DIY Safe Camp Fire Starter Steps

The campfire is a cornerstone of civilization. Long before we moved into houses, it’s all we had to keep us warm and cook with. Even with all our modern technologies, the campfire remains a staple of camping. This is a guide to safely build, tend, and dispose of a campfire.

1. Make a Pit

When you’re at a camping site, there will be a fire ring, grill, and other designated areas. Stick to these to minimize your impact on nature. If you’re in an emergency situation, build your own by clearing brush and using rocks.

2. Find Wood and a Fire Starter

You’ll need to gather three types of wood to start a fire: tinder (dry leaves, twigs, etc), kindling (small sticks and branches), and firewood (larger wood).

Your ability to light and keep a fire depends on these, so gather as much as necessary. Only use local wood to avoid introducing foreign insects into the forest.

3. Build Your Fire

You can’t just throw the wood in a pile. There are three ways to build a campfire: a cone, log cabin, or pyramid. The cone has kindling and tinder in the middle with larger logs leaned against each other like a teepee over it.

The log cabin intertwines wood pieces like Lincoln logs. The pyramid puts larger pieces at the bottom and smaller at top, with tinder between the layers. Each of these makes igniting the fire easier.

4. Ignite the Fire

Once your campfire is built, you need to light it. If you have a lighter or matches, that’ll be easy enough. Otherwise, you’ll need a fire starter. Light the tinder so it ignites the kindling, which eventually spreads to the main firewood.

5. Extinguish Your Fire and Clean Up

Once you’re done, properly extinguish and clean the campfire area. Don’t leave until you’re sure it’s out.

That’s all there is to it.