5 Useful Tips to Get a Campfire Going

Campfires are an integral part of camping. They’re warm, comforting, and soothing. They provide a source of light, they give you something to do, and they make the camping experience whole. Of course, if you don’t know how to make a campfire, they can also be really frustrating. Here are 5 useful tips to get a campfire going.

Come prepared

Bring some firewood from home. Wood can be wet, sold out, or the campground could be picked clean. It’s good idea to come prepared with at least enough wood for a small campfire, so you don’t go without.

Firewood shouldn’t be moved more than 50 miles to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

Prepare the fire pit

It’s much easier to get a campfireĀ  fire going – and keep it going – if you tend your fire pit before lighting your fire.

Dig out the fire pit, clear out extra ash, and build up a rock ring.

Fires need oxygen to burn, but too much wind can blow a fire out; or worse, start a wildfire. Digging the pit helps keep your fire protected by being lower than ground level, and the rock ring provides an extra wind barrier and keeps the fire contained. Clearing out the ash makes it easier to start your fire.

Choose (and learn) a fire building technique

Choose a method to build a campfire. There are many different ways to build a campfire. People have their favorites, but they’re all good. Teepee, lean-to, log cabin, upside down, etc.

The campfire building technique you choose doesn’t really matter, but it is important that you choose one, and learn how to do it. Randomly spreading kindling isn’t an effective campfire building technique.


Sure, it feels pretty good to get a fire going with nothing but a single match and some tinder, but it can be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with wet firewood.

So cheat.

Use fire paste or a starter log to get your fire going. It’s easy and stress-free. If you really want an easy way to get a campfire going, bring some lighter fluid. Now you’re cooking with gas.

Tinder – Kindling – Fuel

It’s important that you start small and work your way up to large logs. This is true even if you bring a fire starter and you choose a good campfire building technique. Trying to skip from tinder to fuel, or trying to start with kindling will lead to frustration and delay your fire.

Start with your tinder, move up to kindling, and then put the logs on.

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