We already had plenty of experience building fires. We gathered a quantity of wood and constructed a sizeable one. We had no experience cooking, even indoors. So our meal consisted of fruits, snacks and other cold goodies. We did know about roasting marshmallows, We cut a few sticks to hold marshmallows to the fire and gobbled down a few of these toasty treats before settling in. We had maintained a sizeable fire and still had ample wood to burn through the night.and provide heat for sleeping out in the open. Taking our cue from soldiering movies we posted a guard, whose duties included tending the fire. Even in Florida it was a chilly night and we figured it a matter of survival to keep our fire going.
With the first guard posted the other two of us fell to slumber. At some time in the night I was awakened for my guard shift. I tiredly maintained a presence watching fire. By the time our next shift was due, we agreed to abandon guard duty and just put the remaining wood on the fire and sleep the night through. We all managed to get enough warmth from the final blaze that we all fell in deep sleep. At some time in the middle of the night. I was awakened by a powerful acrid smell a sense of being too warm. I found my feet had swung into the glowing embers. Likely they were cold and sought heat on their own. My wool blanket was smoldering. That was the source of the powerful smell. I got up scrapped the burnt part of my blanket away, bundled back up and went back to sleep.
Through the night, I must have alternately felt cold feet and smelt bad smells. Several times I awoke to the same scene, my feet snaked over to the barely glowing embers and my blanket again smoking. By morning my fitful night ended and I discovered the nice US Army blanket borrowed from my Uncle Bob, pretty much charred beyond use. My two campmates suffered no such loss. Apparently their sleeping bags kept their feet enclosed and warm throughout the night. I was disappointed by my first camping experience, and felt regret I ruined a fine blanket I cherished. I determined that should I try camping again, I would obtain a sleeping bag, and find a way to stay warm besides letting myself crawl into the fire.