There is nothing more mesmerizing than sitting around a warm campfire with friends and loved ones. The glow and energy the campfire brings have always seemed to bring people together. Maybe it unconsciously brings us back to an ancient time when the world was slower and less complicated.
Collect the right materials to build your campfire. Start by digging a hole, add the tinder first, then place kindle wood. Next, add your firewood logs to the desired shape you want to build. Have some fire lighting material to start your fire.
It doesn’t matter if your campfire is intended to cook on, roasting some s’mores, telling stories, keeping warm, or creating the perfect ambiance for that romantic getaway. No matter what your campfire is intended for, there is just some magic in lighting a fire that brings people closer together.
Table of Contents
How To Make A Fire While Camping?
Be it your first time camping or a veteran camper, remembering the basics of making a fire remains the same.
Getting rid of the nerves and worries if you did the right fire for the surroundings or the right place to start a fire becomes less overwhelming with time and practice.
First things first, let’s make sure you have all the right material to build your fire;
- A fire starter
Know you want to be able to build your fire.
- Find an appropriate spot.
- Build and fire ring or dig a shallow hole.
- Build your material into the desired shape.
- Light the tinder with your fire starters
How To Build The Best Fire For Cooking?
As in any other interest, there is never one solution for everything if you want to do it correctly.
The above is also true for fires. Yes, there are many ways to make a fire.
Your prime rib is there waiting for you to make the perfect fire to start roasting it to perfection. But what type of fire would be the best to do justice to this perfect piece of cut meat?
- Teepee fire resembles the indigenous dwelling it was named after. It is a cone-shaped structure allowing plenty of oxygen through. This fire is best used for quick fires for boiling water or heating pots. Let the logs collapse and place a metal grid over the coals to roast up your steak. It needs constant maintenance and a supply of wood.
- Lean-to is a great method to use in very windy conditions or when it’s raining, but you still need to cook dinner. Use a rock as a shield against the elements, which doubles up as a radiating platform for heat. Another way is to use the wood you gathered to create a shield against the wind. Pack sticks against the logs to create a semi hang-over form over your fire. Using the teepee structure is best to allow for a quick and hot fire.
- The Platform, this method is perfect if you use pots and pans for cooking your meal. The platform method is created by laying 3 large logs on the ground, and then perpendicular to that lay another 3 logs down, building it at least 3 levels high. The last lever is best left to 2 logs. In the middle of the 2 logs, create a small teepee structure with your tinder and kindle. The fire will burn downwards, creating a long-lasting concentrated fire with a platform to place your pots and pans on to prepare a sumptuous meal.
How To Build The Best Long Lasting Campfire?
Not all fires are made for one purpose in mind. How do you create that glowing bonfire on a cold winter’s night to warm up the soul while your group gathers around, sharing stories or singing old camp songs?
These fires are made to last to the very bitter Enders.
- Log cabin, as its name suggests, build a log cabin by placing 2 of your largest fogs on the ground, perpendicular to that, add 2 slightly smaller logs, and build up to the desired height of your bonfire. In the middle of the log cabin, place your tinder and kindle. The fire will burn hot and bright.
- Star, not designed to be the bonfire of the century, but a great little fire that keeps burning long into the night. If you are caught in a place with very little firewood at your disposal, the star fire is the best method to keep a constant fire burning. As its name suggests, take long logs and place the one ends together in a small circular formation with the other ends [projecting outwards give it the appearance of a star. Create your teepee in the center and gently push your logs into the center of the fire as needed to keep your fire burning. This method, however, needs contestant attention to ensure your fire does not burn out.
How To Start A Campfire Without Matches?
What happens when your campsite is drowned out by rain, and all your matches have been lost? Do you pack up and run home, leaving the campsite as a bad memory? Maybe you want to try out your survival skills and stick it out.
Whatever your decision, knowing how to make fire without a lighter or matches will be an indefinite skill.
Making fire using friction is not for the faint-hearted. It takes patience, perseverance, and a strong pair of arms.
There are 3 types of friction-based fire-making methods; all have a varying degree of difficulty. However, the principle is the same for all of them, using a spindle and fireboard.
- Hand drill
- Fire plow
- Bow drill
If you remembered to pack your flint and steel knife, that is an easier option of striking a spark and igniting the tinder.
Then there is the lens-based fire-making; if any of you melted little green army men as kids, then this should be a walk down memory lane for you. But there are other options to the traditional lens. However weird they sound, they can be effective if you find yourself in dire need to build a fire.
- Traditional lens
- Clear balloons or condoms
Filling the balloon or condoms with clear water allows you to manipulate it to a form that can refract the light and concentrate a point onto the tinder to create a small ember to start your fire. But don’t overfill them, or this method will not work.
The ice lens is a handy trick in winter when there is ice or the possibility of freezing clear water. Freeze a shallow amount of water in a cup or bowl. Once it is iced, shape it into the form of a magnifying lens that is thicker in the center and thins out to the edges. As you work it, the heat of your hands will smooth and form the desired shape. Once the shape has been formed, use the lens to concentrate a small beam of light onto your tinder.
Unfortunately, these methods are only effective when you have a clear sunny day. Overcast days will prove impossible to get the desired effect.
Safety While Making A Camp Fire
Remember to follow safety precautions and rules while making your fire will go a long way in protecting yourself and your environment.
Fire pits-make sure you make your campfire in fire rings or create a fire pit by digging a wide hole in the ground, to contain the fire.
Space-finding the right fire for the right location is also very important. Don’t make a bonfire where there is an overhanging brush.
Watch your fire-keep an eye on your fire. Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure your fire has been properly extinguished using water before going to sleep.
Keep water and sand on hand-keep both of these elements handy should the emergency arise where you have to quickly extinguish the fire.
Check the weather-don’t build bonfires in unfavorable conditions. Keep in mind the wind factor can easily pick up embers and start a wildfire.
Never burn toxic materials-discard your rubbish in trash cans or keep them with you until you can dispose of them. Never burn trash in the fire as it may form toxic fumes.
Never use accelerants to fuel your fire-this can easily get out of hand.
So regardless of whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned camper, there are rules that everyone should follow when making a fire. Knowing what type of fire you need to get the job done will go a long way to prevent irritation and stress. Practice at home how to make a fire without matches to deal in an emergency. Be responsible and enjoy the glow of your work.