Austin Lawrence, April 2014
A weekend for firekeepers to hone their skills and learn new techniques, or for aspiring firekeepers to learn all about it. Attendees will have the main fire pit to practice with, without the distraction of drummers and dancers, so they can play with the fire day and night.The purpose of this event is to share ideas about festival firekeeping and improve the skills of people managing fires at at the various area gatherings and festivals. Your host and facilitator is the experienced firemonger Kimberly Ross. More Flamey!
Clothing: Please remember to wear closed-toe shoes (canvas or leather are best) with a sturdy sole, and non-flammable clothing when fire-keeping. You may also want to avoid clothing with metal rivets or buttons.
Beverages: Remember to bring plenty of water containers to keep hydrated. If you want to consume alcohol in moderation, that’s fine, but intoxicated people will not be allowed to tend fires.
Food: There is no meal plan or other available food on site, so make sure you pack some. There should be plenty of cooking fires, though….
Main firepit: Though the fire is warm, the nights will get cold. Remember to bring warm clothing along for later in the night. A chair is also a good idea. And lots of water!
Cost: The cost will be regular Raven’s Knoll camping fees, plus pitching in for the cost of fuel and related stuff.
(To learn more or ask questions, check out the Facebook group.)
Friday, May 23
7:00 p.m.: Orientation Fire
Meet at the main firepit to start the bonfire and go over fire safety, basic concepts, and build a lovely big fire. Over the evening, we will be discussing how to build and maintain a fire for effective heat and light, what woods to use, and strategies to make your fire easier to maintain and all-around prettier, not to mention the importance of a good pokey-stick. Fire pit etiquette and festival challenges will also be discussed. Proper banking procedures will also be covered at the end of the night. Everybody gets to play!
Saturday, May 24
12:30 p.m.: Firebug basics.
Meet at the standing stone firepit to learn and trade fire-starting techniques, mostly modern, but flint & steel and bow-drill methods will be taught as well. We’ll also get into some variants and showy techniques.
2:00 p.m.: Fuel for the fire
This will be a discussion of the properties of different types of wood, as well as alternative fuels and accelerants; how they work and when to use them.
3:30 p.m.: Key Skills
How to use keystone firepits, how to build a cook fire, and how to properly maintain small fires.
5:00 p.m.: Fuel for fire-keepers (dinner break)
Dinner is important. And we should already have a great cooking fire if you want one!
8:00 p.m.: More Flamey!
Time to rekindle the bonfire at the main firepit, and for everyone to get some more time to play. We will also be going over some cool tricks and ways to add flare to your fire, and ways to handle challenges that conditions may present. If there are campers who want a hearth fire, we may take some time to address that type of fire and let people who are interested get some practice at a smaller fire while others work on the big one.
Sunday, May 25
12:00 p.m.: Fire at Festivals
An open discussion about what part fire-keepers play at festivals, what the job entails, what improvements could be made, and how to avoid burn out (pun intended).
1:00 p.m. onwards: Smoke Stuck to You
Bring the luscious smell of wood smoke back to your homes!