Log burners, huh? Photogenic, cosy and thoroughly romantic. What could be more fun than sleeping in a kata (a sort of Nordic tipi) warmed at night by a jolly little log burner?
Well, it depends whether you back yourself to get the bloody thing lit or not, doesn’t it?
On my first night sleeping in one of the katas at Comrie Croft in Perthshire, I spent the first couple of hours consistently failing to get the log burner lit. It would flare for a few minutes then, as soon as I took my eye off it, quickly flicker and die out. It was getting cold in the kata. It was dark outside. I had a delicious packed dinner from the Comrie cafe to eat, but no means by which to warm it through. This is what you get for growing up in a house with a gas fire and quitting the Cub Scouts after three weeks.
The thought strayed into my mind that this could be it. Perhaps, finally, after tackling the hardest amateur bike race in world and riding across West Africa in the name of Mpora, this incredibly pleasant tent on a Scottish hill would be where I finally croaked. My last breaths condensing in front of my eyes – all for the want of a basic knowledge of how to light fires. Picture the headlines:
- ‘Inept Journalist Found Frozen To Death in Scotland’
- ‘English Numptie Perishes Near Perth’