One of the first things I tend to do in the morning when I arrive at running deer is get the fire lit in camp. It’s a job I enjoy doing and can’t think of a better way to start the day. It gives warmth and a welcoming glow and serves as a natural gathering spot for meetings and assemblies.
Since the dawn of time fire has been an important to humans in a physical and psychological way. Fire is used to cook our food and warm our homes and who can resist the inviting glow and crackle of a real fire it never fails to lift our spirits.
In this modern world we have lost our connections with this fantastic element. Over time we have opted for more ‘instant’ ways of getting our warmth and cooking our meals using gas, electricity etc.
While I’m not anti these things I think it does everyone good to get back to basics and learn how to use fire for cooking and warmth safely. I find something as simple as toasting marshmallows over the camp fire can help rekindle that lost connection that our ancestors had with fire.
As a keen bushcrafter I’m constantly searching for new and interesting ways to start and use fire, from striking a flint and steel, making an ember by friction, and one of my most recent and amazing learnings of striking a shard of pottery against a piece of high silica bamboo to create a spark.
Anything that can be cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked on a camp fire with the correct equipment and a bit of know how. A cast iron pot with a lid called a dutch oven can be used to roast meat etc by putting the pot on the fire and covering the lid with embers to create an even heat all around what you want to cook.
While fire is a fantastic thing it can also be dangerous. If not respected and care is not taken it can destroy property and harm or worse kill us. Even someone who is accomplished at working with fire can fall foul of it if care is not taken.
Fire in my opinion has a magical quality that I will never tire of. It is something I hope to work with and appreciate until I end my time on this earth.