Types of fires

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CWC

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When you build a fire what changes do you make to suit the purpose of the fire? For instance, a fire for warmth, a quick fire to boil some water, a fire with lots of coals for roasting. How would you customize your fires for each of these purposes?
 

chipper

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Out here in the rockies, it often the case where the wind gets up. I've adapted the following for those conditions. I, by the way prefer a small hot fire that doesn't smoke. It requires more tending but it's easier to control the heat.

I allways dig a deep hole about 12" and keep the fire small. I allways break up large wood into small stuff the size of maybe 2 - 4 fingers wide, nothing bigger than my wrist. A little trench leading into the side of the fire is nice to control the air and feed wood if necissary.

My dutch oven fits down in the hole on a chain with plenty of room around the sides for draft.

For roasting, I'll hang the meat using a piece of wire down into the hole and coat the sides of the hole with coals.

For warmth, I stay close.

Regards
 

Two Trails

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I don't think it matters to much what type of fire you build as long as you get a good bed of coals. There is your cooking heat as well as warmth and less smoke. Sometimes called an Indian fire,requiring less fuel to maintain it and easy to bring back to life,a small fire with intense heat.
IMHO,Two Trails
 

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Loyd said:
My dutch oven fits down in the hole on a chain with plenty of room around the sides for draft.
:confused: How do you carry the cast iron pot and chain? Are you Trekking with a horse?
 

CWC

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Two Trails said:
I don't think it matters to much what type of fire you build as long as you get a good bed of coals. There is your cooking heat as well as warmth and less smoke. Sometimes called an Indian fire,requiring less fuel to maintain it and easy to bring back to life,a small fire with intense heat.
IMHO,Two Trails
So, would you do this by using smaller pieces of wood and feeding more frequently?
 

Guest
:confused: :confused: :confused:

Digging holes? Splitting wood? Dutch ovens? Chains? Coals? Feeding more frequently?

Are you guys trekking or strolling arond the edge of the parking lot?

Almost all of our trek senerios involve movement through hostile territory. Building and maintaining a fire is a danger. Sometimes we go the whole weekend without making a spark.

Most trekking foods require little or no cooking time. Most of the time my fires never burn more than 1/2 hour as I boil coffee and cook around the edges of a fire that would barely fill a cereal bowl. These fires are fueled with bark and whatever twigs are lying about.

We then put out the fire and erase its existance and move another hour before bedding down in some hidden place. A guard is posted at this spot and rotated out through the night. There is no fire. The darkness is our friend.

I do not think I have ever been on a trek that involved sitting around a fire waiting for the roast to cook and the biscuits to brown or gazing into a bed of coals singing Kumbiya.

I am sure someone does it, and I have read where the frontiersmen sometimes did that, just before their camp was attracked and wiped out!

I do remember building a big fire to dry out after falling into a cold Tennessee river once. If that had been for real we would all have frozen to death or been scalped at the edge of the water. We all sat around gazing into the coals contemplating that situation.
 

CWC

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WOW!!! :hmm: I guess I totally mis-understood what trekking is. I'm fairly new here, and have never been on a trek. I thought trekking was more like backpacking with period equipment. I didn'r realize it involved posting guards in case of hostile attacks, and not enjoying a nice fire for roasting up the days kill because you're traveling in hostile territory. Does anyone just go trekking so they can enjoy a nice couple of days in the woods with no modern equipment?
 

Desert Rat

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Trekking is what you and the people you are with make it. Not all treks have to be in "hostile" territory. Everybody has there own limits and expectations of what a "period corect" trek is. Even the term Period Correct can and will be argued as to what is truly correct and what is jsut accepted. For some like Ghost it is about going all out and doing it to the documented letter (Ghost feel free to say that better or in your own words). Others may take a more relaxed attitude and do a lot of relaxing while out. The main thing is to get out enjoy yourself and not be afraid to push yourself and try new things. It is sometimes fun to be in "hostile" territory and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something that few others can.
 

Eric/WV

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Here are a couple of ideas for small cooking fires.

1. Place 2 larger sticks in a V-shape with the "point" facing away from you. Build your fire inside the V. Place your corn boiler on the ground against the coals.

2. Place 2 larger sticks on the ground parallel to each other with a space in between. Build a small fire between the larger sticks. Cut some green sticks, and lay them across the larger sticks to form a platform over the coals. Lay your pan or pot on the platform to cook.
 

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Desert Rat said:
Trekking is what you and the people you are with make it. Not all treks have to be in "hostile" territory. Everybody has there own limits and expectations of what a "period corect" trek is. Even the term Period Correct can and will be argued as to what is truly correct and what is jsut accepted. For some like Ghost it is about going all out and doing it to the documented letter (Ghost feel free to say that better or in your own words). Others may take a more relaxed attitude and do a lot of relaxing while out. The main thing is to get out enjoy yourself and not be afraid to push yourself and try new things. It is sometimes fun to be in "hostile" territory and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something that few others can.
"Too each his own". "Its a free country" and all that

What it is now and what it started as are now very diferent. The first trek I was on was completely tatical, no fires, no talking, no noise. Anyone not in our group was considered a "hostile". A test of navigation, woodcraft, primitive skills and historic research.

That was before we let the "writers" tag along.

Now it's a romp in the woods to see the sights and commune with nature. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Still, a dutch oven and chain weighs more than my entire kit! I'm not toting that thing for twenty miles through the KY mountains!

__________________________________________________

I'm a Trekker, but I can change, if I have too, I guess!

:hatsoff:
 

Capt. Jas.

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Sounds like a tactical to me. Trekking is not even a historical term and has many meanings to different people. Many people at all levels.

Eric. Great post!!
 

Kentuckywindage

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I'll have to take some pics of a shelter my nephew and i built some time ago. It started off as a 5 legged lean-to but when we got our hands on some 2x6's, there went the tarp lol. has 1 small and 1 big working stone fireplace and 2 outside fire pits, 1 for light/heat/looking into and 1 small pit for cooking on. We also covered the 2x6's over the straw/mud mixture to keep the warmth in. I'll get some pics tomorrow hopefully.
 

crockett

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You raise a good question. It's sort of fun at a youth camp with boys and girls to hold a tea boiling contest. The girls always win because they grab handfuls of twigs etc- just enough to get the pot boiling. The boys go about making a "proper" camp fire.

Years ago a did a lot of canoe travel and at noon a cup of tea was the custom. Same deal- just a handful or two of twigs. You can even "bile the kittle" while holding a stick from which the pot is suspended. If you want coals, etc- then you have to go with the larger logs.

For real cold weather- you may want a reflector fire- etc. In any event a good question- different fires for different purposes.
 

Hota

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There have been times when I combined a trek with a hunt. Three days/three nights in the bush. Because you cannot primitive/free camp on state land here you have to do so as if it were "hostile" territory. But due to the temp during hunting season, you have to start a fire or face serious cold weather injury. I don't care how tough you are, 10 degrees at 230AM is not that cozy even with a capote and a point blanket. My fires in those cases are limited to 12 inch dried saplings about 1/4 to 1 inch thick. The fire might be 18 to 24 inches in diameter and dug in slightly since we all know how far you can see a fire a night. Put some rocks in the fire and wrap the blanket around you placing the hot rocks around your feet and legs. You may want one near your head. That will make you more comfortable when the wind is dead, but when that wind kicks up at those temps it seems nothing works unless you have a tent or can find a cave. However. most jet streams run from west to east so the prudent trekkerr may want to set up a nights crash pad on the east side of a mountain in a draw.

Or you can avoid all this by trekking in the summer on legal ground.
 

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Hota said:
Or you can avoid all this by trekking in the summer on legal ground.
There have been some laws passed lately that basically turn our whole state into a protected archeology site. You can not build a fire or camp within 100 yards of any rock house, cliff, rock shelter or rock face. That eliminates about half of KY and most of east TN! In addition one can not camp within 50 yards of any running stream. (yet the state park RV sites are often on the waters edge!)

That sounds like control by "hostiles" to me.

Is public land still public land when no one is allowed to use it unless they are paying a concession fee?

I think I remember one of Robert Rogers recomendations being that rangers should place their fires in a well dug hole with the flames kept below the rim of the pit. You get the benefits of the heat without scattering light beyond the immidiate area.
 

Bullmoose

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As to fires the best you can do is go to a BSA web site or find a old BSA handbook. They will have a list of fires to make and for what reason. Such as a trench fire, beanhole fire, star fire, etc etc.
:hatsoff: As to me, the old saying says. "Make Indian fire stand close by and all parts stay warm". Whiteman fire, big fire, stand far away, one side hot other side froze. :youcrazy: Indian fire best :rotf:
 

bnail

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I've found that a "Cash" fire is the best, it's a ring :rotf:
 

Norskie

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For quick warmth, a twig fire no bigger than your hand, right between your feet. Sit down, build it, feed it a little at a time until you get warm, then put it out and move on. Can't beat it, but you can't fall asleep with it either.
 
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