While camped in my field near Pedagaggi this evening, I was cooking up some dinner in my tent, when I caused a lightning-quick and most disturbing accident. I turned on my little gas cooker (i.e. opened the gas valve, used a cigarette lighter to ignite it), and a massive flame shot out of it, ½ a metre straight up in the air. And this was inside my tent! The flame usually leaps out a little bit when you first ignite it — but not this much. Needless to say, the flame touched the walls of my tent: and it burnt a hole right through my front tent flap. Fortunately, the hole wasn't too big — only about 20cm in diameter — so I was able to patch it up (as an interim measure), with a large tract of trusty 'ol duct tape. The hole is sealed for now, but I'll have to get it fixed properly when I return home next year.
The damage is not what concerns me so much. A 20cm hole in the front flap isn't that bad — it could have been much worse. What really concerns me is that the tent (the flap part of it, at least) is made of such flammable material, that a flame can touch it for as little as ½ a second, and can literally vapourise what it touches in that time. Bearing that in mind, it's lucky the whole daym thing didn't go up in smoke. Maybe it's some kind of fire safety measure: perhaps it's a special material that vapourises instantly, instead of smoldering, or causing fire to otherwise spread or linger. Anyway, I'll have to be more careful with fire and tents in the future — this is a great new tent I've got, and I sure as hell don't wanna lose it to a trigger-happy gas cooker accident.