Most of us discover how difficult it is to start a campfire the first time we attempt one, then we discover that it’s equally difficult to keep it going. That’s why I’ve decided to share a few tips to help new campers, who’d like to impress their buddies with their campfire building skills. These tips have always done the trick for me, and I’m convinced that they’ll work for you too.
Clear An Area To Build Your Fire
For safety reasons, you first need to clear the area of any loose leaves or other flammables that could catch fire because of an errant ember. You’ll need to screen the area from the wind, and plan to build it away from trees, tents, and anything else that could catch fire. Only once you’re certain that your area is free of debris will you be ready to start building your campfire.
Your goal at this point is to prevent your fire from wandering. Collect some flat stones, and build a ring about 6 inches high and 3 inches away from the center of your fire. When you build the ring, ensure that you allow enough gaps to allow air flow into the fire.
Collect Combustible Materials
You’ll need a good supply of dry, combustibles such as twigs and branches. Look for ones that snap easily, indicating that they are dry. Gather as many as you can find in the immediate area. Also collect any tinder, like small twigs or paper.
Tinder is less rigid than firewood, but more combustible. Building a fire with tinder will make it easier to get your firewood to light up. Even though you may be tempted, never use gasoline to start a campfire.
Use Good Campfire Building Techniques
You’ll be much more successful if you follow proper campfire building techniques. Place your tinder in the center of the fire pit, and then arrange your smaller firewood over it in a crisscross pattern. Layer larger pieces of firewood in as you build the foundation.
Start the tinder on fire with a lighter or a match. If it doesn’t start spreading immediately, add additional tender until it begins to grow. Only after your smaller firewood has caught fire, add larger logs to build the fire up.
Enjoy some good times with your buddies, but always keep safety in the forefront of your mind. Always fully extinguish your campfire when you are finished with it.