Wednesday, February 08, 2012


There has already been some procurement of equipment since the Fall Trip and there will be more.  Mainly in the areas of woodcutting, the jon boat and the kitchen.  But the first thing we did was go straight to the black market for some illegal, strike-anywhere Ohio Blue Tip Matches.  If you still want to use a little plastic Bic lighter try using it as a suppository.  There's no substitute for lighting a coffee fire in the morning with a wooden match.  Or lighting a readyroll in a slow pool at the bottom of a riffle by striking your match on the side of the canoe.   You can't even do that with regular matches.

These are not strike-on-box matches or safety matches, they are strike ANY where:  on a wall, the sole of your boot, a zipper, on your jeans. The ones you can buy legally at retail, like the Diamond "Greenlight," also have the white tips and may even say "Strike Anywhere" but they will only light on the box. The real ones were regulated out of existence for safety reasons because they will light in your pack if they get bumped or right out in the open if you look at them wrong.

You run a risk of thinking yourself an ascetic when you enjoy, with that intensity, the austere facts of fire and coffee and tobacco and the sound and feel of country places.  You aren't, though.  In a way you're more of a sensualist than a fat man washing down Sauerbraten and dumplings with heavy beer while a German band plays and a plump blonde kneads his thigh . . . You've shucked off the gross delights, and those you have left are few, sharp, and strong.  But they're sensory.  Even Thoreau, if I remember right a passage or so on his cornbread, was guilty, though mainly he was a real ascetic.  

Goodbye to a River, p. 157. 

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