There is nothing more rewarding and pleasurable then riding your motorcycle into the wild, pitching up a tent and camping for a day or two. Find a nice place in the woods, preferably with a great view and a lake, and you might just have a perfect holiday relaxing and enjoying nature.
But motorcycle camping has its pitfalls as well, and we are not talking about being bitten by insects, nor not having your morning expresso coffee or sleeping in your comfortable bed. There are real dangers that should never be overlooked while camping, and one of the biggest dangers is fires.
Obviously when you are camping, you will want to eat. And to eat, you will need to make a fire to cook your food (and maybe later on in the evening sing Cumbaya). But fires in forest can cause a wildfires. Nine out of ten wildfires are caused by us humans, and a wildfire can kill people and destroy a lot of property, so you need to take a few precautions:
- Check if there is already a fire pit or fire ring (an area dug out a bit, often surrounded by stones).
- If there is not one, make one, but make sure it is not in an area with dry sticks, branches and leaves. Keep it 15 feet at least away from anything else (your tent, trees). Also watch out for low hanging branches.
- It might be a good idea to check where the wind is blowing, because embers and sparks will fly with the wind.
- Dig a pit, about 1 foot deep and place rocks around it.
- When you have finished putting dry branches in the pit and are ready to get some fire, it is a good idea to get a bucket with water and a shovel:- just in case.
- Once your fire is going, do not leave it unattended.
- When you are done, and the last Cumbaya song has been sung, if the fire has not died out, drown out the fire with water. You need to do this even if the fire has gone out (unless it is stone cold).
- Keep pouring water until you hear no more hissing. Stir the fire, and start pouring water again until it is no longer hot.
- If you do not have water, use dirt and sand, but you do need to stir that.
Remember, it is easy to make a fire, but very difficult and expensive to extinguish a wild fire. If the wild fire is tracked down to you, you will need to pay the expenses of all the damage it has cost, and the cost of the firefighters.
So if you go camping on your motorcycle, play it save. For all our sakes. Oh, and don’t forget your rain gear. You do know that Murphy was an optimist!