While there are lots of ways to start a fire, here are the best to build a roaring campfire and keep it burning all night. These tips and tricks have been collected through years of self-experience of our experts in the wood as well as from other outdoor enthusiasts. Read on!
Find The Right Place To Build A Fire
Although you can literally build a fire anywhere in the wood, think about safety first – not just your safety but also nature.
Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of wildland fires because of carelessness. Nobody wants to be listed, right? Before building a fire, you should find an appropriate place for it.
Use the designated fire area in your camping site if it has one, or create your own fire bed if you’re camping in the wildlife. It should be away from plant material (especially dried grass), bushes, and trees. The more it’s on bare earth, the better.
If you can’t find such a good place, plan B is to dig and rake away some plant material. Pay attention to dry ones, such as bark, dried branches, and dead grass.
How big is a campfire?
The length of a fire bed should be enough to house your size when you’re normally sleeping.
Collect Materials To Build A Campfire
- Dirt and organic material
- Dried leaves, needles, dead grass, moss
- Small, dried branches and twigs
Rocks: to trap heat and radiate it back. You should choose medium to large-sized rocks, and avoid small pebbles.
Dirt and organic material: to remain a fire longer, prevent tinder from burning too fast and help for ventilation. Prepare about 6” of dirt and organic material
Dried leaves, needles, dead grass, moss: to create a soft fire bedding form. They are used as tinder. Or you can carry your own tinder, such as homemade char cloth or dryer lint if the weather forecast says that it’s going to be rainy or humid outside.
Small, dried branches and twigs: to remain the fire created by the tinder and transfer it to big wood logs. They should be as big as a pencil. Don’t go any bigger.
Fuelwood: to keep the fire burning all night. These logs should be as big as an adult’s forearm or wrist.
How many tinder, twigs, and fuelwood should I collect?
When starting a fire, tinder and kindling (things like small branches and twigs) will be used surprisingly a lot. From that point, we highly recommend collecting them at least twice the estimated quantities.
How to know if the wood is dry or wet?
As stated, we suggest collecting dry materials to build a fire because wet or damp ones hardly burn while creating a lot of smoke.
A great tip to help you determine whether a twig/branch is dry or wet is to try breaking them.
If they are bent and hard to break, they’re still green or too wet. Don’t collect them!
On the contrary, if these branches break easily, they are dried and good to bring to your fire.
Besides, remember to prepare a bucket of water which will be your “fire extinguisher” on the next day when you want to put out the fire. (We’re going to talk more clearly about this at the end of this article, keep reading!)
Create A Bed Of Rocks
This extra step is the secret to help remain your fire hot and extended overnight. While rocks don’t burn, they absorb the heat incredibly well to be a decent heat conductor. As a result, they retain heat longer while keeping the fire energy level through the night.
This is also the reason many people use them for therapeutic purposes.
Create a ring of rocks around your fire.
Lay A Fire
In this step, you’ve got three methods to choose from to lay a fire.
Method 1: Lincoln Logs Fire Lay
Have you ever played with Lincoln Logs? As its name defines, this method requires you to play a bigger version of this game.
Once finishing, burn them.
Create a small teepee lay.
At the bottom of this tower are the biggest and longest logs of fuelwood (placed on the opposite sides of the tepee), then the next layers are smaller and shorter wood logs as long as they all together create a pyramid or cabin shape. The top layer is the tinder.
Once finishing, burn them from the top.
Method 2: Tinder nest Fire Lay
You’ll have to create a small tinder nest using a long, small branch, twig, or other types of kindling. Plug it into the bare earth at a 30-degree angle as long as its endpoints into the wind.
Put a bundle of tinder beneath this twig, surrounded by some petite branches.
Now, play some other branches against the first one that is plugged in the ground. For better results, add one more kindling layer including a bit bigger twigs and branches.
Once finishing, burn the tinder.
Method 3: Teepee Fire Lay
Put a bundle of tinder in the center of your fire, then top it up with a layer of kindling as long as they create a teepee shape with an opening for ventilation.
Add small twigs then some big fuelwood logs above these layers for forming a bigger teepee.
Once finishing, burn the tinder.
Above is a complete guide about how to build a roaring campfire and keep it burning all night. Hope that it was helpful to you. As promised, here is how to put out your fire:
Sprinkle water over the fire then stir them evenly until you don’t hear any hissing noise, see any smoke, and your hand doesn’t feel the heat when putting it near the ashes. Do this 20 minutes before you leave and don’t forget to dispose of the ashes around the campfire.
Thanks for reading!