ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Campfires - To Burn or Not to Burn

Updated on June 27, 2019
Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores and her family enjoy primitive camping on an island in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

campfire | Source

A big part of the romance of camping is the campfire. The ring of stones, the little teepee of logs and bright flame dancing in the darkness harkens back to our Neolithic ancestors and reminds us that the ability to control fire is a big part of what makes us human.

A fire warms us on a chilly night. It serves as a focal point for cooking hot-dogs and S’mores and calls up all those half-remembered folk songs that involve a lot of repetition. A fire keeps bugs away and deters vampires, monsters and boogey-men.

A campfire also makes a big mess. Building a fire sends people out into the woods to gather fallen branches that are supposed to break down to make the duff – that nice, soft forest floor. A fire can get out of control and cause horrendous devastation.

The campfire can become an obsession. You constantly fiddle with it, feed it and must guard it constantly. It destroys your night vision. The fire as a focal point isolates you in an island of brightness beyond which you see nothing. You could set up your campfire in the middle of a parking lot for all you’re aware of the world outside the fire circle.

I used to love our campfire. After carefully clearing the area of everything, I’d build a small teepee fire about 8 feet away from a large fallen log which provided comfortable seating.

When a mean forest ranger invaded our campsite one day to inform us that the rules had changed, campfires were now forbidden in the area, I was heartbroken. He also instructed me that Smokey Bear’s middle name was not ‘The,’ engendering a discussion that lasted longer than the campfire discussion.But… nights in the woods with no campfire gave us a magnificent view of the night sky, shooting stars and once a faint glimpse of the Aurora borealis – pale white curtains of light fluttering in the northern sky. We never would have noticed it if we had a fire going.

Without the snapping and popping of fire, we heard the loons and the frogs and the soft swish of air in the hemlocks. Without our obsession with the campfire, we felt free to roam our little island where we camped, to dwell in sweet silence, washed in the aroma of the lake and the trees. Plus, we didn’t walk around smelling like we bought our clothes at a fire sale.

  • No campfire meant no big mess of scorched rocks and logs and a great smear of ashes.
  • No campfire meant less worrying about the fool left in charge of it when I went to bed.
  • No campfire means less impact on our natural surroundings.

Open fires are becoming less acceptable in these days of low impact camping. Stoves are more environmentally friendly and easier for cooking. Many areas outright forbid fire.

If you must have a campfire, closely follow campground rules and fire safety guidelines. Me – I like the cool, quiet night, the stars and the sweet, smokeless air. I’m sorry that I was snippy to that fire stanching ranger and in his honor, remind you how Smokey Bear used to say – ‘you can prevent forest fires. No 'The.'

No campfire means beautiful night views.
No campfire means beautiful night views. | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)