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#40397 - 05/03/05 04:17 PM Fire in the Rain
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Our family went 18thcen camping last weekend at the Market Fair at Ft. Frederick, MD. The weather report for Friday – Sunday was mostly rain with the possibility of hard rain and strong winds. We spent just a little too much time Friday morning deciding if we were going to go at all, since we wanted to have fun, not be cold, wet and generally miserable, in doing so we missed the deadline to be able to drive our van to the site and unload. The Market Fair director was nice and allowed us to park about 50 yards (still in the parking lot) from where we decided to set up camp. It rained lightly while we were setting up and we, still in our “modern” clothing were damp. We set up our dinning tarp to create a “dry” area from which to set up our tents, etc. From previous experiences, I did bring some fat wood to start fires; all of the provided firewood was damp/wet. As soon as we finished setting up our tents, we changed into our 18thcen attire. I had the girls bring to our site and store under the dinning tarp, some of the provided wood and collect some damp/wet kindling for our dinner fire.

The rain subsided and we spent some time shopping with the various sutlers. Around 5pm we returned to our campsite and began to start a fire for dinner. While I did have matches as a backup, I traditionally use flint and steel with char cloth and tow to start all of our fires. Fortunately, I was able to generate a spark quickly, catching the char cloth and tow almost immediately. Using the fat wood as my initial kindling, we were able to add small damp/wet sticks made of white pine to the fire, soon we had a pretty good base fire going and was able to add some of the larger damp/wet pieces, which dried quickly and had a decent fire going for dinner and to keep warm before going to bed.

Friday night it poured and it was cold. We do take some liberties inside our tent and use sleeping bags under our wool blankets and were fairly comfortable. The next morning the girls got up before me and cheated with the fire using matches. Despite the damp/wet conditions/wood, they were successful in starting the morning fire for breakfast. Most of Saturday was nice, with occasional rain, but it got real cold and windy as the sun went down. We had the evening fire going quickly and despite wet/damp wood, cooked our dinner, stoking the fire for warmth until we went to bed. It was a very cold windy night and never felt totally comfortable. Sunday morning was cold, but too bad. The windy conditions became milder and dried our tents before having to pack.

For us, making an open fire in the rain for both cooking and warmth was not an option it was a necessity. One can make a suitable fire, under wet/damp conditions if you properly prepare your wood and have some decent tinder (char cloth and tow) and start kindling (fat wood).

By the way, there were plenty of knives (big ones), axes, guns, etc. and no one got stabed or shot. I feel so comfortable, that even my 11 year old carries a shelth knife with no one telling us she can not do that.

Pete

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#40398 - 05/03/05 04:44 PM Re: Fire in the Rain
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Pete, I'm confused - I thought that Western Maryland had progressed to the early 19th Century... <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Western Maryland sure is a pretty part of the country. You were at the state park?

Tom

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#40399 - 05/03/05 05:44 PM Re: Fire in the Rain
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
No, it is still stuck in the 18thcen <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Yes, it was Ft. Frederick State Park
I think it is pretty amazing, that at a state park, ground fires, weapons/edged tools, etc. are accepted as part of the image of 18thcen life and therefore allowed, but not in any of the modern day state parks.

Pete

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#40400 - 05/03/05 10:17 PM Re: Fire in the Rain
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Pete - Any picures you could post? It would be interesting and maybe educational to see those.

Tom

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#40401 - 05/04/05 01:51 PM Re: Fire in the Rain
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Yes, if I can find the e-mail where my wife sent them to me. My daughter took the camera with smart card back to school this week, so I do not have the photos handy. Unfortunately, since we had to park near the parking lot, many of the pictures have cars in the background. We plan on cropping them at some point in time.

Pete

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#40402 - 06/29/05 11:50 PM Re: Fire in the Rain
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I forgot, my wife posted the photos.

Here is the link:

http://users.adelphia.net/~mmgorelick/


Pete

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