Ten Things You Need To Know About Fire In The Wilderness



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1  Fire is without a doubt , primitive man’s first form of outdoor tech . Evidence of cooked food can be traced back to thousands of years ago . Cooking food became quite frequent around 50,000 years ago . This enabled early humans to expand the nature of their diet . It is well known that cooking will soften certain types of food to make them more palatable .

2   In the wilderness , fire can be used for keeping warm in cold climates . The ability of man to produce fire enabled him and his group to inhabit colder areas that contained more game that could be used as food . This enabled him to hunt and gather over a more extended range . Shelters could be made more quickly and less complicated when fire was used to keep them warm . Cumbersome clothing could be removed while indoors and the environment was a lot less damp and musty .

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3   Fire can also be used to keep wild animals away . This application of fire is for night time comfort. In the wilderness , where bears , wolves and other nocturnal predators are present , a prominent fire will help you sleep much more comfortably . A blazing fire at the entrance to a cave was perhaps the first form of secured entry .

4   Fire can also be used for cooking food . This is a concept that we still use today . Cooking meat or fish over an open fire is probably the greatest factor in converting many people to camping . Food sizzling over an open fire late at night , under a starry sky . How many stories have been told in this setting .

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5   In a wilderness setting , fire can be used for melting or softening sap or pitch for canoe repairs .

6   Fire can be used for disinfecting your drinking water . This is undoubtedly the easiest way to ensure that your water that is safe to drink . Heated rocks from a fire can be used to disinfect and heat water when no container or pot is available . This can be achieved by using animal skins or a leak proof hole in the ground or in a rock formation .

7   Fire can be used to signal your position in the event that you need to be rescued and evacuated by aircraft . Many of are aware of how Native  Americans used smoke signals to communicate between their various tribes . Smoke will eventually rise and can be seen to the point where the Earth’s curvature no longer makes it visible .

8   Fire can be used to heat wood , in a slow controlled manner , bending it this way and that way, … to make it straight . This is very useful when making bows and arrows , spears and other tools that would be of great benefit If lost for an extended period of time .

9   Fire can be used to make torches . A fire torch can be used to provide illumination at night or to explore the interior of a cave . This was surely the first outdoor tech flash light .

10  It can also be used to make a smoke torch , should you be fortunate enough to find a bee’s nest while lost in the wilderness . After you have cleared the bees from their food source you are free to partake of their wonderful creation. Be respectful – do not damage their home and do not take too much from their larder .


Fire is one of man’s greatest friends . It must be used wisely and carefully when you are in the wilderness . Be very careful with fire when the area you are in is very dry . Sparks travel quickly when caught by the wind . Forest fires cause a lot of damage to vegetation and wildlife . Sudden shifts in the wind can leave you trapped in this metaphoric hell . Be aware of the crackling forest air , and do not venture into it . Best to remove yourself from this situation and return at another time . When you build a camp fire make SURE it is OUT before you leave . Do not forget that your fire may be burning UNDERGROUND ! Many fires are caused by natural means , but many are also caused by MAN ! You should always be in CONTROL of your fire ! With all the destruction and mayhem that fire can create , it is still our friend .

Nothing can equal sitting around an open fire enjoying a meal with friends and family !

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I am an avid outdoors enthusiast, and I spend most of my free time in the great outdoors. The mountains and rivers, ... and everything in between ... is always calling me. Nature is my sanctuary.


  1. You are right about fire and it’s many uses, good or not so good. I really can relate to fire for where I am living presently. In the winter fire is so important living in the mountains, for many reason as you have said. Good information to remember!

    • I live just north of you … we are fighting a LOT of forest fires now … a lot of them caused by HUMANS !

        • Hi Sue and thanks for re-visiting my website . I am very happy to hear that you spend a lot of time in the outdoors I DO recommend that you bring your mobile phone in tip # 10 . Cell or mobile phones are always very convenient to have with you in the event that you should require emergency treatment , however , in some areas it is almost impossible to transmit and receive a signal . In this case , an In-Reach unit which can be paired to your mobile phone can send and receive text messages almost anywhere on the planet . This ( In-Reach ) unit is in the same price range as a good mobile phone . Your first option , is to check if your cell phone provider offers service in the area that you will be hiking in . In addition to In-Reach , SPOT and Satellite phones are other options that you have . These last 3 options should be considered if you plan to venture off-grid or in areas where your mobile phone provider has NO service .

          If you have service in the area you will be hiking , your mobile phone should always be on your person . All modern phones have excellent cameras that can capture the great memories of your hikes . These can be shared with your friends and would certainly be welcomed at this website . Again , thank you for the visit and stay in touch as I will be reviewing these 3 other options in more detail .

          • Fantastic sky, great lead in and some mountains I’d love to climb. Great image. I’m off to the Swiss Alps in a month I’m SO lonkoig forward to it.LensScaper recently posted..

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