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Civilian camp fires, covert-style
Old 05-03-2009, 17:06   #1
perdurabo
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Civilian camp fires, covert-style

I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in the woods here in the Northwest. And of course, I encounter a lot of odd folks in these woods. I can count a dozen encounters off the top of my head that range from weird hermits to SHTF.

Aside from taking advantage of terrain, topography, and building bark/rock heat (and light) shields, are there any other techniques for reducing camp fire visual signatures, especially at night, both nearby and from afar?

Fires are nice, but they tend to attract attention, and you're usually close enough that it destroys your night vision and you can't see folks coming til they're practically on-site.

Ideas, thought, suggestions, corrective actions?
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Old 05-03-2009, 17:17   #2
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Claymores with tripwires.... Keeps out the unwanted visitor either human or Bear...
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Old 05-03-2009, 17:23   #3
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Claymores with tripwires.... Keeps out the unwanted visitor either human or Bear...
I dunno, they didn't stop Jesse Ventura in Predator
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Smell and noise not light
Old 05-03-2009, 17:29   #4
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Smell and noise not light

If you don't want to be found by the casual person, build a small fire with very dry wood before sundown. Eat, put it out and move a short distance just before last light. Then run a dry, dark camp.

Chances are somebody walking along in the late afternoon would smell your fire or hear you breaking wood way before you noticed them.

Again, after dark the smoke could drift a great distance based on weather conditions and wind. You make more noise at night with the wood also.

In average weather fire is a comfort item - not really needed.
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Old 05-03-2009, 22:21   #5
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Quote:
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If you don't want to be found by the casual person, build a small fire with very dry wood before sundown. Eat, put it out and move a short distance just before last light. Then run a dry, dark camp.

Chances are somebody walking along in the late afternoon would smell your fire or hear you breaking wood way before you noticed them.

Again, after dark the smoke could drift a great distance based on weather conditions and wind. You make more noise at night with the wood also.

In average weather fire is a comfort item - not really needed.

What Pete said. This is elementary stuff that can be found in any literature from the westward expansion period. (Surviving in "Indian Country".)
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Old 09-29-2009, 15:59   #6
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"white man build big fire, sleep far away, cold all night. Indian make small fire, sleep close, stay warm all night"

Fire keeps many animals away but attracts humans.

Several options here. You could build a dakota fire hole to reduce visible light horizontally. With the right application of a heat reflector you can stay warm all night.

If you want to stay warm and don't have a bunch of rocks to heat up try this. Dig a shallow trench the length of your body and build your fire at one end of it. Start your fire earlier in the day and burn enough wood to cover the bottom of your trench with coals. When it's time for bed, spread the coals out and cover with the dirt you excavated. It'll keep you warm all night. Be careful to use DIRT not rotted leaves and topsoil.

You can also dig a small hole about a foot or so deep next to a tree with a ventilation trough. Build a small fire in there until you get some good coals going. Let the fire burn out. Sleep leaning against the tree with your legs on either side of the trough. If you don't have a tree to lean against just use your ruck.

Be careful with the subterranean fires as you could get a root burning as an ember which can ignite into a full fire days later.
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Old 09-29-2009, 16:17   #7
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Get something from here and join the 21st century of outdoor living.

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/stoves...toves/category
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Old 09-29-2009, 18:12   #8
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For the reasons you state and for some of my own I cannot 'enjoy' a fire at night if I'm camping by myself or with the little woman.
Cook early, daylight and eat before last light, have ready made food/snacks for later.
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol
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Did someone say Indian Country?
Old 09-29-2009, 18:30   #9
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Did someone say Indian Country?

Me keep fire small, (i.e., whisper-lite, for cooking and security).

Big white man fire for when I want to get ripped on fire-water and dance around naked.

Last edited by wet dog; 09-29-2009 at 19:25.
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Old 09-29-2009, 21:33   #10
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If you sleep next to or against a large boulder that's been out in the sun all day, it'll collect that day's heat and radiate it at night. Not as warm as a fire but it beats nothing.
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Old 09-30-2009, 14:11   #11
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Being a LNT trainer, its good to see you all are thinking the right way of a camp fire.

Did I say Leave No Trace..

Fire good only when you need it..But do you need it ? You must ask ..


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Old 09-30-2009, 14:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRB View Post
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol
LOL reminds me of the scene in Jerimah Johnson when he wakes up in the middle of the night with his blankets on fire.

If you insist on old school get some charcoal and use it to cook with.
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Old 09-30-2009, 15:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRB View Post
For the reasons you state and for some of my own I cannot 'enjoy' a fire at night if I'm camping by myself or with the little woman.
Cook early, daylight and eat before last light, have ready made food/snacks for later.
Use the coals, if it's very cold, for warmth by burying them where you are going to sleep...deep enough tho, easy to get 'too warm'.
Clean your site for brush tobe quiet etc if that's needed.
Always fishhook in too Lol
What the SGM said but save the claymores, try a Bangalore Torpedo. Stand it upright and add a few branches from the indigenous vegetation. Always ensure there's a "dense" tree between you and the Bangalore.

Always fishook and place the Bangalore in the begining of the arch of the fishook.

Save the claymore for breaking contact and use the Australian peel when doing so.

Remember to clean weapons before dark as the noise of such action will carry much farther at night.

Only one boot off at a time when changing socks.

Cap off your canteen before dark.

Let us know if you need anything else....

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Old 09-30-2009, 19:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wet dog View Post
Me keep fire small, (i.e., whisper-lite, for cooking and security).

Big white man fire for when I want to get ripped on fire-water and dance around naked.
LOL.
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Old 09-30-2009, 20:54   #15
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I want to see the Australian peel with one person.
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