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  1. #1

    Default Cooking directly over wood fire make you sick?

    Ok so long story short the misses and I went camping last weekend and I cooked in the charcoal ring with the grate over it?

    double_wall_adj_ada.jpg

    And I got diarhea later that night (sat). I then again got it this morning, BAD pains.

    Can cooking in direct contact with wood fires/ Smoke cause this to happen?

    All meat was on ice and cooked completely.
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  2. #2

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    The short answer is no, it does sound like you there was a contaminated surface somewhere and you got mild food poisoning. The timing is bit suspicious, it normally takes 12 to 24 hours to get food poisoning so it may have been something you ate earlier.

  3. #3

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    I cooked on wood fires for years.
    My first thru-hike in '77: our stove blew up and I couldn't afford another one, so, built fires every night.
    Didn't get sick.

    Then I got a zip stove and used it for a thru-hike or two.
    Still prefer fires for cooking when I have time.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  4. #4
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    Wouldn't be the case of Budweiser....

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Wouldn't be the case of Budweiser....
    Ha possible

    I ate the leftovers yesterday for lunch, would have been about 15 hours after I ate it when it happened this morning. I would say it was a contaminated surface.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
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    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
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  6. #6
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Unlikely the human race would have reached this point if cooking on a fire was an issue.
    See my post in your other thread.

  7. #7

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    We were at a state park campground last month and on their little newspaper they give you when you come in they said not to cook your food directly over the wood gathered or bought in the park. I don't know if it was an issue with the ash bore or some treatment for it or what. We did cook our food over the wood and everyone was just fine (for now!!! lol). But I was surprised to see that warning.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Unlikely the human race would have reached this point if cooking on a fire was an issue.
    See my post in your other thread.
    Didnt say it would kill you, just perhaps give you the runs, perhaps a particular kind of wood would cause this.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
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  9. #9
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    This is not a horribly uncommon issue for hikers- especially on the first day or two out-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runner%27s_diarrhea


    Some highly resinous woods can impart a bad flavor (like cooking on lighter fluid).

    When you cook on a fire- you should start a feeder fire, and scrape coals off to the side. Cooking on coals eliminates any possibility of plant issue, cooking on green wood is a common "camp griddle" but you need to know what wood to use. There is some truth to your line of thought for sure, but easily solved by building the right kind of cook fire. Just like your grill at home, you want coals, not fire to cook. Fire just chars and can build up soot and other chemicals you don't want to eat. Fire will burn before it cooks, leaving the middle of most meats undercooked and unsafe. Coals provide even heat and cook through without charring the outside.

    Likely your problem was something else- but learning to build a good cookfire is a skill worth having.

  10. #10

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    On my last backpacking trip I burned alot of campfires and resorted to using dead rhododendron branches for firewood. It got me to thinking---if rhodo is poisonous to eat, is it dangerous to burn? Like poison ivy? Dead rhodo vs live rhodo??


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    This is not a horribly uncommon issue for hikers- especially on the first day or two out-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runner%27s_diarrhea

    Likely your problem was something else- ...
    For me it is usually too many raisins in the trail mix.

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    If it was the campfire rings you tend to see at AT shelter sites (the ones with the grates attached), there's no telling what foul things previous users did or burned in that campfire. However, I would think the heat from a fire would sterilize any cooking surface like a grate.

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    lemon b's Avatar
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    Never has happened to me. Guess it could depending on what get thrown on the fire. One does find the oddest thinks in firepits. Even seen types of insolation.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemon b View Post
    Never has happened to me. Guess it could depending on what get thrown on the fire. One does find the oddest thinks in firepits. Even seen types of insolation.
    I found this wonderful sight on Slickrock Creek and left by fishermen.


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    i cook a filet mignon over an open fire most every time im out in the woods...

    i tend to clear away the trash before my fire----and due to me cutting fire wood and what not---i generally dont cook til the fire is a few hours old..........

  16. #16
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Ok so long story short the misses and I went camping last weekend and I cooked in the charcoal ring with the grate over it?

    double_wall_adj_ada.jpg

    And I got diarhea later that night (sat). I then again got it this morning, BAD pains.

    Can cooking in direct contact with wood fires/ Smoke cause this to happen?

    All meat was on ice and cooked completely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    On my last backpacking trip I burned alot of campfires and resorted to using dead rhododendron branches for firewood. It got me to thinking---if rhodo is poisonous to eat, is it dangerous to burn? Like poison ivy? Dead rhodo vs live rhodo??


    This was going to be my response! Rhodo IS INDEED toxic to humans when burned. Some react worse than others. regardless, it doesnt bode well when mixed with the human lungs. We learned this the hard way over a decade ago. We were all sitting around the campfire for hours....firewood of choice? dead rhodadendron that was laying around. Long story short...I had only a mild reaction. My brother in law had serious complications, later contracted pneumonia because of it, and nearly had to be hospitalized!
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  17. #17

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    Well now, I didn't know Rhodo wood was toxic, burned or otherwise...learn somethin' new everyday here.

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    http://www.library.illinois.edu/vex/...hodo/rhodo.htm

    I knew it was not edible, but never thought about the danger of burning it.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolo View Post
    http://www.library.illinois.edu/vex/...hodo/rhodo.htm

    I knew it was not edible, but never thought about the danger of burning it.
    what a great resource...thanks.

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