A BASIC GUIDE TO A CAMPFIRE

because are you really camping without one?

The best camping moments always happen around a campfire.  Whether you are using it to cook with, warm up, or just create that cozy atmosphere under the stars, there are a many different ways to make a fire!

Building the fire

Any of the structures below will produce a good campfire, but choose the one that works best for your situation!

Star Fire

Place pieces of firewood in star formation pointing out

Layer some of the middle pieces on top of each other

Place kindling in the middle

Creates a long lasting fire

Log Cabin Fire

Place two pieces of firewood parallel

Place kindling in the middle

Place two more pieces on top, perpendicular to the bottom pieces

Repeat, making narrower as it gets taller

Place first pieces of wood on top of wooden or stone platform to make a platform fire for wet conditions. 

Lean-to Fire

Place firewood leaning against stone, or larger log

Place kindling under the wood

Great for starting a fire in windy conditions as the flame will be shielded!

Teepee Fire

Balance firewood against each other to create a cone shape.

Place kindling underneath

Burns quickly, but is great for cooking.

Starting the fire

Always check the fire regulations in your area before starting a campfire to see if there are any active fire bans in your area.

Most campsites provide wood to their campers, always check to see if they do before you bring your own. Bringing foreign wood may lead to spreading harmful types of bugs or diseases.

There are three things you need to start a fire,

Tinder – Tiny pieces of wood, dried moss, leaves, needles, etc

Kindling– small dry pieces of wood or sticks

Fuel – Larger pieces of firewood to sustain the flame

Use waterproof matches or a lighter, ignite the tinder beneath the frame you’ve built of larger firewood and gently blow on the flame, slowly adding kindling as it grows and eventually catches onto larger logs.

Additional Tips for Wet Conditions

Starting a fire when the ground or wood is wet can be very difficult. There are many things you can use to quickly ignite a stubborn fire, such as –

-Drier lint or sheets stuffed into a toilet paper roll

-Cotton balls soaked in oil / petroleum jelly

-Unopened snack sized bag of chips or cheese puffs

-Quickfire packets and other brand name fire starters

Sticky material like spruce, firs, pines and other needle bearing trees are highly flammable. Evergreens thick limbs keep out the damp, so try searching for dry wood underneath them! Split wet firewood or peel off the damp bark to expose the dry wood inside and help it catch faster.