Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Campfire - yes or no?

A lot of us are able to get into the woods for canoe trips each summer and we are grateful. It's fun to talk about, look at photos, and share the journey with co-workers when we return to the office. One of the things that I'm guessing a majority of the people do is have a campfire. I know some think that camping is not camping without the evening fire. You may use it for cooking and that probably means that you have to have one. But, have you spent an evening without one?

My uncle and I rarely have a campfire on our trips. Is it wrong? Of course not. It's our decision in the way we enjoy the passing of the evening. We are now accustomed to it and it's part of the routine on our trips. A campfire is now an "extra" if we decide to have one. Try just sitting on your Crazy Creek chair sometime and watch the sunset and be a part of the quiet. Without the firelight in your eyes, you can see beyond the fire ring. Watch darkness arrive and perhaps hear the last of the birds as they settle down. Then all of the sudden, you get to see and hear the neighborhood beaver slapping its tail as it makes its evening rounds. Sitting still, softly talking, and relaxing has given us many memories. Otters swim by, loons and mergansers float along the shore, and then you have that friendly red squirrel from the campsite checking you out. The northwoods is something special, indeed.
Some of you may say that this kind of stuff happens to you with a campfire and I'm sure it does. But try it without sometime. It's a different feeling. Use your stove for at least one meal and try this out.
What about all of you trippers that read the Piragis Blog. Fire or no fire? Any reasons why? There is no wrong answer, but it will be interesting to find out how people feel from both sides of the fire grate.
Drew (Iceman)


Steve Schon said...

Yo Drew, I'm with you! My wife Ann and I like campfires but don't have them every night we're out. We enjoy sitting by the shore and enjoying the sights and sounds of the approaching evening. I also love the night sky without the light pollution tha even a small town like Ely can produce. Oh and one other thing. Our dog (black lab mix) is scared of fire and she disappears after dark if we light a fire.

Steve Schon

Tim Stouffer said...

I won't camp if I can't have a fire. It is a huge part of the whole experience for me. That being said. I often wake at 2 or 3 am. I like to quietly slip outside and climb a big granite rock or go sit down by the lake. At those times, the lack of a campfire is welcome and the solitude is supreme. I get what you're saying Iceman, besides I know you don't want your uncle to see how many atomic hashbrowns you've got horded onto your plate.

Anonymous said...

We also enjoy a fire at evening. We always roast marsh-mellows after dinner for desert. Later we lay on the rocks and watch the stars,satellites and jets go over.

Bert Heep said...

I am with Tim. One of the first things we do when we arrive at a campsite is put up the tent and a tarp. If it rains... we are golden. The next thing we do is gather some firewood and put it under the tarp. We cook almost all of our meals by fire, so firewood is important. On days that we layover, I love tweaking the tarp to make it tighter and better as well as splitting up a huge pile of fire wood. It is also gives us a good feeling when we leave a campsite to have a nice pile of split wood, and some birch bark (found in the woods, not stripped of a tree) so the next campers will have enough wood for their first few fires. Diane and I don't always sit around a campfire
at night, but we do enjoy it when we do. Most of our trips are in the early spring or late fall, so the warmth of the fire is a welcome friend.