Except above tree-line, good firewood is available in most places in the Yukon but a few days of rain can make pretty good wood too wet to get anything but thick smoke and little flame. A short time spent on preparation  can help to get at least a  good cooking fire anywhere.

In other articles I have discussed fire-lighting materials such as fire-paste, duct-tape or a plastic jar full of kerosene soaked chain-saw chips.

On a fly-in sheep hunt or alpine trek where you will take off from the same place or at least near where you landed, a small bag or even a large ziplok of charcoal will give you enough heat/fire to cook on and also get smaller damp pieces of wood  to flame. Just leave the bag in a waterproof wrap where you can easily find it when you return to the pick-up place. Depending on your load, a smaller zip-lok with 8-10 pieces of charcoal can be carried along with you to the camping spot. A little white-gas on some dry twigs will get the charcoal burning at your camp.

On adventures where weight and bulk are not as great a consideration other materials can be carried in the boat or truck and placed in a dry location in camp. This can include a full bag of charcoal to start or keep a fire burning well into the night. On my regular visits to the local dumps and free-stores, I often find end cuts of dimensional lumber which can be split and stored vertically in a milk-box.If they are cut to be shorter than the box is tall, it forms a nice neat package and can be stacked on top of another similar box to save space. These pieces can be cut into kindling size or larger to use as the basis for a larger fire. The milk-box also makes a good seat in camp.

At the same dumps where I find the dimensional lumber pieces, there are often discarded, broken chairs, tables, dressers or other items which are often made of some type of hardwood. Many newer or cheaper pieces are made out of particle board and not useful for making fires. The hardwood pieces  will give off a lot of heat, are easier to light and burn longer than wood found in the forest. This helps to get damp wood or bigger pieces to flame. These hardwood pieces can easily be broken down into uniform sizes with a hand-saw or just broken up with an axe.

Hardwood pallets are available just about everywhere and 5 to 10 careful minutes with a skill-saw will break down a couple of pallets into fire sized pieces which can be carried in a milk-box or just tied into a bundle.

When and where campfires are legal and safe, there just aren’t many activities that beat sitting by a fire.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top