View Full Version : Remaining inconspicuous in the country side yet lighting a fire?

08-08-2008, 12:40 AM
I've seen mixed approaches to this in fiction- some characters light fires and then wait for someone to find them (usually after the fire has died for dramatic effect) and some characters would never light a fire unless their lives were dependent on it. And some light fires just because and get away with it, despite lurking threats.

If it is night, and not a full moon, and you don't use terribly smoky materials, AND you put something around your fire to help make the glow less visible- how likely are you to be seen? (in a grassland? in a forest?)

How conspicuous are small fires in broad daylight??? (I assume no more so than a horse and rider waltzing about)

This baffles me.
Christina, who would like her characters to be comfortable enough at first to light some fires... maybe.

08-08-2008, 12:54 AM
With modern technology... there is a very light campstove that burns pinecones, sticks etc, it's not as good as a camp stove that burns gas, but, as long as you got a hot fire with dry tender (to generate less smoke) you would be unlikely to be seen with it.

With traditional technology, once again, you would want to conceal your fire (in a pit in a stand of trees for example) and keep it small.

08-08-2008, 01:11 AM
The ancient way was to dig two parallel shafts, and build the fire deep in one of them. The other was kind of a chimney thing. (the two were connected) I remember reading about this and other methods in the US Army Survival Manual. Which you might be able to find online.

And, just a google later, here it is!

chapter 7: Firecraft

08-08-2008, 01:50 AM
my friends and I found out the hard way that it's good to conceal fires. We were having a cookout in the woods alongside the highway and had to take flight when a patrol car stopped and cops began making their way up. Still have visions of the tasty lambchop we had to abandon :P

08-08-2008, 04:20 AM
At night, it's real obvious. They'd want to build it under an overhang, down in a creek bed, etc. The glow from flames can be seen a very, very long way.

During the day, a fire's not obvious at all unless they're burning green or rotten wood that would send up a column of smoke. A little fire with dry wood wouldn't be obvious at all.

Note: you can sometimes smell a fire even if you can't see it. Woodsmoke can travel a long way.