Low Impact Campfire Building

Campfire Alternatives
On any outdoor adventure, a source of heat for emergencies is required. You should always be prepared to start a fire in a survival situation. But, a backpacking stove is a great alternate source of heat from the campfire. Stoves have many benefits over fires:


Choosing Fire or Stove
Before heading out on a wilderness adventure, it is a good idea to decide whether campfires or stoves will be used for each day of the trip. It may be decided to have campfires some days and stoves on others. Some things to consider when making the decision include:


Leave No Trace Campfires
Once the decision is made to have a fire, the expertise of minimizing its impact comes into play. There will be an impact to the area from any fire, but there are many ways to reduce and disguise the impact.


Fires built on the ground overheat the organic soil and kill the creepy crawlies living in it. It may take a very long time for anything to grow in the spot where a fire was built. An established fire ring is a sacrificed spot in which fires are accepted to prevent destruction of other areas.  In the absence of fire rings, rather than creating a fire directly on the ground, it is better to insulate the organic soil from the heat of your fire by using a camp stove, fire pan, or mound fire.


Fire Pans
A collapsible fire pan is a good way to have a campfire and greatly reduce its impact. A metal pan with 3-inch sides perched on 4 or 5 stones allows a fire without scorching the soil underneath. Follow all Leave No Trace campfire guidelines listed above.


Mound Fires
Another way to insulte soil is to cover it with a few inches of mineral soil and build a fire on that. Mineral soil is found underneath the top layer of rich, darker, organic soil. Mineral soil, sand, or gravel do not have the thriving life in them that organic soil has so a fire on that material is ok.
To create a mound fire, follow these steps:



mound fire



Minimizing Campfire Impact is Important because: