue,

I agree on the fires in NJ, a lot of the shelters on the NJ-AT actually have firepits next to them that people have made (by the looks of it, they have been there for quite some time). I don't have any real problem making a smaller fire at any of these places. For convenience sake if we are with a larger (3+) group of people, NY is nice as we can make a bigger fire with no risk.

Papa D
04-15-2011, 22:42
it is such a shame that the general public equates camping with a fire - I do enjoy a little fire if it's cold and they are nice to sit by but i rarely actually build one - sitting by a candle or two is really great too - fires are destructive from an environmental standpoint - i've given up being a fanatic though but please realize that you rarely NEED a fire, if you build one, keep it small, drown it out and leave no trace.

88BlueGT
04-15-2011, 22:48
Why is it ashame? Theres nothing wrong with having a fire... besides when people leave big rings and don't practice 'LNT'.

I'd like to know why fires are bad for the environment as well. I'm not trying to be a smart a$s, looking for a serious answer.

Namaste
04-16-2011, 09:16
it is such a shame that the general public equates camping with a fire - I do enjoy a little fire if it's cold and they are nice to sit by but i rarely actually build one - sitting by a candle or two is really great too - fires are destructive from an environmental standpoint - i've given up being a fanatic though but please realize that you rarely NEED a fire, if you build one, keep it small, drown it out and leave no trace.

When you say "drown" I think of water. No offense but that's not practicing LNT. You don't need water to put out a fire. (This statement is not meant to be argumentative :D).

mikec
04-16-2011, 09:59
I personally like a camp fire. However, I have come across ridge runners who strongly discouraged it.

Papa D
04-16-2011, 12:21
Ok - LNT is absolutely not bull or elitist or anything but taking care of the forest for others - people and animals - it's just like showing respect for someone as a guest in their house - not and extension of LNT includes not polluting streams and rivers, trashing campsites, causing forests to erode due to bad logging practices, etc. - this is all factual science, not some elite hippy hogwash - ok, here is why fires are bad for the environment.

people gather wood from the ground thus depleting the ground of nutrients - this causes difficulties for plant life to grow, could cause disruption to wildlife counting on those plants and could even lead to erosion. A camp-site stripped bare of vegetation is just ugly too - this would be visual environmental pollution.

I doo agree that there are times for a small warming fire. In an earlier post, I suggested drowning it out - there is nothing not LNT about using a little bit of creek water for this. If that concerns you, you can pee on it which is what I usually do.

Namaste
04-16-2011, 12:31
Ok Papa D, that's better.....a LITTLE water or a little pee never hurt nothin':rolleyes: but I'm SURE someone will respond to the contrary.

I like fires.:banana

Papa D
04-16-2011, 12:40
I've always tried to fold into the forest, fit in, make myself small and as un-impactful as possible - to me that is helpful in enjoying the grandeur of the big woods - there is another type of person (usually more prevalent in campgrounds than in more back-country backpacking settings) - these folks, (usually men) like to think of themselves as "conquerors" or "survivalists" - they often carry big knives, guns, hatchets, saws - they are often loud and messy. I have found that these folks typically don't conquer anything and don't tend to survive very long either - when the cold rain starts and they run out of fire-starter or beer, they head for their vehicles - leaving a mess behind - one that I often am compelled to hike out.
Now, I'm not trying to start anything, but I just bet that this post REALLY pisses someone off and I'm sure I just did - - sorry if it does but I've given you plenty to have some fun posting.

Papa D
04-16-2011, 12:42
I'm actually going for a run now - when I get back, I'll see how many people hate me because I'm an elitist or some crap

88BlueGT
04-16-2011, 14:56
Yes, Papa D, I hate you very much. Your a horrible person for peeing on fires, cannot believe you :mad:

OK JK. I was being serious before when I was asking for reasons of why fires are bad for the environment, you explained and I took it in with respect. Nothing more, nothing less. I value everyones opinion here (well most :rolleyes:), as should everyone else.

We all use the same damn woods, so take care of them. Yes, its really THAT simple.

Oh yea, and for the guys who pack out their feces, get over yourself, your ***** isn't that special :banana

Papa D
04-16-2011, 15:40
HA HA HA - thanks 88BlueGT - the point is to be nice to the woods, to people, and have fun - if you want a little fire sometime and clean-up, ok - y'all go do that!

Pedaling Fool
04-16-2011, 17:17
Ok - LNT is absolutely not bull or elitist or anything but taking care of the forest for others - people and animals - it's just like showing respect for someone as a guest in their house - not and extension of LNT includes not polluting streams and rivers, trashing campsites, causing forests to erode due to bad logging practices, etc. - this is all factual science, not some elite hippy hogwash - ok, here is why fires are bad for the environment.

people gather wood from the ground thus depleting the ground of nutrients - this causes difficulties for plant life to grow, could cause disruption to wildlife counting on those plants and could even lead to erosion. A camp-site stripped bare of vegetation is just ugly too - this would be visual environmental pollution.

I doo agree that there are times for a small warming fire. In an earlier post, I suggested drowning it out - there is nothing not LNT about using a little bit of creek water for this. If that concerns you, you can pee on it which is what I usually do.
Hmmm....I'm pretty sure this is a response to my post, which for some reason is now gone:-?

LNT is elitist, but that does not mean that everyone who practices some form of it is an elitist. Furthermore, I don't believe it started out as an elitist program (pure speculation), but it is going that way and that's why I refuse to use the term with respect on how I ensure that I don't leave trash on the trail.

Wood is indeed food for plant life, but we hikers cannot make enough fires to appreciably reduce the amount of wood out there, despite there being some camping areas where it's harder to find firewood than others. That's because we don't take wood that's very close to becoming plant food, i.e. wood that is nearly completley broken down (remember plants do not eat the wood, they eat the wastes of the organisms that breakdown the wood) and much of that broken down wood is not seen by you. Also we hikers pick up small wood to get the fire started, but just to get it started then we want the big stuff. There is far more little stuff that falls 24/7 all around that soon gets lost in the leaf litter which becomes nutrients for plants, so while we can have an appreciable affect in the immediate area of certain campgrounds WRT low levels of firewood, there is not appreciable affect on nutrients for the plants. BTW, plants get their nutrients from more than just decayed wood. Also the ashes from burnt wood itself provides a nutrient to plant life, mostly in the form of potassium and calcium.

This is where someone usually says, "but what if everyone builds a bonfire..." Don't go there...

You say you like to build a small fire, but is that small fire in accordance with these LNT instructions? (which requires use of a fire pan) http://www.backcountryattitude.com/fire_pan.html

Some more examples of how LNT has lost favor with me.
http://www.backcountryattitude.com/lnt_beach_walking.html

http://www.backcountryattitude.com/toxic_fireworks.html

http://www.backcountryattitude.com/low_impact_colors.html

Many other examples. This LNT thing is going to evolve if some people have their way, thus becoming more radical. One day they may tell you that your little fire is not in keeping with proper LNT principles.




.

skooch
04-16-2011, 17:48
We may not need a fire to cook over or to warm us but a campfire has benefits beyond function. It is very relaxing and meditative and brings people together at the end of a long day unlike anything else.

Pedaling Fool
04-16-2011, 17:54
Or you can cut off your feet:)

hikerboy57
04-16-2011, 18:01
Or you can cut off your feet:)
reminds me of the lady who needed a leg amputated. at first they cut off the wrong leg. after all was said and done, she asked her lawyer about suing for malpractice, but he said she didnt have a leg to stand on.
I do practice LNT, John, but its not my religion, just a guideline for reducing impact, you cant eliminate it altogether, and I dont get elitist about it.You always make a good argument,. I dont always agree , but on most issues, there seems to be more than one opinion.If you think the LNT debate gets elitist, lets go back to some of the ultralight threads.Theres nothing wrong with reducing pack weight, and theres nothing wrong about reducing your impact on the envirnment.

Pedaling Fool
04-16-2011, 18:08
I'm an elitist on a bicycle:sun

Papa D
04-16-2011, 19:37
john gault I appreciate your post but do not agree that LNT is about "picking up your trash" - it is about much more than that - it includes:

proper planning of a trip to reduce impact and make it more safe and enjoyable
using trails and campsites to protect vegetation and prevent erosion
proper disposal of human and food waste
keeping campfire impact low
respect for wildlife and other people - this includes noise pollution

LNT has very few hard and fast rules but rather tries to establish some easy ways we can all take care of the forest.

I'm not really sure what about this is "elitist" - It sounds like you just like YOUR WAY of doing things and whatever impact YOU deem ok is ok - and it may indeed work for YOU - my guess is you are a pretty experienced woodsperson ---- but a set of general guidelines to teach (LNT) - especially to Newbies so that they can take care of the woods we love is NOT elitist.

By the way two things:

what you say about sourcing firewood is partially true but you fail to take into account all the folks trampling around the camping area trying to get firewood - fires ABSOLUTELY do create impact - and why not "go there" what if everyone builds a bonfire - that's what they often DO - and sometimes I build a fire - sometimes in a pan, sometimes on the ground but I recognize the impact and clean up right.

2) you're probably right that the footprints on the beach thing is a little silly.

Captn
04-16-2011, 22:25
But when the "rules" begin to be perceived as "extreme", the newbies are more likely not to follow ANY of the LNT practices because they don't see the benefits, they just see someone trying to limit their freedoms like in so many other areas of society.

Don't drink instead of don't drink and drive .... One make obvious sense, the other people see as limiting their personal freedoms.

Carry out your poo vs dig a cat hole... Again, one makes obvious sense, the other is perceived as someone trying to enforce a silly rule. It makes enforcing pack it out tougher in areas where poo doesn't degrade in a timely fashion.

Tell everyone that no fires are allowed will just cause people to have fires whenever they want instead of when its appropriate.

Tell me that I can't have a yellow tarp and see what happens .... I'll make it a point to camp twice as often and bring the most obnoxious colored tarp I can find.

Just sayin'

WingedMonkey
04-16-2011, 22:44
Although campfires are allowed in most Florida State Parks, other than bans during droughts, the collection of any firewood is prohibited (even off of the ground). Most have firewood for sale if they have concessions.

George
04-16-2011, 22:44
+1 fires can definitely be annoying when they are really smokey. BUT smokey fires are good for getting rid of horrible smells.

thats right, smokey BO is not as bad as regular BO

Joey B
04-17-2011, 06:18
I have come across ridge runners who strongly discouraged it.

Well then, that's all the more reason to have one.

Nothing better after a long day on the trail than my hiking partner and myself sitting around a nice fire eating dinner, enjoying a quiet conversation, or saying nothing at all.

Onwego
04-17-2011, 06:59
What an extraordinary thread this is. Are campfires accepable when camping. No wonder things are as they are.

Unless it's illegal, or prohibited due to conditions, if you camp near me, you will most likely have to endure a small fire, built downwind of the campsite. It won't be in a fire pan unless required by local regulations, and, after it goes out, it won't be drowned by anything except the cold hot chocolate I can't finish. And after I move on, I doubt you'll know the fire was there.

And if you bother me about my fire, it will be as if you aren't there.

Papa D
04-17-2011, 09:56
ok you fire people - how about this, have everyone on every trail camping anywhere build a big-ol country boy fire where ever they want - pull rocks from the creeks, make fire rings, campfire furniture, the whole show anywhere and everywhere - hell, you could require campfires for all campers - how would that be?, how would it look in 10 years? - how many forest fires would we have" you wouldn't like this so, you say:

"whoa, that's not what I meant at all - I was just sayin' ummm"

ok, what do you mean? what would YOUR guidelines be? Fires are ok if they are small? and you put them out? If you erase them? If you don't build fire rings? If you only use dead and down wood? If it's not windy?, If there is ample loose wood?, If there is only one fire-ring? If the rangers aren't around? Only if it's below 50 degrees? Only with Miller High Life? WHAT?

the LNT platform suggests and puts forth one set of reasonable guidelines - we have to teach something reasonable - setting the bar pretty high lets those that do choose to build a little fire understand and RATE their impact against a set of guidelines --
that's all.

Pedaling Fool
04-17-2011, 17:24
I hate these stupid what if scenarios. What would the impact be? I donít know and donít really donít care because itís just not going to happen. I donít bother asking what ifís if they are unreasonable and Iím a guy that is hardwired to ask what ifís, because thereís a time to be proactive and a time to not worry about stupid ****.

The plain and simple fact is that fire builders like me are a minority out there, not because people wish to practice LNT, but because they are too lazy to build them. Fires take work and the bigger the fire the more work. People are just too lazy (not saying anything wrong with that, it's just a fact), even to build a small fire, let alone one that require a saw.

By my observations no one wants to carry a saw, again proof that Iím a minority out there Ė I always carry a saw. So when someone says Iím being LNT-irresponsible in a condescending manner it just pisses me off; Iíve seen it out there, the do-gooders that think they know whatís best for the environment. In actuality theyíre just simple-minded little sheeple who doesnít know, especially from any practical experience, how nature works. They simply repeat what they've heard; with no more skill than a damn parrot.

And me tramping around in the woods doen't do a damn bit of harm; Oh geez the earth is so, so fragile:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


No argument here; just the facts:sun

Trailbender
04-17-2011, 18:38
I wouldn't carry a saw, but it is because I don't need one. I can baton wood if I need to, and there is no real need for a huge fire. I do see most LNT stuff as anal, nitpicky BS. I practice common sense, no, not gonna pack out my crap or TP, that is a biohazard. I pack out any trash I make. I build a fire in an established ring, keep it small, and put it out.

skooch
04-17-2011, 20:11
I hate these stupid what if scenarios. What would the impact be? I donít know and donít really donít care because itís just not going to happen. I donít bother asking what ifís if they are unreasonable and Iím a guy that is hardwired to ask what ifís, because thereís a time to be proactive and a time to not worry about stupid ****.

The plain and simple fact is that fire builders like me are a minority out there, not because people wish to practice LNT, but because they are too lazy to build them. Fires take work and the bigger the fire the more work. People are just too lazy (not saying anything wrong with that, it's just a fact), even to build a small fire, let alone one that require a saw.

By my observations no one wants to carry a saw, again proof that Iím a minority out there Ė I always carry a saw. So when someone says Iím being LNT-irresponsible in a condescending manner it just pisses me off; Iíve seen it out there, the do-gooders that think they know whatís best for the environment. In actuality theyíre just simple-minded little sheeple who doesnít know, especially from any practical experience, how nature works. They simply repeat what they've heard; with no more skill than a damn parrot.

And me tramping around in the woods doen't do a damn bit of harm; Oh geez the earth is so, so fragile:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


No argument here; just the facts:sun

Yeah, stupid LNT parroting, simple-minded sheepling do-gooders. We ain't hurtin' nothin'. Stupid fragile earth :D

Trailbender
04-18-2011, 13:21
Yeah, stupid LNT parroting, simple-minded sheepling do-gooders. We ain't hurtin' nothin'. Stupid fragile earth :D

Most LNT stuff is common sense, and the people that don't practice it aren't going to listen to any advice anyways. It is like sexual harassment classes, pointless, the people that aren't going to do it won't do it anyways, and the people that do won't stop because of a class.

Old Hiker
04-18-2011, 13:38
reminds me of the lady who needed a leg amputated. at first they cut off the wrong leg. after all was said and done, she asked her lawyer about suing for malpractice, but he said she didnt have a leg to stand on.
I do practice LNT, John, but its not my religion, just a guideline for reducing impact, you cant eliminate it altogether, and I dont get elitist about it.You always make a good argument,. I dont always agree , but on most issues, there seems to be more than one opinion.If you think the LNT debate gets elitist, lets go back to some of the ultralight threads.Theres nothing wrong with reducing pack weight, and theres nothing wrong about reducing your impact on the envirnment.


Wasn't her name Eileen?

hikerboy57
04-18-2011, 13:51
Wasn't her name Eileen?
You're confusing Eileen with Peg.

skooch
04-18-2011, 15:04
Most LNT stuff is common sense, and the people that don't practice it aren't going to listen to any advice anyways. It is like sexual harassment classes, pointless, the people that aren't going to do it won't do it anyways, and the people that do won't stop because of a class.

well I promise to do my part. :)