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I am going to go hunting out of a tent and tarp in Michigan's Upper Panisula at the end of November. My only real fear is starting a fire and then not being able to control it. I plan on digging a large pit (3' in dia.) about 6" deep and apply wood cut at about 18"-24" in length. Any better, proven, ideas? What about sleeping with a fire going, (it's doing to be cold)?Hopefully my friend and I will be at least 5 miles from a road and any other hunters, as it will be twards the end of the deer season. I just don't want to be the reason that the fire planes are flying! Thanks.
 

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Sounds like you are off on the right foot, I'm glad to hear of your concern. If you are going to be camping next to a creek or lake, I would keep a bucket of water handy, near the fire at all times. Clear grass and brush from around the immediate area and keep the fire small. A good cooking fire is all that you should need, no need for a bonfire. lining the outer edge with rocks to contain embers is another idea. If there are lots of dry leaves or grass, I would clean that down to the bare dirt around the pit and rocks. Trim any overhanging limbs low to the ground around the camp area (keeps limbs out of your eye if you get up in the middle of the night). Store flammable materials away from the fire. If you are hunting in a National Forest or State Park, check the regs, some places up here have "no fire zones" where you can't build a fire. Another option is take in a coleman stove or one of the backpacking stoves that are light and easy to use. I've used coleman, whistlers' and alcohol stoves when hunting and camping above the timberline or on the tundra and they work fine. If you have pretty good sleeping bags, you won't necessarily need a fire, but it sure is nice to have one.

I would hazard to guess that a lot of forest fires are started by unattended fires or fires that catch back up after the person has left the area. Never leave the fire unattended, allow it to burn down before turning in at night. When you leave from your trip, extinguish the fire with water and really soak it down good. Make absolutely sure there are no hotspots left on the wood and that it is absolutely out. Shovel dirt on top and add more water.
 

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Upper peninsula, end of November? Snow doesn't burn too well, but it pays to be careful all the same. Make sure you brink a cot or Thermarest or something similar. You don't want to be sleeping on the ground or anything plastic in the cold weather. If the weather is what it normally is in that area, I'd reccomend a mummy bag with synthetic lining that will deal with moisture better than down.

Shoot Straight.
 
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