How exciting! You get to learn some cool tips and tricks on how to start campfires in a variety of ways that are fun, interesting and most of all, safe! So dig in and learn the tricks of setting one of the most important features of camping and survival. Then you get to go put this in practice, showing your expertise for your family and friends.
Most campers, especially novice campers, think that there just can’t be that much difficulty in building a campfire. If all of the conditions are right and you have plenty of dry, available wood and tinder, then it’s not. However, not everyone knows the importance of building a campfire that is also safe.
Make your fire too near your tent and you could be sleeping on the cold hard ground because you burnt your tent. Let it get out of control and you could start a major fire that could end up destroying a huge amount of forest, wildlife, even yourself!
So, safety precautions are a must the entire time you are camping when it comes to the fires you build. First of all, unless you are in a campground and they already have a designated fire pit or ring set up for you, it will be up to you to pick the perfect spot.
Decide where your tent or tents will be placed first of all. You can not put your fire too close to your tent or screen tent because sparks will fly and you don’t want anything accidentally catching on fire.
If you have anything flammable like a lantern or camp stove fuel in a can or propane canisters, make sure you store that well away from the fire. If you have a vehicle with you of any kind, make sure it is far away from the fire.
You never want to place your fire directly under or near any trees unless you have absolutely no choice and you need the fire to cook or stay warm. Once again, sparks carry and you must be very careful of sparks and wind.
If you place your fire near or under a tree because you have to, never leave it unattended and always fully extinguish the fire if you have to leave your camp for any reason no matter how long you will be gone!
When you clear the spot for your fire, make it on level ground and clear the spot down to the dirt if possible. From my own experience, I can tell you, little pebbles near a river can have a tendency to pop when they get hot! Have one of those little guys pop out on your skin and it really hurts!
Surround the fire with big rocks if you can find them to help keep the fire contained in the ring you have made. If you plan to use a metal cooking grill on your fire, make sure the circle is big enough to accommodate the grill. You will want the legs of the grill inside the fire ring so no one will trip over them and into the fire.
If you are camping somewhere that you are not sure you can find the tinder or wood for your fires, you might have to bring your own, which could be a pain. Usually a nice campground will have wood available, but you may have to pay for it.
When you camp out in the wild, you probably won’t have a problem finding the dry grasses and small sticks you need to get your fire started. Fallen branches usually make excellent firewood. If there is any chance at all of rain, then gather plenty of wood beforehand and cover it with a tarp or store it a tent or screen tent to keep it dry.
Always use a lighted paper, stick, or matches to start your tinder and kindling and not flammable fuel. Flammable fuel can get a fire going easier and faster, but it is also one of the fastest and most dangerous ways to put an end to your camping trip in a hurry because of a serious injury of burns.
If you have children along on your camping trip, you must monitor them closely. Don’t let them play in or near the fire. If you roast marshmallows or make Smores, make sure the bigger kids have very long sticks to roast their marshmallows or hot dogs and the adults should do it for or help the little kids!
Sitting around a campfire is lots of fun when you are camping, but preventing accidents is essential if you really want to have a good time!