How to Build the Perfect Campfire
You’ve pitched the tent, and made your first real camp meal on the portable stove, but now it’s time to light up the campfire. For first-timers or even veteran campers, building the perfect campfire can be intimidating, but we’ve got an easy-to-read list to get you going.
Put a ring around it–the fire pit that is. You don’t want any flames to get out. Most campsites already have them in place, but before it gets dark, check to make sure there is one. If your campsite doesn’t have one, grab some large rocks and place them in a circle.
Next, you’ll have to make sure you have three different sizes of wood:
- Tinder: small twigs and sticks that you can find near the campsite
- Kindling: large sticks a little smaller than an inch around (these sometimes come with the bundle described below)
- Fuel: larger sticks or small logs that you can buy in a bundle at most grocery stores or at the campground
Now it’s time to assemble the firewood. Start by putting a small pile of loose tinder in the middle of the pit. Then add kindling in a pyramid shape over the tinder. Just make sure there’s space between the sticks so the fire can breathe.
Use a long lighter or match to light the tinder underneath. Blow lightly on it to keep the flame going. As the fire grows, keep laying bigger and bigger pieces of wood around the fire and then crisscross on top of the fire once the pyramid collapses. Just remember to leave enough space all around for air to get in and out.
Bust out the marshmallows to roast for your mouth-watering s’mores. Kick back and relax with a comfy camp chair and enjoy your fire-building skills. Ready to step it up? Command everyone’s attention with some tall tales about your last outdoor adventure or strum live tunes on your guitar or harmonica.
Never leave a fire burning unattended. Make sure your fire is completely out before you go to sleep or leave your campsite. Put it out by pouring water on it, stirring the ashes, and pouring more water on it until there is no smoke, steam, or hissing when the water hits.