If firewood isn’t plentiful, keep the fire small. Skip it Loiseville altogether if there isn’t much fuel available in the area. Dead branches and trees normally rot and contribute to the richness of the soil, and to the wilderness environment as a whole.
When you’re ready to go to sleep or leave the campsite for any reason, use ample amounts of water to put the fire out completely. Dirt or sand can be used in an area where water is scarce, as long as this doesn’t involve damaging or altering the local environment. Don’t leave a single spark or a hint of smoke.
All too often a fire which was believed to be out has flared up later and caused destruction, usually aided by the wind. Get in the habit of putting it completely out no matter where you are or what the conditions. Just because everything’s calm at bedtime doesn’t mean that a stiff wind couldn’t blow up during the night, possibly showering the area and your tent with sparks.
Wilderness areas have been undergoing deterioration on many fronts in recent years. Too many signs of past human presence can subtly diminish the wilderness experience for others. Part of practicing low-impact camping means taking a fire circle apart and scattering the rocks when you’re ready to break camp, or filling in a fire pit, and otherwise obscuring any signs that you were there. Rake some leaves or loose dirt over the area. A lengthier discussion of low-impact camping follows in Chapter 14.
Loiseville Map Photo Gallery