Monday, August 01, 2011

Fundy beach fire etiquette

In case you find yourself around the beautiful Bay of Fundy this summer, I thought I'd pass along a few tips for hosting a proper bonfire.

Tip #1 - arrive before dusk to gather driftwood. Look well above the normal high tide line (e.g. in the marsh grasses) for wood because the usual to-fro of the tides will have drawn back most driftwood from the regular tide line. (Note that by the end of the summer you may have to bring some of your own woodstove wood because the driftwood might be quite picked over.)

Tip #2 - look for a couple of large driftwood trees to use as benches. At commonly frequented beaches, these will often already be set in a V or U around a makeshift pit. (BTW it is considered a major faux pas to use driftwood tree trunks as fire wood!!)

Tip #3 - it is not necessary to build one of those cute oval fire pits surrounded by large rocks; this will immediately give you away as a city camper. You are on a stone beach - there is nothing nearby to catch fire! (Exception: if you have little kids with you, you may want to put some sort of visual barrier around the pit).

Tip #4 - determine if the tide is coming in or out. If it's on its way in and you build your fire half way down the beach you may not have time to roast a marshmallow. Instead, I'd suggest building your fire just below the anticipated high tide line. If the tide is in or just heading out when you build your fire, build it on the high side of tide line or you'll end up sitting on wet sand.

Here's a photo of our first beach fire of the season (last night), which leads me to my final tip:

Tip #5 - train your dog to fetch more driftwood while you cook your s'mores. You can see our yellow lab in action just behind the blaze.


Anonymous said...

I grew up on the Minas Basin and we *always* mark our fire pits with a circle of rocks. It's an indication for others, after the tide has swept sand over it, that there are sooty sticks just below the surface! Plus, it provides shelter for the fire from the wind and makes a great spot to rest a weinie-roasting stick. ;) Nothing "city" about it!

Terri said...

haha fair comment about the rock circle!! :-)

Kathleen ML said...

I'm actually commenting on an old post of yours. I figured you probably wouldn't see the comment, so I posted it here.
A while back, you posted a hodge podge recipe. I remember cooking hodge podge as a kid over a wood burning stove out in New Brunswick. Your post just brought back so many memories! I know what I'm making for lunch today ;)

Now onto this post: I've got to agree with refashionista. Rock circles are handy, especially if the wind pcks up. I may just be paranoid, but I've seen sticks get blown out of a fire before. A teeny circle of pebbles may not do you much good, but if you get proper sized rocks it can come in handy. Plus, then you can place a grill above the fire! (My favourite thing to do)

Justin said...

Can you build a fire on any beach?

real estate philippines said...

What a great tips. I love to make bonfire also, and when I am going to a beach I used to make bone fire too. Big thanks.

Charles A