Do we actually walk on the Fire?

by | Apr 17, 2018

“Do we actually walk on the Fire?” is a question we are asked often.

It happens nearly all the time. We have lit the fire and are standing around the fire waiting for the participants to arrive. As the participants and spectators gather they are drawn to the fire. They want to get a closer look at what is going on.

It’s at that stage when we are hit with most questions. People will ask what is happening, how is Firewalking possible, why on earth would people do it and will their feet get burned. There is often a look of disbelief that accompanies these questions, especially when they ask if they will actually walk on the Fire.

You see, at this stage they are looking at a large burning structure of wood. To put that in context, we usually burn a cubic meter of Firewood for each Firewalk. That’s a lot of wood. So, it is understandable that people would wonder how they would walk on the Fire. Especially as the pyre is about a meter high and the flames are roaring.

It makes complete sense that they are bewildered – walking on large pieces of flaming wood is bound to be difficult. Never mind the fact that the pyre is quite tall.

You can imagine their relief when we explain that the wood will be completely burned down before anyone will walk on the Fire. And when we say Fire in this case, we mean a bed of glowing embers. We also tell them that the reason we burn so much wood is to have enough embers for everyone Firewalking.

“Sometimes the embers are better than the campfire.”
Stephen King

Other times I have been asked if we actually walk on the Fire…

On numerous occasions I have been at a BBQ or bonfire party and someone has suggested that I demonstrate a Firewalk. Their concept of what a Firewalk is often amuses me and I need to explain exactly how Firewalking works.

Or there are times at a Firewalk and people state that they thought it was going to be more along the lines of a large bag of charcoal!

For the record, no we don’t actually walk on the fire. In fact, if you ever attend a Firewalk and there are still logs burning where you are to walk I’d personally make my excuses, leave and wait for an event to be organised by somebody who knows what they are doing.

So, we don’t walk over charcoal, nor do we rake out the garden bonfire and walk across that. Our Firewalks are made from a fire built from logs from an appropriate source. No foreign objects are put upon the fire and we wait until the logs have burned down, creating red hot embers.

It is then, and only then, when the embers are no longer burning with a flame, that we rake out the embers and walk across them. On occasion we may place burning logs along the edge of the fire lane. This can create great photographs however this is not walked on.

Hopefully that may have given you a better insight as to what a Firewalk is. Maybe Firewalking would be better named “Hot Ember Walking” although I’m sure you’d agree it just doesn’t have the same ring about it.

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