Everything That You Need to Know About Building a Safe Campfire
Camping isn’t complete without a nice campfire. This is why learning how to make it safe for everyone while cooking dinner or relaxing around the warm flames is essential to ensuring a good camping experience.
There’s no better way to end a day spent in nature than gathering around a campfire with your friends or family. Telling stories while looking at the dancing flames or makes for a perfect camping evening.
However easy it may seem when someone else does it, building a campfire is no joke. You need to make sure that the fire will burn enough for all of you to have a good time. But most importantly, safety should be the first thing on everyone’s mind.
Fire can be dangerous for both you and nature around you. To make sure you know how to build a campfire that won’t hurt anyone, here are the steps that you need to go through:
1. Gather Some Dry Wood
The first step of making a safe campfire is gathering wood that will burn easily. No matter where you go camping, chances are you’ll be able to find enough of it around you. Don’t cut down trees and branches, unless absolutely necessary, as this is upsetting nature around you.
Also, make sure that you gather dead wood. Fresh wood is usually very moist, so it won’t burn. Instead, go for dead branches, big and small, to make sure the fire will last a long time.
Just remember, many national parks and campgrounds do not permit gathering firewood from their forests. Often they request campers bring it with them. So always check the rules for where you're planning on camping.
2. Find a source of Fuel
To get the fire burning, you need to find as much stuff that you can use for fuel as possible. These can be dry leaves, tinder, and large chopped wood. You’ll use tinder and leaves to start a fire since this can provide a good surface area for it to start burning.
Make sure to find enough fuel for your fire. The last thing you want is to run out of it in the middle of lighting a fire. Stack up on tinder, kindling, and other fuel sources to ensure that you’ll be able to start a fire successfully.
3. Build a Base For Your Campfire
After you have all the materials, it’s time to build a base for your campfire. The first thing you need to do make is a pile of tinder. A couple handfuls should do the job, but this will mostly depend on the size of the fire you’re building.
Then, you can stack kindling over the tinder. There are different ways to do this. For example, you can stack the kindling over the tinder as if you were building a small tent. You can also crisscross it over, just make sure not to scatter it too much.
Insider’s tip: Following the Leave No Trace ruling you should consider bringing your own kindling. You should also check the campground rules to see if they allow you to collect kindling.
4. Light the Fire
Before you start the fire, make sure that you have a bucket or a big bottle of water, just in case something goes wrong. When you have enough water to put out the fire if needed, you can use a lighter or a match to light the tinder.
After you do this, blow lightly on the fire to give it the oxygen it needs to burn faster. Don’t use gasoline or any other fire accelerant, since this can cause the fire to spread too quickly and start a forest fire.
5. Keep The Flames Going
Once the fire has started, you need to ensure it will keep burning. The best way to do this is by adding more wood to it slowly. Make sure not to put too much of it at once, as this can put the fire out.
Also, don’t put big logs of wood into the fire. This can also prevent it from burning properly, or the logs can roll over and spread the fire around. Instead, use smaller branches that are still big enough to ensure lasting fire. Whenever you notice the fire getting weaker, add more wood to it for as long as you want it to keep burning.
Handy reminder: Always be mindful of how you leave a campsite. Don’t leave a campfire burning as it can cause bushfires. Also, don’t cover the ashes with sand as kids can burn their feet.
The Final Word
If you follow the steps above, you can easily start a safe campfire. Make sure to do it carefully, and watch over it at all times to avoid any issues. Also, remember to put the campfire out safely when you’re done and not to cover campfires with soil as it retains heat. The best way to do this is to use a stick to break up the burnt wood, then pour as much water as needed until you can no longer notice any sparks.
If you do this right, you’ll have a nice campfire that will let you cook and provide enough light and warmth without exposing anyone to danger. You can enjoy your camping without worrying that something will go wrong. Following these basic steps above can help you have a safe campfire and enjoy your time camping with your loved ones!