There are few things in the world more relaxing than the crackle of a camp fire. It’s an iconic part of the camping experience and the making of the perfect camp fire is a matter of great debate. For many newcomers it can seem daunting. Where do you start? What do you need? Do you just rub some sticks together then get out the marshmallows?
A quick search online will give you countless articles regarding the use of bow drills, fire thongs and fire pistons, it’s enough to make the head spin. Don’t worry though Nordic Outdoor has you covered again.
Our staff take pride in the fact that we’re enthusiastic about outdoor living. Most of the staff here have been making campfires from very early ages, therefore we’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you out and keep you from making some of the very easy mistakes we’ve made!
Find a site
This is an obvious one, but it needs mentioned. You need to find a flat, dry plot to light your fire on. Not in your tent, not in your living room and not on some poor farmers plot of grass. The key is to leave as little impact on the land after you’ve left.
First off if you’re at a campsite, it’s possible that there are already fire pits pre-dug and ringed. If you see one, fantastic, you’re good to go. If not and the campsite allows you to, or you have landowner’s permission then read on!
- Find yourself a site at least 15 feet away from Trees, shrubs, tents or fuel cannisters.
- Dig a small pit, being careful not to do any lasting damage to the surrounding area. Then ring this pit with stones.
- Ensure that there are no sources of fuel by the fire that may catch. i.e. leaves, moss, twigs etc.
There are a few things you will need to build a fire. If you watch too many survivals shows you’ll be tempted to start trying to make a fire with some paracord and a plastic bottle, unless you’re in a survival situation this really isn’t necessary. You will however need tinder, a fire steel and wood. There are optional extras, but these 3 items are the essentials.
- For tinder and firesteel we wholeheartedly recommend Light my Fire products. The clue is in the name really, when it comes to fire these guys are the pros. They even have a handy line of combo packs which include a variety of things to help get your fire roaring. Our favourite is the black pearl camp kit. It includes the award-winning Swedish Fire Knife, a spork and the item that got Light My Fire started, the tinder on a rope.
- For wood, it’s best to bring your own. Honestly, it’s never advisable to go chopping down trees on someone’s land. If you’re in a forest or wooded area chances are you can find fallen branches or trees which are perfectly fine to use. Using an axe split your gathered wood down to varying sizes and you’re ready for the next step.
How to Build a Campfire
We’re finally at the crux of it. Building the actual fire. A fool proof way to do this is to scrape some shavings off your tinder on a rope into a small pile. Once you have these strike the firesteel until a spark catches your small pile of tinder dust. Once a flame has started, begin to feed in some kindling.
As far as kindling goes you have a fair number of options. Dried leaves, small twigs etc. work. However we recommend that you invest in some light my fire tinder sticks. These small sticks contain a very high resin count allowing you to simply chop them down to the size required and feed them in. They’ll catch even when damp so they’re a worthy addition to any camp kit.
Once you have the kindling burning you can start adding larger sticks. Keep carefully adding larger pieces of wood until you have reached the size of fire you need. It’s really that simple
Now you have your fire, stick on the ghillie kettle, sit back and relax!
Now you have a roaring fire the opportunities are endless! Whilst most are happy to simply sit back and take in the heat, why not take this opportunity to try your hand at some wild cooking?
- Grandpas Fire Fork: Simply attach to the end of a stick for easy toasting. Combine with a bag of marshmallows for the perfect Springtime desert.
- Grandpas Fire Grill: Again, all you need to do Is attach this handy grill to the end of a stick to allow you to cook a multitude of different meals. Fish, sausages and kebabs are all made easy with this handy device!
- Bighorn 3 Legged Pan: Really step up your game with this durable outdoor cooking pan! Capable of cooking big meals for the whole family it’s really worth a look if you camp often with a number of people!
There you have it! The easiest way to build yourself a roaring fire and what to do once you’ve built it. We hope this has given you a spark of inspiration to get out there and try it for yourself. For more reading on the finer points of making fires, why not pick up The Art of Fire, available from Nordic Outdoor in store or online!