https://www.facebook.com/groups/179997858744135/permalink/3345728432171046 Andrew thats a link to a Facebook thread discussing your same question. You might find it helpful. I have 30 more miles to do to finish the Smokies and I was considering backpacking it the week of Thanksgiving but after reading some of the comments and experiences I might bail out of that plan. Might have lots of snow...slow hiking conditions and alot of closed roads. So if you need to get off trail it may be impossible due to the roads
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Kudos to @Philreedshikes and @hikermor . Personally, I think that what REI is doing, by promoting responsible campfires, fire safety, and LNT is much more beneficial to the public at large than if they were trying to dissuade people from having fires. I tend to agree with @hikermor that campfires, especially those of educated campers, are in the minority of causes of wildfires. Wasn't one of the recent ones started by fireworks at a gender reveal party? I doubt that those folks have been reading REI's pages or adhering to LNT principles. As @Philreedshikes mentions, us humans are connected to fire from the beginning of human history. It was our original "television". No matter what REI, or other forums may say, people will continue to build campfires. Isn't it better if they know how to do so safely and responsibly? I can't begin to count the number of times I've sat around a campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s'mores, sharing my thoughts with friends and family, or just peering into the flames by myself. It's cathartic and peaceful. In short, campfires are, or should be, a part of the human experience, and educating people is a much more beneficial tactic than shaming and condemning.
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