When the summer gets hot, the camping season is just around the corner. And so is fire season. However, don’t let the lack of a campfire deter you from a classic unforgettable camping experience. There are many light alternatives and fun nighttime adventures that only require a reliable flashlight or the light of a full moon. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an action-packed holiday, check out some flame alternatives and leave the lighting at home.
If you can’t imagine camping without the fireside chats as the sunlight dips on the horizon, fear not. There are many other ways to light up your campsite. Battery powered flame lights provide the perfect ambiance without fear of a fire. Or how about some good old fashioned solar lights? These can be found almost everywhere these days and are an eco-friendly way to light up your campsite. You can even find solar lanterns that mimic the look of a real campfire.
Finally a candle lantern. This choice has several advantages. For one thing, candles are cheaper than firewood. They also burn longer and require less maintenance and are housed in a closed container. And the best? They are portable, so you can move the discussion to another area if you wish.
You don’t have to stay at your campsite when the sun goes down. Take advantage of stargazing opportunities in La Plata County. Leave the fire for a telescope, binoculars or just your eyes. Programs like Google Sky make stargazing even easier these days. Better yet, ditch the phone entirely and visit a local bookstore for a star map.
If you want to get up close and personal with nocturnal creatures, bring a headlamp and go on a night hike. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to avoid being scratched by brushes or cacti. And always be aware of your surroundings to avoid dangerous wildlife encounters. There are many other things you can do at night than stare at a campfire.
Campfires are a classic camping experience, but they have many downsides and can be dangerous if not managed properly. Before lighting your campfire, always check websites with fire safety restrictions such as https://bit.ly/3mA5W3q. Next time you head out, consider a fun campfire alternative. You may be surprised how much you enjoy it.
Weylin Ryan is Visit Durango’s Sustainability and Policy Manager.