How to Build a Campfire

The discovery of fire is one of mankind's greatest accomplishments. Using these instructions, you should have an easier time than our caveman counterparts:

  1. Clear an area at least 10 feet (roughly 3 meters) in diameter. Be sure there is no low hanging debris nearby. If a fire pit already exists, be sure that all materials, such as tents, clothes, and blankets, are at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from the fire pit.
  2. If a fire pit exists, skip ahead to step 3. If not, place rocks or bricks in a circle that is approximately 3-4 feet (1meter) in diameter.
  3. Gather materials. You will need a mixture of kindling, sticks, and larger logs.
    • Kindling is lightweight material that will burn quickly and get the fire started. This could be a mixture of twigs, paper, dry leaves, and/or dry pine needles.
    • Sticks should be a little bulkier and broken to fit inside the fire pit. The sticks should be dead or dry.
    • Larger logs should be dry and able to fit safely inside the fire pit.
  4. Place a few handfuls of kindling in the centre of the fire pit.
  5. Stack the sticks around the kindling in a teepee form. The sticks should lean at a 45 degree angle from the ground, and you should leave room between the sticks to allow oxygen to flow through the teepee.
  6. Using the thicker sticks, create a square around the teepee structure. You can do this by placing two sticks on either side of the teepee. Next, stack sticks on the other sides so that the ends overlap in a log cabin style. Continue until you are five layers high.
  7. Add one or two sticks to the top of the cabin to form a "roof". Do not place too many branches on top of the cabin or you will suffocate the fire.
  8. Light a match and place it inside the teepee so that it lights the kindling.
  9. If built properly, the kindling will burn and the teepee will ignite the cabin.
  10. If the fire needs help spreading, you should encourage it by adding kindling and sticks. You can also fan the fire at the base to help it spread.
  11. Fuel the fire with increasingly larger sticks and logs. Remember the larger logs will require sufficient time to heat before they burn.
  12. When you are finished with the fire, let the logs burn down. Then, pour several buckets of water on the fire (even if it looks like it has extinguished). If it still smokes, shovel some dirt onto the ashes.