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Thread: Camp fires ?

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    Default Camp fires ?

    I am trying to do as much research as possible and looking to do a thru hike in a few years and want to be fully knowledgable and know what I getting into so , I been looking on here but cant see or find hardly any info on campfires. Are they allowed for comfort or cooking ?

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    If you're talking about the AT for your thru, you betcha campfires are allowed most of the way, a few restrictions up north (any down south?). Lots of folks build them at shelters, or at least try to, many times available firewood is soaked, but not always. A cozy campfire is a fantastic place to sit around enjoying camaraderie with your fellow hiker!

    Not the greatest way to cook, unless you're roasting something on a stick or grill.

    Obviously, some few pooh-poo campfires for some strange reason, whatever. I don't think the AT woods are lacking in available wood! Enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penny b View Post
    I am trying to do as much research as possible and looking to do a thru hike in a few years and want to be fully knowledgable and know what I getting into so , I been looking on here but cant see or find hardly any info on campfires. Are they allowed for comfort or cooking ?
    In my very limited overnight backpacking experience recently I found that camp chores required more work than they should. The fire gets you dirty, smelly, and requires lots more work and squatting. It's hard to imagine how all that would benefit my thru hike. Less bending and squatting at camp would allow for more daily miles. Campfires with my son are great for hotdogs, however.

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    No open fires in Connecticut

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    You can have a campfire in some form for almost the entire trail. In some states and places they have restrictions or outright bans. For most of the 2200 miles you can have a fire. I have noticed that even in those few spots with campfire rules that many people ignore the rules. Dry periods also cause temporary restrictions. I make a fire almost every day on the trail.

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    Fires are not allowed in NJ and CT. NY is a mixed bag if I remember right.

    Most thru hikers quickly come to the realization that campfires are more work then their worth, although there are some who will build a fire every night and some who will build a fire where it's banned (I'm a thru hiker and rules don't apply to me mentality).
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    In the early days of my AT thruhikes, when dealing with the cold and wet, there were a lot of fires. Wood around shelters could be hard to find, but people who are doing low mileage days usually have the time to search out firewood. When it warmed up, there were fewer fires. 1) they weren't necessary and were often oppressive in the heat, 2) when you're hiking 10+ hours a day, most hikers don't have the energy or desire to go looking for fuel for a fire. Some people don't consider it camping unless there is a fire, but I've spent enough time hiking in burnt forests to find fires really overrated unless it's really cold - and then I'm more likely to warm up in a sleeping bag than around a smoky fire.

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    Fires are for car campers

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    This document is updated by the ATC every couple years or so and indicates where campfires are allowed and where they aren't.

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs...b.pdf?sfvrsn=0
    you left to walk the appalachian trail
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    I'll happily enjoy sitting by someone else's fire. They're nice for socializing.

    Having a fire doesn't do enough for me, usually, to bother with the chores of having my own. (One exception was after falling in a river in 35 degree temperatures - I needed a fire, and built one in a hurry.)
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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    The only time we made fires was when the bugs were bad. The smoke helped keep them away. This wasn't very often though. I preferred not to have fires most times. Most of us were going to bed really early and the smoke from a camp fire usually wanted to come right where we were sleeping. I did see one couple using it for cooking but definitely more trouble then it was worth. The one thing to remember with fires it that you need to be diligent in putting them out. Several times in the South we came across unattended fire pits that were still smoking. This was during a time when there were several forest fires burning in that region.

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    Thank you for everyone's reply to this. I am planning the AT for a Thur hike but not in any hurry to finish as long as I get to Maine, also why o doing a lot of research first to be prepared. For me out on a trail nothing better then relaxing with a fire at end of day ��

  14. #14

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    My daughters troop had a bon fire once for Girl Scouts, and all the parents were invited to swing on by and roast some marshmellows. When I got there I couldn't believe what I saw, about 40 girls in groups of maybe ten sittin' around a pie plate with a small fire it in. Anymore, that's about the size of a fire I'll make...no need for a roarer in the back woods unless you have a group, but as a single hiker, a small hand warming fire or to cook on is all that's needed, don't take much.

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    Some shelters and campsites have fire rings, some do not. If there's a fire ring, then most likely it's OK. If not, then don't build one.

    In general I think it's bad form to create new fire rings, especially at so-called "stealth" sites.

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    In general I think it's bad form to create new fire rings, especially at so-called "stealth" sites.


    agreed....

    i like a good campfire if I'm not too beat to do the work (I solo hike and like to sit around fire reading) but I always look for a campsite with a fire ring...

    if I can't find one with a fire ring---I do without fire......

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    I hiked thru the pack near Damascus this year. There was a fire at every campsite and shelter in spite of forest fires burning in the area. So yes at least down south you will find fires everywhere.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

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    There are few things more soothing to the human soul than staring into a good fire, feeling its warmth, and bonding with those around us. This practice is as old as humanity itself.

    That said, it is probably unwise to plan a thru hike that makes you reliant on fire every night (e.g. needing it for water purification and/or cooking). Many of the reasons have already been given: time, effort, scarcity of wood, soaked wood, etc. Rather than needing a fire, think of it as an occasional luxury, and make one as often as you see fit. But obviously not where they are prohibited or if conditions are unfavorable (drought, very windy, etc).

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    And of course, heed the advice of Smokey!

    https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention...ampfire-safety

  20. #20

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    Campfires make me stinky. Can't have that.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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