Building The Perfect Campfire PDF Print E-mail

Let's assume there are no local bans on campfires due to dry weather conditions and you've got the basics, like a friendly group, comfy chairs, a guitar or harmonica, something tasty to sip and marshmallows to toast... you're ready to prepare for the best of bonfires.

Basic #1 dry fuel

Never chop down a tree or use branches of living trees for campfires. Gather dead fallen branches and twigs, the drier the better. If it has been raining, you can sometimes find dead branches hung up in trees.

Basic #2 airflow

A campfire needs oxygen to burn. Stack your kindling (broken up twigs and smaller branches) loosely. Make an air gap so air can get in underneath. You can do this by creating a deck or platform, setting 8-10 inch, straight sticks an inch or two apart. Stack some kindling loosely on top of the platform.

Basic #3 heat ratio

Wood will not burn unless the heat source gets hot enough to make it burn. The thicker the wood, the stronger the heat source needed to make it burn. A match is a pretty small source of heat, so you're best to start off with very small twigs, smaller than the match. As the twigs catch, you can add slightly larger pieces and so on.

If you don't want to be adding sticks regularly, you can pre-stack your fuel (wood) from smallest to largest and light the fire from the bottom. Another method involves creating a teepee-like structure, by placing smaller twigs upright on the platform in a ring, leaving small gaps but leaning them into one another, giving a good airflow. The subsequent rings would be made of slightly larger twigs and branches to provide a continuing and consistent, heat ratio.



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