After spending a whole day at a camping ground, people like to set up a campfire before going to bed. A perfect campfire attracts campers and builds up a warm and enjoyable environment. We all love to share stories, have awesome discussions, singing songs, and sharing our thoughts at the campfire. Below, we have a detailed guide on how to build a perfect campfire.
The below guide will make you a master who can build a perfect campfire anytime while on a camping trip. So, your next ten minutes of reading this guide completely will become a beneficial advantage for you. Let’s begin by preparing a perfect fire bed.
- Preparing a Fire Bed
When planning to build a perfect campfire, the first step is preparing the right fire site. Don’t build campfire near dry plant material. Your aim is to build a perfect campfire and not to raging wildfire in the national park. Most of the camping grounds have their fire sites. In case, no option is available then you can also prepare your fire bed. Select a clean area.
Make sure it is away from any bushes, trees, dry grass, and other plant material. Now, you have to dig a little bit and clean away any dry grass, barks, and branches. Once the area is good as planned then make a fire bed by placing the dirt in the center. The dirt platform must be about three to four inches thick. Congrats! Your fire bed is ready.
- Collecting the Right Fire Wood
The next step is to collect the right firewood. To get a perfect campfire, you will need three types of wood. They are – Tinder, Kindling, and Fuel Wood. These all are necessary for a perfect fire setup.
1. Tinder: The initial wood required to start a fire is tinder. Materials like dry bark, wood shavings, dry leaves, fluffy fungi, and dry grass are the best examples of perfect tinder. These materials can fire easily and they burn very fast. Believe it or not, you will need twice the amount of tinder as you planned for igniting the fire. Make sure all the material, you collected is dry. But, if rain was happed recently and everything is wet. Well! No one can completely believe in the mood of nature. So, being an intellectual camper, always carry your tinder before leaving your home. Some people carry tinder in the form of homemade char cloth or dryer lint.
2. Kindling: After tinder, collecting the right kindling is important. You will need some material for smoothing your fire because the tinder burns very fast. Kindling will make your fire with non-stop flames. You just need some plant material which is about the width of a pencil. Don’t go for big logs directly to put on the fire.
Materials like small branches and twigs are the best examples of correct kindling. Make sure your selected kindling is dry. In case, if all the small branches and twigs are wet then you can use a knife to whittle away the damp bark. To make your fire properly ignite, collect twice the amount of kindling than you planned because kindling also burns fast but it will smoother your fire.
Important Tip #1: There are chances that the collected branches or wood is dry from outside but wet from inside. The outside drys fast but the inside may be wet and this type of wood will take too much time to fire up. The best practice is breaking the branches. If they break easily that means they are perfect for a campfire. If they bend that means it’s too wet or green. Always select dry firewood because wet wood will just get a lot of smoke instead of fire.
3. Fuel Wood: Materials like dry wood and branches about them as wide as your forearm or your wrist will keep your fire burning and hot. These will take some time to completely burn and they act as fuelwood for your campfire. It is recommended to not select the huge logs because these will take too much time to catch the fire. The amount of fuelwood that you will need completely depends on how much do you want your campfire burning.
Lay Your Fire
There are three of the most common ways to lay your fire. They are – lean-to fire lay, log cabin fire lay, and teepee fire lay.
1. Lean-to Fire Lay
This lay is the easiest way to get fast and quick fire. You have to start by sticking a long piece of kindling into the ground at about thirty to forty-degree angle. Make sure to keep the end of the stick pointing into the wind. Now, set up a tinder bundle like a nest underneath this stick then place some small pieces of branches and twigs around your tinder nest.
Further proceed by laying small pieces of dry twigs and branches against the piece stuck in the ground. Now, set up another layer with larger pieces of dry branches and twigs. Once done, it’s time to light up the tinder nest. Hurray! Yours have completely set up a perfect campfire.
2. Log Cabin Fire Lay
Start by placing a tinder bundle in the center of your campfire site. Now, use kindling to form a teepee above the tinder bundle. Make sure to leave an opening in your teepee on the side the wind is blowing against. Now, place large pieces of fuelwood on opposite sides of the tepee. Further, proceed with laying smaller pieces of fuelwood across the first set of fuelwood. Now, repeat laying small pieces of kindling to form a pyramid-like shape. Once done, light-up the tinder, and your campfire is perfectly burning.
3. Teepee Fire Lay
The initial setup of the teepee lay is the same as the log cabin fire lay. You have to start by placing a tinder bundle in the center of your campfire site. Now, use kindling to form a teepee above the tinder bundle. Make sure to leave an opening in your teepee on the side the wind is blowing against. This opening will let the required air get inside and blow flames into the layer of kindling. You can check out the best sleeping bags for camping.
Now, add another layer of kindling using pencil-sized twigs then set up a large teepee structure using fuelwood. It will be good to select a fuelwood width of your forearm. Now, fire up the tinder. This teepee structure will allow the flame to rise to kindle then fuelwood. After some time, this teepee structure will fall. Now, you can add some fuelwood to keep the fire burning.
- Putting Out The Campfire
Start at least twenty to fifteen minutes to put out the fire before leaving it. Putting out the campfire takes time. Take a bucket of water and sprinkle it over. Don’t pour the bucket at once because maybe you or someone will be going to use the fireplace later. Now, use a stick to stir the embers and charcoal.
Stirring will make all the ashes get wet completely. Once done, put the back of your hand near the ashes to find if it is still hot. Don’t get your hand too close to ashes. Once it is cool, scoop up the ashes in a bag. Now, spread them out around the campsite. Here, you are ready to leave the site.
Important Tip #2: Always keep a bucket of water with you while working on the campfire. This water will extinguish the fire if anything goes wrong.
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