Building a campfire is one of the most quintessential activities enjoyed by campers all over the world. Not only does it provide warmth but also creates a cozy ambiance and an opportunity to share stories and bond with loved ones. However, it’s important to remember that building a campfire comes with a responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself, others and the environment. In this article, we’ll discuss how to build a campfire safely to help you enjoy this outdoor activity responsibly.
1. Choose the Right Spot
Selecting the right spot for your campfire is the most crucial step towards ensuring safety. Make sure the area where you plan to build the fire is away from any source of inflammable material. Avoid building the fire under dry, low hanging trees, and overhangs, as sparks may ignite the trees, or cause injuries while gathering fallen wood. Opt for an already established fire pit, stone rings or designated fire sites in the camping area. This will protect the ground from damages or scarring caused by the campfire.
2. Clear the Area
Once you have chosen the perfect spot, clear an area of at least ten feet around the site. Remove all dry leaves, branches, and twigs, or anything that can catch fire, to create a safe ‘no-burn zone’. Make sure you have a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher, or shovel and dirt readily available.
3. Gather Appropriate Materials
Before you start lighting the fire, gather materials. Start with small twigs to allow enough airflow. Use dry leaves, newspapers, pine needles, and small branches or dead woods. Avoid using green or fresh branches, which can create excessive smoke. As the fire grows steadily, add some larger branches and firewood taken from designated areas.
4. Start the Fire Safely
Using fire starters or a lighter, ignite the small twigs, then blow gently to ignite the fire gradually. Avoid using petrol, gasoline, or any other flammable liquid, as that can cause lethal explosions and loss of control. Avoid standing too near as the initial flames can be fierce and unpredictable. Take some extra time to ensure that the fire is burning steadily and has enough control to add large wood.
5. Extinguish the Fire
When you’re ready to put out the fire, sprinkle water on the campfire, while using a shovel to stir the ashes and the remaining embers. Ensure that the fire is entirely extinguished, and the area is no longer hot. Use dirt or sand to smother the remaining ashes and embers.
In conclusion, camping is an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend time with family and friends. Building a campfire is an all-time favorite activity while out camping. By following these safety tips, campers can enjoy a relaxing and safe campfire making experience. Remember, “Only YOU can prevent wildfires” – Smokey Bear.