Now that you’ve prepared your pit, it's time to build your campfire. Follow these steps to have a safe and fun time. The same also applies to hunters’ warming fires.
First, make sure you have a source of water, a bucket and shovel nearby at all times.
Gather three types of wood from the ground.
Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials won’t burn, and you’ll be damaging the forest. Dead standing trees often are homes for birds and other wildlife.
- Tinder: Small twigs and dry leaves, grass and needles.
- Kindling: Sticks smaller than 1″ around.
- Fuel: Larger pieces of wood. Keep these stacked upwind, away from the fire.
Loosely pile a few handfuls of tinder in the center of the fire pit.
Add kindling in one of these methods:
- Best for cooking
- Teepee: Lay the kindling over the tinder like you’re building a tent.
- Lean-to: Drive a long piece of kindling into the ground at an angle over the tinder. Lean smaller pieces of kindling against the longer piece.
- Best for long-lasting campfires
- Cross: Crisscross the kindling over the tinder.
- Log Cabin: Surround your pile of tinder with kindling, stacking pieces at right angles. Top the “cabin” with the smallest kindling.
Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter.
Wait until the match is cold, and discard it into the fire.
Add more tinder as the fire grows.
Blow lightly at the base of the fire.
Add kindling and fuel, the larger firewood, to keep the fire going.
Keep the fire small and under control.