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Spending a fantastic fall evening around a campfire is a beautiful way to spend time with friends and family. Telling stories, laughing, and creating memories. But first-you need your fire. You will need to gather your materials before setting up the fire, and that's where we come in - we've put together a list of everything you'll need and how to do it!
Campfires are a great way to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere around the campground. If you decide to build one, you'll want to ensure that it's safe for everyone. The primary safety issue with fires is that they aren't just hot but also dangerous. You can avoid this by using precautions like building the fire away from trees, grasses, and tents. Also, ensure you check for a burn ban to ensure the safety of your entire community, especially during dry seasons. Make sure that all children are supervised when around the fire. Teaching kids the proper way to add wood to the fire, how to kneel by the fire, and how to stop, drop, and roll are all important BEFORE starting your fire. The key to a safe and informative environment is risk assessment. Clearing your fire pit area, empowering children to own their safety and ensure they understand safety precautions, and remaining mindful and aware at all times are all key to a fun and safe campfire.
Tools and Materials Needed
Fire needs three things: Spark, Fuel, and Oxygen. First, decide what you will use as your spark- Whether you get waterproof and windproof matches, a flint kit, or a good old-fashioned lighter. You need that initial spark or flame. The fuel: if you don't purchase dried firewood and/or fire starters--you'll need to gather dried sticks from the forest floor. Start by collecting two handfuls of twigs no bigger than a matchstick, then two handfuls of pencil-sized sticks, then marker-sized, etc., until you have a good amount of various sizes to build your fire up slowly from your kindling. The oxygen: this is the part that usually trips folks up. It's easy to suffocate your fire if you add your fuel too quickly or don't allow airflow. When building up your kindling and growing your fire, use a cone shape with a small opening at the bottom to add your match; if the space is too small, the match will be snuffed out. So ensure you leave enough airflow.
How to Build a Campfire
There are a few basic steps to building a campfire. Once you have your kindling lit, it's time to build your fire up. Start slow. Don't add too many sticks or logs at once. Or you will suffocate your fire. Don't add wet firewood, leaves, or cardboard. These will all cause a smokey and potentially dangerous fire. While they may make it grow "faster," this growth isn't sustainable. The fire will burn out. So ensure each set of sticks fully catches before adding another layer. This practice of slow growth is an excellent opportunity to start a conversation about learning and habits with your family. Building our habits slowly and ensuring they are fully lit before adding another is essential in fire building and life.
Campfire Cooking and Fun Activities
Campfires are a great way to introduce children to the outdoors. It's also a perfect opportunity to create memories and spend quality time together. The best part about having a campfire is that it can be used for more than just cooking.
Kids love roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories, and everyone needs rest and relaxation once in a while. So check out my booklist below that will help you dive deep into campfire cooking and foraging for your food.
Another campfire pasttime you don't want to miss is storytelling. Teach children the art of storytelling around the campfire. This Deck of stories prompts a great way to inspire stories that will leave an impression forever.
This blog post is meant to give you some basic information about how to build a campfire. But only you can get outside and experience it. So what are you waiting for? Grab your family this weekend, cozy up with marshmallows and good stories, and make memories to last a lifetime.