How to build a campfire
When it comes to basic survival skills, knowing how to build your own fire is top of the list. So let’s get straight to the point.GUIDES | 3 minutes read
This Is what you’ll need
- A small axe for chopping/cutting wood.
- Matches in a waterproof container (or a fire steel if you know how to use one).
- Something to get the fire going, for example dry bark
- A range of logs, branches and kindling of different sizes – preferably dry.
And this Is what you should do
- Gather enough firewood, you might only want a fire to cook over; perhaps you want it to burn all evening. You should get enough firewood to satisfy your needs in one go. It’s not a good idea to leave the fire unattended to go searching for more later.
- Choose a suitable location, gravel and sand are your best bets. Avoid peat, moss, grass, – particularly during dryer months – or in the vicinity of tree roots, that can potentially spread far and wide underground. Open areas are best.
- Build a fire pit, dig a hole or create a ring of stones to provide a safe and sheltered place for your fire. Then fill it with loose stones or sand, so the fire is not directly on the ground. If you have time, build a reflector on one side of the fire pit. To do this, set up two vertical stakes and stack wood between them, like an old-fashioned fence. This will reflect heat toward you. It also functions like a drying rack for damp wood.
- Layer up, start with kindling and/or bark at the bottom, then layer up with larger twigs and branches. Don’t add big, heavy logs too soon. Get the fire going first. Once the flame is constant you can add the chopped wood. Make sure there is plenty of room for air. Add logs regularly to ensure the fire doesn’t die out. Always keep an eye on the fire to ensure it doesn’t spread outside of the fire pit.
- Then sit back and enjoy.
You also need to put the fire out.
All you need to do is pour water over the fire several times to extinguish it. And if you’ve used stones to form the firepit, move them apart so the concentration of heat doesn’t encourage the fire to reignite.
It’s simple, but it’s important you double check the fire is definitely out and there aren’t any embers still burning. Root fires can travel far underground and along tree roots, resulting in the rapid spread of a fire, which can quickly get out of control.
Always check the local rules and regulations and also whether any fire restrictions are in place.