Do you use Fire blankets?

-- Last Updated: May-27-09 1:04 PM EST --

Just wondering if anyone has used a fire blanket and was it a pain or did it perform as it was supposed to?
The USFS is starting to require a fire box or blanket in many back country areas lately.

So I guess nobody uses fire blankets?
or doesn’t us USFS lands?

what are they?

– Last Updated: May-27-09 3:21 PM EST –

I bet because the majority of the people here are east of the Mississippi we don't have that requirement.

USFS does not require them in the White Mountains of NH. Never seen them required in any National Forest area in the Northeast or Southeast.

If you follow Leave No Trace guidelines a fire blanket would be a good idea no matter where.

Nothing more icky than old burned wood on a sand beach or remains of old campfires just anywhere..Plus it reminds you to put the fire dead OUT.

However I just use a stove. I really dont care for campfires except for bug control.

Fire blankets
are 3 ft squares made from a kevlar blend of material. In wilderness areas you are required to use them or a fire pan to keep from leaving burn marks on the ground. You are supposed to put 2-3 inches of dirt on them and build your campfire on top of that.

seems like needed only in select forests
Doing a search for this I came up with some national forests in Idaho, Wyoming and Arizona and maybe some others. Maybe it’s a pilot program in some areas possibly spreading everywhere later.

I never tend to make fires (the smoke bothers me) so I don’t look into this much. Some areas don’t allow fires period due to either not enough dry wood or fire danger.

When accepted as a substitute, they
are certainly easier to carry from site to site than a firepan. But you have to check whether a fire blanket is acceptable. This can vary from area to area. The BLM area’s I’ve been concerned with were allowing only firepans, and what’s more, they didn’t allow local fuel use.

The firepan ritual does involve digging up some dirt, and disposing of dirt and ashes later, so it is a bit short of zero impact.

In my area
the requirements are for wilderness corridors along waterways and wilderness areas.

You are supposed to get the dirt from “animal burrows or bolw down root balls”. I fail to see how this has less impact than using existing fire rings, but I’m not a bureaucrat.