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Old 05-03-2011   #1
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
HONESTLY...What do you do with your firepan ashes.

As a new firepan owner who has a five gallon bucket I make ash mud with to haul home, I have to ask what you guys do with your ashes?

On a recent trip down the river, I noticed things were clean but I saw a lot of ashes and half burned logs here and there.

Whats do you guys do with your ashes? Am I doing it the easy way with a 5 gl bucket, water and ashes?

I'm open for ideas.

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Old 05-03-2011   #2
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 17
I use an ammo can for my ashes. Typically I will put my charcoal in an ammo can so it does not get wet, I then put the ash in the same can at the bottom. This works well unless you are having bonfires. You can also just put the ash in trash bags doubled up, this method really only works on mellow floats.

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Old 05-03-2011   #3
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
Ok here goes, The best thing to do first off is stay up and stir the fire for a while. Try to get it down to as much ash as possible. In the morning, Fill your bucket up 3/4's with water. The with a small shovel ( or a piece of 12 pack) scoop up the ashes from the pan to the bucket. This a float test. With your strainer strain out anything that floats. Put this into a can, If you have one. I have one in my kitchen kit. A medium sized tin can with holes punched in it. Save this can full of coals. Everything that sinks in the bucket will sink in the river. It's best to pour it out in faster moving water. If I'm launching I wait till I'm out in current.
When you have your next fire. Put the can of coals in there at the begging. They will all burn out leaving an empty can to start all over with.
Big Dave
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Old 05-03-2011   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 273
I use a rocket box. Stay up and burn the wood down and then haul it all out in the rocket box.

I never put it in the river, it just ends up on a beach down river.
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Old 05-03-2011   #5
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
I have honestly wondered what the harm of dumping ashes in the river would be. Inert carbon matter.

Never done it, i have a rocket box for that. Agree w stirring at night to avoid packing out chunks
Never get out of the boat
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Old 05-03-2011   #6
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
On popluar rivers a ring of ash and gunk accumulates at the water line on the beaches when ash is dumped into the river. It is gross.

For multi day trips- I shovel the ashes into a dedicated rocket box. The next night I put the larger chunks back in the fire pan and burn them again. Repeat.

For a single overnight I just put the firepan and ashes into a rocektbox and dump it at home.

But really I don't have fires very often, I am lazy and don't like the work it takes to do it right. Only if the group is really wound up to burn stuff do I have a fire. It is just work to monitor the input and babysit the coals.

I need to find boating patners that aren't idiots.
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Old 05-03-2011   #7
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
+1 on the rocket box. Leave no trace...
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Old 05-03-2011   #8
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
I make mudd cakes in the firepan and store them in a seperate can. Then spread in garden when I get home.

I am thinking of getting a fire blanket. Anyone use one. what's youre thoughts..
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Old 05-03-2011   #9
Beardance42's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 238
We usually empty into the food garbage bag, which are the hefty contractor ones and always double bagged. Cuts down on smell. Then dispose of at home. Never ever in the river or slung behind bushes, like we have seen at some campsites.
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Old 05-03-2011   #10
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
I don't leave anything behind in bushes! I probably pick up more trash, On the river way in a week. Than most of you do in a year! The only ash that goes into the river. Is quickly absorbed by the volume of water. And in no way ends up anywhere the natural amount of silt doesn't flow. It is no way contaminating nor disrupting any natural occurrence!

Big Dave
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