Campers, Hikers & Hunters: Building an Open Fire


A Fire is One of the Great Joys of Being Outdoors!


With the cooler weather coming our way,  now is a great time to review how to build an open fire — safely!

Some Terms to Know

Tinder – pine cones,  leaves, dry grasses, dried pine                                 leaves, etc.

Kindling – small tree or brush branches, twigs, etc.

Fuel – larger tree branches, logs,  etc.

Before You Get Started

When  we start a fire, we are accepting the responsibility of protecting the animals and their habitat on the land we are using.

  • Collect wood as you are setting up camp.
  • Get your wood and kindling collected before dark.
  • Collect enough to last until the next daylight.
  • Include your wood needs in your plan for a good camp site.
  • To protect your wood from dampness, put 2 poles parallel on the ground and stack wood crosswise on top of them.
  • Keep your stacked wood at least 10 feet from the fire.
  • Use a poncho or tarp to cover the wood.
  • If  you get to a campsite and all the wood and kindling is wet, find logs, split them and chop out bits of the inner log for kindling.

Building a Fire

  • Clear an area of about 10 feet.
  • Find a collection of rocks to form a tight circle — to contain your fire.
  • Heap your tinder in the center of your fire ring.
  • Add kindling on top of the tinder; pointing to the center of the fire.
  • The kindling should be placed close enough to each other to catch fire but sparsely enough to allow air flow.
  • Start your fire at the bottom of the tinder pile.
  • Add larger sticks, logs, etc., as the fire catches and burns.

When You Are Finished                                                     

Make sure your fire is out before leaving.

Take your trash with you. Leave your campsite in as-good-as or better condition than when you found it!

Remember, thousands of acres of land are burned each year — by carelessness.  When land burns … animals die!


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 8:30 am  Comments Off on Campers, Hikers & Hunters: Building an Open Fire  
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