Have you heard about firewalking? Wondering what it is, how it works, and whether it’s safe? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s the mysterious ancient practice of firewalking, explained.
What Is Firewalking?
It’s all in the name! Firewalking is, quite literally, walking across a bed of hot embers with your bare feet. It is often used as a test of courage and strength, giving firewalkers a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and confidence.
How Does Firewalking Work?
Firewalking isn’t magic. It’s science! As you walk across the hot embers, your feet are only in contact with them for a very brief moment—not long enough to get burned. Also, embers do not conduct heat particularly well. As long as a person keeps walking and doesn’t simply stand on the coals, they shouldn’t even get a blister. So, there you go—the science of firewalking is actually pretty simple.
Does Firewalking Hurt?
When done right, firewalking generally does not hurt. You might feel some heat, but you also might feel nothing at all! Surprising, right? However, there are a few ways that a person can get injured when firewalking:
If your feet are wet—When your feet are damp, the small pieces of embers might cling to them, giving the hot embers enough time to burn your skin.
If you run instead of walking—If you’re nervous about firewalking, you might feel like you need to run through the embers to get it over with more quickly. Bad idea! When running, your feet will push deeper into the embers and you’re more likely to get burned.
If there are foreign objects in the embers—If the area where you’re firewalking is not clean, there might be pieces of metal or other objects that increase the likelihood of burning your feet.
If the coals haven’t been burning for very long—When embers first start to burn, they’re more likely to singe your skin because they’re more thermally conductive. They need to burn for the right amount of time before you step onto them.
If the wrong type of coals is used or if the bed of coals is improperly prepared—Some types of charcoal burn hotter than others, making it potentially unsafe to walk across. Also, the bed of embers should be flattened out, not bumpy, for optimal safety.
So, just remember: go in with clean and dry feet, walk instead of running, be sure that there is no debris (especially metal) buried in the embers, and make sure the embers have been burning for an appropriate amount of time before anyone steps onto them. And be sure to only firewalk under the supervision of a professional—in other words, don’t try this at home!
Is Firewalking Safe?
Yes, firewalking can be safe if you follow all the right steps. But again, you should only consider firewalking when you’ve received instruction and you’re under the supervision of a professional.
Now that you’re no longer wondering “what is firewalking?” you might be interested in trying it yourself! Firewalk Adventures will guide you through this exciting, empowering experience.