Did you know that learning how to build a fire is one of the best survival skills that you can teach your little one? Whether you need to keep warm or you simply want to have a good time, building a bonfire is a great activity for any group gathering.
Have you ever wondered how to construct the best bonfire with ease? Here is your ultimate guide to building a bonfire for any situation or event.
Investigate Necessary Permits
Depending on where you live or the location of the bonfire, you may need to abide by certain rules. For instance, in dry areas like southern California, you cannot have fires during many parts of the year.
Even the tiniest flame could ignite large swaths of dry brush that could turn into a raging wildfire. These wildfires often destroy homes and entire neighborhoods during fire season.
If you have your event at the beach or a park, you may still need to get a permit to have the bonfire. The smoke from the fire may be bothersome to other people who want to enjoy the public space.
Find a Safe Spot
Once you know that it is all right to build a fire, you need to find a solid location. Ideally, you should pick somewhere that is not surrounded by vegetation. A dirt area is a great place to start because there is nowhere for the embers to go and catch.
If you are going camping, the campsite will probably have designated areas where you can build fires. They are usually spaced out enough to avoid endangering others.
For a professional hiker, you may need to use your best judgment when building a fire. Multi-day backpacking trips often require you to construct a fire when you bed down for the night, especially if temperatures drop and you need to cook some food.
Gather Your Materials
After you find a perfect location for the best bonfire, you need to make sure that you have the right materials. Every fire is slightly different, but with these foundational elements, you will set yourself up for success.
Bricks and Stones
For a permanent fire set up in your backyard, consider building a fire pit out of bricks or another sturdy material. This way, you will not have to set it up every time you want to have a fire.
An easier way is to simply buy a fire pit from your local hardware store. For instance, the ecosmart fire pit is environmentally friendly and will save you a ton of work.
The base of your fire is made up of tinder. Tinder often consists of twigs and an extra dry brush. This material catches on fire very easily, so it will provide a good starter flame to add to as you build up your fire.
There are also other elements for tinder that will help you get the fire going. Laundry lint from your dryer is actually a great option. Put a bucket in your laundry room to collect lint for the next time you make a fire.
Next, you need to add kindling. Once the tinder catches, you will have to maintain your fire and increase its size. Although tinder burns easily, it also burns quickly.
Kindling is made up of bigger sticks that burn for longer. This is a good way to continue adding to your fire without overwhelming it and potentially putting out the flames you ignited with the tinder.
Finally, once the kindling burns nicely, you can start to add large logs. You can chop these down, buy them from a convenience store, or even get them from buy and sell groups online.
Once all of this burns for a longer period of time, you will have a coal base. These coals are extremely hot and can burn for hours after the fire is out, or even days.
Assemble Your Perimeter
Once you have your materials, you need to assemble the perimeter of your bonfire. In the camping industry, one of the standards is to use stones to do this. You can find similar-sized stones out in nature and make sure that they surround the fire completely.
If you are not in a completely brush-free area, try to clear it out as much as possible. The larger the dirt perimeter, the less chance that your fire can spread and potentially harm yourself and others around you.
Build the Fire
After you put together your perimeter, you need to use your materials to build the fire. Using your best judgment, determine how much of each to include if you want your fire to burn for a longer period of time.
You should also make sure that you get the proper shape when building a bonfire. A teepee construction works best because it allows the fire to catch but it also does not prevent oxygen from encouraging the fire.
Keep the Fire Going
When you and your friends are going camping, you may want to keep your fire burning for many hours or the entirety of your trip. This makes it easier to cook breakfast when you wake up in the morning or stay warm during the night.
Make sure that you have supplies of all types of materials within reach so that you can restart the fire if it ever goes out. Once you have your coal base, you can let the flames die down and reignite them in the morning if you need to.
Building a Bonfire is Simple
If you want to have a fun fire at the beach or cozy up on a cold winter night, building a bonfire is the perfect solution. With this guide, you can have the best bonfire, no matter where you are at.
Would you like to learn more about fun nature tips that will keep you entertained next time you’re going camping? Check out our site for more methods to have fun with your entire family.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.