How to Build a Camp Fire

Picture of a camp fire

How to Build a Safe Camp Fire

Starting a Campfire with the Right Supplies

Before building a fire, gather all necessary supplies, including tinder, kindling, and fuel wood. Tinder is ideal for starting your fire since it's quick to collect and burn; small twigs or branches work best as this kind of fuel.

Next, you'll want to gather some larger fuel wood. Logs and branches make excellent firewood since they can sustain a flame longer than smaller pieces of wood. It's wise to gather an assortment of everything you think you might need so that you don't run out and have to scramble for more wood later on.

Selecting Appropriate Firewood

When gathering firewood for camping, it's essential to confirm that it's legal to burn on the land you plan to camp on. Some public lands, like national parks and forests, prohibit campfires entirely and require permits or restrictions from either federal or state governments to use them.

Before having a campfire, be sure to check with your local forest service or county land management agency about current fire restrictions and the level of danger in an area. They can give you more insight into when it's safe to have one and how best to put one out safely.

Campfires can be the highlight of a backpacking trip, but it's essential that you use them wisely so as not to cause too much environmental harm. This means abiding by all applicable rules and regulations for the lands you'll be hiking on, keeping the fire extinguished at all times, and cleaning up after yourself once the fire has been put out.

Maintaining a supply of water on hand while camping can help keep your campfire burning hotter for longer. Even if you're only camping a few feet from a stream, having a bucket with you is beneficial before it gets too hot or when weather conditions turn dry and windy.

Cooking over the Campfire

If you plan to cook with fire, create a platform so your cooking equipment can sit directly atop the coals. This prevents hot surfaces from being damaged by hot coals and ensures even burning throughout, giving you greater control and efficiency when preparing meals.

When cooking over the fire, it's wise to use a pot and pan or foil that can rest atop of the coals. This will provide an effortless transfer of your food and reduce preparation time.


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