How to Build A Campfire The Best Way
Sitting around a campfire has got to be one of the greatest pleasures there is. Whether you are cooking food, singing songs, telling ghost stories, playing camping games or just talking it’s hard to beat it for both fun and relaxation. The heat and light of a campfire can keep you engaged for hours.
But sometimes it can be a frustrating experience, when it doesn’t light or you end up with a smoking stack of wood that would be good for just sending out smoke signals. You end up smelling of smoke, which is no fun. But when you know how to build a campfire the easy way this will be a thing of thing of the past.
When you set out to make a campfire there are some things you need to check before you start to build it.
If you are at a campground you’ll need to check what the rules are for having a campfire – this will include where you can have one, what campfire wood you can use, or if you can have one at all. At a campground there may be designated fire pits you’ll have to use. When there is a heightened fire risk, campfires will be banned altogether. Also there might be rules as to what firewood you can use, you may not be able to bring your own wood with you or collect the wood you can find lying around.
Where you are not at a designated campground it still is important to know what the rules are regarding building a campfire, as again it might not be permitted.
Provided it is OK you need to locate a good place to build it. If you are roughing it, you want to find level ground, without overhanging branches, sheltered from the wind as much as possible and away from material that can catch fire – such as leaves, twigs etc.
Where there is a fire pit make use of it. If there isn’t one make one by arranging rocks in a circle to contain the fire. If you have a shovel you could dig a shallow pit and arrange the rocks around it. Store any wood not being used away from the fire, to prevent it catching on fire.
You are going to require 3 types of fuel to get your fire started and then roaring away – tinder, kindling and fuel wood. Tinder consists of dry leaves, small twigs, wood shavings, paper, lint, pine needles or fire starters. Kindling is a bit bigger than tinder so it can maintain the heat and fire to light the fuel wood. This is sticks or pieces of wood up to a ½ inch in diameter. The fuel wood is the wood that will keep the fire burning for an extend period of time. This is thicker pieces of wood. Dry fuel burns easier and is essential for the tinder and kindling to get the fire started. Once the fire is fully alight you can use wet or green wood as the heat of the fire will dry it out.
Building The Fire
There are a number of different ways you can build it – teepee, log cabin, pyramid, star or lean to and so on. For me the best way to build a fire is the teepee method. In this method you place the tinder in a cone shape at the center of the fire pit or circle. You then arrange the kindling in a teepee shape around the kindling.
You can put in a few layers but do allow space for the air to circulate to fan the fire. Light the tinder at the base is best as fire burns upwards. These inner layers will burn well. As the fire burns add larger pieces of wood in the same way as you have built the fire. Keep adding the larger pieces until the fire is burning well. Once it is well away keep adding right sized wood to keep it burning.
To be safe with your fire, please let any children know about the dangers of fire and don’t let them get to close. Also don’t leave them unsupervised.
When the fire is lit don’t leave it unattended. If conditions are very windy don’t try to light the fire. Also avoid using lighter fuel if you can to get your fire started. Have a bucket of water handy so you can use it put out the fire quickly if you have to.
Putting The Fire Out
Before you leave the fire to go to bed or other reasons be sure to put your fire out fully. Pour water on it and stir it around and mix in some dirt to fully put it out. You need to do this to make sure because the fire can still be hot after the flames have died down.
Hopefully, by going through the above you now know how to build a campfire to have a fun camping experience. Remember to be safe and enjoy yourself.