“Intellectually I know it’s fine, but…” But it scares the hell out of me. I’d better get over it if I hope to spend a comfortable winter. Sooner or later it’s going to get cold and stay there.
So this is Day Nine with the new stove, and I pulled down the stovepipe just to see how things were going in there. And then I swore luridly and got out the brush and poles. Everybody tells me the same thing: Burn it bright and hot, and you’ll have no problem. I can rarely bring myself to do that, which means I’m still getting all sorts of gunk in the pipe, which in turn means I’m setting up the very situation that spooked me so badly in the first place. I KNOW that. I know a hot fire won’t do any harm. I know small, cool fires ARE doing harm – in addition to not keeping me as warm as I’d like.
Hint for future hermits in the boonies: Being not much more than the sum of your fears is not a path to success.