Peanut Butter and Jelly, Bread and Butter,
Camping and Campfires. They just seem to go together. Your campfire will provide
you with hot food, warmth and atmosphere. It is the perfect place to sit and
enjoy songs, family, the stars or just getting away from it all.
With practice, you can become a perfect (and
SAFE) firemaker every time.
If your campsite already contains a fire ring or fire place, use this for
your campfire. If you must create your own area for a fire, choose an area with
gravel, dirt or sand. Rake away all brush, and be sure you are not near
vegetation that may become ruined by extreme heat or flames. Also be aware of
any natural objects such as boulders that may show the signs of fire after you
leave your site. Remember, "Leave no Trace" when camping.
Always keep a bucket of water and a camp shovel near your campfire. If your
fire begins to spread, you can douse it with water or cover it with dirt.
Gather soil for your fire area and pack it in a rectangle approximately two
feet square and three inches thick. Your fire will be built on this dirt. Never
build a fire near your tent.
Building Your Fire
Gather tinder for your fire. Tinder is anything that will
catch fire quickly,
such as pine needles, bits of wood or other dry, small items. Next, gather
kindling. Kindling consists of dead sticks that are smaller than the thickness
of your pinky. Finally, look for larger pieces of wood, which will fuel your
fire. Wood for fuel can often be purchased in campsite stores, but can also be
found around your site if allowed.
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There are many styles for building a fire. One well known type is based on
the shape of a tepee. Place a nice amount of tinder in the middle of your fire
circle. Cover this with your kindling. Finally, build a tepee structure around
your tinder with your wood fuel. Leave a small opening on the side the wind is
blowing, which will help your fire to start. Place a match or two inside the
tinder to start it. If you brought any form of fire starter with you, have that
inside with the tinder and light that.
You can build your campfire with wood and use a
heated stone for cooking!
Extinguishing Your Fire
water on the fire. Stir it with a stick, then pour more water on the
embers. Continue to pour and stir until the fire is out. You should
then use your camp shovel to cover this area with dirt. In keeping with
Leave No Trace, cover your fire area with rocks and ground cover to
leave it as you first found it. BE SURE YOUR FIRE IS COMPLETELY OUT
BEFORE PLACING ANYTHING ON THE SPOT OR BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR CAMPSITE.
Embers must be cold to the touch.
Smoke in your Eyes
is it that every time you sit at the campfire, the smoke gets in your
eyes? Find out here!