Outdoors blog

Camping

What is a Fire Ring for Camping?

Campfire is one of the most beloved outdoor tradition. People love to gather around it and cook food during camping activities. Probably, it is the best part of any camping tour.

When you are interested in building a fire during a camping tour, it should not be done anywhere on the campgrounds.

If you create an exterior boundary and keep your wood within that. This designated area is known as a fire ring, and there are several versions of it. the primary reason for building a fire ring is to lessen the impact while keep fire contained in it.

Before you start preparing a fire ring at your camping site, it is always important to ask your campground operator whether the fire is permitted in the area or not. Note that, it is not allowed to fire in some areas, especially during dry periods when fire can cause major destruction to the natural elements around. In case if you are enjoying camping at some undeveloped site, it is important to check with land administrating agency; chances are that you need a permit to campfire.

Experts advise evaluating the entire site before firing. When you are planning to fire it in an area with low hanging branches, the fire must be limited to small area, and it should not ignite a wildfire.

If you are in the backcountry, the chances are that you will find an existing fire ring within which you can again lit your woods. A new one can be built during emergency conditions online. No matter how long you stay there, it is important to clean the area once you are done. The flammable material must be handled very well so that it couldn’t harm the entire forest.

Safety considerations for building a fire pit:

·         It is advised to be more careful while selecting the place for a fire ring. It must be away from shrubs, trees, dry grasses, and anything else that may burn.

·         Take some time to observe the prevailing winds in the area; make sure you choose a location that is well protected so that coals cannot blow out of the pit.

·         Before building your campfire ring, check that there are no overhanging branches or tree roots that may otherwise catch fire.

·         The flammable debris must be cleared including pine needles, sticks, and leaves; at least for almost ten feet area around.

·         The fire ring must be created on the bare soil, sand, or gravel.

·         A bucket of water or dirt pile must be arranged to put out the fire when you are done.

The primary use of a campfire arrangement is to keep people warm, cook food, and create light in the area. Hence, the overall size of the fire ring must be kept accordingly. Make sure its diameter can accommodate all members with ease. It is good to dig a depression in the shape of a bowl at middle of the fire ring; you can burn the wood in this area to make sure that fire cause lesser smoke.

Brief About Fire

Fire is caused due to the rapid oxidation of a substance in its exothermic phase emitting heat, light, and various other reactants. Fire feels warm because of the conversion of weak double bonds of Oxygen to stronger bonds due to combustion producing carbon dioxide and water.

This process releases high energy (418 KJ). Flames are made at a certain point, known as the combustion point. The flames that are produced basically have water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The color of fire is different and is dependent on the material that is lighted. If the flames are hot enough, the material can get ionized and converted into plasma.

The fire is a very common form of heat emission, which can possibly cause physical harm through burning. Fire is an essential process that can bring change to environmental systems around the world. The benefits of fire include growth stimulation and help in various ecological systems. The negative impacts can be related to physical and environmental harm. 

 

What is the Chemistry of Fire?

Fire starts with a combustible material that gets mixed with oxygen or other similar compounds, which becomes the source of heat and light emission when exposed. This process begins the rapid oxidation of material and produces a chain reaction. This phenomenon is commonly called the fire tetrahedron. More about the process.

A fire can’t start on its own and must contain any one of the inflammable materials. You can relate this statement with that of oil. You cannot start a fire without using oil. Moreover, you can cook on your stove without lighting a fire. However, you must have a source of lighting this fire, and in this case, it is the gas trapped in the cylinders.

Once the fire has started, the chain reaction will occur wherever the fire can sustain its heat and further release its heat to the nearby places. Factors like the gravitational pull or excessive pressure can increase the surface area of the fire.

 

What are the Common Causes of Fire

An unexpected fire can cause immense frustration and can spread rapidly and can be uncontrollable. A typical house fire can frighten anyone and can cause a tremendous misfortune. If you have a housing policy or a property policy, you can save some of your pence, but you cannot keep your most adored materials present in your home. 

According to the study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 300,000 homes that catch fire each year. There can be numerous conditions by which your house can catch fire. Let us look at some of those conditions in brief.

Cooking Fires

Cooking Fires are the most widely recognized types of fires, causing tremendous misfortune to the house. They are mainly caused by the oils that get overheated in the frying pan. When the pan gets overheated, it reaches to a certain point at which it becomes combustible and catches fire. Once cooking oil becomes combustible, it is challenging to control the flames emitted by them.

 

 

Tips for Enhancing Campfire Safety

 

  1. Ensure You Know the Rules

Before you start any campfire, ensure you are well conversant with the regulations of the campground in which you are planning to build the campfire. Since rules change, ensure you have current rules and regulations of the campsite you are looking to visit. A campground that allowed campfires some years ago may temporarily bun them because of the high risk of wildfires. Ensure you check on the signboards and websites to get updated rules and regulations.

  1. Use A Pit to Build Your Campfire

Most campgrounds offer pits in which you can build campfires. Ensure you only build your campfire in the pit. While most campfires provide pits, others allow campfires but do not provide pit for use. In such cases, ensure you at least dig a pit in an open area, away from overhanging branches, power lines, or any other thing that could easily catch fire.

  1. Build A Safe Campfire

Once you have prepared your pit, now it’s time to build a safe campfire. Use dry leaves or grass to start the fire. Add kindling, small twigs, and sticks whose diameters are less than an inch. As you build the fire, add bigger pieces of wood on to it. Your campfire doesn’t have to roar; just a small fire surrounded by rocks is good to go. You will get enough heat as the fire burns.

  1. Watch the Match

Of course, you have to use a match to start your campfire. But after using it, ensure it is extinguished before disposing of it. You can either throw it inside the burning fire or use water to extinguish it. Don’t ever think of using  gas, kerosene, or any other flammable liquids to start your campfire. This could cause hazards to you, animals, and the land surrounding you. Try using a firelog.

  1. Use Local Firewood

You may want to bring firewood with you to the campground, because it is expensive onsite. This is however not a good idea. This is because you could be carrying tree-killing insects unawares, and bring to the forests where they weren’t before. So, use the closest firewood you can find, and avoid carrying your own.

  1. Ensure You Have Water as You Start the Campfire

Never start building a campfire without having a bucket of water and a shovel anywhere near you. But why do you need water and a shovel? Well, the use of water could be obvious. You will need to douse any flames that are trying to run away. And the shovel? You can use this to throw sand on any flames that get out of your fire ring.

  1. Pay Attention to The Wind

A strong wind could spread your campfire in an instant. So, to ensure the wind doesn’t cause a wildfire, keep anything flammable, including unused firewood, against the wind and ensure they are at least 15 feet away from the campfire.

  1. Never Leave the Campfire Alone

A campfire should never be left alone, even for a minute. Did you know that even a small breeze can spread the fire in just seconds? Keeping an eye on the campfire is essential for your safety.

  1. Put the Campfire Out Properly

Extinguish the fire properly when you are done with it. Dump water on the fire and stir with a shovel, then dump more water in the fire. Ensure the campfire is cold by the time you decide to leave it unattended. You may find it difficult to extinguish a larger log, so, ensure you soak them with water. Never bury coals from the fire as they can smolder and start burning.

A few more safety tips:

1. Always Check The Weather Forecast Beforehand:

You may not always come across other people while camping so there are chances you might find yourself alone with no one to come to your aid if the weather worsens. A thunderstorm for example might tragically dampen the mood and bring the fun and games to a standstill. If you want to avoid that just check for clear skies and sunny days ahead and set out to have a great weekend.

2. Do Not Leave Food Lying Around:

No matter what happens do not leave food lying around out in the open. After you are done eating just pack it all up so the smell does not waft around, attracting the unwanted attention of bears for instance. They may look adorable but they can be potentially dangerous if they get too close. It is also a good idea to have your camp set up far away from berry patches as bears usually forage for them and might stumble onto your site along the way.

3. Protect Yourself From The Insects:

Insects may be tiny little critters but they can leave pretty nasty bites all over your body. Wearing less clothing may seem like a good idea under the scorching sun but when the insects start creeping onto your skin, you just might change your mind. Be sure to wear long sleeved-clothes and lather insect repellent all over. You should probably expect buckets of sweat streaming out of your pores so make sure that the insect repellent does not dissolve easily in water. You will probably have to put those eyes to good use and keep checking for any insects that might have crept under your clothes too.

4. Stock Up On Water:

Finding shelter out in the open is not the same as sitting in an air-conditioned room. You cannot be ignorant when it comes to the blistering heat that is bound to be encountered during the midday. You may also get up to a bit of exploration while you are there to explore nature’s finest. This entails an exertion of energy that needs to be replenished from time to time. Have water bottles on you at all times so you can keep yourself fresh and feeling cool at all times.

 

How to Protect Ourselves from Fire?

According to experts, more than 3000 people die every year from accidental fires. You can see more cases of fire in household properties than that of industries. A typical house fire can have many reasons; they can be due to electric wires, due to heating appliances, due to spontaneous combustion, and many more. Let us look at the tips that can help us protect ourselves from fire.

Cook Carefully

Imagine you are cooking something in your kitchen, and your doorbell rings. You went to see who that is, but you forgot to turn off your stove. This careless act can be a reason for causing a household fire. Fire safety and prevention are some of the essential practices that can help you protect yourself from unpredictable harm. Therefore, we suggest turning off or unplugging your kitchen utensil when you are not using them.

Use your Heating Appliances Carefully

Nowadays, most of us have chimney and furnaces in your homes. Moreover, there are many people who have electric fireplaces installed in their houses.

These artificial fireplaces and furnaces have kerosene inside it, causing a fire if there is any inflammable substance near them. Therefore, we suggest you take care of this equipment by clearing it with kerosene or petrol overabundance. Moreover, you must be careful while lighting a furnace and always look for the outlets as pressure increases can misbalance the flashpoint temperature.

Be Careful while smoking and installing electrical wires.

Nowadays, most people smoke. According to studies, more than 75% of today’s population is prone to smoking. These people love to smoke in their homes. However, many of them do not have ashtrays and throw their ash here and there.

Moreover, they throw their cigarettes nearby their homes or dustbins without checking them. There might be a chance that these cigarettes are still lit. This practice can be one of the primary reasons for a household fire as these cigarettes are inflammable and can cause a fire when they contact the nearby material.

Another reason can be faulty electrical wires. You must always check for short-circuiting and must install proper cables for your electrical appliances. This practice can help you save your house and family from a household fire.

 

Blow out the candles and clean the clutter

A candle can seem a petty issue for you, but it can be a big deal for your house. Imagine you light a candle when your power cuts, and suddenly, you see that your curtains are burning. This is because you have lighted a candle near an inflammable material. Therefore, we suggest you light a candle away from any inflammable material. Moreover, it would help if you off the candles when you are not using it.

Another reason for catching a household fire is the accumulation of clutter. This clutter is the waste material that gets accumulated in your house. This clutter can contain inflammable substances like newspapers and magazines, which comes in contact with flammable substances and catches fires. These types of fires are accidental and unpredictable and can cause tremendous misfortune.

Bottom Line

Fire is the result of rapid oxidation of oxygen molecules with volatile components like nitrogen or petrol. Fire can cause tremendous misfortune to your business or household properties. The leading cause of the household fire is the carelessness of the owners. Other reasons may include temperature imbalance, improper outlets, accumulation of clutter, presence of inflammable substances, etc.