How to Build, Maintain and Extinguish Your Campfire

A campfire is an essential element to a great camping experience.   The campfire is a place to cook, warm up, hang out with friends and relax.  Today, we are discussing how to build, maintain and extinguish your campfire.

How to Build a Campfire

1.  Find a place to build your campfire.   Some campsites already have fire rings at each site.  If your campsite doesn’t have a fire ring,  you can build your own fire ring.  A fire ring should be at least 10 ft away from tent, trees and other flammable items.  Clear a place 24 – 32 inches across and make a circle around it with stones and rocks.

2.  Gather dry wood.  Gather tinder (small twigs, dry leaves and grass), kindling (small sticks) and logs.

3.  Place a few handfuls of tinder in the middle of the fire pit.  Build a pyramid (tipi) of kindling over your tinder.

4.  Light the kindling with a match.

5.  As the fire grows, add more kindling.  Add increasingly large sticks and logs.  Continue to add kindling to keep the fire going.


Methods for Adding Kindling

We used the tipi method  to build our fire.  There are other methods of adding kindling depending on what type of fire you are trying to achieve.

To build a campfire that is good for cooking,  use the tipi method or lean-to method of adding kindling.  For the lean-to method, drive a long piece of kindling into the ground at an angle over the tinder.  Lean smaller pieces of kindling aagainst the long piece.

For a long lasting campfire, use the cross method.  Criss cross the kindling over the tender.

The longest, lasting campfire can be achieved by the log cabin method.   Surround your pile of tinder with kindling stacking pieces at right angles. Top with the smallest kindling.

How to Extinguish Your Campfire

1.  Burn wood completely to ash, if possible.

2.  Drench all the embers (not just the red ones) and logs.

3.  Pour water until the hissing sound stops.

4.  Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.

5.  Repeat until everything is wet and cold to the touch.

Campfire Safety Tips

  • Keep the fire small and under control.
  • Never use flammable fluids to start a fire.
  • Do not leave a fire unattended.
  • Closely supervise children around campfires.
  • Keep a bucket of water and shovel near the fire.
  • Don’t burn aerosol or pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans.

For more information on campfire safety, visit


I’ll see ya by the well-maintained, long lasting campfire!


Photo:  Campfire by MadMup

(Visited 185 times, 1 visits today)

Sign up for A Little Campy Newsletter & continue the camping fun!

Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

Share This


Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge