6 steps to master the art of making a campfire
A beautiful camping night, making a campfire, captivating flame- what more you could ask in a season when a little cooler weather coming. At nightfall, there is nothing like making a campfire to warm up, prepare to eat. The warmth, the color, the nature and the fun all works together make you feel the serenity of a camping night.
It would be a disaster if this beautiful campfire turns into a failure. It could be more dangerous if it becomes a source of accident. So it is very important to know how to start and maintain this fire. Keeping in mind about the hassle of making a campfire, we thought that a good reminder of the basic techniques of the campfire would be more than necessary.
1. Choosing the place
The area for making a campfire has to be least two meters in diameter, ideally three, free of any vegetation; not only on the ground, but also in height. Make your fire on a rocky surface or a bare ground, away from strains, trees and branches suspended. We should be aware that the fire does not spread unfortunately to a branch of a tree that is above the fire. We need to graze the area to the ground and make sure that no twigs, pine needles or other fire-engaging material are present. The place should be sheltered from the wind. Spreading of flames to the surroundings is the happening you must avoid.
A source of water near your fire would be ideal. The source should be easily accessible, could be a filled boiler within easy reach.
2. Choosing wood for making a campfire
Collecting wood may be easy in dry weather but in case of humid weather you will have to bark dead wood or look for moisture-protected places (low branches of trees, in hedges etc).Some types of wood burn better or longer than others. Bramble stems and pine cones stay dry in the core. Try to avoid the leaves of trees cedar, the plane tree for its chips and chestnut those produce mostly smoke. Similarly, smoke from toxic plants can be dangerous.
But let's leave this detail to seasoned campers who light them every night. Let’s focus here on the essentials: dry wood and a mixture of log diameters, including twigs which help to get the ball going.
The majority of the campsites will put at your disposal already dried wood. Enjoy it, but it is often logs of a good diameter. Adding a few twigs and other smaller branches will help making a campfire at its very beginning.
3. Structure of the log
The tent structure is the most popular and efficient among the method of making a campfire. The process is: assemble three logs of equal diameter to make a small "tipi" or cone, made up of branches, beginning with the finest pieces of wood. If this arrangement does not fit you can go for the square and the process of which is: place two logs in parallel, close to one another, then add two more on top, but 90 degrees from the first two.
You will have to place under this teepee your starting fuel once ignited. You can also choose to ignite your starting fuel while it is already placed in the center of the pile of branches.
Both the tipi and the square make it possible to circulate air around the logs, which is essential, because air is the oxygen source that feeds the flames. Use the space at the center of the structure to place several twigs, pieces of bark and other newspaper clippings that will easily catch fire.
4. Building fire and using fuel
For making a campfire, you will first need to find the right starting fuel. Use a sheet of newspaper or dry tinder and powdered as a fire starter, then add the twigs around and above the tinder. You can use other natural fire lighters such as dry pine cones, birch bark, thistles, resin or bramble stems, but you'll also find excellent firelighters in specialty shops (lighters, industrial fire, paraffin matches, lighter-storm, candle,)
All you have to do is light these twigs and pieces of newspapers to start the fire. Experts in bushcraft (this activity of playful survival in full swing) often use Amadou (or Amadouvier) to start their fire. A fungus found on the bark of trees and whose inner foam will give you a lasting embers.
If the soil is damp, insulate the flame with a small blanket of logs, twigs or flat stones. In theory, it is possible to make fire in rainy weather by creating a small wooden protective support above the flames of the fire starter: on this support you dry twigs.
5. Managing after the first ignition
As soon as they ignite, you will only have to feed the fire from above and below. Add these as you go until the fire is transmitted to your logs, which will be able to support the fire itself once they have reached a sufficiently high temperature.
To maintain it, you must add a log when you see that your initial logs are burned two-thirds or that the flames are dwindling. You waited too long? Some other twigs at this stage can help transmit the flames to the new log if the flames were already a little too weak.
All you have to do is to feed this fire regularly, make sure you enjoy it in good company, and then put it out well.
6. Cautions that you should always keep in mind
- We need to make sure to leave enough space between the fire and your material (camping tents, bags, duvets, food.
- Surround your stone fire or, alternatively, install it in a bowl dug on the floor.
- Limit the dimensions of fire so that it would be easier for you to control and to extinguish. Better keep the dimensions less than a meter in height of flame and diameter; it would also be more practical if your want to cook food or boil water for coffee on it.
- It would be safer if you places the fire near a small source of water (basin, gourds, pans )
- Use only paper or shelves of solidified fuel to light the fire. Avoid flammable liquid product.
- Do not throw your trash in the fire, especially those made of plastic or aluminum!
- Never leave the fire unattended. Gather all the elements that have been in contact with the fire and turn it off by pouring water in at least twice on the ashes before leaving or going to sleep. Make sure there are no hot spots remaining. Scatter the wood that remains if it has not been in contact with the fire. Leave as few traces as possible.
- Finally, if you are with children, keep an eye on them as long as the fire is active and explain to them the dangers and risks of fires.
To ensure that your campfire is always a fun time please read and follows the safety instructions. A significant number of fire broke out due to carelessness or misinformation. Let us go to our pyromaniacs and to the ancestral art of the campfire , SAFELY!