Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Raised fires (was Camporee)
Raised fires (was Camporee)
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 09:02:59 -0400
Sharon Hahn digest <Hahnhaven@AOL.COM> wrote:
> A question... with the minimal impact camping we are supposed to be doing, how
> can you have the baked dutch oven dishes, when we are no longer supposed to be
> digging up the earth?
The most common way to do this is with a raised fire hearth. We use 55 gallon
drums, cut lengthwise, raised 16 inches off the ground on two X shaped
crossbars tied together with two horizontal members. Any welding shop can
make these up for you - and with a little thought, the X bases can be made to
fold up for ease of transport.
The other way to do this is to carefully cut away and remove the sod - keeping
it moist so it does not dry out and die. Dig down to mineral soil, preserving
the topsoil for later filling of the hole. Build your fire in the hole -
keeping it away from the grass edges so as not to burn them. When you are
finished, remove any large unburned pieces of wood, replace the topsoil, then
the sod and you have a "leave no trace" or at least a "leave minimal trace"
fire. We've done this many times on the same site over the years and you
cannot tell we've ever been there.
The raised fire barrel is the more common approach of course - and much less work!
Tim Hewitt, Scoutmaster
Troop 350, Old Orchard Beach, Maine