Dead Birch Bark is a Camper’s Friend

On a few days of rain at our property on Big Bass Lake, the Hoffman Estates Boys Club kids got to experience how to build a campfire in the rain. Now we had a canopy of trees over our campsite so the rain never really poured down yet a goodly portion still reached us. Yet on our wooded beachfront there was also a goodly assortment of birch trees that were dead. The bark of that tree burns in wet or dry weather.

Danny and Tim gathered in a lot of bark from those dead trees that served both as fire starters and fire continuers throughout one evening meal. The oily substance within the bark catches fire quite easily. It enabled the kids to enjoy a really hot meal despite the inclement weather.

The boys were never allowed to peal any bark off live birch trees. Even so it seemed that our wooded beachfront had more dying birch trees than live ones that year. On our full seven day trip we only needed birch bark twice. And, it wasn’t used unless we just had to have it. The kids were surprised to learn that they could still enjoy a hot meal even in the rain which sure beat the expectations of cold beans out of a can.

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