How to Build a Campfire

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It’s something special to have a controlled fire in the outdoors. Feel the warmth of the fire on a cold night, sit around it and spend quality time with family and friends. Of course, you can build up a terrific warm fire in a wood stove, and these fires are also comforting; however, a campfire is more complex because of safety and efficiency considerations. So, here’s one way to make sure that the campfire you build is both warm and safe.

When you decided to build a campfire, and you’re somewhere where there is no pre-built campfire ring—the all-metal rings found in most every forest service campground (If there are pre-built campfire rings please use them, because digging a hole for a campfire unnecessarily disturbs the wilderness)—you will want to choose a level spot. The spot should be away from any overhanging branches, anything that could potentially catch fire, and away from the base of a hill. You will want to dig out a spot that’s at least six inches deep and at least two feet across. Use the dirt from the hole to line the outside of your fire pit.

When you light the fire start small and build it up. Build a fire that won’t leap out from its containment. And never leave the campfire unattended. A fire can get out of hand quickly, and should be monitored.

When you are done with the fire make sure to drown it out with water. There’s a layer of wood particulate that looks similar to dirt. This layer of particulate is referred to as duff, and the duff can smolder still, even when the fire is completely out. It’s possible that the duff can warm other particulate and catch flame well after the fire’s gone out. When you put out the fire, hold your hand above the washed-out coals, make sure that the coals feel cool.

We here at Reliable Tent hope that you will soon get to enjoy a good campfire in the outdoors, and hope that you will keep safe when you build one.

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