A Few Words on Fires


I’d love to be able start out with a hit killer opener like “There a three basic types of campfires,…”, but I’ll proclaim humbly enough that I’m not only already fully aware of at least five types, but also, I’m open to the hopeful possibility that throughout my lifetime, infinite more styles of burning wood will prove evident to me. That said, I love a good story round a campfire and as I have no one to listen to me at this particular moment, around this particular campfire, I’ll imbibe what knowledge comes to mind.

Firstly, there is what is possibly the best type of fire: the campfire. Born of nothing but what one can gather from the surrounding forest, the typical campfire is comprised of sticks and branches of variously scaling larger thicknesses. Spindly and unwieldy by nature, nothing is more satisfyingly manly than crafting fire without paper, lighter fluid or other aid, save a standard Bic lighter of course. Cherish these moments fellows, they are your best.

But in the more common realm of fires, at least in my world, we’re dealing with chopped wood, possibly purchased from a nearby woodery, some nearby twigs for kindling, and a paper bag or newspaper to get it all going. This concoction could find itself quickly forming into a teepee (great for cooking hot dogs, marshmallows or when trying to make your fire look like a KOA sign) and perhaps this is the most honorable of camping with fires classic. Something any true Boy Scout could appreciate.

But if you want to get serious about cooking up some chunky brauts or searing yourself some tuna for a little jungle sushi, you’re going to want to craft yourself a log cabin. Essentially, you get your coals going well enough to where you can stack two logs parallel one another, then place two mire on top perpendicularly (kind of like making a tic tac toe board). Proceed similarly until you’ve created enough floors for you to feel secure about your stronghold’s ability to become a flaming chimney. Done correctly, you can set a metal rack on top and cook for at least as long as it takes some lower level of the log cabin to burn away, making a failed game of Jenga out of your fire. Still, aren’t those spicy brauts just the only way to go?

Final situation, when you’ve got yourself a fifty fifty share of chopped logs and branches. Fashion yourself a lean to for this one (you’ll like need a fire pit for this one, preferably homemade on the spot). If the name “lean to” isn’t clear enough, what you’re going for here is something Survivorman might sleep in, but you’ll be burning it on fire.

You’ll also want to keep an empty six pack holster nearby for an easy flame fanner, and might I also recommend a guitar and one guitar player. And no, it isn’t weird to take photos of your fires.


Tonight’s fire, the elusive Anarchy burn