|Discover the Secrets of Family Camping|
Your First Campout
Discover the Truth about First-time Camping
Family Camping Bargains
Essential Camping Gear and Camping Checklist
Choosing the Right Tent
Sleeping Bag Facts
Staying Dry and Warm
Economical Camp Stoves
Easy Camping Recipes
Quick Course on Dutch Ovens
Camping Meals without Pots and Pans!
Easy Meal Cleanup
Building a Fun and Safe Campfire
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7 Steps to Building a Fun and Safe Campfire
Campfires are fun and a great source of heat and light. By following the proper steps to prepare and tend to your campfire it will provide safe enjoyment for many hours.
Since campfires char the ground, it is best to confine your fire to a fire pit, usually found in most campsites, or a designated fire “area”, usually created with rocks and away from low-hanging trees. Most organized campsites you will visit have metal fire pits or rings just for this activity. If they don’t you can create a fire pit, but first find out if it’s OK with the Ranger or Park Manager. If it’s OK, following these 7 easy step:
1. Find an area that is flat and away from trees or overhanging branches.
2. Gather rocks to create a fire pit to keep the fire and ash contained. Clean-up twigs, leaves and other debris up to 10 feet around the fire pit.
3. If permitted, gather 3 types of firewood:
4. Lay the fire – put the tinder in the middle of the fire pit, place plenty of kindling over the tinder. Arrange small and medium-sized fuel wood in a tepee or log cabin shape. I like the tepee shape!
5. Strike a match and light the tinder and watch the fire grow!
6. Keep adding fuel wood to the outside of your tepee as it burns. You can add a few pieces to each side of the fire and it will burn for a long time.
7. Putting out the campfire - After you have enjoyed your cozy fire it’s time to safely extinguish it. Allow the fire to burn down to ash or small coals. Pour water on the embers. Be careful that rising smoke, ash and steam doesn’t get in your eyes! Stir the wet ashes with a stick and pour more water on them. The best test to know if your campfire is out, is when you can safely touch the coals with your bare hands!
Some campsites won’t let you gather wood and only allow camper-provided wood to be burned. When I know I’m going to a campsite like this I usually stop by the grocery store and pick up a bundle of firewood. At the campsite I can create kindling from the logs with a hatchet and use a small wad of newspaper or paper towel for the tinder. The main thing to remember is to have fun with a campfire. Cook smores, sing campfire songs, tell scary campfire stories and enjoy the warmth and coziness of a fire!
You can’t always choose the most ideal weather conditions on your family campout, but you can still have a warm, cozy campfire, even when it’s raining.
Wet Weather Campfire TIPS