Last updated and verified on February 24th, 2023
The warmth of a campfire creates unforgettable memories with your loved ones and family. After you’ve finished telling stories and cooking s’mores you must put out the fire properly before you go into the darkness.
The act of leaving your camp or going to bed prior to burning your fire properly can rapidly ignite forest fires that put wildlife, people and ecosystems at risk. If you’re a frequent camper, it’s vital to know how to light the campfire in a safe manner. Follow our simple step-by step instructions to ensure that your campsite is secure as you enjoy the outdoors.
How To Build A Fire Safely
If you’re camping and you plan to making a fire it is essential to construct it in a safe manner to protect your campers, yourself, as well as the surroundings. In order to build a proper fire there are a few steps you must take to ensure that you’ll have an enthralling campfire in no time and will be able to clean up after you’re ready to go.
- Check the weather: When the conditions are extremely dry or windy, you should avoid the campfire for another time. Dry leaves and sludge are prone to ignite at the tiniest touch with embers. Additionally, powerful winds can send sparks and flames to other places where the fire could quickly grow out of control. It is also advisable to inquire with the local authorities to determine if there’s an emergency ban on fires in place.
- Find the best location: Many campsites have an internal fire pits, which provide the ideal access and shelter from the flames from spreading. Alternately, you can use your personal fire pit that will contain the coals and place it in a secure area. The pit should be shielded from the wind and must have at minimum 10 feet of space between the site and the top. Make sure your fire pit is well-defended by clearing leaves and debris, and then arranging rocks and greenwood in a circular arrangement in the area around your pit.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment: To construct and put out your campfire in a safe manner it is essential to have the right equipment to do the task. Always keep two buckets of material to put out the flame placed in a readily accessible location near the location of the fire. Also, you will need an appropriate shovel to stir the coals or dumping dirt on the campfire.
There are a variety of substances that can be used to put out or control the flames. They are all effective and is able to be used in any situation, but each needs to be used in various methods.
- Water: The water is the most efficient and fastest way to put out your campfire. Fortunately, most camping sites have a readily available water source close by. Always keep an empty bucket of water close to the fire in the event that the wind gets stronger and the flames start to spread or grow excessively high.
- Sand: Sand is a fire-smothering agent that works by absorbing the flame and limiting flames’ exposure to oxygen. If you do have plenty of coal left and they are able to heat the sand and take longer for the fire to cool to an acceptable temperature.
- Dirt: Dirt is a great option since it’s everywhere and even in campsites that are not designated. If you’re lacking sufficient water in order to drown the flame, dirt can be an excellent alternative. Take off the dirt on top to uncover the moister soil beneath. This will also stop any debris from fuelling the fire.
A Step-by-Step Guide On How You Should Extinguish A Campfire Correctly
Step 1: Wait Until The Flames Burn Down
Before you leave or go to bed, leave enough time for the final of the wood to burn down to coals , and for the flames to die out.
Step 2: Spread The Coals
With an axe, spread the coals as widely as you can within the campfire. By spreading them out, you can allow the coals to cool quicker because of an increase in airflow around the coals and also removes any remaining fuels that are not burned, thereby preventing the fire from reigniting.
Step 3: Douse The Campfire
If you’re using sand, water or dirt, you need to cover the area around your embers by putting your dousing substance. The amount of dousing material used will be determined by the size of the fire, but for a campfire of average size you will require at minimum two buckets. If you’re using water, you should pour your water gradually from an higher point to allow for better distribution and stay out of the way of rising steam.
If you’re using dirt or sand be sure to apply an extremely thin layer of it to block the oxygen. The application of too much sand dirt may insulate the flames and cause a fire beneath the surface of the sand , which could ignite after.
Step 4: Stir The Remaining Ash and Embers
Utilizing a long skewer shovel, or stick and mix the remaining ash to discover any remaining burning embers. If you have large pieces of wood left make sure to rotate and remove the embers from areas that are not burned before placing the burnt portion in the water, and then cover the logs once more.
Step 5: Repeat Until Cold
If, after stirring the ash you find some embers, keep doing the procedure of dousing and stirring until all the embers have gone out as well as the pit becomes warm. You can apply another layer of dirt or sand to ensure safety.
Step 6: Check the Campsite
Before you leave, be sure to look around your camp for sparks or embers that could easily ignite sparks that could ignite.
Roundup of How A Campfire Should Be Extinguished
Do not wait until you are at a point where you are ready to go to light the campfire. You should begin the process of putting out the fire when you begin to pack your camp. It could take some time for the hot coals to cool in humid conditions or after being sprayed with water. Always bring an emergency blanket for your fire and burn cream among your camping gear to keep your camp fire injuries from happening.