As we continue to move steadily along through the summer months, we enter the perfect time to head to the great outdoors and go on a camping trip. All of the things that tie us down and stress us out are able to be left behind for a weekend as you sit around the campfire, share fond memories and roast marshmallows and hot dogs.
Just like everything in the universe revolves around our fiery sun, everything done at a campsite revolves around the toasty fire: you use it for cooking, for warmth and for any bit of light you can get from it, which is why it is so important that you know how to build a fire!
There are five main types of campfires, each of which has its own benefits. As an example, if you’re looking for a long-burning fire that’s easy to maintain and doesn’t require a whole lot of wood, you’d want to set up the star fire.
Here are five fires any camper should learn how to build.
Wind can be a huge issue when it comes to keeping a fire alive. Let us give you some advice to lean on with the lean to campfire. This one is super easy to build, but it’s just what you need to keep your fire safe from heavy winds.
Start off with a large log as your base; this log is going to be the wind blocker. Make sure you lay your log so it is perpendicular to the wind. From there, lean other pieces of wood against the base log. Once you’ve got all the logs in the right spots, you can light your fire underneath the leaning wood.
The teepee campfire is by far the most popular, and for good reason: it’s the easiest.
Start off by leaning three sapling-sized sticks together, having all three touching in the middle. From there, continue stacking similar-sized sticks into the same form — the form of a teepee.
Just like a real teepee, make sure you leave an opening on one side because, while this teepee won’t be housing any people, it’ll need all the oxygen it can get. Pile kindling inside the teepee and light it. Keep constant watch on this type of fire, though, because it requires a lot of wood to keep it blazing.
This type of fire is for all you campfire cookers out there. Not only does the platform campfire make a big, warm fire, but it also does really well for making hot coals that are perfect for tin foil meals.
Starting with the biggest logs at the bottom, make Jenga-like rows of wood. As you add more layers, use smaller pieces of wood or thin sticks. Then, create a small teepee-style fire on top of the platform, and light the teepee. That teepee should burn down and get your platform fire roaring.
The log cabin campfire is a very close cousin to the Platform fire, but it has a different purpose. While the platform fire is made for cooking and long burns, the log cabin is for a campfire you can get started really quickly because it allows a lot of oxygen to fuel the fire.
Starting with the biggest logs, build upwards, laying two pieces of wood in a parallel fashion and swapping the direction they face on each layer. To get it started, you can either use a bit of kindling in the center, or you can create a small teepee in the same spot.
Begin by building a small teepee and then place the ends of the logs that will make up your star right next to the teepee. Once the teepee is lit, the ends of your logs should catch fire as well. As the fire burns the ends of the logs, you can slide the logs of the star inwards so the entire log is used.
Each one of these five methods of campfire building will help you in just about every sort of outdoor situation you may find yourself in, so if you always keep in mind which ones are built for what, you’ll be good to go!