One way to make the outdoor fireplace is to lay two _green_ logs side by
side on the ground in a narrow V shape, but open at both ends; only a
few inches at one end, a foot or more at the other. The fire is built
between the logs, and the frying-pan and pail of water, resting on both
logs, bridge across the fire. Should the widest space between the logs
be needed, place two slender green logs at right angles across the V
logs, and have these short top cross logs near enough together to hold
the frying-pans set on them (Fig. 26).
When there are no green logs, build the fireplace with three rectangular
sides of stone, open front, and make the fire in the centre; the pots
and pans rest across the fire on the stones.
If neither stones nor logs are available, dig a circle of fresh earth as
a safeguard and have the fire in its centre. Here you will need two
strong, forked-top stakes driven down into the ground directly opposite
each other, one on each side of the circle. Rest the end of a stout
green stick in the forked tops of the stakes, and use it to hang pots
and pails from when cooking. A fire can also be safeguarded with a
circle of stones placed close together. Another method of outdoor
cooking may be seen on page 81, where leaning stakes are used from which
to hang cooking utensils over the fire.
One more caution about possibilities of causing forest fire. Terrible
wide-spread fires have resulted from what was supposed to be an
extinguished outdoor fire. Do not trust it, but when you are sure the
camp-fire is out, pour on more water over the fire and all around the
unburned edge of surrounding ground; then throw on fresh earth until the
fire space is covered. Be always on the safe side. Tack up on a tree
in the camp, where all must see it, a copy of the state laws regarding
forest fires, as shown in photograph frontispiece.
On forest lands much of the ground is deep with tangled rootlets and
fibres mixed in with the mould, and a fire may be smouldering down
underneath, where you cannot see it. _Have a care._
The permanent-camp fireplace, built to do service for several seasons,
is usually of big, heavy, _green_ logs, stones, and earth. The logs,
about three and one-half feet long, are built log-cabin fashion, some
twenty-eight inches high, with all crevices filled in and firmly padded
with earth and stones. Big stones are anchored securely along the top of
the earth-covered log sides and back of the fireplace, raising these
higher than the front. The space inside the walled fireplace is very
nearly filled up with earth, and the fire is built on this earth.
Surfaces of logs which may have been left exposed where the fire is to
be made are safeguarded with earth (Fig. 27).
Such a fireplace is big, substantial, firm, and lasting. Many of them
may be seen in the Adirondacks. They usually face the camp shelter, but
are located at a safe distance, fully two yards, from it. Fires built in
these are generally used as social cheer-fires, but you can have the
cheer-fire even though the substantial fireplace be _non est_, if in the
evening you pile more wood on the cook-fire, making it large enough for
all to gather around and have a good time, telling stories, laughing,
talking, and singing.
An excellent rule in camp is to have always on hand _plenty_ of
_fire-wood_. Replenish the reserve stock every day as inroads are made
upon it, and have some sort of shelter or covering where the wood will
be kept dry and ready for immediate use.