A Glow in the Dark: Starting a Campfire - Backpacker

A Glow in the Dark: Starting a Campfire

It's hard to beat a campfire after a long day on the trail. Here's how to enjoy the moment even when conditions are against you.
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Wind and rain
When it's wet, locate dry wood under logs or leaves, gather dead snags suspended in trees, or tear open stumps for flammable pitchwood. In windy conditions, build a wind break with rocks and pitch your tent out of the path of blowing embers.

No fire ring
If there's no established site and a fire is necessary, prevent ground scars with a fire mound: Pile six inches of dirt atop a ground cloth; disperse soil afterward.

Burn restrictions
When fires aren't allowed or prudent, opt for the Black Diamond Apollo lantern, with a three-watt LED that lasts for 60 hours on 4 AAs ($50, bdel.com). For a more natural glow, the UCO Candelier burns three candles (rated to last 9 hours) to create enough light for an evening of Euchre ($30, campmor.com).

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