Outdoor pursuits are often associated with sweaty exertion, falling down, mosquitoes and other miseries. On this page we therefore present some basic recreational advice that will make your excursion all the more pleasant. Making a campfire has always been a basic activity throughout human history. We need to keep warm and to cook food.
Lighting a campfire outdoors requires some knowledge of the environment you find yourself in. If you a plan a trip to Mount Ammarfjäll’s rocky terrain at 1200-1300 metres above sea level, you will have to take something with you to burn. On a trip to lower regions, where willows, juniper and bilberry thrive, you will find all the wood you need when you arrive. Dry twigs can be found under the dense willow thickets. In the mountain birch forest you will find plenty of twigs and bark, and the availability of firewood in the coniferous forests is of course very good. Use common sense. Use only fallen twigs and branches if possible. Do not light fires on rocks or slabs.
Making a campfire
• On a day-trip involving campfires and coffee boiling, your rucksack should contain: a coffee kettle, matches, tar-wood or birch bark, a bag of boiling-coffee and some dry pieces of wood. Store the matches in a plastic bag or a film canister (don’t forget the striking surface). • Keep a small supply of tar-wood or birch bark at home. You can then take some with you when you set out on your trip. You can also gather birch bark during your trip. Lighting a fire requires only a few pieces of tar-wood or a handful of birch bark. • Set off on your trip. Welcome to Vindelfjällen! • Use your common sense. Take only as much wood as you need. If possible use only fallen twigs and branches. It is easiest to bring some from home. • Time to light the fire. If the ground is very dry you might want to avoid lighting a fire. There are many ways of starting a fire! • Place some tar-wood or birch bark at the bottom. If you are making a fire on snow, place a layer of wood first, then build up the rest of the fire starting with the tar-wood/birch bark. • Use twigs, sticks, or a coarser branch that you can split with a knife. Place the sticks on the base of tar-wood/birch bark. • Don’t build to densely. The fire needs oxygen! • Build up the fire with coarser wood. • Light the fire! If it’s windy, then place yourself as a shelter. • Enjoy!
• When the fire has calmed down somewhat and the embers are glowing, you can start preparing your coffee. • Pour water into the coffee kettle. In winter you can melt some snow. • Prepare a stick to use for lifting the kettle over the fire. • Place the kettle on the fire, using some blocks of wood as support. • The water will boil within minutes. It is usually quicker than expected. • Place a few handfuls of boiling-coffee into the kettle. The coffee should form a small pyramid inside the kettle. • Boil the coffee! • Remove the kettle from the fire and dilute the coffee with a dash of water. • Drink and enjoy!
Sometimes you can find yellowish-red, strong-smelling pinewood, especially in old, damaged logs and stumps. When dry, this resin-rich tar-wood is probably the best thing for lighting fires. Saw the tar-wood into 10 cm lengths and split these into thick pieces. A single split tar-wood stick will light any fire!
There are many websites about knives. Outdoors you can make do with a simple ‘Mora knife’, borrowed from Dad’s toolbox or bought from a garage for about SEK 20. Be careful when using your knife in the wilderness, even if you think you’re an expert. Remember, you’re a long way from medical help!
Granfors bruk has a nice website about axes. Be careful when using your axe the wilderness, even if you think you’re an expert. Remember, you’re a long way from medical help!