Is campfire smoke bad for you?
My dad and I want hike the Appalachian Trail (which takes about 6 months). The Appalachian Trail to us is like the ultimate camping experience! Because it is camping, we will have to build fires to cook our food. However, I just recently heard that campfire smoke is bad for you. I'm very sensitive to cigarette smoke (it makes it very hard to breathe and I try to avoid it); however, campfire smoke has NEVER bothered my sensitive, asthmatic lungs.
So... is campfire smoke really bad for you? Or should I stay inside my house for the rest of my life and be a hermit? And never see the great outdoors because campfire smoke will give me cancer?
- TimLv 67 years agoFavorite Answer
Smoke is smoke.
However, you don't typically breath in campfire smoke in concentrations as high as cigarette smoke, and it doesn't have the addictive chemicals in it either.
Campfire smoke is not an issue for most people because they are not exposed to it very often. However in parts of the world where people cook over a fire all the time, or where they light their homes with oil lamps or other open flames, they often have severe respiratory illnesses by a young age and have significantly shorter life expediencies.
Honestly, most through hikers do not cook over fires when on the AT. Most will use a liquid fuel stove like an MSR Whisperlight, or a canister stove like a Jetboil. Some will even make a DIY alcohol stove. Although the weight saving of that kind of stove are lost because of the decreased energy capacity of the alcohol means you need to burn more fuel.
Modern stoves are going to be lighter than trying to cook over a campfire if for no other reason then the fact that you can use titanium cookware as opposed to stainless steel. They are also a lot more convenient, especially when it rains and wood is wet.
- JLv 57 years ago
any smoke is going to get you some particulates in your lungs, but campfire smoke isn't really too much to worry about. if it bothers you than just step away.
don't expect to be building fires to cook your food every day on the AT. i'm a former thru-hiker. first, there isn't a ton of firewood around the shelters since many other hikers have been to these shelters before you. sure, you'll always be able to find something, but you'll spend a good amount of time looking around. second, you're going to be really tired when you get to the shelter, and the last thing you're going to want to be doing is spending the next hour hunting around for firewood. last, what are you planning on doing when all the wood in the forest is soaking wet from a rain? are you really going to sit there and strip away the wet bark to get at the drier wood underneath?
prospective hikers often have this idea that there's a lot of sit-around time at a shelter, but there really isn't. at least in the summer, you're going to be hiking for as long as there's daylight, which lasts until 8:30 at the height of summer. then there's dinner and then setting up camp for the night, and right there takes you to bedtime. a hiker is actually quite busy even at camp. oh, and there's also time spent walking to the water source.
get a camping stove or make your own. you'll need one.
- 4 years ago
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Is campfire smoke bad for you?
My dad and I want hike the Appalachian Trail (which takes about 6 months). The Appalachian Trail to us is like the ultimate camping experience! Because it is camping, we will have to build fires to cook our food. However, I just recently heard that campfire smoke is bad for you. I'm very...Source(s): campfire smoke bad you: https://shortly.im/pMALg
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- chrisLv 77 years ago
Yes any smoke is bad for you, stand down wind and you will avoid it. You cannot always build a campfire to cook food and in most cases along the Appalachian trail you cannot. You must bring your own cooking stoves to prepare food on. There is a lot you need to know before your hike so here is the best Appalachian trail web site with the Information you will need,