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.

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).