Fire is one of the most prominent elements, indomitable and furious. It’s capable of both destroying everything around, turning it only into ashes, and illuminating the trail in complete darkness, scaring off a wild creature, heating everything with its warmth, not allowing people to freeze even in the most rigorous freeze.
It is complicated to imagine camping time without a fire. Hot chocolate, marshmallows, and the taste of smoked food are all available through fire. You can cook lunch and warm-up beverages on the campfire. People constantly gather around it to warm up, sing songs with a guitar, and communicate. The smoke from the bonfire will protect the company from bothersome insects and assist in designating the location. Therefore, the proper knowledge of how to build a fire is essential for any tourist.
Step 1: Research And Preparation
A campfire is a necessary attribute of any camping trip, especially if you will spend the night in the forest or prepare meals. So that making a fire does not become a difficulty, it is necessary to know how to do it accurately. So how to build a campfire efficiently? The primary and seemingly rudimentary rule, but which for some reason is often disregarded, is the location of the fire alongside the sleeping place.
Are Campfires Even Allowed?
The fire is not kindled in places prohibited by law, for example, in nature reservations. Therefore, you need to observe thoughtfully for warning signs. Otherwise, you may get a fine.
Check The Weather Conditions
Before inflaming a fire, do not forget to do what every good forester does, mainly: clear all the area around the fire, get rid of grass, straw, and brushwood nearby so that the fire does not unintentionally spread to the brambles and trees.
It is also essential to monitor the weather forecast for the planned journey. An unexpected thunderstorm can take you by surprise. It will not play into the hands of those who ignited a fire at the wrong moment.
Build Your Fire Bed
To light a fire in a forest, you first need to build a fire setting and choose a place. Remember a few simple rules:
- You should not initiate a fire in those places where it will start a wildfire. These are peat bogs, thickets of dry grass, young conifers, and windbreaks. It is remarkably accurate for peat bogs.
- The best place for a fire is on the rocks, next to the water. If something happens, you can immediately put out the flames.
If the wind is strong outside, it’s better to construct a natural shelter. It could be, for instance, a massive stone. The fire will be protected from rainfall by a piece of tarp stretched at a sufficient height so that tongues of flame do not touch it. It is also advisable to enclose the fireplace around the perimeter with stones — this will preserve temperature and shelter the fire from the wind.
Step 2: Gather Your Wood
Before realizing how to start a fire, it’s better to gather wood. It seems that everyone knows that firewood is used as fuel. But once in the forest and having assembled the branches lying under your feet, it is not uncommon to encounter the problem of lighting them up due to their dampness.
Sometimes you find yourself in the forest in early spring, or it is drizzly autumn. Everything is clammy around. This is the situation where everything lying on the ground is not suitable for a fire. After all, every season has its pros and cons. But don’t worry, in such circumstances, it’s sufficient to dry materials, and they will be perfect for setting the fire.
Tinder is any combustible substance:
- cotton wool;
- dry moss;
- miniature wood shavings;
- tinder mushrooms, etc.
Tinder is a very reliable and trouble-free means for building a fire, which is not afraid of dampness or mechanical stress. With touchwood, everything is more uncomplicated — you can take a knife, cut off small shavings or cut off birchbark, splitting it into tiny fibers.
The most conventional igniters are matches and a lighter. In journeys, the most traditional is the superficial matches, which are enkindled by friction on the side covering. To avoid watering them, it is better to store the box in an indisputable container in advance.
Of course, it’s up to you to determine what to apply for making a campfire. But if possible, it is better to take both variants: fire starters and matches. In case of unexpected circumstances, the chances that you will ignite a fire will be much higher.
After kindling, a person can gather brushwood and firewood. These are the principal components of a campfire. It is they that are assigned the leading position. Dry branches can be referred to as brushwood, firewood, logs, sticks.
But how to make a campfire that burns well? Principal secret — all components must be dry. If stormy weather or fog has been outside for a long time, you should better cut only dry parts from the middle of the logs.
It is advisable to use brushwood and firewood contemporaneously since the first ones burn out quickly enough. If there is no way to look for firewood and cut down trees, only brushwood will be enough.
Where To Get Wood
Finding proper wood in the forest might not be an easy task to complete. You can search for firewood in different places:
- You can choose branches beneath your feet.
- Look for previously fallen trees — they are dry and suitable for a campfire.
- You can begin gathering brushwood on the way to your destination.
- Dry branches from spruces and pines can be used as brushwood. Breaking dry branches from spruce is quite challenging; for this purpose, you will require a knife.
- Brushwood can likewise be discovered under the trunks of fallen trees. Furthermore, in the rain, these branches remain dry.
It is better to gather more firewood — that is enough for the evening and morning campfires.
Step 3: Lay Your Fire
All examples of fires can be divided into two groups — those that are troublesome working on and those that are easy to build. The first types of fires necessitate continuous observation, but they are great for preparing meals.
In uncomplicated campfires, massive logs laid along the wind are usually used as fuel. The purpose of these fires is long-burning. They are effective because they stay active for a long time, almost requiring no modification. Most frequently, they are applied for heating.
Teepee Fire Method
Firewood is constructed in the form of a shelter. Kindling is located beneath the logs. This example of fire is excellent for both cooking and illumination purposes. It is also suitable to dry something above it. The only disadvantage: it takes a lot of materials to create.
Log Cabin Fire Method
This type is folded in the form of a log house. Chunky and heavy logs work best. The inside is filled with small firewood, branches, and tinder. Firewood is stacked in a «cabin» — a square, one log on top of another:
- In the middle, the fire itself is burning, possibly another smaller well.
- Convenient for burning in wet/snowy weather (firewood, which is laid out on top, dries quickly).
- Provides a lot of warmth.
Pyramid Fire Method
A pyramid bonfire is used for most overnight journeys. It warms and illuminates the area perfectly. This type burns high and long. It is necessary to lay the logs in layers, each layer across the preceding one, in the form of a pyramid, the foundation of which is two parallel logs.
Lean-To Fire Method
Constructing this type of fire is requires no special skills:
- You need to take one massive log and arrange it on the ground.
- Place the kindling on top at a 30-degree angle.
- Leave the tinder beneath the kindling.
- Eventually, combine a few more layers of kindling on the cover. The higher the peak, the larger the logs can be used.
Step 4: Light Your Fire
Prepare a lot of miniature dry branches 1-2 millimeters thick. There should be a bunch of them if the weather is dry and plenty of them if you make a campfire in nasty weather. After the fire gradually begins to flare up, attach larger firewood.
As it grows, cover the fire with damp wood around: let it dry. Just do not immediately put massive logs in a little flame: the fire will go out, and you will have to start all over again. It is better to increase the quantity of the wood with the intensity of the flames. Dry grass, pine needles, paper, dry fuel, or any other easily ignited material can be used in place of wood chips for the primary power.
Step 5: How to Keep The Fire Going
Of course, understanding how to light a fire is essential. Nevertheless, you still need to know how to keep a fire going and maintain combustion. Here are some secrets to help you with this:
- Use the appropriate wood. For example, logs from coniferous trees quickly flare-up, but they do not burn for long. On the other hand, deciduous flares up for a long time but gives a long and hot fire. You can create fire with pine and support with birch logs.
- Pay attention to the campfire. Stir the logs and blow from time to time. The charge of oxygen stimulates the fire to flare up.
- Support the fire. For instance, with the help of exceptional awnings. By the way, they can be used for one essential purpose — drying things.
Step 6: Extinguish Your Fire
Before leaving the campsite, make sure that the fire is extinguished. You can exterminate it with rainwater, spraying liquid on the dying flames. After that, scatter branches and coals over a small area and sprinkle with water again.
If there is no water, then it is necessary to break the branches and coals into small pieces, then sprinkle them with earth or close the fireplace. The rubbish must be burnt or buried. You always should make sure that the fire is completely extinguished, and only then leave the bonfire area.
A campfire is always fun, but it’s also a great responsibility. Treat nature with caution so that over time you will return to the same beautiful places.