While the kind of fire you can build depends on your wood, the principles involved don't change. "The fire triangle is made up of three ingredients ― fuel, heat, and oxygen," says Julie Sidel, interpretive specialist at Big Basin. "Folks often forget that third ingredient." Nothing beats gathering around the flames to hear a tale. We asked librarians near national parks for their suggestions, and we threw in one of our own. (All are available at www.amazon.com.)
Campfire Stories: Things That Go Bump in the Night, by William W. Forgey, M.D. (Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT, 1985; $12). Original, classic stories of adventure and ghosts, each easy to memorize for retelling.
My Life in Dog Years, by Gary Paulsen (Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York, 1998; $16). The famed author of adventure tales reflects on the canines in his life (you'll love Caesar) in a series of entertaining stand-alone chapters.
Ready-to-Tell Tales: Sure-Fire Stories from America's Favorite Storytellers, edited by David Holt and Bill Mooney (August House, Little Rock, AR, 1994; $20). Forty professional storytellers share stories guaranteed to work in front of the most demanding audiences.
Stories for Around the Campfire , by Ray Harriot (Campfire Publishing Company, Laurel, MD, 1986; $7.95). A collection of humorous, ghost, adventure, foreign, and Native American stories handpicked by camp directors.