Building a campfire is among the most ancient of practices, and sitting by one still has almost universal appeal. There’s great congeniality in sharing a campfire with others. The setting is especially conducive to sharing stories and/or songs, and discussing the day’s activities or what’s to follow tomorrow.
A campfire can be a source of special comfort in cold weather, and a fire is usually helpful in keeping insects at bay when it’s buggy. You can build a campfire at any time of day, but evening is the most popular and convenient time to have one.
In the past it was almost unthinkable not to have a fire when camping out, but with increased environmental awareness this has been changing. Campfires have a real and visible impact on the wilderness. Many forest fires have begun with a poorly tended campfire, and building new fire circles leaves scars on the earth. Campfires are now restricted or prohibited in a growing number of parks and wilderness areas.
While some people feel cheated if they can’t have a campfire, there are some advantages in doing without one. For one thing, you’ll discover the night sky much more completely, especially if you’re camping out in the open. Sitting or lying stretched out for a spell of star-gazing with friends can be as relaxing and fulfilling as time spent in front of a campfire.
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