Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Get a Campfire Started

By Jim Johnson

It has long been the custom to have a campfire when tent camping and sometimes it is a necessity. The size you make the fire will depend on whether you are going to use it for warmth or cooking, maybe you are going to do both. This article will show you an easy and fairly quick way to make your campfire.

First you have to find out if you are allowed to have a campfire in your campsite or your area of family tents. It is also true that one of the main causes for forest fires are campfires. So before light your fire up get permission to do so either from the park attendant or the forest ranger.

After getting permission, the next thing to do is select where to build your fire. Expert campers always say that the best and safest areas are those located some 10 feet away from the area where you put up your family tents as well as other things that will easily catch fire such as hung clothes, trees, and the like. This is because in the outdoors, anything can happen. One minute, the air is still and the next, the wind is blowing in the direction of your family tents.

When you have chosen the right area for your fire then you will need to go get some wood to burn. Big sticks, pieces of bark, and twigs will be good and you won't have to chop any wood that way. Just make sure all the wood is dry that you pick up.

After you have all the fuel for this campfire, then you need to place a tarp on the ground of the selected spot. This stops any mess from being left after the fire and when you leave the camping spot. Once you have the tarp on the ground you need to place a layer of dirt on it and even it out. This dirt acts as insulation for the tarp so the fire won't burn through it, so be certain to have a thick enough layer.

The next thing you need to do is make a teepee using your gathered wood. To do this correctly, put a good amount of dried leaves and twigs in the center of the teepee and put the bigger pieces of wood around them. The smaller pieces in the middle easily lights up and will consequently light the bigger pieces on its outsides after a few minutes.

Once the bigger pieces have caught fire, put more similarly sized pieces around them. In fact, it is always a good idea to completely cover the teepee wall with big pieces of wood. The only thing to remember though is to never cover the teepee. This area allows the oxygen in and thus be able to circulate in the tepee. As long as you allow a steady supply of oxygen into the campfire, the steadier your fire will be.

When constructing your campfire, be sure to always make it to a size, where you can maintain complete control of it. In the event you are going to be using the fire to cook with, just make the fire a bit bigger and strong by adding more wood to it. For warmth the fire can be a smaller one. The campfire should always be completely put out prior to people going to their family tents for the night.

About the Author:
About the author: Camping guru Jim Johnson loves to spend his free nights sleeping in a camping tent. He's offering a free download of his Camping Cookbook with 101 Camping and Outdoor Recipes and see the family tents that are among the best.

See you on the trail,

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