One of the best parts of going camping is sitting around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows, sharing spooky stories, and watching the embers dance and flicker. That being said, camp fires can be dangerous, and should be treated as such.
Here are just a few tips to help you be safe when building a fire.
Always Use a Firepit. – Most family campgrounds have fire pits pre-built, but it’s not uncommon to find campsites that don’t have one, in which case you’ll have to build one. Pick a spot on the site that’s downwind, and at least 15 feet from your tent. Clear a 10-foot diameter around, and get rid of anything that can catch fire — even overhanging branches. Then, dig a pit about one-foot deep, and circle it with rocks. Then, you’re good to go.
Keep the Fire Going Carefully. – Once you’ve got your fire started, you’re going to need to keep it going. Just be careful as you do. Add larger pieces of wood to keep it burning steadily, but keep it at a manageable size. Never leave it unattended, either, and always supervise children and pets when they’re near the fire.
Keep a Bucket of Water Nearby. – You should always have a large bucket of water nearby, just in case. When you use it to extinguish the fire, you need to drown all the embers — not just the ones that are glowing. You need to keep pouring water until the hissing fully stops. Once it does, stir the ashes with a shovel, and scrape away any remaining embers on the sticks and logs. If you don’t have enough water on hand, you can use dirt, but you can’t bury the fire, as it’ll cause roots to catch fire, which will get to the surface and start a forest fire.
Remember: always use a fire pit, be careful when maintaining a fire, and always keep a bucket of water nearby. Some campgrounds might not have a fire pit, you may have to dig one out. The name of the game, after all, is preparedness.
If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.