Where Can I Light a Fire?
One of the questions people ask me when they are enquiring about getting a Kotlich kit is, "Where can I light a fire"? So, starting as close to home as possible and moving out to wilderness I will give you some suggestions.
Outdoor cooking in your garden:
Firstly you need big enough garden to ensure that you don't set fire to your own fence! If you have neighbours they should be in the loop. Tell them about your Kotlich kit and warn them that you might be lighting up and will always watch out in case they have their washing hanging out. Ask them round for a Kotlich supper and they will feel much more charitable towards any smoke you might create in the future. If your cooking fire turns into a bonfire and the smoke regularly blows into someone's garden in an offensive way, you could be prosecuted.
I know several families who have a designated fire pit in a corner of the garden, surrounded by stones with little log seats. Another has a raised brick built fire pit that keeps the fire in place and prevents people tripping or having to bend over to cook. Once you start thinking about it you will be surprised how many options there are for an outdoor cooking station in amongst the greenery or just outside the back door.
Kotlich cooking on a camping or glamping site
Search online for camping sites that allow you to light fires. There are plenty of them and now that there are so many options for firepits you are spoilt for choice. May of them even provide a fire pit in situe and you can just take your tripod and kotlich with you. Here is one web site with 150 campsites that allow fires. http://www.campfiresburning.org/sites.php Cool camping have a list and several others have a registers for Scotland, Wales and the UK
So now we have finished with the tame places and need to find some wild places.
Campfire cooking on the beach
I don't think I will be arrested if I tell you that in the past we have lit fires on the beach. We always choose a beach that is nearly empty, we usually light it below the high tide line, (I think that is the rule) we often go late in the evening when most people have left and we always treat the beach with great respect, only make a small fire, manage it carefully and put it out properly. We usually go to very wild coastal places, out of season and have absolutely no trouble at all. I would not light a fire for instance on Brighton beach ever but I might light a fire at Bedruthan Steps in November. Use your discretion and always make sure you put your fire out properly.
Outdoor cooking in Scotland
Fires are permitted, as is free camping, so long as it does not interfere with agriculture or nature. If you do light a fire, keep it small, under control and supervised. Fires that get out of control can cause major damage, for which you might be liable. Never light an open fire during prolonged dry periods or in areas such as forests, woods, farmland or on peaty ground, near to buildings or in cultural heritage sites where damage can easily be caused. Heed all advice at times of high risk. Remove all traces of an open fire before you leave.
Kotlich cooking off the beaten track
If you are happy to walk off the beaten track basically the world is your oyster. We have lit fires in November in the middle of Dartmoor, by a river. We went off with several friends and a map. There was low cloud and spattering rain. To this day I'm not sure where it was but on the river shingle of a very rushing stream we lit a fire and cooked up a fabulous dish. We ate smoked sausage, spuds and beans in a rich tomato sauce. We were miles from the nearest road and there was no chance of damage being done to any one or anything. Finding a stony base on which to light your fire is your best bet.
Campfires in the England
One of the things we are forbidden to do it to camp on "open Access land" but it doesn't actually say anything about fires.
Extreme catering. We are now getting nearer to what we call real adventure. This usually involves dogs, steep hills, wheel barrows, kotlich kit and ropes. With high hills in view, we give ourselves several sweaty hours of exercise before we all arrive at the designated spot. We include several people to carry, well, the ingredients both to cook and to imbibe. On two occasions we even took bunting, bamboos and rugs. The bunting was visible for several miles helping the visitors to find the spot. A good view is important so you can lounge and watch the sunset. It is always easier going home!
The instructions above under the Scottish heading should always be adhered to. If you follow these you shouldn't get into any trouble. If you have identified the spot and your know the owner of the land, always ask permission first. Respect for the land, animals and other people should always paramount.
Enjoy your Kotlich cooking adventures, start to plan your next extreme catering adventure now. The season shouldn't make any difference when you have a fire.