How to Build and Light a Campfire
Author: Anya Keinzley
Nothing compares to the pleasures of a campfire - the smell of wood smoke and the sound of the crackle are truly irreplaceable. Whether you are camping or stargazing from your backyard, lighting a fire is a profound skill to have.
As we move into campfire season you may want to brush up on your building skills, so here are a few tips to help get you started.
Whether you are at a campsite, home, or interstate, frequently checking fire regulations is paramount. Campsites usually have signs to advise of permissible fires, whereas when at home or travelling interstate, monitoring the Department of Fire & Emergency Services website will advise of any fire bans in your area.
In any case where your campfire becomes rampant, remain calm and follow the steps below:
- Drown the campfire in water
- Scrape off the burnt parts on the sticks and logs
- Douse more water over fire
- Repeat these steps until it becomes cool to the touch.
Tip: Do not cover campfire in soil while still hot, as fire can remain hot for up to eight hours, potentially becoming a hazard for anyone walking in the area.
Now to the how to…
CONSIDER THE AREA
Make sure the area around the campfire is cleared of any twigs, bush, or any other flammable materials. And try not to ignite a campfire on dry and windy days.
BUILD A FIRE PIT OR RING
Most fire-friendly campsites provide rings but if they don’t, create a 3x3 foot circular “wall” of large rocks.
ASSEMBLE YOUR FIREWOOD
Consider wind speed. If winds are higher, you may want to build a formation that creates an internal “no-wind zone”. The most common types of fire formations are the Pyramid and Log Cabin style.
- Tinder: Quick lighting fuel for the initial lighting of the fire, but generally does not burn for more than 10-30 secs (think dry leaves etc.)
- Kindling: A little denser & can burn longer (small sticks etc.)
- Firewood: Depending on the wood, your firewood can burn fast or slow.
LIGHTING YOUR FIRE
- Light the tinder and lay it under or on the kindling.
- Once the tinder makes contact with the kindling, lightly blow on the tinder to help give more oxygen to the flame.
- The flame should travel upwards toward your firewood which should cause a chain reaction.