I'm curious if any of you have give up camp fires. At least the ones that burn wood. There are several portable fire rings that use propane, but I'm wondering if anyone is using other alternatives.
I have used those fake logs before, stacked 3 of them in a pirimid and it was nice. Cant cook on them but they make a nice fire and last a long time.
Keep in mind many of those logs are made from petrol (paraffin) and sawdust....they burn cleaner because they burn HOTTER. You can do same same by picking up seasoned wood, which is just laying on the ground mostly. Grab wood and break it, if it CRACKS its dry and will burn fast and hot with reduced smoke. Green wood creates smoke, thus its used for smoked meats and BBQ etc.
I've recently discovered in my fireplace that removing the grate allowed us to burn fires with fewer logs. We essentially make a grate from smaller pieces of wood that of course get consumed by the fire. We try to feed it only enough logs to keep it burning. It doesn't burn as "hard," if that makes sense.
I know as well as anybody that green is in but I am still resisting. I do however burn responsibly and keep my camp fires small and under control. I am lucky to have a friend who runs a large commercial cabinet shop. Kiln dried scrap oak is always available at his shop and I keep enough around to supply my needs. One of my pet peeves is people who burn pallets. I have seldom ever seen the same people cleaning up the nails that are left behind. Last year while camping near Bishop,Ca on the Owens river I choose a prime spot late in the day and set up. The next morning I noticed I had apparently chosen a popular spot since there were literally hundreds of nails under my rig. I could not believe it, my new truck with bran new Michelin's and 4 new marathons on my trailer setting on a bed of nails, needless to say I spent a great deal of time raking up the mess. Because of this experience I pre walk all potential camp spots.
I'm not sure it's that clear how to be greener. It's not just about smoke.
Paraffin and propane are both petroleum. Hence, when burned they put carbon in the air that has been permanently sequestered deep in the ground. Unless we bring it to the surface, it will never return to the atmosphere. Burning wood puts carbon in the air that was only taken out of the air a few years ago, relatively speaking. Wood, especially if burned clean, seems to be far 'greener' than anything petroleum.
Perhaps we should be looking at high efficiency wood burners instead.
Where I camp 99% of the time, deadfall is abundant so I burn it. I keep a section of 55 gallon drum hanging in the woods near my campsite that I use for a fire ring and I cook the majority of our meals on the wood fire anyway, plus a woof fire keeps the bugs at bay....
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