Tips for Starting a Fire

I’m sitting here in the house trying to warm up.  I’m freezing cold.  My plan to drop pack weight by losing 5 more pounds may not be the best idea, given the icy approach of winter.  Anyway, I have 3 layers of wool on top, and started both of the wood stoves glowing with the cheery wood that I split up last week.  So I do think about fire on a daily basis.

South Fork Campground, PCT 2010, May 20, 2012

I saw a Barred Owl at 3 PM today. It flew across the windshield of the car, and landed on a tree right near the road.  I stopped in the road and backed up and watched.  I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen a Barred Owl in the woods.  It’s coloration was astoundingly effective.  I’m in awe that the bird lives, and likely thrives, without stoves to light up and the house to shelter us.

While I’m not sure about the rock as an insulator from the ground, I do think this 3 minute video ( click on link at the end) is good.  It drives home the point that you have to spend  time gathering and processing different diameter sizes of wood.  I always try and get much more than I think I need.  If I think i can get by with less, I am often wrong.

What do you think about the rock?

Tips for Starting a Fire.

About Tom Jamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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One Response to Tips for Starting a Fire

  1. Rockdawg69 says:

    Well UT, rocks can act as insulators to a point. They must be planning on a very small fire with that rock. Personally, I would look for either bigger rocks or a bunch more of the smaller ones. In this case, the bedded limestone is going to fracture from the heat if the fire is large and is maintained for a long time, as in cooking and then personal warmth. No big deal for a small fire. I would prefer a nice piece of slate or well-cemented sandstone if I had to do this – more durable. Soapstone would be great – loves heat and retains it for a long, long time ( main component is asbestos). Think hot water bottle for your feet. Soapstone is relatively rare.
    Lastly, don’t think this fully meets LNT principles. Preferably find an existing fire pit.

    Throw another log in the stove!!!

    Like

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