How to Start a Campfire

We’ve all been there, you get to your campsite, you set up your tent, then you start your fire and you realize you have no idea what you are doing. It is crucial we learn how to get a campfire to burn on its own in order to soak up every moment of eating delicious S’mores.

She started her own campfire &thenShe felt courageous, she felt powerful, she … [insert your victory]

Lets get this out of the way: no one will be giving you a badge for starting your own fire from scratch, so go buy some firestarters and save yourself some tears. Although we are using firestarters and lighters, you still need to build a successful base and maintain your fire. If you don’t maintain your fire, your firestarter will burn out within 15 minutes and your left with a half heated S’more and a dark campsite. So this one is to save the S’more’s! Here’s what you need:

*Note: Most campgrounds require that your firewood be Certified Heat-treated. Always buy from the campground if possible and always follow local guidelines on whether it is safe to start a campfire.

How to build a campfire:

  1. Collect a lot of small leaves/twigs and put in the base of your fire ring (“kindle”)
  2. Put some bigger sticks on top of the kindle
  3. Stack your fire wood like the picture shown here (cone shaped)
  4. Shove some newspaper under the wood between the kindle
  5. Drop your firestarter on the newspaper directly below the fire wood
  6. Light your firestarter and stand back!
  7. Watch your fire, poke the kindle with a fire poker or large stick to continue to aerate. You can also blow at the base of your fire. Make sure your firestarter and kindle are bringing heat to your big logs, the goal is for the big logs to catch fire themselves
  8. Once the big logs catch (could take a few tries and hours), sit back and enjoy your crackling fire!
  9. Always pour water over your fire to put it out, do not go to sleep or leave your site with any kind of fire still going

Photo by Josh Hild on

Make sure to do a little stargazing while you are out there, I cant wait to hear about your first roaring campfire!

3 thoughts on “How to Start a Campfire

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