Curated For a Life of Adventure

What they don't teach you at an elite university - How to start a fire

Random Outdoor, How To Videos, TravelJohanna Stein
Santa Barbara
My happy camper - grinding beans for fancy camp coffee

My happy camper - grinding beans for fancy camp coffee

I love my husband Dan so much! But sometimes he does things and my only response is face - palm. We had one of those moments over the weekend.

Here is the set-up. I was down in So-Cal for the big natural products trade show scouting camp noms and he flew down after to join me for a getaway. It was what I would call a half in half weekend. We stayed in a hip hotel in downtown LA and went and saw José González at the Symphony the first night and then we went camping in Santa Barbara the second. 50% things he thinks are the best and 50% things I think are the best. (Note we both enjoy all of these things - I wouldn't say our enjoyment is equal.)

A few Provisions Pack noms for breakfast

A few Provisions Pack noms for breakfast

On day two we get to Santa Barbara right at sunset then check in with the rangers and buy local wood. Then at the campsite, we each focus on a task. I take tent set-up and he gets dinner making. Our meal requires a fire. I think he's got this we just made a fire starting tutorial. 20 min later I've put up our tent and gotten our sleeping pads inflated.

Dan's done a great job of collecting all the supplies out of the car. He's figured out we don't have our second headlamp, but that we have a lantern. We divide up the tasks again I start prepping the food and he starts working on the fire. A while later he says "Jojo I am worried about this fire starting". 

This is when things get interesting. I peer into the fire circle. He has the fire set-up just like in the video. But there is also wet leaves, a dirty sock, trash, and a bunch of old char. That is when I realize what any experienced camper might think is an obvious step isn't so obvious. We've now re-edited the tutorial to include a step to clear any debris from your fire circle. U of C you've taught Dan many things - starting a physical fire in the outdoors is not one of them.

How to start a fire - with the not so obvious instruction included