So you’ve picked your self a great spot and now your need to know how to build a campfire that will last the evening, burn well and be safe.
I will use the two main types of camp fires to keep this guide nice and simple. The two main types are the teepee (you got it! shaped just like a teepee) and log cabin (think of how a pyramid is structured) style.
The All Important Preparation
- Optional: After choosing a good your spot, collect rocks that you are able to form a circle with as the picture shows. This will keep all the wood and burnt embers together nice and tidy.
- Collect tinder which is very small twigs, wood shavings or paper to get the fire started. Also collect kindling which is slightly bigger twigs but still small enough to ignite from the tinder that will start the process of the bigger logs burning.
- Collect larger logs and any branches fallen for the main fuel that will keep your fire burning.
Log Cabin Style
- Start with your tinder and your kindling stacked around the tinder like a small teepee. For the log cabin style the teepee stops being made after the kindling.
- The criss cross style with this example has two logs parallel and another two above with a closer width. Three or four stacks similar to a pyramid will do. Making sure the tinder and kindling have plenty of air. Air is the oxygen to start and maintain the fire.
- As mentioned above with the log cabin style create a teepee with tinder first and then kindling.
- The larger logs are now placed around the tinder and kindling with plenty of space between each log that will allow air for the fire to breathe when lit.
Final Instructions and Maintenance
- Light the small tinder in the centre of the fire with whatever igniter you have. If it does not seem to have enough fire to start the logs just add more kindling to get it started.
- All you have left to do is to make sure you have enough logs to top it up that will keep it going. Mainly larger logs now, if available….
- The last and final instruction is to kick your shoes back and enjoy.
Follow the guide here, research and take note of where there are fire bans to make sure your choose a place fires are permitted. Most of all have a fantastic camping experience.
Camp Fire Safety Ideas
Camp fire safety guide to ensure you enjoy the traditional fun way of camping and have knowledge of how to build a campfire the safe way.
It’s so cool and relaxing at the end of your days activities to sit around a campfire with a good meal and maybe a beer or two but we do have to consider the safety aspects of camp fires.
Important Safety Measures To Consider
- Ensure fires are permitted. This should be clear as you enter the campsite.
- National parks and official campsites may not allow campfires, be sure to check before you book your trip to save disappointment. It’s easy to find out too late.
- If you are camping in the wilderness be aware of the environment and where the fire will be set up.
- Keep a bucket of water close to the campfire incase it gets out of hand and plenty of distance from your camping tents. It only takes a small floating piece of ember to ruin your tent.
- Children love fires; they are intrigued by them. I have never let my children add wood to the fire because they become too relaxed about it and next thing they want put a forest on there.
- Someone be in charge of the campfire but make it fun for the kids searching for wood and ember; the kids love this too. They just want to be involved.If they think an important job is to collect wood and pass wood to dad for the campfire there attention diverts from putting wood on the fire.
- Never leave the fire unattended to prevent fire spreading unexpectedly.
- Doubt the fire completely before sleeping by pouring water and soil on the burnt embers.
- There is no need to use fuels to get it started; it can be dangerous. Build a campfire with kindling to get it started, there will be no need for fuels. Fire lighters are OK but still not needed if your wood is dry.
- If there are poor wind conditions postpone the fire until tomorrow.
- Make sure no cannisters, gas, hair spray or alcohol based products are close to the fire to prevent explosions. Apart from you bottle of beer of course.
- If you will be cooking, the safe way to cook is using a cooking tripod.
- Traditional baked potatoes are a real treat camping. Use a tea towel or something similar to prevent burns.