Camping is an activity everyone does these days to get away from the modern world and interact more with nature. When we speak of nature what we think is trees, animals, flowers, mountains, but since the time that mankind knows of, there is one gift of nature that has attracted humans the most.
Yes, the gift of fire. Even when we didn’t know how to light a fire, humans relied on natural wildfire for their survival. And once we learned how to make fire by ourselves, it has become a necessity for us.
But the best use of fire, for us, has to be a campfire. It brings everyone together, lights up everyone’s hearts, and the best of all fills everyone’s hearts with the feeling of safety and comfort.
Now, how to make a campfire? We will see.
- Why Do You Need A Campfire?
- How To Make A Campfire?
- Cooking In A Campfire
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Word
Why Do You Need A Campfire?
Before we tell you how to build a beautiful campfire, lets us tell why do you need a campfire. Now, when we speak of being with nature, just like the people before learning to make fire, we depend on fire for the struggles associated with nature.
First is the safety against wild animals. You don’t want to go camping and end up as food for bears. Fire is a natural repellent of wild animals and if you set up a campfire, it keeps all kinds of wild animals at bay.
The second is warmth. The flames of fire along with filling our hearts with warmth, also make our bodies feel warm. Isn’t it the best to sit around a campfire in the winters, eat warm soup and chat with friends?
The third is for food. You can make your dinner over a campfire and eat beside it. We will tell you how you can do this correctly.
And finally, are the party poopers, the mosquitoes, and other bugs. They, just like wild animals are scared of fire and tend to stay away from it. So, for a good and comfortable camping trip, a campfire is a must.
How To Make A Campfire?
Now that you have seen how important a campfire is to your camping trip’s success, you don’t want to mess up your campfire and so, we will tell you exactly how to set up a good campfire.
1. Checking The Weather Condition
Before you set up your campfire, make sure to check if there is any expectancy of rain in your place. You don’t want to work so hard to light your campfire only for the rain gods to burn out your plan.
Also, it will help you to know if the campground will be wet. Then you can prepare for it by bringing extra tinder and kindling.
Untimely rain can’t be avoided and you can’t do anything about it but before lighting your campfire, try to check with the weather beforehand.
2. Collecting Tinder, Kindling, And Fuelwood
You can either bring these from your homes, or you can collect from areas around your campground. If you are collecting, always look for them on the ground. Don’t cut down trees that are alive for lighting your campfire, because that’s just wrong.
Tinder can be dry leaves, grass, cardboard, wax, newspapers, etc. You want them to be dry so that they can burn easily. They are needed for starting a fire. Bringing them from home is also a good option, as they are easy to carry.
Kindling is larger than tinder and is needed for keeping the fire on. So, they have to be larger than tinder but not large enough that they take out flames. They will have to be dry just like tinder. You can use small twigs or branches on the ground as kindling.
Fuelwood or firewood also has to be collected and they are needed for the flames to burn high. They are just like fuel to your fire. You can use large pieces of wood as firewood but try to collect them from the ground. You can look for wood that snaps or breaks easily. This will mean that the firewood is dry enough.
3. Finding A Spot
You can’t start a fire without a place. So, look for a place to start your fire next. Make sure to check if a fire is permitted at your campsite. Sometimes, in places of higher altitude, fire is not permitted. Look to check with the authorities first.
After confirming the legality, look for a dry area for your campfire. It can be near your tent site and it will be the most appropriate.
If you have chosen, you can make a dent or a pit at the campsite with a shovel. This is done to ensure that you can control the fire and also acts as a container for the ashes afterward.
Make sure that the center is the lowest point of your dent.
4. Collecting Medium Size Stones
Stones are needed for making a ring around your campfire. In some campsites, fire rings are already found prepared. This is done so to contain the fire within the area. If there is no fire ring, check if the area permits lighting fire. If yes then place the collected stones in a circle and begin with the lighting.
5. Laying Of Fire
After you are done with all the collection and preparation, now it’s time to lay the fire. This can be quite tricky, because of which you have to do things orderly.
(a) Creating A Teepee:
At the center of the pit you have dug, place the dry tinder you have collected after making a bundle with them. After you place the tinder, make a teepee with the kindling that you have also collected. You can use 5 or 6 sticks to make the cone type teepee shape. You can also make a log cabin shape or pyramid shape, but the cone teepee shape is most suitable.
You will have to leave sufficient gaps in between for different purposes like lighting the fire, blowing of wind, and circulation of air. Also, keep some kindling and firewood in hand for feeding the fire and make sure that everything is dry.
(b) Lighting The Fire:
Through space you have left between the kindling, use a lighter or matchstick to light a fire to the tinder. Make sure that the kindling catches fire from the tinder.
Sometimes, the fire my just blow off, in that case, blow some air in the tinder to see if the fire is still on or else again light the tinder. Blowing air into the fire will make sure that the flames keep burning.
(c) Feeding Firewood & Kindling For The Flame To Grow:
You don’t want small flames for your campfire. You want your flames to be big enough to give your warmth and be able to cook your food. For that, on the fire that has started, put more kindling and firewood so that they keep on burning. As long as you want the fire to burn, you will have to feed firewood to it.
6. Putting Out The Fire
After you are done with your campfire, you must put it out. If even a small flame remains, it can catch on and may lead to some bad situation. That is why it is important to take out every single flame and for that, you will need to give at least 15- 50 minutes. So, it is wise to start putting out the fire early.
You can start by sprinkling a small amount of water to take out the fire embers first. Remember that pouring buckets of water may make the place unusable for lighting fire in the future.
After sprinkling some water, start stirring with a stick. The place will give out smoke, heat, and make a hissing sound that means the fire is going out. Keep stirring until it is giving out heat.
The stirring takes around 15 minutes and use your palms to check for the heat. If there is no more heat coming out and the fire is cold, use a shovel to take out the ashes and clear the pit. This is a responsibility every one of us campers should abide by so that the next camper doesn’t have to start by clearing our ashes.
Cooking In A Campfire
Campfires are the source of cooking your food and for that, you must know how to prepare your meal without screwing things up. You can follow some simple tips.
1. Using Cast Iron Skillet:
For preparing tasty food while camping, you can’t just place your food on the fire, it will burn the raw material instantly. Instead, you want to cook your food using the heat of the fire and for that cast iron skillet is the best.
You can place all the raw materials and wait for it to cook. In the skillet, heat can easily pass through and reach the food. Sometimes, even flames can reach it, resulting in delicious dishes.
2. Using Aluminum Foils:
Instead of placing the food directly on the skillet, you can use aluminum foil packets. You can place the food in foils and put it on the skillet. This will help you in throwing away the leftovers. You can wrap the foil and throw it away.
Since aluminum foils don’t melt on heating, they make the best partners for cooking.
3. Using Good Grilling Utensils:
Using good quality and clean utensils can bring a good vibe to your cooking. People say half the taste is on a dish’s looks. And also, for safety reasons, you can invest in your camping by getting some good utensils for grilling. Some utensils that you need are grilling tongs, flippers, and oven mitts.
4. Rolling Over The Food Repeatedly:
This is also very essential if you are cooking in raw fire. Your food can stay half cooked if you don’t flip it regularly. The side facing the flame gets cooked and so for even cooking of your foods from all sides, you need to roll it over regularly.
5.Making Soft Dishes:
Dishes like roasted chicken, kababs, and hot dogs are a great option for cooking over a campfire while dishes like pizza and fries are a big no for camping.
Choose your dish correctly and you can get the appreciation of everyone tasting your dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Campfires are one of the most popular activities of camps and so it is wise for you to get to making your campfire as well.
As fellow campers, we can tell you it is great fun, and cooking over a fire just adds to the fun. Just follow the steps that we have explained and we are sure you can make the best campfire and cook the tastiest of food for your mates.
Do share your camping stories with us and tell us how you made your campfire and what you cooked on it through the comment section below.
Finally, Happy Camping!