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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.)

Temple Fire

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.

Notes on Rocks

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 when heated.

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.




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Copyright 2001 1st/11th Roscommon Scouts
Last modified: June 23, 2002


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