Many people feel a primal connection between fire and the human species. During ancient times, people relied on fire for both warmth and protection in addition to acting as a light source during the dead of night. Now, fire is not exactly essential for human existence; however, fire is still important when people go camping. Therefore, it is essential for every camper to know how to build a fire in a camping fire pit safely and efficiently.
What We'll Cover
Create a Bed for the Fire
Campfire safety always needs to come first and nobody wants to become that one person who starts a raging forest fire in the middle of a national park. Therefore, start by making a fire bed. Some of the tips to keep in mind include:
- Look for a designated fire area if it is present
- If not present, build a fire bed
- Pick a site that is far away from trees, bushes, and any other flammable sources
- Rest the fire bed on dirt, not grass
- Make a bare area if one is not present
Once the area is clear, gather some dirt. Make this into a platform that is a few inches thick.
Gather the Fuel for the Fire
- Tinder is first. Tinder catches fire easily; however, it also burns fast. Some of the great sources of tinder include items such as dry leaves, dry bark, dry grass, and even fungi. Some people even like to bring tinder from home.
- Once the tinder has burned, the next step is to find the kindling. Kindling is a little bit larger than tinder and includes small twigs and branches. It should be about the width of a pencil.
- Finally, once the fire is going, the final type is the fuel wood. These are branches that are about the size of someone’s arm. While huge logs can work well, they often create fires that burn for too long. Think about how long the fire is going to burn for.
Lay the Wood for the Fire
There are two different ways that someone can deploy the wood for their fire. The first way is to create a teepee. Place the tinder bundle in the middle, then create a teepee above the tinder using the kindling. Go from small to large. The fuel wood should be placed on the outside of the kindling.
The other popular way is the lean-to method. Stick a piece of kindling into the ground. Then, place the tinder at the base of the kindling stick. Add the rest of the kindling on top, leaning it against the first stick. The larger branches can be added after the fire is lit.
Regardless of how the wood is laid, use a camping match or fire starter to light the tinder. The tinder will go quickly. If the fire has been built properly, the kindling should catch next, followed by the fuel logs.
Fire Safety is a Must
Once the fire is burning, people can use it to cook a meal with a campfire tripod or campfire grill grate, make s’mores with their marshmallow roasting skewers, as a heat source, or even as a source of light. Once it has done its job, it is time to extinguish the campfire. Make sure to sprinkle the water instead of dumping it all at once. Also, make sure the ashes are disposed of as well. Sometimes, they can light back up after the fact.
Once you know the basics of fire safety, it’s that much more fun to enjoy a campfire with friends and family! Cook a meal with a campfire rotisserie and discover a number of great campfire cooking recipes to make together.