Having observed more than the average fair share of Campfires over a span of several decades, I’ve come to rate and classify the different types.
“The Inclement Weather Campfire”: This occurs when during bad weather, we consider it to be a challenge to get a roaring fire going against the odds. After using newspaper, magazines, cardboard, and possibly toilet paper, we manage to get some serious smoking going and get excited. After several attempts (short of using grade b explosives) and generating enough smoke to lose visibility to adjacent campsites, we retire to the safe breathable confines of our shelters.
The Cooking Fire: This is enticing to the new camper who feel that being able to cook an entire meal by fire instead of the standard stove, Coleman Grill, Microwave or Charcoal Grill, is really a return to how our Ancestors survived. Having observed whole Chickens, Fish, vegetables and beef on wooden skewers (yes I said Wooden Skewers) being destroyed by either falling in to the fire, under cooked by only the outer surface, complete immolation (similar to an Aerial Strike by Napalm) whereas the end result is comparable to a charcoal cube, it became clear to me that the safest products would be a Frankfurt on a metal appendage (notice I said metal, too many on wooden sticks went to the same fate as the Napalm) or the standard S’more. Be advised, I’ve seen some of our young campers after wrestling with a freshly cooked S’more look like they were trying out new Halloween masks.
The Camper Pro Fire: This is one of the most sought-after fires. Now we have a well lit long term fire that attracts the standard campground gatherings. This is the fire that actually generates enough heat to not only overcome the chill but force you to move back from the fire as you discover odors coming from the knee areas of jeans and slacks. Also we’ve discovered smoldering areas on the chair plastic. The constant movement on the chairs is relative to the type of refreshments being consumed at the fire. These fires lead to great conversations on all subjects, such as world politics, sports strategies (armchair quarterbacking) new ideas on parenting, fishing stories and constantly feeding the fire. At some point we usually discover the melting point of aluminum cans (1,221 degrees F.), by this time, the embers are so hot, sword making could occur. Eventually the fire dies down and we head out to our camps to get a great nights sleep. After waking up the next morning, a popular phrase heard around the campground is “I said What?