Building a campfire is rewarding, but it can also be difficult and frustrating. Here is a guide to help you through.


Every campfire requires the same few components; tinder, kindling, firewood, and a fire starter. Your tinder can be anything from newspaper to wood shavings to cardboard. You are basically looking for something highly flammable, but nontoxic. Magazine pages make bad tinder because the ink and gloss from the page can be toxic when burned. After tinder comes kindling, which is just small branches and twigs. While firewood is pretty self-explanatory, your firestarter can be a lighter, a match, or if you’re really outdoors savvy, pieces of flint and steel rock.


There are many ways you can assemble your campfire, but the basics are the same. You start by laying down your tinder and then positioning the kindling over it. After the kindling, you place your firewood. You should use your fire starter to ignite the tinder in a few places. The point of the tinder is to get the fire going without wasting all of the actual firewood. Not only can firewood be hard to light and stay lit, but you waste a lot of money when you try to get your fire going using only firewood. Starting by lighting the tinder will give your fire a little bit of time to grow before it actually hits the firewood.


It is imperative that your put out your campfire properly. This process will take 20 minutes or more, so don’t rush it. Start by pouring some water on your fire once it has died down. Do this in small amounts so that you don’t make a mess and ruin your campfire space. Then, check the fire to see if the ashes are still giving off heat. If the fire is totally out, there should be no heat at all. Once you are sure that your fire is out, dispose of the ashes in a trash bin, and pat yourself on the back for being a good camper.

We at Saco River Camping Area are always happy to welcome responsible and conscious campers. Visit our website to see what our neck of the woods has to offer.