If you are in search of how to build a campfire the right way, it means that you’re already aware of it. And if you don’t have any knowledge of campfire then it will also be fine because this article will explain to you all about a campfire that what is it and how to build that.
What is Campfire?
Campfire is also the most popular and a bit essential feature of camping. Basically, the word campfire often refers to an event (ceremony, get together, etc.) at which there is a fire.
The campfire is an adored and vital outdoor tradition that is a kinetic, glowing and dreamlike force of nature for generations that has served as the centerpiece of backwoods gatherings. Sounds amazing!
What material you should have for constructing a Campfire?
Before building anything we need some essential things that we should have in front of us. OK, let’s start with the materials that you need for building a campfire that is,
You just only need these three basic things for building the best campfire.
Undoubtedly, every good campfire begins with good tinder. The purpose behind using tinder is that it can easily catch fire and burn quickly. I’m sure you’re thinking that what is the best tinder to use, you can use dry leaves, wood shavings, dry bark, dry grass, dryer lint or homemade char pieces of clothes.
Remember, bringing your own tinder is also the best option when everything is wet outside because wet tinder cannot catch fire. You can also create tinder by yourself, for example, you can use a cotton ball with Vaseline that is flammable and waterproof as well.
As mentioned above, tinder burns quickly that is why we have to use such material that keeps the flame going. And to overcome this situation the use of kindling will be the best option which we can go for.
Kindling can be defined as “twigs or small branches between 1/8 inches and 1/2 inch in diameter” should be arranged around tinder to help the fire disperse.
To keep the fire hot and burning we often use Fuelwood but keep in mind that firewood doesn’t have to look like the huge logs you use in a fireplace.
Because if you use big wood then it will take a long time to catch fire that’s I recommend you to use braches that are average in size as the size of the adult’s wrist because thick chunks of wood are rarely allowed to burn completely.
While collecting wood don’t forget to gather dry wood that snaps and breaks easily because dry wood burns the best. And one more this if you make a fire with green or wet branches then you’ll get lots of smoke, be careful.
Obviously, Firestarters are also the most necessary gear for the construction of campfire. In my opinion, a lighter or matches would be more convenient as Firestarters but I suggest you carry both with yourself while going to build a campfire.
If you don’t want to carry lighter or matches than you can go for another option that is Ferro rods and sparkers. But suppose if unfortunately, you forget to take any Firestarter then what will you do???
Don’t worry, now you have to adopt the old method of creating a spark that is rubbing flint and steel together.
Note: Keep all the Firestarters in a waterproof container for their protection.
Time to build the campfire
Now it’s time to use all the things that you have collected, tinder, kindling, and fuelwood. There are many ways you can walk through to set up a campfire but I have explained five types of campfire that I already experienced.
- Log cabin
- Plate form
- The star
Let’s discuss all of the above one by one.
Teepee fire setup
I would like to inform you that some campers call this method as Tipi and some of them call it cone-method, it depends on you that what would you like to call it but don’t be perplexed about this.
The teepee is the most simple and the most liked way of building a campfire. In this method, you have to start by using some tinder that you should place in the center. After placing the tinder construct the cone of kindling around the tinder that you have placed in the middle.
Now place the logs vertically so that they form a cone/teepee shape. Don’t use more than four logs and leave the space pieces of wood to provide the air to kindling.
Why adopt the teepee method?
In fact, the teepee structure is simple to build and can be grown easily by placing thicker and thicker pieces of wood. The teepee is the most advantageous fire building that you should try before starting any fire.
Why not adopt the teepee method?
But if you are a beginner then you need some more time to learn this method that when to add fresh wood without suffocating the fire. And the teepee structure is not that good for windy conditions.
Lean-to fire setup
We can smartly imagine the construction of lean-to fire set up by its name “Lean-to” that means an inclined position; I hope you got my point. Exactly, we will build a lean-to fire set up by placing the log in an inclined position.
In this method, we have to stick a long piece of kindling along with tinder into the ground at about a 30-degree angle. And the corner of the stick should be pointing into the wind then lit.
When the sheltered fire is strong enough then place a big log that protects the base from the worst components. And create a strong campfire that would be the best for all weather.
Why adopt the lean-to method?
Because lean-to setup is the best chance to have the fire even in rainy or blowy weather conditions and has a much stable structure as compare to others.
If we compare lean-to fire with teepee then lean-to provides us the permanent solution of the problem we were facing in the teepee. Yes, you can setup lean-to even in bad weather conditions and lean-to is also quite simple to build.
Why not adopt the lean-to method?
Because lean-to campfire does not start burning quickly and it also takes a lot of time in the building. Also, you can use this method when you are good at the judgment of wind direction otherwise you should not go for the lean-to method.
The log cabin setup
As similar to the lean-to, a log cabin can be described by its name ‘’log cabin’’, yes we will build the log cabin campfire setup by placing two larger logs parallel to each other but do remember to leave some space between both of the logs.
Now you have made the basic structure of log cabin campfire. Then put the other two firewood at the top of the base that you have already built in the opposite direction.
Leaves some spaces between both log as you left in the above step then it will make a square in the center. Repeat these steps with consecutive firewood and don’t forget to add kindling and tinder in the center and at the last put more kindling and tinder on the top layer of log cabin
Fill the center of the square place tinder and kindling. In this method of making a campfire, it’s quite necessary to leave spaces between the firewood because fire needs oxygen to burn. The log cabin fire set up is also known as a criss-cross fire that allows you to put up fire quickly for cooking purposes.
Why adopt the Log cabin method?
Log cabin campfire is the best way to mixing different kinds of firewood and also burn steadily that’s why log cabin does not necessitate plenty of maintenance. This simple method allows you to enjoy up the warmth with any worry of maintenance.
Why not adopt the Log cabin method?
If mistakenly you use many circular logs then the log cabin campfire can be unstable and there is the chance to roll off the flame.
Let’s move on to another type of building a campfire that is called lean-to fire. The platform fire set up is a bit similar to log cabin campfire which has the only difference that the kindling and the tinder in platform campfire put on the upper layer of the log instead of underneath it. Platform campfire looks like a bed of hot coals which you can use for cooking.
Let’s discuss how to build the platform campfire,
Place the largest firewood on the ground with a little space between each log. Now exchange the layers when placing them that is something going north to south. Place kindling and tinder in the center of the top layer of logs.
Light the fuel and let the fire burning until it falls on the bigger logs beneath. But it might take a while and need some more extra kindling and fuel and few additional tries. Once the campfire starts roaring then the fire will last as long as seven or more hours.
Why adopt the platform campfire method?
Platform campfire is the perfect method for cooking and it will last after an extended duration.
Why not adopt the platform campfire method?
Plate form fire set up is not that good for the rainy or windy season and this method takes a minimum of thirty minutes for showing any sign of burning.
Star campfire set is the most modern and the easiest style of building the campfire. We start constructing star campfire from the center of the fire pit. Drop some fuel at the place where you want to build the campfire then place some heavy firewood around the center point as usually seen on the face of a compass.
Now add some extra kindling over the fuel and then light it and keep adding the fire till the logs begin to burn. At the last push the woods towards the center point of the fire to burn more fuel and then leave it for burning gradually.
Why adopt the star campfire method?
Star campfire setup is the only method of building a campfire that is quite simple and needs very little wood to work effectively.
Why not adopt the star campfire method?
Because star campfire is not a roaring fire, with “minimalist” the best description of the start campfire.
Safety guidelines for building a campfire
As we all know safety matters a lot that’s why for your convenience we have also added some information about the safety guidelines that we have to keep in mind while building a campfire, in order to avoid any harmful condition.
The first thing you should consider is your environment because most importantly you are going to enjoy nature. Now check that if a fire is permitted in the area where you are want to build a campfire.
If you are not sure about this then contact the proper local administrator to get to know either it is permitted or not at the area where you intend to construct campfire. Generally, campgrounds have chosen fireplaces, grills or rings where you can put up fires.
Before starting a fire you have to verify the weather as well as the surroundings. If the area is dry and woody then it will be well to keep the fire small, if it’s essential otherwise ignore this step. It’s all about errant ash that might consequently result in a wildfire because embers are carried by winds.
I will recommend you to do follow the guidelines properly, don’t let nature destroy.
How to put out the campfire?
First of all, pour water on the campfire to blow it out then mix the ashes and pour some more water. Keep repeating this process until a single ember keeps on burning as it might lead to wildfire if it gets blown away by the wind. Wait till the ashes are cool and able to touch after that you can easily go off the campfire.
Time to clean the campfire site
Cleanliness is the most essential part when we intend to leave the campsite. You should pack out all the material that you have to consume in building the campfire as well as the remaining ashes then pit it whenever you are in the backcountry.
Take out all the pieces of charcoal that are left inside your ring and then carry them away from the campsite. Moreover, disassemble any structure that you might have constructed.
Wrapping up the article
I strongly hope that this article is well informed on how to build a campfire right way. I know campfire is the main thing that we all want on any camping trip and without a campfire, we are just a group of people sitting together in the middle of the woods.
A campfire provides warmth, light and is the best way of cooking a meal while we are on the trip. If campfire prepared and handled properly then the campfire can be such the best source of fun.
Campfire is the best place to catch up with friends and family because there is no email, YouTube, Netflix, which means there is no distraction there. You can relax in nature because the conversations are deeper, stories are funnier there than ever before.
I know you’re quite excited about building a campfire, what are you waiting for? Do hurry and start building your campfire like an expert and roast some marshmallows! Have an enjoyable time!