Monday, March 13, 2017
If you're looking for a new hobby, I have an exciting new experience to share with you. It's called indoor camping. Have you ever wanted to camp next to a hot smoky fire without the usual outdoor nuisances (bugs, wind, rain, and cold)? It's actually quite simple to accomplish. I tried it out just this morning!
Indoor camping is relatively easy provided you have the right elements in play. First, and most important, is to have either a fireplace or wood burning stove. I have a wood burning stove, which is an added plus as you can harness the entire smoke output of your fire in a very small area. Next, you'll need very high winds to force the smoke back down your chimney pipe and into an indoor area. Finally, you need some good seasoned wood for optimal smoke.
My experiment began early this morning. After running a nice hot fire throughout the night in my stove under calm winds, I woke up to notice a bed of hot coals still glowing behind the glass stove door. I decided in order to keep the house heated through the day while I was at work, I'd add 2 logs to the coals. I'd done this many times before, and even though the idea of a fire slowly burning in an empty home is a bit unnerving, I've always had good luck doing this.
What I failed to realize is that since building the fire the evening before, the weather outside had evolved from a calm but rainy night into a gusty nightmare of winds reminiscent of a small tropical storm. Shortly after adding the wood, my indoor camping adventure began. I was in the kitchen getting breakfast ready for my kids when I noticed the overwhelming smell of campfire surrounding me. I returned to the living room to find a billowing indoor cloud of campfire smoke coming out of the vents of my wood stove. HOW EXCITING! I wasn't expecting this new hobby to reveal itself on a Monday morning, but I felt the adrenaline surging threw me as I attempted to expel the smoke out the front and back doors that I left wide open on a 38 degree morning.
My wife gave me a puzzled look and exclaimed, "What's going on???" She was obviously not as into indoor camping as I was. She then said, "I'll take the kids to school for you" seeing how busy and engrossed I was in my new hobby as I ran from the front to the back of the rooms trying to keep the doors open. I was excited about my new hobby, but unfortunately the timing for this attempt was not optimal considering I was supposed to be driving to work at the moment. As much as I love camping, I was not dressed adequately for the event in my slacks, cardigan work sweater, and dress shoes. Unfortunately they all reeked of smoke as I had to take wet hand towels, grab flaming logs from the wood stove, and run to my backyard fire pit to extinguish them. Even though I was having an incredible time, I needed to get to work (I know, super bummed).
I was sooo disappointed that I had to open every door and turn on every fan to remove as much smoke as possible in the shortest amount of time. I wanted to keep camping. Even more disappointing was the fact that I had to change out of my camp clothes, take a quick shower to remove as much smoke from my beard and hair as possible, and then dress back into civilian attire.
Luckily, I made it to school before the first bell rang. I had a great new story and hobby to share with my peers. When I arrived home this afternoon, the overwhelming aroma of fire greeted me at the door, bringing back all those fond memories of my newest hobby, indoor camping.