Should I Have a Fire Tonight?

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The Technical Dilemma
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The Moral Dilemma
I can Make Fire. But Should I?

Yes
Make camping memorable.

There’s a reason “hearth” is sometimes a synonym for “home”: Fires aren’t just a useful way to cook or make light or stay warm, they’re a way to build community. In fact, that’s the best reason to have one. Bring your stove, your headlamp, your puffy; if conditions aren’t right for a safe, low-impact burn, skip it. But on those magical nights when time and circumstance are in your favor, there’s no better way to rally the crew. Watch as everyone scampers to find fuel, gathers back together. Time decelerates as your wood pile flickers into ash. Indeed, life’s too short to skip the fire. - Rachel Zurer

NO
Fires are for survival.

There’s nothing like sitting by a fire... when your life depends on it. The rest of the time, well, it’s just an exercise—usually in poor planning. Forget your stove? Unprepared for the cold? By all means, have a fire. But for the camper who’s equipped and skilled, campfires are unnecessary for backcountry enjoyment. I’ve had plenty of good conversations around the headlamp and made s’mores over a candle. Plus, I’d rather arrive at (and leave) a campsite that looks like I’m the first one there, maybe ever. I’ve done this favor for you, too, even if you don’t know it. In fact, that’s exactly the point. - Casey Lyons