How to Build a Campfire

campfire

Bonfire


There’s something so soothing about sitting around a flickering flame, listening to the crackling sounds, feeling the warmth of fire, and smelling that distinctive campfire smell! 

Campfires were once a necessary part of survival- providing heat, helping with hunting, warding off predators, providing light, and helping with cooking. It was also a place for making friends and relaxing. 

For many of us now, a campfire is a tradition and has become the centerpiece of our outdoor gatherings. To learn how to start a campfire, follow the directions below. 

Kindling for fire

What Do I Need to Start a Campfire? 

There are three essentials you'll need in order to start a fire.

Tinder

Dry bark, pine needles, leaves, dryer lint, or cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly (basically anything that catches fire easily) 

Kindling

Small sticks that burn longer than tinder and help ignite the fuel wood

Fuel Wood

Larger logs that keep the fire burning for longer periods of time 

Note: Be sure to only use local firewood and check your campgrounds rules. Bringing your own wood could introduce troublesome insects into the woods.


Popular Types of Campfires


Teepee Fire

Teepee

Step 1:  

Make a small cone of kindling around a few handful of tinder.

Step 2: 

Once fire is going, you can begin to add larger logs in a standing formation much like a teepee.


Log Cabin Fire

Log Cabin

Step 1: 

Place two larger pieces of firewood parallel with space in between them. Then add two more logs on top, perpendicular to the first set, making a square.

Step 2: 

Add tinder in the center of the square, adding a few more layers of logs, so that it starts to resemble a log cabin. 

Step 3: 

Top off the square by adding tinder and kindling and now you’re ready to light the fire.


Pyramid

Step 1: 

Place 3 or 4 large logs side-by-side making a bottom layer.

Step 2: 

Add a second layer of smaller logs facing opposite of the first layer.

Step 3: 

Repeat this process a few more times, then add tinder and kindling on top.


How Do I Start a Campfire?

After you've placed your tinder, kindling, and logs in the fire pit, it's time to light your fire with a match or lighter. After it catches fire, blow at the base of the fire to provide it with oxygen and increase the flame to other logs in the fire. 

 In this video, outdoor experts at 50 Campfires explain how to build a campfire using five of the most popular types of campfires including teepee, log cabin, and pyramid fires. 

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Kindling


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Fire


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