Learn to Start a Campfire

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One of the best ways to spend an evening in the campground is by the campfire. This guide will help you safely light and enjoy a campfire.

What You Will Need:

  • Matches or a lighter,
  • Some paper to get the fire started,
  • Kindling or small pieces of wood that ignite easily,
  • Medium sized pieces of wood,
  • Larger pieces of wood
  • Finally, make sure you have water nearby to extinguish the fire.

*Remember, only light a fire in designated fire pits or the metal fire boxes provided.

To start, crumble some pieces of paper into loose balls. Newspaper works best. Next, pile small pieces of wood around the paper balls to form a Teepee. Light the paper in different places around the base and wait for the wood to ignite. Once the wood ignites, blow on the fire to feed it oxygen and help it grow.

Add more wood as the fire catches. Start with smaller pieces and gradually add pieces until your fire’s growing. Don’t add too much wood too fast. Fire needs oxygen to burn and adding too much too fast might smother and put it out.

Once the fire’s going, sit back and enjoy. Remember to tend to your fire by adding more wood from time to time but be sure to keep your fire small and under control. Never leave your fire unattended. Before you go to bed for the night, or anytime you leave your campsite, douse the fire with water and make sure it is out. Only use designated fire wood. In most national parts, it is illegal to collect and burn wood from the forest. Deadwood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and adds organic matter to the soil. Each campground may have additional regulations regarding campfires. It is your responsibility to know and follow them.

If you’re unsure, just ask a friendly Parks of Canada staff. For more information on campfires and other camping skills, please visit the Learn to Camp section of our website, found under planning your visit.

Erik Abrams

Erik Abrams

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Camping Is Easy® was founded by lifelong friends who shared a passion for both the great outdoors and the gear required to enjoy it to the fullest. Erik & Alex now travel the world searching for the best camping spots all while reviewing the products they use along the way. Thanks for visiting!

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