FIRE – your good friend and servant in the out-of-doors. There is nothing a camp crafter enjoys more, or uses more than a fire, from that glowing campfire to sit around in the dark to the quick hot fire that boils water. Proper campfire building techniques are necessary because a Fire is a good servant when under control.
So, while appreciating all a fire does, it is important to realize what YOU must do to control it. Care of the fire and fire prevention become responsibilities of anyone who lights a match in the open-and so a good camp crafter knows not only how to light a fire, but also how to put it out.
Campfire Building Techniques to Follow for the Campers
The fire has many uses: to cook food, heat water, destroy rubbish, and give warmth. A camp crafter learns to make a beginning or foundation fire, and how to build that into different types of fires for various uses.
What is a Good Campfire?
- is built in a safe place which helps control it;
- the campfire is just large enough to serve the need and to make thrifty use of wood;
- Also, it is kept under control, and is watched at all times;
- And, is put OUT when no longer needed.
- Use the best out of the wilds without spoiling the weather and water.
Most fires are made of wood that you find in the outdoors, but in some places, such as public parks, one is required to use charcoal; in some other places wood is not readily available, so charcoal is used, or wood is carried on the outing. Since wood is the most common fuel, fire-lighting with wood is described here.
Steps for Learning to Build a Campfire
Here are steps to take in learning to build a fire if you are making overnight hiking or camping trip. See sections below for how-to-do-it.
- Fix a place for building the fire.
- Learn the kinds of materials in fire building and gather a big handful of each. Check, if they are enough to keep the fire going three minutes. So you need not leave the fire, once it is lighted).
- Build a foundation fire and
- Keep it going and build into a tepee or crisscross fire and use it to toast food.
- As soon as you are through with it PUT IT OUT.
- Unless you build in a ready-made fireplace, leave no trace of your fire.
- Practice many times—in the wind, in the rain, etc. until you are sure you can light fires. (You may need to learn to light a match and let it get burning before you put it in the fire. Practice this, too.)
- Try to have someone with you when lighting a fire. It is always safer this way than doing it alone.
Step 1 – Fixing a Fireplace Where to Build
On sand, rocks or dirt. You should have some clear thought on creating a fire. The ground should be cleared of leaves, grass, sticks, etc. down to solid dirt, over a large enough area, unless a stone fireplace is used. This is especially important in the woods. Clear away leaf mold, etc. to prevent the fire from smoldering underground.
- In a fireplace, temporary or permanent. Temporary fireplaces are made of ditches or holes dug in the dirt, green logs, rocks, bricks, clay or tin cans.
- Take a proper position that the wind does not create any risks.
Step 2 Learning of Materials to Use in Different Campfire Techniques
If you are fully packed with camping sleeping items and other clothing, then bringing the fuel with you can be tough. Then using the technique to use the items from the would can be effective. There are three types of material people uses in fires: Tinder, kindling, and fuel.
TINDERS: Using Tinder for Different Types of Campfires:
That material which catches fire from a match. And so, it should be in pieces not any thicker than a match, but longer. Shavings or fuzz sticks, fine twigs (especially from evergreen trees), bundles of tops of bushes or weeds can be a great substance. Moreover, you can use pieces of fat pine, thin pieces of bark, etc.
Campfire Building Techniques for Making Tinder
Paper, of course, but camp crafters scorn it except in great emergencies. But beware of light material like grass or leaves. Grass leaves tend to flare up quickly and also burn heavily that can create a problem.
KINDLING: How to Build a Campfire for Cooking
Many of the questions I get in the forum is like how to make a campfire in your backyard, or camping areas? To answer that we have learned the kindling campfire technique better.
Building a campfire for cooking using the dry sticks and twigs in a proper size of pieces (little bigger the tinder up to). The thickness will be as thick as your palm is.
Fuel for Making Fire:
It can be the real fire material for different types of cooking fires. You have to have this in a good shape and sizes using in different log cabin campfire or campfire pit. With the kindling, the charcoal is often used as a fuel, too.
Learn each kind; be able to find some of each, and keep it handy in a good woodpile, either a small temporary one or a larger, more permanent one.
The wood piles are excellent for laying a fire. Stack wood so that tinder, kindling, and fuel are in separate piles for convenience.
Place woodpile near the fireplace for convenience, but far enough away so you do not have to walk in it to get around the fire. Moreover, put it in far enough away so anything wrong doesn’t happen in campfire pit and around.
Kinds of Wood You Can Use
You will probably be using whatever you find around when you first begin to light fires. After being in the camping for a few time and experiencing some campfire nights, you can get used to it. Here are a few hints to help you make a woodpile that will be useful
Wood for kindling should SNAP when broken. In general, dead branches from lower limbs of trees make the best kindling. Sticks lying on the ground may be damp.
Tinder and Sticks for Making Campfire
Use the tinder stick with the proper size. Make little bundles of tiny twigs. Wood that crumbles is rotten. (You’ll find lots around-don’t bother with it.) It has lost all its life and will just smolder and smoke without giving off any heat.
You may ask: how to start a campfire with wet wood? Sometimes after a heavy or short rain in camping, the wood can get wet. Well, in my experience I have seen the split would do well in burning of the log which has a drier part inside.
In wet weather, depend on dead branches on trees; they dry sooner than wood on the ground, as the air can get all around them.
Using Soft Wood and Hardwood for Making Campfire
SOFTWOOD is produced by trees that grow quickly-pines, spruces, cedars, gray birch, aspen, etc. This wood is good for starting fires, or for quick hot fires.
HARDWOOD is produced by trees that grow slowly-oaks, hickories, yellow birch, maples, ash, mesquite, eucalyptus, etc. Hardwood is compact and firm and feels heavy in the hand as compared with a piece of soft wood of the same size. This kind of wood burns slowly and yields coals that will last. It needs a good hot fire to get started and then burns well for a long time.
Visit a woodpile somewhere and look over the wood there. Try picking up a few pieces, to see if you can tell which are hard and which are soft. Pick out some that will split for good kindling, some that will make good coals for broiling, some that will be good to burn in a fireplace on a cold day. What kinds of wood or other fuel are found around where you live?
Step 3 – Start A Foundation Fire in Better Way
- Have fireplace ready before you begin.
- Have ready, at hand:
- a big handful of tinder
- a double handful of kindling -what fuel you will need unless there are wood
- gatherers working with you so you will not have to leave the fire after it is lighted
- Kneel with the wind at your back. If you are using hiking hat or other head-wear, keep them in safe distance. Take two small sticks of kindling and place to form an angle in the fireplace, as shown in Fig. 1; or place one stick across these two, to form an A.
- Pile a good bit of tinder in the angle of the sticks, or on cross piece, lightly, so there is air, but compactly enough so each piece rests against other pieces. Leave a tunnel at center and bottom in which to insert match.
REMEMBER: Fire needs air. The flame burns upward. Only material in the path of flame will ignite.
- Strike a match, tipping down, so flame catches on wood. (Cup in hands, if necessary.) When well lighted, stick flame in airspace, putting a flame under the center of the pile of tinder. If the match goes out, use it as extra tinder. Blow gently at the base of fire, if necessary.
- As flame catches and begins to spread, add bits of tinder, placing gently on the flame until there is a brisk fire.