Whenever we spend time in the great outdoors, whether camping, hiking or for any other reason, a warm and roaring fire can serve an immense array of purposes and often enough it can become the crucial difference between life and death. When we are faced with the undeniably difficult circumstances of the nature that surrounds us, and the often inhospitable environments in which we need to do our best to survive and thrive as much as possible, it comes down to that most important tool to keep us going, the spark of life from the primeval dawn of human kind, the burning flame that brings life. The significant aspects of fire are innumerable. From earliest times people depended on fire in their everyday lives, and even in today’s modern environment, fire plays a crucial role for us. Whether to provide heat, cook food, ward off danger, forge and fashion tools, signal and even destroy, fire was instrumental in the development of civilizations.
In modern times, and camping in particular, fire can still serve most of these purposes but will also provide some equally important psychological effects. Even though heating is the number one priority when out in the wild, as temperatures during night time can drop to a remarkably low level, fire can also provide the user with a plethora of important feelings:
- A sense of accomplishment –
This important emotion is born out of a successful establishing of a campsite, and furthermore a successfully lit campfire. When you are finally resting beside your tent and before the flame, a feeling of accomplishment and success overcomes. You realize that you made it as far as to this point and with visible achievement before you. That sense of accomplishment is a crucial stepping stone towards further development of skills, as well as confidence and motivation.
- Motivation for progress –
Connecting to the point above, a well lit fire will undoubtedly create a motivation for further progress and new achievements, coming from the strong feeling of accomplishment and lack of failure. In dire circumstances, feelings such as this can make a life saving difference and a push in the right direction.
- Confidence –
Success brings confidence. Confidence brings progress. Progress brings life. The crucial diagram of survival situations that inevitably revolves around confidence. Yes, certainly, there is a thing such as over-confidence and you would be wise to keep it under control, but still, feeling confident about your prior achievements can result in future success. But always remember to keep your abilities in mind, and work on your weaknesses.
- Relaxation and respite –
These aspects might not sound as crucial as they actually are. Arguably, there is a subconscious, primeval feeling awakened in humans when the day draws to an end before a roaring campfire. Call it a sense of security, a sense of life and strength. Either way, ending your hard and tiring day sitting before your roaring flame will inevitably make you feel relaxed and nudge you towards rest and good sleep, two incredibly important aspects of successful survival.
Towards a Successfully Lit Fire
There are logical steps and aspects to remember even before you go out on your trip, and most of you will know to pack crucial fire lighting equipment. In modern times, people rely on common lighters, fire starting ferrocerium rods, and even matches for emergencies. Of course, all of these are a satisfactory addition to your gear, and packing all of these can never be a bad idea. In case you are found without them, there are still traditional methods of starting fire and you should certainly familiarize with all the different ways to start a flame as they are numerous. Be sure to watch instructional videos, read articles and literature on the matter. It could help a lot. Following are some of the aspects and necessities to keep in mind when starting a fire outdoors:
- Always prepare tinder –
Tinder is crucial. You should never attempt to start a fire without it. Tinder is the dry, easily flammable material that will catch a spark and start a flame. There is a plenty of materials to serve the purpose, and you should always pack some in your bag. Keep them dry. Examples include cotton wool, wood shavings, dry grass, newspaper, down feathers. Once tinder is aflame , combine it with kindling to produce a fire. Kindling is the small, dry wood such as thin branches, that will burn without difficulty and help produce a large enough flame for bigger fuel to be added.
- Make certain you got the fuel –
Always start a fire in an area that is sheltered from the wind and where there is plenty of dry wood to use as fuel. Gather enough before beginning. Make certain the wood is dry and flammable or else the fire will produce excess smoke and burn poorly. In case you are making a signaling fire, consider putting fresh foliage on the fire. This will in turn produce great amounts of smoke which can often be seen from a great distance.
We hope that with this short article we can present the significant aspect a camp fire can bring. Don’t forget to keep them in mind for the next camping trip!