The fireplace needs to be prepared carefully. A fireplace is needed to
control the fire. If you are not careful the fire can get out of control
and become very dangerous.
Firstly you will need to decide upon its location. You will need a site
that is sheltered, especially during high winds. You will also need to
take into account the layout of the rest of the camp (see campsite -
layout section for more details). Do not place your fire at the base of
tree's, stumps or rocks. Once you have chosen your site, clear the
surrounding area to form a wide circle of bare earth (clear all twigs,
leaves etc.) around 2m (6 ft ) across.
If the ground is too wet to place the fire on directly, build a small
platform from a layer of green logs covered with a layer of earth (or you
could use a layer of stones. Do not use
stones from a river bed/bank. They will crack and explode when heated.)
A common fireplace method that is used widely is the temple fire. This
consists of a raised platform, built from green timber (or unnatural
materials like metal girders!). Simply drive four uprights into the ground
and lash crosspieces at the top. Now place a layer of green logs across
the top and cover with several inches of earth. You can now light the fire
upon this (and has the added bonus of being more comfortable to deal with
at waist height).
If you make two of the diagonally opposite uprights longer then you can
place a piece across joining them to form a simple pot rod or spit.
Avoid placing wet rocks or porous rocks near fires. In particular never
use those that have been under the water near a fire. They may explode
Avoid slates and softer rocks, and if unsure, test the rocks by banging
them together. Do not use any that crack, sound hollow or flake.
If the rocks contain any moisture, then as they heat the water expands and
can make the stone explode. This will produce flying fragments of stone
which will obviously be very dangerous.