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Simplest Way to Light Your Campfire
A successful campfire is an essential ingredient for a successful camping trip. Campfires are not only great for keeping warm or cooking delicious meals, they are also the perfect central gathering place for telling stories and toasting marshmallows! If you’ve never lit a campfire before then this article is for you. Understanding the basics of lighting a simple campfire will come in useful before you head off for your next camping trip. For the absolute simplest way to light your campfire, follow these few easy steps.
1. Preparation. Being prepared for building a campfire by ensuring that you have everything to hand is the most important step. You will need some matches, newspaper, kindling and dry wood. Most campfires will have bundles of wood available for you to buy, but it is wise to check before you go. You will need to bring a hatchet with you to chop the wood up in smaller pieces.
2. Gather kindling: Go in search of some kindling for your campfire. This is a great activity that kids love to get involved in. Kindling is basically a mixture of small slivers of woods, sticks or twigs that are usually found very easily within a few meters of the campsite area. Kindling burns very quickly than larger pieces of wood, and will be the foundation of your campfire. Gather as much as you possibly can; the more you get the better chance you have of lighting your campfire and keeping it lit.
3. Gather some sticks and smaller pieces of wood: Sticks are dry pieces of wood that are a bit larger than kindling, and will help to get that campfire going nicely. Never cut sticks off trees, instead look around the campsite for dry sticks that are lying on the ground. Also, use your axe to split down the large pieces of wood into some small, manageable pieces. Having a good supply of sticks and thin pieces of wood will encourage your campfire to burn and to prepare it for the larger pieces of wood.
4. Gather your larger pieces of wood. Firewood should be stacked a few feet away from the fire pit. Be sure to keep your wood as dry as possible at all times.
5. Assemble the fire pit: Before you strike that match, you will need to assemble your fire pit correctly. Place some balled-up pieces of newspaper in the center of the pit. Take your kindling and stack it into a “teepee” shape around the newspaper.
6. Light campfire: Light the base of your kindling with a match, shielding any wind as much as possible. The newspaper and kindling should light very quickly, and a gently blow onto the newspaper will encourage it to catch fire.
7. Add more kindling: If required, add more kindling to the teepee formation until it starts to catch nicely. At this stage your will want to add your smallest sticks and slivers of wood to the outside of the stack, at a 45 degree angle, allowing enough oxygen in the center of the teepee for the fire to survive. If you drop sticks onto the top of the pile then your fire will most likely go out very quickly.
8. Gradually add larger pieces of firewood: As the smaller pieces of wood start to burn without the assistance of any more newspaper or kindling, then your campfire is ready to receive some larger pieces of firewood. Gradually build up your fire around the outside with some larger pieces, again blowing gently on the fire will encourage the fire to catch the wood.
This technique is by far the simplest way to light your campfire. By ensuring good preparation and having all the materials you need close to hand, you can be successful at lighting your campfire and keeping it burning long into the evening. Always consider your safety and the safety of others when enjoying your campfire and remember to extinguish it with water after use.