It isn’t hard to start a fire. But it is hard to keep one going, which of course is key to a good campfire. So how do you do it? Well, here are the basics you need to know to start a crackling campfire that’s safe and easily sustainable.
- Use dry firewood. Don’t use freshly chopped, green wood, as it’s up to 50% water, which is much harder to burn and produces tons of smoke. Avoid it unless you need to make smoke signals…. for some reason.
- Tinder: dry leaves, pine needles, grasses, wood shavings, rolled paper balls
– Kindling: dry, dead twigs
– Clear a bare dirt patch 10 ft. or so wide. Plenty of extra room around the fire.
– Keep a clear distance from your tent, any overhanging branches, or standing deadwood.
– Place stones in a ring as large as you wish your fire to be (within reason, of course). Make sure they’re closely fit together.
– Start with the tinder in the middle.
– Place the dry twigs that serve as kindling in a teepee formation around the tinder.
– Do the same with your logs, placing them in a teepee formation over the kindling.
– Light the tinder and ensure it catches the kindling.
– You can blow gently to help the fire breathe, but be careful not to extinguish it
Then sit back and watch your creation smolder and crackle. And when you’re finished, be sure to break up the logs and pour water and dirt on top. Don’t touch it, though! The ashes can remain hot for days afterward.
And for a truly comprehensive guide to campfires, check out CampfireDude.com. His campfire tips are smart and extensive.