Crackling wood, dancing flames, flickering light – there is no denying the innate appeal of a campfire. But with lightweight, efficient and reliable backcountry stoves doing most of the cooking these days, having a campfire in the backcountry is becoming more of a luxury than a necessity.
We rarely have fires when backpacking, but on paddling trips with friends, a campfire is often a gathering point for supper, stories and s’mores. Nice to know it is possible to have a fire and still leave no trace.
Minimum Impact Campfires
- Use existing fire rings or a fire pan. Multiple firepits are the pits.
- Burn only small pieces of downed deadwood or driftwood, gathered over a wide area.
- Even if wood is provided in a backcountry campground, keep fires small.
- Burn wood to ash.
- Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving.
- Be sure to pack out any campfire litter.
- Scatter collected wood to keep area looking natural.
- Don’t have a fire in alpine or desert areas where wood sources are extremely limited.
- Never ignore posted fire bans – they save forests!
Do you have fires in the backcountry?