Here’s a simple formula for how to build a campfire, it’s easy to remember. (here’s a video that illustrates the technique)
‘Gather’ and ‘Build’ are the key concepts:
…everything before you strike a match. The sizes and amounts are rules of thumb, don’t over-engineer things. For some reason my Scouts always seem to break the sticks they gather into tiny pieces, keep them close to the sizes specified and you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.
… don’t be overly concerned with trying to make a teepee or a log cabin or any of the traditional illustrated fire lays that look nice and neat – get the tinder burning, add the kindling and then the fuel. A fire has to have something to burn, don’t be shy. Most of my fires are piles, some look a little like teepees, just do what works. Fires spread up more than out, get the kindling and fuel directly over the flame.
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Larry Geiger says
Fire goes up. You must light the fuel from below. New Scouts have a rough time with this concept. New Scouts pile stuff up and then try and light it from above or from the side. Lots of entertainment to watch. Especially when they run out of matches and go looking for some more 🙂
Experienced Scouts are always trying to get the match under something. They get the concept but they don’t like the part about prepare and gather. They just want the big logs to start right up. Again, fun to watch. I especially like it when they just throw in the towel and start all over and do it right. Such fun!
Yay, I’m planning on going camping in a week and a half. Haven’t been since April? May? I’m way out of touch and need to get back into it. Looks like I may need a warm sleeping bag for November. That hopefully means good sleeping weather and lots of campfire building 🙂