Campfires are one of the best ways to stay warm, cook, and stay entertained while enjoying the outdoors. Even if you’re already a pro, there are always new tips, tricks, and styles to try out on your next adventure.
What Goes Into Making a Campfire?
The first step in crafting the perfect campfire is finding the right placement. Find a designated firepit if you’re on a campground, or find a spot away from trees, grass, and other flammable objects if you’re on your own property.
Next, you’ll need quality materials like dry wood, tinder, kindling to start the fire, and a match or lighter. Remember, more isn’t better. By jamming large amounts of firewood into your fire pit, you can starve the fire of oxygen, leading to quickly dwindling flames.
Once you’re ready, it’s time to use the match or lighter to set the tinder on fire. Get the tinder in contact with your kindling to help things get going. Within minutes, your starter fire should be roaring and you can begin to add even larger pieces of wood around the fire for more security and longevity.
What Type of Fire Is Best for Adventurers’ Campfires?
Campfires come in a variety of forms. Different setups suit different needs, whether it’s cooking, warmth, or long-lasting heat.
Teepee fires are great for spending the night chatting with friends and making s’mores. While they aren’t the most suitable for full meals, they’ll be great for campfire snacks.
To get started, place the kindling over the tinder straight up and leaning on each other (like a teepee). Choose small pieces of wood, like twigs, and slowly place larger kindling around the top. Continue the process by layering slightly larger twigs, branches, or small wood pieces around the original teepee kindling. Finally, place fuel logs on the outside for security of the fire.
This fire burns hot, bright, and quickly, so it’s best for shorter activities outdoors.
If you’re wanting to cook a meal or have a longer burning fire, you can try the Log Cabin method.
Begin by placing your tinder in the center of your kindling and place pieces of wood both vertically and horizontally stacked on top of each other, as though you were building a log cabin. Add your fuel logs to the outer sides of the structure and ensure enough smaller log cabin pieces are on top for adequate burning. When your fire is going down, drop some extra kindling in the center.
The Starfire is another camping classic. Find 5-9 large pieces of wood and place them vertically on the ground, all coming to a common point. They should be spaced far enough to allow some oxygen to flow between them. Next, add your tinder to the center ring created by the intersection of all the pieces, still allowing for space between tinder pieces for better airflow. Place your kindling on top of your tinder and you’re ready to light it up!
Tips to Keep Your Campfire Going Strong All Night Long!
Not ready to say goodnight? Luckily, there are a lot of easy ways to keep the fire going longer.
If you’re planning a fun night out, always check the forecast beforehand. Storms, high winds, and even mild rain can make your firewood damp and harder to light up, and even if you do get it going, it’ll be really hard to keep going.
You can also try adding stones to your fire to help it burn not only longer but much hotter. Or, try using slow-burning woods like Ash, Oak, or Maple, to help the light stay on way past midnight. And most importantly, always ensure the center of your fire is getting enough oxygen, tightly woven firewood simply won’t last.