Campfire safety under the stars.
If what you want is a real camping experience, then you will want to learn how to build a campfire.
What is the most important first step? Building it with safety in mind!
Here are some tips on how to enjoy a campfire under the stars.
> Check for guidelines with your local officials ON WHO TO CONTACT for rules regarding campfires before you do anything! DO NOT ASSUME IT IS OKAY!
>If you receive approval, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES! Here are a few tips I found as I researched this subject. Look for a spot that is at least 15 feet away from anything flammable and away from brush or hanging branches. The area should be sheltered from the wind. Find flat ground not along a rolling hillside.
>Look for an area that is exposed to earth, NOT grass. (especially dry dead grass) you may find a spot where you can clean up debris that has piled up over time and opens up to dirt underneath to set the platform. Give yourself much needed space. Finding (DRY ROCKS ONLY) the size of your closed hand to make a circle is best. Space the rocks slightly apart so the air will circulate at the bottom of the fire.
>Gather dry wood such as tinder and kindle. If it doesn’t snap, it will not burn well. Only use wood pieces that has fallen. Tinder and kindle (tinder smaller sticks bark, and leaves, kindle longer and larger sticks) is the best way to get the fire going. Research what is the best way to ignite the fire. (Example: a flex neck lighter)
>Finding wood as the main source of the campfire you should try and find pieces that are the size of your arm. Two ways you can arrange your start up is:
*The Tepee-tinder should be in a bundle in the center of the circle then placing the wood like a tepee on top of the tinder. Leaving a gap at the top for air flow. Adding tinder and kindle as needed.
*Lean-to: place tinder and kindle in the center of the pit then a larger log on top but off to the side place larger kindling sticks on top of the tinder with them leaning over the larger log. Once in place add your wood pieces to keep the fire going.
>Keep in mind this is a process which takes time and patience. Increase wood pieces slowly as needed avoiding suffocating the fire. This will keep your campfire steady.
>When you are ready to put it out for the night, do not add any wood. Let it die down. DO NOT LEAVE THE CAMPFIRE BURNING AND WALK AWAY! Make sure you have COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED THE FIRE! You can use a long stick to move the ashes around and pour water on top of any wood still burning. Repeat this process until EVERYTHING HAS BEEN PUT OUT! This could take some time. Patience is MOST IMPORTANT!
>Last but not least-Clean up before you leave to go back home. Make sure all the debris inside and outside of the pit is picked up and removed from the pit area. Remove the rocks and place them naturally in the area. Respecting the grounds and nature and other fellow campers allows everyone to enjoy the best camping adventure! Happy camping!