Author Topic: Putting stones in a fire  (Read 3131 times)

Offline Badhog

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Putting stones in a fire
« on: May 05, 2016, 09:42:02 AM »
I've never put stones into my fire to warm them, but I've heard people talking about it and it was on Survivorman once. The downside is I hear they can explode if there is any water in them. What is the trick?

Offline kckndrgn

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 12:17:48 PM »
No experience here, but just taking a general stab at it.

I would say not put the stone in a hot fire directly, but put it next to the fire so it gradually warms up. 

I would think the "exploding" rock is more from a rapid thermal expansion of one side/area causing the rock to break.

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Offline machinisttx

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 08:11:05 PM »
It is due to the trapped water turning to steam. I wouldn't put rocks in a fire, just close enough to absorb radiant heat.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 08:20:28 PM »
No round ones, especially those which may have been in water at some point in its life. Water gets through fizzures. Why do you want to heat them? Please not for sleeping bags

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Offline Badhog

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 09:29:44 PM »
No, something reminded me of a Survivorman where he buried them under the branches and such and slept on top of them.

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 08:10:53 AM »
My experience is they "pop" and "crack" more than explode.  That can throw burning cinders and coals out on top of you at the very least.   No fun.   

Same suggestions as others, gradual heat to warm them, not sudden quick heat....even that is no guarantee.     Don't pull them out of the creek, get them from a dry part of the shoreline or creek bed.
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Offline 1greenman

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 08:21:31 AM »
My 2 cents:
If you're in a camping situation, and you're going to want them for making a heated ground pillow, which by the way, are quite nice! then three thoughts:
If you will have time to heat some, then put them in the fire from the beginning but never let that fire get super super super hot. Gradually build up and heat.
Second, if you can, have them position so that if they did explode, wherever you will be is protected from any shrapnel. Place a stack of rocks, or larger rocks between them and you.
Thirdly, from some first-hand observations, making a secondary inference, some rocks absorb and/or hold water more than others, and they don't necessarily have to have been taken out of A creek or a wet space in order to hold high moisture content.

So the best situation would be heating them one time fairly thoroughly, and then having them cool off, and then heating them a second time for the actual burying and usage.
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Offline surfivor

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 08:25:36 AM »

 It's in some survival or woodcraft books .. If your lost and it's cold out, you heat rocks in the fire and then move them close to your body with a stick and then rotate some into the fire to heat while the others are keeping you warm. I am not sure if the Horace Kephardt book mentions that

Offline Cory (NewOldTech)

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 11:26:23 AM »
Quote
Why do you want to heat them? Please not for sleeping bags

Cedar

Why no on putting hot rocks in sleeping bags/beds? This has been done for centuries, longer, I'm sure. I've always done this and it is extremely nice when camping through cold nights.

I've always just wrapped them in towels, but have been meaning to make a padded bag for the purpose. Leather can also be used.

Offline TxMom

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Re: Putting stones in a fire
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 06:40:26 PM »
Many many years ago, as part of an outdoors class we spent a night in the sand dunes.  We had little with us.  For sleeping we had hot rocks buried in the sand and a tarp.  It was cold on one side hot on the other.  None of our rocks exploded, but then we were in a dry area.  We weren't allowed to take extra things other than the few things allowed.

We had raw chicken to cook, one match each, lots of sand blew on our chicken, we all wished for even a small packet of salt or something for seasoning besides the blowing sand.
Morning we had to dig a hole and find water to make ash cakes before we could leave and head back to civilization.  Not that tasty either.  And didn't think we'd ever find water, finally it slowly seeped into one of the holes.

What I learned. Much better sleeping with sleeping bag and insulated mat.  Salt is cheap and takes up little space. Life is better easier when you include a few simple things we take for granted. 

And we were all very happy to stop at a burger malt shop on the way back to base camp.  Not really toughing it out, more like uncomfortable for an evening and morning and realizing that none of us wanted to be in a situation where we'd have to survive like that