Time to take a little break as we head into the weekend, and chat about something really fun! If you’re thinking you need to start getting outside a little bit more (believe it or not, it is Spring), then maybe it’s time to think about a Spring camping trip. Here are some tips for building the best campfire for your family.
Supplies for Building a Great Campfire
Let’s assume you’re out in the woods and you haven’t brought any fire starters with you. Then it’s time to get to work!
Some of the basic tools you’ll need to build a campfire you will have (hopefully) on hand, including a fixed-blade knife, a ferro rod and some Vaseline and cotton balls (you will have had to think a little bit in advance to ensure you will have all of these items on hand when you head out into the wilderness). It will also be very helpful to have an axe or a saw on hand to help cut/chop wood to a manageable size.
Now you’ll need some dry wood to help you get the fire going. You can pick up dry twigs off of the ground. If it’s raining (or snowing—yikes!), you will need to find a stand of trees that includes trees that are dead. The saw or axe will help you chop the branches down to size for your fire. Dead trees are a great source for a campfire. They’re out there, believe me!
In order to get a nice flame started initially, coat the cotton balls with Vaseline, and light the insides of them. This will help get a nice fire started. That’s where the cotton balls come in handy. Chop any logs into fourths, so the wood can be exposed and dry out a bit more, and help build a better fire.
Different Types of Campfires
The Tipi formation is the easiest way to build any outdoor fire. Place the firewood or kindling into the shape of a tipi. Build a tipi using the smallest, driest pieces of wood you have gathered for your campfire. If you want to use a tipi to get a fire going, build one with the smallest, driest pieces of wood possible. Once you have your shape, place the tinder at the center, light it first, and then push it even further into the center to keep the fire going.
The type of campfire that requires the least amount of maintenance is called the “log cabin” style. The log cabin style will burn for a while, so you can use this type of campfire to cook. To build the “log cabin” place the thickest logs at the base of the fire. Then as you build the “layers” of the fire structure, you will place smaller and smaller pieces of wood on the pile as you go up.
If you watch a lot of cowboy movies, then you’ll be familiar with this last type. The “star” style campfire starts with building a tipi in the center of the structure, surrounded around the base by logs to create a star burst shape. This type of fire will burn the longest, overnight if you set it up correctly.
Now that I am writing this, I’m kind of excited about heading out into the woods and trying these different types of campfires out myself to see which one works best for me. I’ll let you know which works best!