There are a few images that definitely appear in the mind of beginners when the word camping is heard. Among these is the site of a campfire with dancing individuals all around and food coking over the fire. It is true that campfires are among the best parts of a camping trip. You can chill, talk, cook, dance, warm up, and make a lot of memories around campfires. However, beginners need to learn a few things before they jump into the campfire adventure. By the end of this article, you will be aware of everything you need to know in order to build a safe campfire.
How to start a fire
Starting a fire isn’t as simple as throwing together some logs and burning them up. It requires preparations. First of all, you need to find a fire ring. This is the assigned area where you are allowed to light campfires on campsites. If the area has no fire rings and you have to build your own, make sure you first find a place that is pretty much clear of bushes and trees. Tree branches that are hanging low could catch fire from your campfire. Put all flammable things far away and then make a 3-inch thick layer of mud around your fire ring.
The next step is to find the right kind of wood. Tinder is the first go-to option since it catches fire pretty easily. However, it burns up very quickly too which is why you need to add in Kindling of tiny branches, twigs, and leaves. Lastly, you need fuel-wood. These are the thicker branches or tree barks. Find anything that is approximately the width of your arm. Make sure all these woods are not wet or green otherwise your campfire will have a lot of smoke. Gather a large amount of these woods so you don’t run out of fuel in the middle of the campfire.
How to put out a fire
A fire takes around 20 minutes to completely be put out. You’re going to want to start sprinkling water over the fire gradually. Don’t pour liters of water altogether. Toss the remaining water on the burning wood and keep sprinkling until all that remains is ash and no smoke. Now, gather the ashes and spread them out and again sprinkle with water. If in the wilderness, before breaking camp spread the ashes all over the campsite so that there isn’t a pile of burned ashes in the middle of nowhere. If you had created your fire ring yourself, clean out that mess as well.
Safety and precautions
First and foremost, make sure you’re allowed to build campfires in your campsite or else you could get in trouble. Abort your campfire idea if it is windy at all. Choose your campfire location wisely. You do not want to be near anything flammable whatsoever. No matter how hard it seems to light the fire, do not use petroleum or gasoline under any circumstances. Do not leave the campfire location unless you’re certain that the fire has completely gone out. Use water, not soil, for putting out the fire.