How to start a campfire safely

Looking to cook dinner outside in the country or just relax at night with some marshmallows? Here are some tips on how to safely start a fire.

How to start a campfire safely

The peace and serenity of the open woods, laughter and stories shared by the fire can quickly end by the improper start of a campfire. Camping doesn’t seem complete without the smell of word burning or the roasting of marshmallows over a fire.

However, fire is a dangerous element and can quickly spread and turn any adventure in the woods into a devastating forest fire. As a camper you are responsible for the safety of yourself, fellow campers and the environment. By ensuring you safely start a fire, not only are you protecting these things but also your camping experience. Here are some tips to follow when starting a campfire in the great outdoors.

Safety matters

Safety is a vital component of starting a fire. As a connoisseur in the art of camping, you’re equipped with bug spray, bear repellent, and all the latest gadgets and gizmos to make your tent as comfortable as a five-star resort. “Always be prepared” is the mantra of a veteran outdoorsman, so to start your campfire safely always be prepared to not do so. Come fully equipped with a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, shovel and bucket for water just in case. By packing these items, you’re safeguarding the campgrounds.

Location, location, location

Where to start your campfire is important, and making sure you don’t just build your fire at the last fire pit left behind is an important safety measure. When starting a fire, make sure it's at least 15 feet away from tents, RVs, trailers, cars, trees or other plant life. Also, ensure that there are no low lying trees branches directly above or near your fire pit. Your fire pit needs to be in an area that is down wind protected from such items. Keep hazardous flammable materials such as bug spray, sunscreen spray, and alcohol away from the fire. These camping staples are extremely flammable. If you're unsure of any item or products flammability read the labels.

Dig a fire pit, not your own grave

After finding a safe location for your campfire, the next step is to dig your fire pit. If there is an existing pit, make sure it's deep and wide enough. Your fire pit is what will contain your fire, so a proper pit is extremely important. The shovel you pack works double duty: not only are you able to extinguish a fire by using it to cover a fire with dirt, or patting a fire down, but you can use your shovel to dig a proper 10-foot diameter pit.

Next, gather tinder, kindling and fuel for your fire. Tinder is small twigs or dry green used to start a fire. Kindling are twigs less than one inch round and used to maintain a fire. Finally, fuel are larger pieces of wood or logs used to maintain a long-lasting fire. Remember to keep your campfires small and follow these tips to ensure you start your fire safely.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu