Camping is a great time to spend with friends and family. With camping comes a campfire so you can toast marshmallows and keep warm. With this campfire come the responsibility of building and maintaining it properly to avoid an uncontrolled fire.
There are three main components of any fire, they are: tinder, kindling and fuel. The tinder is what’s used to ignite the fire; this is usually newspaper or small wood shavings. The kinder are the small twigs and sticks used to get a good flame. Lastly is the fuel, these consist of the large logs that are placed on the fire and burned slowly.
The first step to a safe campfire is clearing the area surrounding the fire. You do not want any stray leave, small twig or shrubs around, as they may catch fire and spread it rapidly and out of control. A 10 foot diameter should be good for a small campfire.
Creating a fire pit of fire circle is an imperative step to campfire safety. A shallow hole is the safest way to go, but a circle of medium sized rock should do the trick. These prevent large logs from rolling off of the fire and into the woods, potentially causing a wildfire.
Always keep several buckets of water within reach. Not only are these used for extinguishing the fire when the night is over, but it also can be used if the fire gets a little out of control.
Never use any type of fuel or lighter fluid to start a fire. The vapors can spread around the area and ignite in a flash, causing a wildfire or catching your camping gear on fire.
The final, and most important step, make certain to completely extinguish the fire and all of the embers. Dump water on them until every single one is drenched and cool enough to grab with your hands.