I am a big camping fan and it is no surprise that friends ask me for tips on what kinds of accessories to buy, where to go, and how to build and cook over a campfire. I am happy to share my knowledge. It is not difficult to promptly start a fire and to make great outdoor meals. You start with an ideal site for this indispensable outdoor tradition. If there is no designated fire ring, you can make your own where permitted. You can call the forest service in advance to find out what is allowed. When you arrive, make sure your site is sufficiently away from branches and debris. You know about embers and wildfire so you will dismantle your pit as soon as you are done. It goes without saying to clear all flammable materials. Most people cover their fire rings with sand or gravel.
To start the fire, gather tinder, kindling, and larger pieces of wood that will help the fire keep going as long as you like. Don ‘t cut branches from live trees. Now you can build either a teepee, log cabin, or upside down pyramid style. The teepee is made from loosely piled tinder in the center of the ring. Add logs as needed slowly. Two large pieces of firewood make up a log cabin. They are placed parallel to one another with room between. Place two smaller pieces on top perpendicular to form a square. Amble tinder goes inside. Add layers making them smaller and smaller. Finish with kindling and tinder. The spaces allow the fire to get needed oxygen. Finally, for the pyramid construction, use three or four of the largest logs placed side by side. Add a second layer of smaller ones and continue getting smaller as you go up.
Now you are ready to prepare a delicious meal. I, for one, loved fresh grilled fish. You may bring all the ingredients with you if you want to get fancy. Use cookware designed for campfires and water to douse the flames when the meal is over. Who doesn’t want to end with s’mores? During the preparation process, I like to wear a welding jacket as those roaring flames get pretty hot. I do this particularly on cold days as it keeps me warm while it protects me. It pays to wear something that is flame resistant. I can’t tell you how important this is. I have seen the results of inattention. A welding jacket is not hard to find on the Internet, especially with the help of Twitter, and will generally sell for under fifty dollars. It’s a great deal for the safeguarding you get. Plus, there are usually inside pockets for storage. I always seem to misplace my cell phone and car keys somewhere in the dirt. Ensure that camp guests and children never get too close to the campfire. For s’mores, they can use a very long stick.
Taking caution by spending a few dollars on the right gear pays off in the end.