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How to Light a Campfire – The Complete Guide for 2021

How to light a campfire: It’s our 4th of July weekend! And, what a wonderful weekend it is. We’re celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave at the park, by the lake, at the park, on the beach, etc.

Wherever you plan to celebrate, fire is often involved.

How to light a campfire

The keys to building a successful campfire are preparation, patience, and a bit of know-how. (i.e. practice makes perfect).

We recommend the following the following steps

Clear an area

The first step is clearing the area you want to start the camp fire. Clear away all flammable material from the area you want light the fire.

Make sure the base of your fire is mineral soil, gravel or sand or gravel or mineral soil (often found in streambeds or on gravel bars). You don’t want your fire to spread to other places causing a wildfire.

Gather your wood – Use the right kind of wood

An important step is to gather your materials. The main ingredients are tinder, kindling and fuel wood.

Tinder is any flammable material that lights with little or no spark or flame, such as paper, leaves, bark, and dry twigs.

Kindling is slightly larger pieces of wood that can light from the tinder and burn long enough to ignite the fuel wood.

Fuel wood is large pieces of wood that will burn long enough to sustain the fire.

Start the fire / Start a fire pit

Build the campfire and then light the tinder with a lighter or a match. Blow slightly at the base of the fire to supply oxygen.

The step is the same whether you are lighting the fire on the ground or on a fire pit.

Wait for the fire to catch

After lighting, wait for the catch as you slowly adding kindling pieces. During this step, you can be blowing gently to increase the supply of oxygen.

Maintain the fire – Add extra wood

At this stage add fuel wood so that the fire can last longer. The fuel wood burns for long.

Extinguishing the fire

When it is time to sleep or leave the campsite, it is time to extinguish the fire. It is never a good idea to sleep with a camp fire on.

The best way to extinguish campfire is by pouring water on it. Don’t use soil or dirt to extinguish the fire as this may insulate the fire instead of putting it out. This can be catastrophic if the fire rekindles while you are asleep.

Safety Precautions

The following are safety precautions you need keep in mind when dealing with campfires

Know the local rules and regulations

Before you light a campfire, make sure you familiarize yourself with the local fire regulations. Also be on the lookout for posted signs and signage. These can help you understand what is allowed and what’s not.

Rules and regulations change all the time so make sure you keep yourself updated.

Light the fire on a pit

Always make sure you have a fire ring or fire pit. With a fire pit, the risks of the fire spreading to other places are highly reduced.

If you don’t a fire pit, make one by digging one in an open area. First clear the area of anything that could catch fire before digging the pit.

Extinguished the match

If you start the fire with a match, make sure you have completely extinguish it by pouring water over it. You can also dispose it of by throwing it into the fire.

Careless disposal of burning matches can cause catastrophic wild fires.

Don’t carry firewood from home

To avoid spread of diseases and insects to the forests, don’t carry firewood from home to the campsite. Just use local firewood fetched from around the campsite.

Keep a bucket of water nearby

Before you start a campfire, make sure you have a bucket of water nearby. This comes in handy when you need to deal with runaway flames.

Observe the wind

To reduce the risks of your campfire becoming a wildfire, observe the direction of the wind and make sure anything flammable is kept upwind.

Don’t leave the campfire unattended

An unattended campfire can easily turn into a catastrophic wildfire. For this reason, make sure there is always someone monitoring the fire.

If plan to take a nap or take a quick hike away from the campsite, extinguish the fire completely.

Always put out the fire out properly

How to Light a Campfire - The Complete Guide for 2021

Every time you are done with the camp fire make sure to distinguish it properly. You can do this by pouring water on the fire.

Parting Shot

I hope the above guide on how to start a campfire was helpful enough. If you loved it, please share it with your circles.

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the outdoors. My dad was an avid outdoorsman and always taking the family camping, fishing, and hunting. I reckon I must have been about 10 or 12 (circa 80s) when I went to Segovia, Spain and spent a summer there...

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