We have aa couple of threads discussing the negative effects of campfires- escaping, causing air pollution, etc., and I think it is worthwhile to point out that there are positive aspects to fires as well.
To wit: Campfires provide heat and light, which can be crucial in numerous situations, especially what we might term "survival" conditions, when other more customary light and heat sources are not available.
Back in the 50s and 60s, when I was learning and perfecting outdoor skills, I got pretty good at getting a fire going in adverse conditions. This came in handy on several occasions, some of which were edging on crucial.
In 1963 I signed up with REI. my first purchase was a Primus 71L stove It is still around here somewhere, now a prized antique). At that point, my ability to build fires under adverse conditions began to decline, since I could now carry a virtually guaranteed heat and flame source. my ability to build and ignite fires in a howling snowstorm steadily declined.
These days my essentials bag include some hexamine (Esbit) tablets and I always carry a small bottle of 70% alcohol hand sanitizer, which makes an excellent fire starter and accelerant. I am confident with those aides, and a bit of my rusty skills I will be able to get a fire going, if I ever need one. And those occasions do arise, often when least expected. Fire construction is an essential, fundamental outdoor skill
The crucial thing about fires is knowing when to start one, and when NOT to start one, under any circumstances, Heat, wind, and dry conditions indicate that no fires should be built, period. Dinner will have to be dark chocolate bars, served cold.
On other occasions, a fire can be the difference between life and death, quite literally.
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