How to Build a Campfire

How to Build a Campfire

How to Build a Campfire

Last June I wrote a series of articles on Camping for Beginners. As I watched Lyle building the fire on our last camping trip I thought a campfire tutorial might be good to add to the series.

Lyle starts with several sheets of newspaper which he wads into balls. I didn’t get a picture of that stage of the process, but I expect you can figure that part out without a visual.

He arranges them in the bottom of the fire pit all bunched together.

chopping kindling

Next he splits a piece of firewood into smaller and smaller pieces for kindlin’.

building a campfire

He arranges the little slivers of kindlin’ across the wadded-up paper.

building a campfire

After about 3 layers of kindlin’ Lyle starts adding slightly larger pieces of firewood in the same cross-hatch pattern.

stacked logs in campfire

Once he gets the firewood stacked up to his satisfaction he lights the newspaper with a match or lighter. As the paper burns it catches the kindlin’ on fire, which in turn lights the bigger pieces.

adding wood to the fire

In a few minutes, when the initial stack is burning good, Lyle adds a few normal-sized fire logs on top.

campfire burning

Then it’s time to just sit back and watch the fire for a bit. It’s burning too hot for cooking at this stage.

campfire charcoal

When  the logs have burned down to a good bed of smoldering coals, that’s when it’s time to flip the grate over the fire. Now you can cook!

Here’s what we cooked over the fire that weekend:

  • bacon and eggs in an iron skillet on the grate
  • salmon in the burger basket (lying on the ground in the background)
  • hot dogs on sticks (propped on the squiggly thing that’s sticking up out of the fire)
  • foil-wrapped potatoes directly in the coals

You can find other campfire recipes in the Camp Cooking post listed below.

Other Posts in This Series

How to Plan Your First Camping Trip

What to Pack for Camping

Camping Menu Plan

Camp Cooking

Camping with Kids

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