How to Start a Campfire


One of my favorite things about camping has to be the campfire. But sometimes it seems hard to start the camfire depending on the weather conditions. So today I want to explain to you how to start a campfire step by step. Even a newbie camper will be able to start a campfire with these directions.

Keep reading to learn the fundamentals of starting a campfire in some different occasions.

How do You Make a Campfire Step by Step

A lot of campgrounds have a fire pit. But if there is no fire pit. Before starting a fire. You are going to want to clear out the area where your going to build a campfire.

I always dig a hole, and check the surrounding area for brush, dried leaves twigs or anything hanging from the trees. Clear everything that could be a fire hazard. We want to have a campfire that is controlled. I also make sure my vehicle is away from the fire.

Next you are going to want Tinder. What is Tinder?

  • Wadded up paper towels
  • A rolled up paper plate
  • Fire Starters
  • Briquets
  • Empty Carboard Box. (cut down)
  • little pieces of sticks

You will also need kindling. Which a lot of campgrounds have readily available.

First let me explain a step by step process to start the campfire. After getting the grounds ready for the fire. Your going to go around the campground looking for kindling. I like to take a bucket with a handle to gather the kindling. That makes it easier to gather it into the bucket.

Take some tinder and place it in the bed of the area where the campfire is going to be. Next you want to place the kindling upright against one another. Upright like a Tepee.

Then add some pieces of wood on and around the Tepee. I like to use fire starters to help get the fire started. The best ones I’ve found that they light every time are FIRESTARTER no mess and are on Amazon. I light the corner of the starter and place that in the bottom of the Tepee, towards the center.

You can light a fire in the wind or the rain with the Tesla lighter.

Tesla Fire Starter

The Tesla Fire Starter is water proof, and windproof. It needs no butane! And is built to light larger objects if needed There is a built in flashlight and whistle. This is great for roughing it and camping. The Lanyard is a special material that could be used in emergency to start the fire. You need this for your next camping trip.

Related Article: How to Make a Good Campfire That Will Last a Long Time.

How to Start a Campfire with Wet Wood

This year has been extremely wet. And if it’s not raining the wood is damp and the kindling is damp from the rain. This makes starting a fire at camp a little harder. But there are some tricks to the trade. And you may or may not have heard of them. So I’m just going to layout there for you.

Sometimes if the wood is wet. I take a couple of briquets, off of the grill and use them to light the fire. Place them in the fire ring or pit. And then put the kindling on top of them light them. Then place the wood on top of the kindling. Standing up so that there is air flow.

A lot of the time with wet wood it take some time to get it going. You can use a paper plate, and fan vigorously to get the cinders burning into a flame. This could take several try’s to get the fire going.

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How to Start a Campfire in a Fire Pit

Sometimes when you get to the campsite the fire pit has not been cleaned out for years. Well maybe I’m exaggerating not years, all season. So first take a shovel and dig out the ashes. Make sure the pit is cold and has not been used. Dispose of the ashes. You have dug enough when you get to the dirt.

Next place kindling in the pit. I like to place it in the center. Standing upright like a Tepee. Then you can take logs and place two on the ground about a foot apart. Then place two logs going the opposite direction on top of those pieces of wood. Repeat until you have a couple of layers going.

The kindling should be in the center of the logs. Light the kindling. This kind of fire burns quickly with lots of flames to give off heat. Be sure to have water ready any time you make a fire. It’s always a safe practice.

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3 Safety Tips

  1. Before starting a fire make sure the area you are in allows campfires. You can check with the campground. And sometimes you may be in an area that allows campfires, but due to weather conditions it is not permitted at the time. so always check with the campground.
  2. Take the time to clear the area at least 10 -15 feet of any flammables. Dry Leaves, hanging tree limbs, and debris that could be a problem. Clear the grounds around the camp fire.
  3. Never leave a fire unattended and always put the fire out. Using water or dirt from where you dug the whole.

Related Article: What’s the Best Portable BBQ for Camping.

Related Question

What is the Easiest Way to Start a Campfire

3 Easy Steps to start a campfire after you collect kindling. And dig out a spot for the campfire.

  1. Set kindling upright against each other. So that they form a mini Tepee.
  2. Place wood around the Tepee, also upright as to make a bigger Tepee.
  3. Light fire with fire starter and lighter.

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What are the Safety Precautions While Making a Campfire

  • Clear the area Where the fire is going to be, dig out a spot for the fire.
  • Get rid of any dried leaves, sticks twigs in the area around where the campfire is going to be.
  • Have enough water or a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.

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What’s a Good Campfire for Cooking

The Lean to fire is good for cooking, Simply place a long piece of Kindling in the ground about 30 degrees. Close to the tinder, with the other end of the stick in the wind. Lean additional pieces of kindling on either side of the stick. This will make a Tepee. Once the kindling catches fire add more kindling and wood. source

Related Article: Can You Cook Scrambled Eggs on a Griddle.

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