quote:Originally posted by SophieThomas
On the topic of trail etiquette, I would like to add that people should use existing fire pits. I have noticed over the years the rapidly growing amounts of fire pits on some of our local mountain tops, some of them even placed within the alpine flowers (most likely put there when the flowers were not) but still, take that into consideration! In some circumstances, a small stove is even a better alternative to a roaring fire :-)
Once you're in the alpine, there isn't enough fuel anyway for more than a smudge to warm your fingers up. Even in a campground, a stove is faster and easier to use than tending a fire in a firepit or stone ring (that's not a good idea, anyway, since stones can explode when they get hot), and when you turn it off, you know it's out and can't start a forest fire.
For all practical purposes, then, a stove is the only way to go. I would say, then that "In ALL circumstances, a small stove is ALWAYS a better alternative to a roaring fire". Yeah, yeah, a fire is nice and woodsy when the day is done, and the flames keep the boogeymen away, but for simplicity, completion of the task, and ease of use, the stove wins.