Pearls of wisdom

 “A boy on joining wants to begin Scouting right away.”
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Putting Out Your Campfire

By far more important than building a good campfire is to make sure you completely put it out! Every year, careless people destroy thousands of acres of wilderness and forest land by leaving campfires. Please be a Campfire Dude and not one of those Duds.

  1. Extinguish your campfire at least 1/2 hour before you plan to leave.
  2. By planning ahead, you should have burned down all the coals to ash. There should be very few chunks of coal left and no partially burned wood.
  3. If you are extinguishing a burning fire rather than hot ash and coals, first use a stick to stir the wood and ash. This is to extinguish the flames as much as you can.
  4. Sprinkle water over the coals. If they are hot, this will cause a lot of steam mixed with ash so avoid standing directly above or downwind of the fire. You may want to move your gear too.
  5. Once you have wetted down all the ash and coals, use a stick to stir everything together.
  6. Continue to sprinkle water and stir until no more steam rises and you hear no hissing steam.
  7. Let the fire area sit for 10 minutes. Good opportunity to get more water.
  8. Feel the area for hot spots - hold the back of your hand close to the ash, but not in it. Feel around for heat spots.
  9. If everything is cold, you done good, kid! If there is still heat, sprinkle more water and stir.
  10. Once you feel no heat, the ash can be disposed of:
        1. Scoop all the coals, ash, and partially burned wood into a bag, cooking pot, or some other container.
        2. Carry it far out into the woods and spread it around.
        3. Or, carry it down the trail a 1/2 mile and then disperse it far off the trail.
        4. Scatter unused wood back into the surrounding woods or leave it nicely stacked if this is a high-use, established camp site.
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