Thursday, September 29, 2011

Code of the campfire #10

The code of the campfire says put the fire dead out when you break camp. The U.S. Forest Service campfire permit requires that you use the "drown, stir and feel" technique to extinguish the campfire. Any method that leaves burning embers -- even those buried under a layer of dirt -- can spark a wildland fire.

To drown the campfire, pour several pails of water over the campfire. I find that it takes five or more gallons of water to drown the fire. With a shovel, thoroughly mix the ash and water until it resembles a soupy mess. Feel the ashes to make sure the fire is dead out. Walk the ground within a fifty-foot radius to make sure no embers have escaped.

The second part of the code says consider your neighbor. Watch the prevailing wind as you pour water onto the hot fire. This way you'll avoid showering your neighbor (or wife for that matter!) with an ash cloud.

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