When you’re out in the wilderness, there’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire at night. Not only does a fire provide warmth and light, but it also gives you a sense of security in an environment that can be alien and intimidating. Plus, it’s just plain fun to roast marshmallows! But before you can enjoy all those benefits, you need to know how to build a campfire. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Find a Good Spot
Make sure the fire pit is at least 10 feet away from any trees, bushes, or other flammable objects. If you’re in a public campground, there may already be designated fire pits. If not, clear an area about 3 feet wide and dig a shallow trench for your fire. Check local laws before building a fire; some areas have bans during dry conditions.
Gather your Materials
Once you've found the perfect spot, it's time to start gathering some fuel. You’ll need three things to get your fire going: tinder (something that will catch fire easily), kindling (twigs and small sticks), and fuel wood (larger pieces of wood that will keep the fire burning).
You can find tinder on the ground near your campsite; look for dead leaves, grasses, and bark shavings. If you're in a pinch and don't have any tinder on hand, you can use your knife to whittle some wood shavings off of a larger piece of wood. These wood shavings will make excellent tinder for starting your fire.
Try to find two different types of wood: small twigs for kindling, and larger logs or fuel wood for the body of the fire.
Kindling can be gathered from dead branches that are no thicker than your wrist; break them into small pieces using your hands or a camping knife.
Fuel wood should be large enough to feed the flames but small enough to carry: logs that are about 18 inches long and 6 inches wide are ideal. Once you have all your materials, bring them over to the fire pit.
Build your Fire
Start by creating a “teepee” out of your tinder in the center of the pit. Then, place your kindling on top of the teepee, crisscrossing the sticks so that there's plenty of airflow.
Now it’s time to light your tinder! You can use matches, a lighter, or even a battery-operated sparker—just make sure the flames have plenty of oxygen so they don’t go out. A camping knife can also be useful for starting a fire because it can be used to create sparks. By striking the blade of the knife against a hard surface, you can create enough friction to generate sparks. These sparks will then fall onto your tinder, which will help you get your fire going. You could even try using the lens method: take the lenses and hold it close to the tinder. The sun will magnify the lens and create a spark that will start your fire. You would, however, need to do this when the sun is still shining.
Once you've got your spark, carefully blow on it until it turns into flames. Then, add more twigs until the flames are big enough to support the larger logs. Carefully add larger pieces of fuel wood to keep the flames going strong. Remember to use smaller logs closer to the top of the fire so that it doesn't collapse under its own weight.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your cozy campfire!
When it's Time for Bed
When you’re ready to turn in for the night, make sure the embers are completely extinguished by pouring water on them and stirring with a stick until everything is wet. You can then cover the pit with dirt or sand to make sure there’s no chance of re-ignition.
In this article, we've shown you how to build a campfire using a camping knife and some common materials found in nature. Want to learn more about camping knives? Well we actually have an article that might interest you. Just click the button below to learn more!