How To Build A Campfire

How To Build A Campfire

When building a campfire, always have the fire inside a campfire ring to protect the surrounding area from the danger of spreading fire. The key to a successful and safe campfire is to start small and gradually build it bigger so it remains contained within its designated area.

Materials for a campfire

Kindling: Small, thinly split/chopped wood no bigger than 1″.

Fuel: Larger pieces of wood or small logs (fuel): Dry logs or large pieces of wood 1″-10″ in diameter.

Suggestions for Building a Campfire

Step 1:

For the base layer use kindling and scrunched paper if available. If using small twigs and they do not snap easily, they are probably too green and will not burn well.

Place a couple of handfuls of dry tinder loosely into the middle base of the campfire pit.

Put your back to the wind to protect the lighting flame from extinguishing this applies whether using matches or lighter.

Ignite the bottom of the tinder. Remember fire burns up.

Add more dry tinder as necessary.

Blow gently at the base of the fire to increase size of fire and intensity of heat.

Step 2:

Once the kindling has started to burn, place larger pieces of wood over the kindling. Put it close enough to allow fire to catch but far enough away to ensure circulation of air flow between the pieces of kindling.

As fire catches the smaller pieces of kindling, gradually add larger pieces. Dry kindling works best, but z`if you only have wet kindling, the tinder will need to burn longer to dry it out.

Step 3:

After the fire has started to catch the larger pieces of kindling, add larger chopped wood, which will fuel your fire.

Be sure there is enough space for oxygen to pass through the fire and wood.

See the below steps on how to build different types of fire.

Different Types of Fires

Tepee Fire

Teepee FireMost effective of all fire types but burns through wood quickly. This fire type has concentrated heat in one spot that works well for quick cooking.

Effective for burning wet and green wood.

Lay the pieces of kindling and larger chopped wood over your tinder like a tepee, cone shaped. The outside walls of the teepee will fall inward and feed the fire.

The hottest point of the tepee is at the top where oxygen combusts into fire. It is a good idea to place sticks and wood with thicker ends at the top of the teepee fire.

Log Cabin Fire

Log Cabin FireA long lasting fire with coals is good for cooking. This type of fire provides an even amount of temperature due to its square and uniform shape.

Build four walls in the shape of a square around the teepee, laying the logs or larger pieces of wood (the fuel) inwards in an alternating direction.

Try to build a chimney effect, which sucks air through the bottom exiting an intense flame at the top. Make sure that the walls have enough space from base of campfire pit up for flow of oxygen.


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