How to Build a Campfire

Campsites in Alberta | How to Build a Campfire

It has been said, that fire is what separated man from beast, and in several campsites in Alberta, the struggle to create fire is still alive and well. Everyone’s favorite activities while camping is to sit in front of a warm, crackling fire. Whether you are singing campfire songs, roasting hotdogs for dinner, or creating the perfectly toasted marshmallow, a campfire is part of the quintessential camping experience.

Not as easy as it looks

Unfortunately, starting a campfire is not as easy as flicking a switch for your gas fireplace. And while it seems easy – put flame source to flammable materials, this is one thing that many people struggle, across all campsites in Alberta. Good thing is that there are plenty of tips and tricks to starting a perfect campfire.

Build a Campfire

One of the first things needed to build a campfire, is make sure you have the right type of wood. While choosing the right spot for a fire is technically the first thing to do, when you are staying in any of the hundreds of campsites in Alberta, like Elevated Experience Camping there are designated firepits, and it is unlawful to build a campfire anywhere else. So selecting the right wood is important.

Be Campfire Smart

If you are staying in a campground that sells wood , they will ensure that it is cut perfectly, and is nice and dry for fires. If you are camping in a place that has a firewood pile, it will require a keen eye to ensure the right pieces of wood are chosen. First, ensure every piece you choose is nice and dry, and that it stays that way. While it may seem easy to select whatever wood is on top, if there has been recent rain, or if the campsite gets morning dew, the top pieces may be too moist to start a great fire.

Keep the wood dry

Bring your wood back to your campsite, and ensure that it stays nice and dry. Putting it on a tarp, then pulling the tarp over to protect the wood on all sides is a great strategy. The next step to build a campfire is to create a tinder bed. Tinder is small, dry material that burns easily, and therefore fast. Building your fire on this will help the flame catch more easily. Great material for tinder includes shredded paper, cotton balls or hemp rope. These materials can be coated with wax, which helps them be weather resistant.

Campsites in Alberta | Learn Various Campfire Construction Styles

Build a Campfire

Once you have laid your tinder bed in the bottom of your firepit in any of the campsites in Alberta you’re staying in, the next step is to place kindling around the tinder base. Unlike tinder, which is designed to light on fire and burn quickly, kindling is still small, but larger than tinder, and will burn longer. This longer burn will help ensure the firewood catches on fire.

Best campfire shape?

However, one of the biggest debates in creating a fire, across all campsites in Alberta is how to stack the firewood? There are many different configurations, from a cone shape, to log cabin, platform or upside-down pyramid, a lean-to and a star, just to name a few. Each configuration is best for certain conditions, for example, a lean-to is best for when it’s windy out, whereas a star is perfect for when you’re low on campfire supplies.

Some hacks to get it started

Unfortunately, even the best laid plans don’t always work, and how should you build a campfire if you’re low on supplies? If you don’t have tinder or kindling, or have few matches left, and when a blazing campfire is the only thing standing between you being cold and hungry, and being warm and fed. There are fun campfire hacks that are used in campsites in Alberta, such as how to light a fire using Doritos. The benefit of this, is nearly all campgrounds will have some on hand, and it can be fun to do as well.

Campfire Safety While Camping is Important

Regardless of what configuration you use, or what materials you start your fire with, always practice good campfire etiquette. Be wary of embers that can ignite other flammable materials, only burn clean materials. Avoid burning junk or garbage in your firepit , and most importantly, ensure your fire has been put out thoroughly before going to bed. Pour water on all embers, even ones that don’t appear to be glowing red.

Build a Campfire

Continuously pour the water until you no longer hear the hiss of the water boiling and steaming. Then, stir the ashes until all areas of the firepit have been touched by water. If water is in short supply, sand can be used to put out the fire, as it will prevent the fire from using the oxygen it needs to burn . Then, water can be poured on top.

When starting the fire in the firepit the next day, the use of tinder and kindling helps start the fire in the firepit that will be wet from the night before. Always use caution with fires while camping, and enjoy the warm crackle on your next camping adventure!

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