Having a campfire can be one of the greatest joys of spending the night in the woods camping. There are many reasons to have a campfire from just relaxing in front of it with your beverage of choice – to using your fire to stay warm on a chilly spring or fall night. Campfires can be used to comfort you or to save your life, but they can also be very dangerous it they get out of hand!
Many forest fires are started because campfires are left unattended or not properly extinguished.
If you are found liable for starting a forest fire because it started at your campfire you could be held responsible for the costs to extinguish that forest fire and any property damage that may come with it. First of all make sure you check with local authorities for any campfire bans in effect for that area.
Fire Safety Tips
Always check for campfire bans in your area. Especially during the hot sumer
Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches.
If possible, use an existing fire pit. Also make sure you clear it of all debris before building the fire.
Never leave your campfire unattended
Be sure to have access to a shovel or a pale of water to put out the fire and stop a fire from a stray coal or ash.
Keep your extra fire wood up wind and a good distance from the fire.
When you leave, make sure the fire is completely out leaving it cool to the touch and with no red embers.
Cover the fire and surrounding areas with water.
Push the coals around with a shovel or stick and cover with water again
Buried coals can smolder for a long time and there is a possibility of them catching on fire after you leave.
Keep in mind, there maybe alternatives to having a campfire.
Such as …
- Cooking over a camp stove
- Use hand warmers inside the sleeping bag to help stay warm
- Bring a water filter instead of boiling water
How to Build a Safe Fire Pit
If you are going to be having a campfire, you need to make sure that you ave a safe fire pit of course! Here are some tips on how to build a safe fire pit.
Select a safe area for the fire pit
Make sure there are NO overhanging tree limbs
Be sure it is on a flat surface
Keep it a safe distance from trees, shrubs, fire wood or anything flammable
If possible, use an existing fire pit and clear it of all debris before building your fire
Building the fire pit
Clear the selected area from all ground debris at least 3 times the size of the ring your are building
Dig a pit about 2 feet across and 2 feed down
Fill the bottom of the pit with 6-8 inches of sand or gravel
Select good size stones to place around the diameter of the ring about half the size of a basket ball.
DO NOT take stones that are at the edge or in a water source, they may burst when heated.
Place the stones tight around the ring and fill gaps with stand or gravel.
Be safe but don’t forget to enjoy your campfire!
by Dick from TentCampingHQ
If you have any of your own campfire safety tips,
please share them below.