Building a campfire is considered as one of the most important, but also one of the basic skills you need to have to be well prepared for a camping journey. You also need to check for campgrounds that allow fires, as some of them may have different rules.
Before we can continue with depth-in analysis, it is crucial to define what campfire is.
A campfire will provide you with light, and heat, and surviving without both things is almost impossible. Once it gets dark, it will be difficult to get around without light, and the heat will be used to get you warm, and you can cook food on it.
Building a campfire
If you intend to go camping regularly, at some point in your life, you will need how to build a campfire. Of course, like many other things in life, it may sound complicated, but once you learn how to do it, it will become a routine.
So, what do you need to do?
The first thing you will need to do is to plan, and this step begins even before the actual process of building up the campfire.
In order to get to that point, you will need to prepare well, which means packing all of the needed materials. You will need something that is easy to light up, and it could be wood shavings, paper or dry leaves.
What about firewood? You will need to check the campground or contact them. Each campground has a different policy – some allow you to take your own firewood with the option to buy there too, or some strictly require to buy their firewood.
Building the campfire
Where will you place the campfire? Many campgrounds have specially marked fire pits, and you should only use those whenever that is possible. One main reason that goes in favor of it is that you won’t damage the environment.
In case there is no marked spot, you should ask someone for advice and permission. If you want to save the flora, you can take cloth, put soil on it, and then build a campfire.
Notice that the campfire needs to be close to your tent, but on a distance, as you don’t want to cause a fire.
Light the fire
Once you have found the right place, got everything that is needed, it is time to light up the fire. But in order to that, you need to make a specific structure to provide a good flame.
The gathered wood needs to be dry, as it is very difficult, not to say impossible to start a fire with wet wood. Next, you will need to make different piles of wood, based on their size. You need several piles, from smallest to largest. Later, you will understand why this is a good organizational structure.
You will have to start with the wood shavings and put them in the middle. Next, build up the pile with the smallest and thinnest branches and gradually move towards the bigger ones. Leave enough space so the air can flow, as you won’t be able to start a fire otherwise.
That is in theory, but let’s see how that works in practice.
It is preferred to use the help from a companion, as it will be much easier this way. Start by lighting up the wood shavings, and slowly blow until the flame catches the shavings. Next, place the wood shavings in the middle and start by putting the smallest branches, and make sure that there is enough air so they can catch the flame.
Once the branches catch the flame, you can start with adding bigger- sized wood. If there is enough air, you shouldn’t have any issues. Make sure that you add the smallest branches first, as bigger ones won’t catch fire.
Finally, keep water near you in case you need to turn out the fire. Before you leave the campground, make sure that the fire is turned out, and you can gather the ashes.
The instructions above are just enough to help you build a basic campfire. As you will get better over time, you will learn some advanced skills.
All the steps explained in the previous section are useless if you don’t get the idea of what exactly you need to do. Although I think that the explanation is pretty clear, I would recommend taking a look at this video, just to make sure that you are doing everything right.
Now, once you have learned how to start a fire, it is time to find a campsite where you can show your skills. Basically, the majority of the campsites allow fires, although it is preferred to check the rules for each campsite.
• Walkmill campsite
Located near a farm, in the countryside and surrounded with amazing woodland, this campsite should rate high on your list of campsites that need to be visited.
There are electrical , and you will enjoy the benefits of a shower and a bathroom too. You can take your own tent or a camper van, and you can book a stay in a group.
The most important thing is that there are fire pits and they are available for hire. So, rather than damaging the grass, you can hire a fire pit and build up a campfire.
• The Secret Campsite Lewes
A truly unique campsite that allows only tents, big groups as well as animals are forbidden to this campsite.
Although it is a car-free campsite, you definitively need to consider it. It is great for families, and there are many activities so the kids will never be bored. There are forests nearby ideal for walks, as well as bicycle trails.
Apart from the regular amenities like showers and toilets, there is Wifi as well. And finally, campfires are allowed, so you don’t have to worry about breaking a rule.
• Eco Camp at Beech Estate
This is the ideal campsite for families, kids and all types of groups of people. However, the stay is limited to tents, and camper vehicle along with dogs are forbidden. There is also an option to hire the entire campsite just for you.
If you fancy long walks, there are forests around the sites that are great for that. Plus, you can go to the nearest beach, try your luck fishing or maybe use the bicycle trails.
Fire pits are allowed, although you will need to hire one. There is nothing better than the memories you will get with your family gathered around a fire pit, with grill and a nice drink.
Camping in a site that has fire pit means that you won’t have to find a special place for making a campfire, as such place is already marked.
• The Sunnyfield
Great campsite for families and groups. Unlike many campsites, dogs are allowed here, but you can’t come with a camping vehicle.
You will be able to satisfy all your basic needs, meaning that there are showers and toilets, but also many other amenities like bicycle trails, near beaches that you can visit, as well as great views from the campsite.
Additionally, there is an option to hire a fire pit and buy extra firewood so you can build up a campfire.
• Eco Camp at Wild Boar Wood
Looking for a new campsite to try out with your family? Well, you should consider this one as apart from dogs, there are no other strict limitations.
This campsite will provide you with showers and toilets, but there are other amenities that you need to take a look at. Those include bicycle trails, walks in the woodland and amazing views.
If you are a big fan of the grill, setting up a campfire shouldn’t annoy you, as there are plenty of fire pits available.
• Westland Farm
A campsite with no limitations – families, small and large groups, caravans, and even dogs are welcome. Plus, there is the option of exclusive hire.
There are showers, but also hot tubs and many other interesting facilities. If you are looking for bicycle trails, great views, fishing, and surfing, then this is a campsite you need to consider.
You can find a fire pit, or make one, as it is not against the policy of this campsite.
Building a camping campfire is a useful skill you definitively need to learn. In this article, you will find a step by step guide on how to do that, backed up with some tips that will help you.
Additionally, you will find several campsites that allow fire and fire pits, which is good to know before making your reservation.
We Boiled Stream Water on Campfire
We had been planning camping for a very long time, but we never had the time. There were lots of assignments to do and also whenever the rest of us planned to go, one of us would not have the chance. This was due to one of us going with his or her parents for vacation.
However, now we had the time. We had a week vacation from school, and we used the opportunity to go camping. There were five of us- two guys which included me and John, and the girls which included Stephanie, Sandra, and Laura.
The five of us had always been friends. Our houses were very close to one another. In addition to this, our parents were also partners and business associates. If you wanted to know where one of us was, all you needed to do was one of the others, and you will get your answer. Such was our closeness.
We had already informed our parents about our plans, and they were fine with it. Our parents were wealthy, and they were always worried about us because they believed that an individual or a group of people could decide to kidnap us or something.
We met in Stephanie’s room since it was where we usually had our meetings because she had the biggest room of us all. We deliberated on the location of the campsite, the type of equipment we were taking along. We also deliberated on the type of games we would be playing over there.
We were ready. Since the campsite we chose was about four hours away, our plan was to take Laura’s dad’s truck on which we would pack the things we needed. Since we could all drive, our other plan was to share the driving.
As we got ready to move, our parents suddenly showed up. Ever perceptive, I could tell that they were not only there to say their goodbyes. It was obvious that they had been planning something.
“Alright kids, we are not here to stop you. We just want you to know that we won’t allow you to go alone. Darryl will be going with you.”
Darryl was like the deputy head of security whose job included protecting the interests of our parents. Since we were the interests of our parents, we were part of Darryl’s job description.
In my mind, I kept thinking about what this meant for us. Darryl was the kind of man who took his job seriously, and he may make the camping less fun for us.
“Take the deal or do not go at all,” was another of their deliberations.
We had no other choice than to accept the offer. I was the first to drive. I was about to get behind the wheel when Darryl offered to drive. Already. He was disrupting our plans. We painstakingly told him of our plan, but he wouldn’t hear anything of it.
I had been looking forward to driving and I was not happy at all about the developments. Darryl drove us to the campsite while we kept quiet the rest of the way. He tried to engage us in conversation but we were not too free to chat with him. In the end, he gave up trying.
I got a pair of earpiece in my ears and listened to my favorite songs. At a point, I slept off and I when I woke up, I realized that we were already at the campsite. John and I began to unload the tent equipment. Darryl disappeared saying he wanted to make sure that the area was safe.
We set up three tents. One for John and me, a bigger one for the girls and a much larger one that would serve as the kitchen. We had brought along some pots and other portable kitchen utensils.
Laura was an exceptional cook and we were looking forward to enjoying some of her delicacies. She once said that she planned to have her own cooking program on TV someday. We all knew she would make it happen someday. She had the talent for cooking the best food one could possibly have.
By the time Darryl returned, we were ready to prepare dinner. We built a campfire and sat around it to chat. Darryl was nowhere in sight. Then there was no more water and we needed to get more.
“There is a stream close to this place,” we heard Darryl’s voice. We couldn’t see him and he seemed to have blended with his surrounding like a chameleon. I decided that he was really good.
John and I got some kegs and that we had brought along and gone to the nearby stream. We could hear the croak of crabs in the area. The stream looked cool as it flowed peacefully. We got enough water and returned to camp.
Sandra was the de facto doctor among us. She wanted to be a medical doctor in the future. “You all know we have to boil that water right?” She said. “For health reasons and stuff. No one wants to contract cholera or other terrible diseases, right?”
I seem to remember that boiling water kills any organisms that could cause diseases. We didn’t want to heat such a volume of water on a gas stove so that left the campfire. We managed to build a hearth and place the pot of water on it.
A few minutes later, the water was boiled enough and Laura continued her cooking. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and even dessert. Darryl came out of his hiding place to come and get his dinner. Then he disappeared with it.
With the boiled water, we made some coffee and then we watched two latest movies on my DVD player which I had brought along, before we retired to our tents. I had wonderful sleep.
The next morning, before we went to the stream, for a swim and bath, we boiled more of the water and drank. Then we went swimming. The camping adventure was really fun and we made other plans to do more.