Besides being a tradition and yielding good times, knowing how to build a campfire can help you in unexpected situations. Whether as a way of signaling, preparing food, chasing animals, lighting the place or simply providing warmth , it can be a must have for you and your group.
Even if to play talk when night falls, you must be very careful when executing it, as well as everything involving fire. A poorly made fire can cause fires, destroy part of that environment, and even injure people.
So how to build a campfire safely and effectively? This is what we will show in this post. Know next the different types of fire, how to prepare the place, which wood to choose, how to light and some basic safety tips.
The ideal place
The first step is to choose where to set up your campfire. Begin by checking whether there is any ban in the local legislation for regions considered to be at risk and collecting data with the forest police.
Keep in mind that in an environmentally protected area, national, state or local parks and reserves it is forbidden to build fires, unless it is an emergency. The individual can be held accountable for environmental crime.
In campsites , there are usually parts reserved for this activity. In other situations, you must ask the owner for permission.
As the environment is liberated, the ideal is to set the campfire in a flat, dry area and at least three meters away from leaves, branches, roots and trees. A clearing is a good example of a place that reduces the risk of fires. Another tip is to look for bonfire brands in locations with these prerequisites.
Preparing the environment
After choosing the location for your campfire, remove leaves, twigs, twigs, mosses and anything that might cause the fire to spread. Even if you make sure the trees are ten feet away, it is essential to reinforce this cleanliness. This will give you more control in case an accident happens.
Then dig the earth a little. This difference prevents the ember from spreading. However, if you find underground roots, this is the time to choose another place to build your fire, as they can also help to spread the flames.
If the soil is dry, flatten it until there is only soil in place. Be careful, however, with regions of widespread drought, as they increase the risk of fire spreading rapidly. On wet soils, build a platform of flat stones.
Once this is done, surround the place with rocks as a way to insulate the campfire. Make sure these stones are dry, as any sign of moisture can crack them and end up hitting the people around.
The right wood for campfire
The key to a good fire came: the wood. Choose parched logs with up to half a meter to the main part of it (you can use the size of your elbow to the hands as a reference). Also select those that have the diameter similar to an adult’s wrist.
In addition to logs, pick up branches, weeds, tree barks, rotten wood and leaves that will help make the fire catch. Choose between these materials some thinner branches than your little finger and others with the thickness of your thumb.
Leave larger pieces of wood ready to add to the initial flame. Like stones, nothing of this plant material can exhibit moisture.
Types of bonfire
Depending on how you position the wood, the campfire adapts to a specific situation. If it is lost, for example, make a signaling fire, using green leaves that will create a lot of smoke.
If the intention is to cook, the hunter’s bonfire is ideal: place it between two logs, the widest opening should be towards the wind side and the narrower as support for the pans. Another option for baking is the trench bonfire, which consists of a ditch with firewood inside.
In camps, a good fire is the star, since it stays lit for a long time and does not need as much firewood. To do so, arrange the star-shaped branches or trunks. All are in the center, where the fire is lit.
The reflecting bonfire is good for warmth because it directs the heat. You can do this by mounting a wall of green woods or stones behind the fire. The same purpose applies to the classic cone bonnet, which is also good for lighting and easily adaptable as a base for other types. Below we will teach you how to assemble it in detail:
Properly arranging the wood
With everything in hand, you have to organize the materials in the right way. Keep in mind that larger pieces should be mounted primarily as a pyramid, allowing the flow of oxygen. Other possible shapes are like a hollow or a slope. The small pieces serve to feed the fire until the larger logs begin to burn, turning into ember.
In the center of the fire, accommodate the finest twigs. Around, with the wider branches, mount the pyramid. Leave a space on the sides so that the finest sticks also catch fire without stopping oxygenation.
Spread the dry plant material you get at the top of the first pyramid. With the thicker logs, mount a second pyramid over the first, without forgetting the side openings that increase the combustion. Lastly, scatter the remainder of what you collected through the trunks, leaving nothing around that would cause a fire.
Lighting the campfire
With the help of a match, flint or lighter, fire on a twig and throw it by the sides, reaching the inner mound of the pyramids. You can also rely on older tricks to generate fire, like a magnifying glass against the sun or a steel straw that lights up with a simple spark.
If you performed the previous step correctly, the smaller sticks in the center will ignite easily, helping the coarsest to burn next. To speed up and improve this process, swipe between spaces. When the wood begins to be consumed by the fire, go putting new pieces.
Other Security Tips
Before even lighting the fire, have two large buckets of water close by as a form of control. Also, never use your hands or step to put out the fire and, when handling the logs, invest in barbecue gloves.
On days when it is windy, it is best for people to be away from the direction they are following the smoke, as it can intoxicate the lung. If the wind is too strong, it is best not to light up, preventing accidents.
Just as it is important to light a fire properly, never leave the place without being sure that it has completely burned out, including embers. Blow the fire and spread the ashes through the brush. Use water only if necessary.