An outstanding campfire needs to have plenty of air to fuel the blaze. When camping, make sure to your campfire structure using these four steps to insure that you have a long, burning fire.
1. Prepare the Site before Building a Great Campfire
The first step in any campfire building is to prepare the site. It is important that you remove any flammable objects at least eight (8) feet away from the center. This includes wood, leaves, tents, and sleeping bags. As a safety precaution, place several containers of water just outside of the eight-foot diameter area.
2. Building a Foundation for a Great Campfire
The secret to a long, lasting campfire is to build it in layers. Begin with placing three wood logs spaced one inch apart on the bottom. This will form the foundation to start building the rest of the campfire. Next, place four logs on top of the bottom three to make a square. You will then need to fill up the inside the square with kindling and tinder that will be easy to light. On top of the square, place several smaller branches in the same direction to form a flat roof. This flat roof will hold more kindling and tinder that will be added in the next step.
3. Building a Tepee for a Great Campfire
Add the kindling and tinder to the flat roof making sure you use proper materials. You can use dryer lint or a commercial fire starter to place on the roof. On top of the starter or dryer lint, add small twigs. Never use leaves, needles or pinecones as tinder or kindling as they absorb more heat and produce very little.
Begin to build your tepee by carefully leaning several sticks together to form the tepee. The tepee structure should be surrounding the foundation you built in the first step. Don’t make your tepee structure so tight that air cannot pass through it. Leaving an opening that faces the prevailing wind.
4. Starting the Blaze to a Great Campfire
Carefully ignite the kindling and tender that you placed inside the tepee structure. As the blaze grows eventually the campfire will collapse and fall into the foundation you built in step one.
When the end of the evening comes and it is time to extinguish the campfire, use the water you have placed outside the eight-foot diameter. Drown the embers with the water, stir them, and then drown them again. Never leave an extinguished campfire until you can feel the ground where it was at with your hand. You must be able to confirm that it is cool to the touch.