Everybody enjoys the beloved tradition of building a campfire; it is an activity that has been enjoyed by families and individual campers alike for generations. To make the most of your camping experience, it is important to know the key tips for proper campfire construction, safety, and etiquette. Building a campfire is a fairly simple task, however you must go about it with a cautious and attentive attitude. Here are the basics:

  1. Identify the ideal location.

    A good rule of thumb is to choose a campground that has pre-built fire rings, such as Saco River Campground. If you do not have access to a pre-built ring, place large rocks around the future site of the fire to seclude it. It is also important to check the surroundings: make sure the fire is at least 10 feet away from any tents, trees, hanging branches, etc.

  2. Gather the appropriate firewood.

    It’s best to use all three of these types of wood: tinder, (small twigs and dry leaves), kindling, (small sticks), and firewood (larger pieces of wood which will make your fire last longer).

  3. Stack the firewood.

    The heavy firewood should be stacked around the tinder and kindling in a way that creates a concentration of heat while still allowing for a flow of oxygen. The two most common methods are the tepee (placing firewood vertically in the shape of a cone) or the log cabin (placing two pieces of split firewood parallel to each other, then stacking two more pieces parallel to each other but perpendicular to the first layer.)

  4. Light the fire!

    With the firewood stacked, you’re ready to go! Start by lighting the smallest, driest pieces of tinder, which will ignite the rest of the of the tinder and kindling. The heat from this flame will, in turn, light the firewood itself.

That’s it! For more tips on safely maintaining your campfire, visit this recent blog post from Saco River Campground.