How To Start a Campfire for Beginners
Whether you’re camping out in the woods or in your own backyard, there’s nothing like a good campfire to warm things up during the night. It’s a nice little place to gather around and share stories with friends, and it provides a cozy amount of light for you to see the campsite without just illuminating the entire area. But campfires can be a little tricky to set up — at least, that’s what many beginners think.
In truth, campfires are incredibly easy to set up, and with the help of a couple of tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to setting up your own campfire the next time you need one. Here’s what you need to know.
HOW TO START A CAMPFIRE
To start a fire, of course, you’ll need a fire starter. The term “fire starter” often refers to a particular type of product, but in this context, it simply refers to anything that has the capacity to start a fire. To actually start a fire, you need heat, and to generate the heat you’ll need friction. Matchsticks and lighters work on this principle — you strike two objects against each other to cause a spark, and this spark is enough to start the flame when there’s fuel nearby (more on that in a bit).
As for what type of fire starter you should use, it honestly depends on your personal preferences. Many people like using lighters as they’re portable and reusable, and they’re highly customizable, too. Others simply prefer matchboxes as they’re cheaper. Some even use flint and steel to cause sparks, and you can even get away with using dry wood to start a fire with enough friction. If you’re just starting out, though, then your best bet is to simply go for either a matchbox or lighter.
While you can create a spark with various tools, you’ll need something to actually cause a fire and then keep that fire going. Lighters and matchboxes have “fuel” of their own so that they can burn their own flames, but that alone is not enough for a campfire. Campfires need a slow-burning fuel that will keep the fire going for a long period of time.
Firewood is the prime choice for campfire fuel. It’s dry and is perfect for burning over the course of multiple hours. You can use a log splitter to break down larger into manageable pieces. There are also certain types of campfire fuel that can burn for a similar amount of time.
But what about gasoline, alcohol, or any other flammable liquid? While that can certainly serve as “fuel”, it doesn’t last long. The fire will burn quickly and intensely, but the liquid will soon disappear. You can use liquid fuel, however, over firewood to cause the fire to spread more quickly.
Ever wondered why you will often see stones surrounding a campfire in photos and pictures? It’s not just for aesthetic purposes — the stones are there to keep the fire in place and protect you from the flame. A campfire can be a bit unruly and difficult to control at times, and the stones are there to make sure you stay safe as the fire burns. You can use bricks or other solid, non-flammable materials, too. Just be sure they’re meant specifically for such a task and you’re pretty much good to go.