When it comes to making epic bonfires, one must think through the particulars.
What’s this bonfire’s timeframe? Is there a good pit to control the flames? How many people need to be warmed? Am I feeling particularly pyromanic this evening? Which creepy skull(s) should we enshrine? Will there be ample wood to scavenge at the proposed site?
The questions go on.
Depending on the amount of fuel you have, the bonfire could go all night, or for a quick hour.
To get started, many use flame accelerants, though a few traditionalists do not.
One fellow oft refuses even the use of a lighter, preferring to spark his tinder with flint. Supposedly, his resolve weakens when the wind really whips.
Spending time around the fire is basically the whole point of the evening. Some go for a more social experience. Commiseration, story telling, opinion sharing, every topic is open for discussion around the fire pit.
Other folks enjoy sitting in solitude, staring at the shapes in the fire or the animal heads adorned around the flame. I’m unsure who started the tradition of making little skull altars at bonfire sites, but it feels like an appropriately wild and shamanistic element to enhance each evening.
Besides, there’s definitely an abundance of material to work with.
By my reckoning, bonfires instill a universal sense of comfort that each human being can appreciate. Every single one of us came from ancestors that used fires each night for survival.
There is a feeling of security and safety and community that we get from each beachside bonfire. It is a time to connect and burn stuff.
Connections are great, but so is burning stuff.