How many people here like to have a sweat while they're in the wilderness?
How do your make your sweat lodges?
Sweat lodge in the Enchanted Gorge, Sierra Nevada
Here's how we do our sweats:
1. Start a campfire, obviously in an existing fire ring in a permitted location. You need to have a cold stream or lake nearby so you can jump in the water after your sweat.
2. Build a sweat lodge. This is a tarp or a tent rain fly. We set up our rain fly over a skeleton of tent poles. You can use your ground cloth as a door to seal the sweat lodge.
3. In the center of your sweat lodge, clear an area of leaves and twigs. Make a hearth of flat rocks in the cleared area. Later you will place hot rocks onto this hearth. (If you lay hot rocks directly on the ground, organic material will smolder and you will fill your sweat lodge with eye-irritating smoke.)
4. You will also need seats for everyone inside of the lodge. You don’t want to get all sweaty and muddy sitting on dirt. A nice large rock will do. Don’t use your Crazy Creek lounger, it will get soaked with sweat.
5. Find about eight to ten grapefruit-size rocks and place them in the fire. Do not use rocks that may contain moisture as the steam may cause the rocks to burst.
6. Heat the rocks for two hours. Keep the fire stoked pretty hot.
7. Remove the rocks from the fire and place them on the hearth. We use two parallel sticks to carry the hot rocks (see the photo below). Wear your boots in case you accidentally drop a rock.
Removing hot rocks from the fire
Transporting hot rocks
8. Fill the cooking pot with water. Dip your hand in the water and splash the rocks to make steam. The more you splash, the hotter it gets and the faster the rocks cool off. I like to get it hot quickly, then back off a bit to make it last.
9. If you want a really long sweat, get bigger rocks and heat them longer. You’ll also need more than four quarts of water.
10. If you’re really dirty, rub yourself down near the end of the sweat. You’ll get a surprising amount of dirt off your skin.
11. When you’ve had enough – go jump in the cold water!
12. Be sure to clean up when you're done - Leave No Trace
Sweat lodge in the 3rd Recess, Sierra Nevada