I would like to know exactly what banking a fire means and how it's done. For years I have seen the phrase 'bank the fire' and wondered. It sounds like something magical one does to a fire so that it's still smoldering in the morning, thus making the building of the morning fire a snap.
Banking a fire is actually nothing more than the name implies. To bank a fire means to build a wall around it out of rocks or stones, or to build the fire next to a rock or dirt wall such that it blocks the wind. If the coals from the fire are protected well enough, there usually will be enough heat in them to easily start a fresh fire in the morning.
Ever notice that many campgrounds have fire rings at the campsites? These rings serve several purposes: they contain the ashes, they provide a cooking surface, and they block the wind.